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A dog lover's dying wish to keep his dogs by his side

P8010053_thumb By Tamara | September 24, 2012 | Comments (12)

Siver and Rover are Mr Tan's dogs

A dying man's last wish is to spend his last days with his two beloved dogs. Unfortunately for Mr. Tan Cheng Chuan, the public housing complex where he lives in Singapore only allows for one dog and authorities have told him he must give up one dog.

"I don't have much time left. All I have are these two dogs to keep me company. I hope they can be with me until my last day on this earth," said Mr. Tan.

A year and a half ago, Mr. Tan, 63, was diagnosed with a fatal form of lung cancer, was given about two years left to live. In his remaining months, he simply wants to have the company of his mini Schnauzers - Silver (3 years old) and Rover (7 years old), dogs he's had since they were puppies.

Mr Tan's dying wish is to have his dogs by his sideUnfortunately, Mr. Tan lives in a public housing complex and according to the Housing and Development Board (HDB) rules, each HDB flat owner is allowed to keep only one dog. He also does not have understanding neighbors.

Other dog lovers in HDB housing flats do sometimes sneak more than one dog into their apartments, but it is illegal. Sadly, Mr. Tan's neighbors have complained on several occassions in an effort to get rid of Silver and Rover.

"One day, my neighbour from downstairs, I think he's a foreigner, knocked at my door. He said my dog was playing with a ball and the noise disturbed him," Mr Tan said. He apologized to the man and said he would try to prevent it from happening again. But soon after the HDB received complaints he had two dogs and that's when they requested one dog be removed.

When he told the HDB employee that one dog belongs to his daughter, she was sympathetic but said he needed to make arrangements.

His daughter Linda has tried to appeal to HDB to allow him to keep his two dogs, but the family's appeal was rejected.

Despite his failing health, Mr. Tan worries more about his dogs than he does himself. He worries that when he's gone there will be nobody to take care of Rover and Silver and they will be put down. He hopes to find them new owners who will take care of them after he has passed on. 

"I am not sure when I will die, it will depend on my luck. My two dogs keep me so happy that I don't think so much about my illness," he added.

Mr. Tan gives a fuller account of his story in the video interview with Save Our Street Dogs.


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Comments on this Article

email hdb: hdbmailbox@hdb.gov.sg or send them feedback on their website: https://services2.hdb.gov.sg/webapp/BE05Feedback/BE05SFrontController?service=ServiceFeedback&operation=createFeedback let's use the power of cyber media to let know how heartless they are..
I can't believe the authorities and so called neighbors would spend so much time making a dying man's life so miserable when there are far more serious matters out on the streets to be taken care of. I think the police concentrate on the small stuff because they're too afraid to tackle the big stuff, like REAL criminals!!! How sad!!!
I don't know what exposure this story has gotten in Singapore but the word needs to get out. Sometimes it takes many voices to stop people from adhering to protocol when compassion is in order. My family has unfortunately been touched by this insidious disease and I hope Mr. Tan responds well to treatment. The tenant who is complaining should be told of Mr. Tans plight with cancer. If the tenant already knows and is apathetic to Mr. Tan's situation, then shame on you! To Mr. Tan I wish you the best and hope you never have to face a day when you can no longer care for yourself or your dogs. It might be prudent to make those plans now. To those who would blindly follow protocol and separate Mr. Tan from his dogs, think how you or your family would want to be treated in a situation like this.
I don't know how long it takes to evict someone from public housing in Singapore, but if he's dying anyway... Why not just force them to evict him, and try to stretch it out as long as possible. Maybe someone in the court system will have more empathy and sensitivity for his plight. I know that sounds cold and calculating, but sometimes you have to play with the cards you are dealt, and he's been dealt a pretty crappy hand. I just know I wouldn't give up my dogs. I've been forced from an apartment years ago for harboring animals. They said I had to give them up or move out, I told them to get my deposit checks ready, I'll be out on the 1st. They tried to deny my deposit and that didn't fly. I took it all the way to mediation where they were ordered to not only give me my deposit, but also any accrued interest. Obviously, the laws are different in Singapore; I wish Mr. Tan the best for this life with his dogs, that he is able to place them in a good & loving home and speedy travels for the next part of his journey.
Sorry everyone, i made an error, Mr. Tan and his dogs live in Singapore not Taiwan.
Why are the authorities in Taiwan so adamant? Why can't they make an exception for a dying man? It is not too much to ask that he be allowed to keep his two dogs with him for the rest of his life, which apparently will not be much longer - why are they being so stubborn about this? It doesn't make any sense - please, for the love of God, let this man have his two companions for the rest of his days on this earth!
I have no words. Sometimes I am scared of people. I am never afraid of a dog.
I hope the authorities can overlook his extra dog until he passes. If I lived in Taiwan and owned properties Mr Tan would be welcome to live in peace with his two faithful friends in one of my properties, until it was his time to go. Authorities need to learn when someone is simply sticking the knife in because they can and when someone is genuinely causing a nuisance. I hope he finds loving happy homes for his faithful friends to go to when it's time to leave them x
Why isn't his daughter helping him?
I wish him the best of luck in keeping his two children, I'd be devasted n infuriated if I was told to give up my dog, I'd say "over my dead body" which is this mans sad story unfortunately.. I also hope that if he is allowed to spend his last days, months but hopefully yrs with his two animals, that when that tike comes, someone sees that those dogs have a special and loving place to be taken care of.. if Mr tan can see this message, I wish u the best of luck and to have a peaceful passing
Mr. Tan should be allowed to have his TWO dogs with him! Isn't there someone, somewhere, who can help him? Surely these people are NOT heartless. Or maybe they have forgotten what it is like to wish for something, to love something so much? I can only pray for him and his doggies...
For the love of god...is there absolutely no compassion left in our "human" race??? Can someone not do something there to plead the case?? What about family, is there no one in Mr.Tams family that can house him and his two friends for a few days??
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