GRIEVING pet owners in Singapore, known for lavishing care in life on their animals, can soon share their feelings about furry family members after they pad off to the great beyond, through 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 and other animal groups about pets available for adoption.

The decision to market obituaries to pet owners in Singapore, one of the richest countries in terms of per capita income, comes as wealthy Asians give birth to fewer kids and shower more attention on their pets.

Although dogs and cats once roamed free around Singaporean neighbourhoods, pet owners are now extremely protective of their animals. 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 were increasing their spending on premium pet food and accessories such as designer pet clothing.

The obituaries too are not free; they will each run for S$50 (R355), with a goods and services tax of 7 percent on top of that. – Reuters