Family Pawtraits — SOSD Flag Day & Adoption Drive

Our Family Pawtraits series began with our earnest hopes to support Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD), a volunteer-run dog shelter that has been caring for Singapore’s many street dogs, rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming strays to give them a second chance at life. Over the past weeks, we’ve photographed 4 families with dogs to raise awareness about the responsibilities of being a pet owner; rising concerns about animal abandonment; and the joys and challenges of welcoming a dog into different lives and lifestyles. To wrap up our campaign, as well as catch a few furry friends we’ve come to know and adore, we joined SOSD at their Flag Day and Adoption Drive on 28 February 2016.

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We arrived at Scape Youth Park to a colourful crowd: there were volunteers, prospective adopters, the odd passerby, and families bringing their dogs to join in the fun. A huge open green space had people mingling with dogs, both stray and homed, all of which were surprisingly comfortable with strangers. At times, the dogs even seemed too busy playing among themselves to care about the hordes of people who were willing to shower attention on them.

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We saw people from all walks of life convening to show support for these stray dogs in any way they could. Costumed performers joined us throughout the day, with characters from Star Wars and Pokémon, and even Singapore’s own Captain America dropping by to help raise awareness and interest in the event.

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Even some of the dogs were dressed for the occasion. We found Superdog and Batdog, who commanded an audience of their own with their bright costumes and adorable matching shoes. “One of my friends is volunteering with SOSD, and he asked me to come down and support the event,” their owner said. “A few of us are in the same cycling group, so this morning we went for another event and brought our dogs straight down here.”

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Most of all, we were surprised and touched by the numerous volunteers who turned up, willingly devoting their weekend to help these lovely canines look for a new home. Young or old, these volunteers were enthusiastic and lively, their smiles never once faltering under the blazing sun. One of the volunteers we spoke to fosters a 4-week-old puppy. “He’s very cute!” she shared. “A little naughty, but he is so curious and I love to watch him play.”

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Towards the end, a mobile adoption drive was carried out. Volunteers took fund raising to the street, bringing several dogs out onto the buzzing stretch along Orchard. We tagged along, and were rewarded with the heartwarming sight of strangers, both locals and foreigners alike, stopping in their tracks, just to give a little attention to these dogs. It was nice to see these gentle canines receive more care than they usually do, and hopefully, end up in a loving, forever home.

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Like each of our previous shoots, we left the event with a cocktail of emotions: joy at the encouraging turn-up; relief, knowing that SOSD’s operations would be well-supported; and a tinge of bittersweet. The adoption drive was  full of generous affection for these strays; yet we couldn’t help but recall other less fortunate strays, and hope they would one day get the chance to experience what it means to have a home. It has been a fun and moving experience with SOSD, and we’ve learnt a lot — both about man’s best friend, and man’s own capacity for love.

This is a Shentonista project in support of Save Our Street Dogs Singapore. Visit their site to find out more about how you can help. 

To view all posts from the campaign, visit here.

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