There is cause for celebration for dog owners who have claimed their pets were abused while staying at a shady pet hotel – the operator of the Platinium Dogs Club has been arrested.
This was confirmed yesterday by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and National Development Sun Xueling, who also said several clients of the controversial Bukit Panjang establishment had found their dogs.
“The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority is continuing its investigations into the Platinium Dogs Club, in particular by carrying out new inspections,” she wrote in an article on Facebook. “The operator has also been arrested and is participating in investigations of suspected animal welfare violations,” she added, promising that enforcement action will be taken for any animal welfare violation .
Platinum has been the subject of public fury since the start of the year, when videos showing a group of dog owners confronting the owner of the pet boarding house went viral on social media. They were accompanying a woman named Elaine Mao, whose Shetland sheepdog went missing after leaving her pet in Platinum care last month when she went on vacation abroad.
Mao’s vacation had to be cut short after discovering that his dog had apparently run away from the establishment. Requests and requests for answers during last week’s confrontation were ignored. Nonetheless, Mao’s search for his lost dog continues with public help, with sightings reported in the vicinity of Bukit Timah.
The case against Platinium Dogs Club
Authorities had in fact learned of the Platinium Dogs Club’s questionable reputation last month from several dog owners who had filed complaints against the establishment for mistreating their pets. At least three dogs were reportedly cremated, while others contracted serious illnesses or disappeared from the scene – a semi-detached house at 38 Galistan Avenue.
Two raids were carried out at Platinum on December 29 and 31, where officers recovered 18 dogs and a rabbit. The animals were taken into custody pending reunification with their owners.
The case was important enough to attract the attention of the Minister of Justice and Home Affairs, K Shanmugam, who assured that thorough investigations would be carried out in accordance with the rules.
The case also sparked a petition to impose tougher penalties for animal abuse in Singapore – a petition that has since met more than 58,000 signatures from writing.
Authorities are also advising members of the public not to take matters into their own hands or engage in actions that may violate the law or harm themselves and others. This is in reference to the group of dog lovers who gathered outside Platinium last Wednesday – a man was reportedly injured as he tried to block the path of a car backing up from the premises.