Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/143841
Title: SHOULD I STRAY OR SHOULD I GO?: PLACING STRAY DOGS IN THE CITY
Authors: DEBORAH DOMINIQUE CHAN RUIMIN
Keywords: urban animal geographies, stray animals, imaginative geographies, pet and pest binary, zoöpolis, grassroots groups
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: DEBORAH DOMINIQUE CHAN RUIMIN (2017). SHOULD I STRAY OR SHOULD I GO?: PLACING STRAY DOGS IN THE CITY. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Despite being commonplace in cities worldwide, stray animals have remained largely omitted from both academia and urban practice. Often regarded as ‘pests’, state responses to strays frequently involve culling. On the contrary, animal welfare groups (AWGs) have stepped forward to provide alternative management strategies. This thesis sought to answer, through the lens of AWGs, how humans and stray animals in cities can live together in less harmful ways. By focusing on prominent AWG, SOSD, and their management of stray dogs in Singapore, it engages with geography’s transspecies spatial theory and the concept of zoöpolis to address this aim. The management of stray cats by the Cat Welfare Society (CWS) was also incorporated to provide valuable comparisons in stray animal management. SOSD’s imaginative geographies of stray dogs were first explored to understand the motivations behind their management practices. Stray dogs were conceptually placed as being similar to humans and imagined to be better pets than pedigree dogs. However, translating these conceptual placements into practice were inhibited by factors such as stray dog transgressions. The value of such alternative imaginations was assessed by comparing SOSD's imaginations to conventional conceptualisations of how humans respond to urban animals. The comparison revealed that the taken-for-granted pet/pest binary is inaccurate and limiting to both stray animal life and human experiences of difference. This thesis argues that having more peaceful human-stray animal relations begins with thinking of stray animals as ‘monstrous figures’ who signal alternative possibilities of life. SOSD’s strategies that acknowledged the intrinsic value of animals and their subjectivities illustrated how such non-binary thinking could be translated into zoöpolistic urban practices that accommodate the needs of animals. Finally, a comparison of the effectiveness of SOSD and CWS in attaining interspecific contact showed how speciesspecific behaviours are a key consideration when designing a zoöpolis with stray animals.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/143841
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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