Toa Payoh Vets Clinical
Research Making veterinary surgery alive
to a veterinary student studying in Australia
using real case studies and pictures
in the HDB residences
Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS
Must the Cocker Spaniel live like a canine
fugitive in the HDB apartment?
Sep 1, 2008
Since I am advising an old acquaintance who had just adopted a
homeless Cocker Spaniel, I would like to document my advices
to share with other Cocker Spaniel owners in Singapore. Those
who may be harbouring an "illegal canine fugitive" in the HDB
(Housing Development Board) residential apartments.
In the past, it was eviction for the owner of the HDB
apartment who is considered a "lessee" bound by the HDB's
rules and regulations or getting rid of the dog soon as the
AVA refused to grant a dog license. Frequently, it is death to
the Cocker Spaniel as nobody wants the grown up dogs.
For some reasons I cannot understand, the HDB's list of
approved dogs exclude the English and American Cocker Spaniel
which is not a big breed of dog. Nowadays, I have feedback
from some clients that some HDB Town Council officers
are kinder and would approve of this breed in HDB residential
If you want to keep a Cocker Spaniel legally in the HDB
apartment, do the following before you get your dog licence
from the AVA.
1. Get a letter
from your veterinarian stating the weight and height
of the dog.
2. Make an
appointment to meet the Town Council Officer in
charge. Discuss with him regarding the legal status of
your Cocker Spaniel. Showing him the letter from your
veterinarian stating the height and weight of your
3. If the Town Council approves the breed, get a
letter of approval from the Town Council.
4. To get the dog licence from the AVA,
post the following to the AVA:
4.1 Letter of approval from the Town Council if your
4.2 Photocopy of the owner's NRIC Identity Card.
4.3 Dog licence application form.
4.4 Dog microchip form endorsed by the veterinarian
(not the puppy seller or breeder).
4.5 An "original" veterinary certificate of
sterilisation if relevant, to be eligible for the
$14.00 licence fee. Otherwise the fee is $70.00.
4.6 A cheque payable to the "AVA". $14.00 for a dog
before 5 months of age of either
gender. $70.00 for an unsterilised dog of either
4.6 Send above by registered post.
Some of my clients complain that they don't get prompt
response. Most likely they had not supplied the
necessary documents (4.1 to 4.5). They may need to
scan in the documents and part of the documentation
may be missing. Therefore, it is difficult to expect
prompt replies for non-compliance. However, some
clients who posted letters to the AVA get their
cheques returned for non-compliance of the above terms
and conditions for a dog licence.
Remember that the latest rule as at Sep 2008 is that
you pay only $14.00 if you apply for the dog licence
before the puppy is 5 months of age. After that
it will be $14.00 if the dog is sterilised but $70.00
Cocker Spaniels are
popular with Singaporeans but since some 80% of the population
lives in HDB apartments, there has had been a lot of sadness
when Cocker Spaniels need to be "evicted" due to some outdated
laws prohibiting Cocker Spaniels from living in HDB
apartments. Some Cocker Spaniels that cannot be re-homed
are abandoned as they have been found out as "illegal tenants"
living in the HDB residences since the AVA willnot grant the
dog owner a dog licence.