Singapore

AVA investigating Platinium Dogs Club after allegations of mistreatment

A day before she was due to return from a family trip, Ms Angeline Png got news that her dog was dying.

She had taken both of her dogs, a 14-year-old jack russell terrier and 11-year-old cross breed, to Platinium Dogs Club, a pet boarding service, when her family was in Bangkok.

But when Ms Png sent a WhatsApp message to the pet caregiver Rachel to remind her she would be collecting the dogs the next day after about a week's stay, she claimed Rachel told her that the terrier was "dying".

Ms Png told The New Paper yesterday: "I asked for a video, and I could see faeces on her underbelly and on her paw pads. She also looked lifeless."

She told Rachel to take the terrier to the vet and asked her brother and a friend to go to the vet to check on the dog.

Six hours later, her dog died.

Said Ms Png: "We went to look at her body at the vet when we returned. She was skinny with sores around her paw pads. This is not the dog we last saw."

Ms Png is one of several dog owners who had alleged mistreatment of their pets by the boarding service, which charged a boarding fee of $30 a day. It had advertised a variety of services on its website, including overnight board for dogs, day care and grooming.

On Saturday, following complaints, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) conducted an inspection of the premises, a semi-detached house at Galistan Avenue in Bukit Panjang, and found 18 dogs and a rabbit.

The animals are now in AVA's temporary custody.

The spokesman told TNP that the pet boarding service is under investigation.

WOUNDS

Another dog owner, Ms Elaine Yong, 37, claimed she also had a bad experience with the boarding service.

The nurse told TNP she had sent her 13-year-old male shih tzu Pika to Platinium Dogs Club on Dec 8 when her usual boarding facility was fully booked.

She got her dog back on Dec 12 when she returned from her holiday in Genting Highlands and claimed to discover wounds on his body during a bath.

"There were abrasions around his legs and his testicles.

"There was even pus coming out from his testicles and bloody wounds around his penis," said Ms Yong. When she asked Rachel, she allegedly told Ms Yong that she had not noticed the injuries.

Attempts by TNP to contact Platinium Dogs Club yesterday were unsuccessful.

But Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao reported on Sunday that a spokesman for Platinium Dogs Club maintained it had not abused any pets.

The spokesman sent a screenshot showing how it told one pet owner the dog could not eat and walk, and that the centre was at its wit's end.

The spokesman also claimed that no dogs were taken away by the authorities from the Bukit Panjang house, as they belonged to a friend.

Dr Jaipal Singh Gill, executive director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), said it had received complaints against the boarding facility.

SPCA had visited the house over the past few days to check on and secure the welfare of the animals, he added.

SPCA is unable to provide further details as investigations are ongoing.

CONSUMER ISSUESPLATINIUM DOGS CLUB