Grieving pet owners in Singapore, known for lavishing care in
life on their animals, can soon share their feelings about
furred family members after they pad off to the great beyond
- via obituaries in the city-state's largest newspaper.
From Sunday, The Straits Times pets section will let
pet owners publish goodbye messages to their favourite
non-human companions along with an accompanying photo.
The memorials will be part of a "pets' corner" in the paper's
classifieds section, along with notices by the SPCA (Society
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and other animal
groups about pets available for adoption.
The decision to market obituaries to pet owners in tiny
Singapore, one of the world's richest countries in terms of
per capita income, comes as wealthy Asians have fewer kids
and shower more attention on pets.
Though dogs and cats once roamed free around neighbourhoods
in Singapore, pet owners today are extremely protective of
their pets. In addition, the 80 percent of the population
that lives in government-run flats is restricted to just one
dog, of a small breed.
Research firm Euromonitor, in a recent report on Singapore's
pet care market, said people are spending more on premium pet
food as well as accessories such as strollers for dogs and
designer pet clothing.
"Many pet owners are increasingly treating their pets as
household members and are therefore pampering their pets with
luxurious food, products and services, just as they would
dote on their family," it said.
"This trend led to a shift in consumer spending towards
premium categories, such as premium pet food, hence driving
growth in the pet care market."
Needless to say, the obituaries too are not free - they will
each run $NZ49, with a goods and services tax of 7 percent on
top of that