In case you haven’t been up-to-date with the saga surrounding boarding facility Platinum Dogs Club, here’s the lowdown: Pet owners who sent their pets their complained that their pets had been abused. One dog returned home with cuts on its body. Amidst this, the owner of a Shetland Sheepdog named Prince was told that her dog, who stayed at the facility, went missing after running out. The owner, Elaine Mao, appealed for information about him on Facebook and offered a $2,000 reward to anyone who found him, sparking a hunt among members of the public.
However, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), which raided the Bukit Panjang boarding facility following complaints of mistreatment of pets in its care, said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that preliminary investigations revealed that Prince “had died while boarded there and was cremated by a pet cremation service provider”.
Prince’s owner Elaine called the news “totally unbearable” in a Facebook post on Wednesday, adding “a part of me has gone with him”.
She said she had paid $945 to check Prince into the facility on Dec 16 before she went overseas.
Elaine said she had asked the owner—whose name she gave as Charlotte Liew—for video updates about her pet, which did not always arrive. She said that Charlotte told her on Dec 30 that Prince had run out of the facility during the AVA raid.
Tensions over Prince’s whereabouts led to a group of angry dog owners, including Elaine, to protest outside Platinium last week. A 40-year-old man in the group was taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital for outpatient treatment after being hit by a car in which the operator of the pet boarding facility was travelling in.
On Saturday, Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam called for all parties involved to let the authorities carry out their investigations and not take the law into their own hands.
The 30-year-old owner of Platinium Dogs Club was arrested on Sunday.
The AVA, which had taken temporary custody of the 18 dogs and one rabbit found inside the facility, said on Wednesday that 17 of the dogs have been reunited with their owners, while the owner of the remaining one is overseas. It has yet to identify the rabbit’s owner.
Investigations are continuing.
Under the Animal and Birds Act, convicted offenders who fail in their duty of care towards animals while conducting an animal-related business can face a fine of up to $40,000, a jail term of two years, or both.
“The public is advised not to speculate and let the investigation take its course,” the AVA said. “AVA takes animal welfare seriously and will take enforcement action against any offenders to safeguard animal welfare.”
Image: Elaine Mao’s Facebook