Pet boarding

NParks Investigates Pet Boarding Service Allegations After Dog Dies, Singapore News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – The National Parks Council’s Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) is investigating allegations related to the board N ‘Play dog ​​boarding company, following the recent death of a Maltese.

In response to questions from the Straits Times, AVS Group Director Jessica Kwok said Thursday April 25 that she was “concerned to learn of the various incidents.”

“Our priority is always to ensure the welfare of animals,” she added.

“We have contacted the parties concerned about this. However, as investigations are ongoing, it is inappropriate for us to comment on the matter at this point, ”Ms. Kwok said.

Board N ‘Play posted a statement on its Facebook page on Sunday, saying it will maintain its policy of recruiting tourists as volunteers, but will provide them with first aid training and implement safety procedures. for the welfare of the dogs in her care.

The new measures were announced four days after the death of one-year-old Maltese Garfield following a swimming incident in Sentosa last Wednesday (April 17).

Garfield had swam at Tanjong Beach with 16 other dogs while in the care of seven Board N ‘Play handlers.

The incident drew criticism from netizens, who questioned the level of experience of the company’s dog handlers after discovering that tourists were being hired as “volunteers” to take care of the animals.

In return for volunteering, these tourists would receive free accommodation, meals and ez-link maps, according to a Board N ‘Play listing on the online hiking community Worldpackers.

While some netizens have questioned whether such recruiting practices are legal, audits by the Straits Times have found that there is no law prohibiting tourists from volunteering in Singapore.

The guidelines on the Ministry of Manpower website also do not state whether foreigners are required to apply for work cards or permits to volunteer here.

Board N ‘Play said in its statement on Sunday that it had enrolled its staff in a dog first aid certification course, and that at least one of these certified dog handlers will be present “at all times.”

Volunteers will also undergo in-house training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation by the certified dog handler.

“We have witnessed and believe in the commitment of our volunteers to take good care of our children,” the company said in its statement.

Standard operating procedures for dealing with a range of scenarios, such as drowning, overheating and choking, will also be in place, the company said.

“These will be checked by our first aid instructor and will be relayed to all of our assistants, including volunteers,” he added.

Board N ‘Play has also encouraged owners to obtain life jackets for their own dogs, especially if they are small breeds.

Newcomer dogs will also need to participate in a two-hour morning activity at a dog park to assess their endurance level, among other metrics.

Although the response online to the statement was overwhelmingly positive, some dog owners are still unsure of the practice of recruiting volunteers instead of experienced handlers to care for the dogs.

Ms Yan Lim, 30, who had previously enrolled her two-year-old Singapore Special named Boss at Upper Thomson Road Daycare, said: “Having volunteers coming and going, you wouldn’t know if they are properly trained and understand the temperament of dogs because every dog ​​is different. “

“In addition to knowing these emergency procedures, I think it’s also important for handlers to understand dog behavior,” added Ms. Lim, a designer.

She said she may return to Board N ‘Play services in the future as she has had a positive experience, but will monitor the implementation of safety procedures.

Meanwhile, a dog owner, who only wanted to be known as Ms Geri, 35, expressed support for the business.

Ms Geri, along with 14 other dog owners who have used the company’s services, said in a statement to ST that the implementation of measures to deal with the risks of outdoor activities is “reassuring,” and training staff and volunteers in first aid for dogs will enable them to respond to situations with “certainty”.

They also described the volunteers as “trustworthy and reliable individuals” and added that the company was doing due diligence in screening such volunteers.

“Board N ‘Play has, time and time again, shown nothing but passion and love for our dogs. They have always treated our dogs as their own, instead of’ customers’,” the statement added.

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