Source: Channel NewsAsia.

SPF and AVA: Allegations against Platinium Dogs Club being investigated

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) and the Singapore Police Force (SPF) shared that the allegations against Platinium Dogs Club and the incident at its premises are being investigated by the authorities.

The authorities stated that they are aware of online posts and allegations concerning Platinium Dogs Club.

AVA and Police are investigating the allegations of animal mistreatment against Platinium Dogs Club, and the incident on 2 January 2019 involving a group of people outside its premises.

AVA noted that it had earlier commenced investigations against the operator of Platinium Dogs Club, which runs a pet boarding service, after receiving complaints on the latter’s alleged mistreatment of animals, with one owner asserting that her dog had died under the facility’s care. In addition, a search is ongoing for Shetland sheepdog Prince, who went missing while he was boarded at the centre.

AVA then conducted two raids of its premises on 29 and 31 December 2018, and a total of 18 dogs and one rabbit were removed from the premises.

AVA stressed that it takes animal welfare seriously and will not hesitate to take enforcement action against offenders.

Under the Animal & Birds Act, those who fail in their duty of care towards animals in the course of conducting an animal-related business may face a maximum fine of $40,000 and/or a jail term of two years, if convicted.

According to the authorities, in the afternoon of 2 January 2019, the Police were at the premises when a group of individuals gathered outside.

Subsequently, the occupants of the premises attempted to leave in a car driven by a man. Despite advice by the Police officers to give way for their safety, a 40-year-old man in the group remained in the path of the reversing car as it slowly reversed out of the premises. The man later alleged that there was contact and pain in his knees, and was conveyed to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital for outpatient treatment.

Inside the car was a woman who believed to be the owner of the premise.

Source: The Straits Times.

The driver and the group of people, comprising seven women and four men, are currently assisting the Police with their investigations.

Videos also spread online, showing one of the pet owners, Ms Mao who pleaded for her dog to be returned to her. However, the owner of the dogs club completely ignored her plead and chose to wlak away.

In the video, which was posted by Ms Serena Wong, netizens can see Ms Mao cried and said that her dog, Prince, has been with her for seven years and she loves it so much.

The Law Minister K. Shanmugam had also commenting on this matter, posting it on his Facebook page.

He noted that several serious allegations have been made against Platinum Dog Club and that both AVA and Police have been actively investigating the allegations. Police have raided the Club as part of the investigations.

“Singaporeans can rest assured: there will be thorough investigations and there will be due process. Anyone who has engaged in illegal acts will face the consequences,” he wrote.

He added that there are also allegations that some people, in response, have also acted wrongly, and taken the law into their own hands .

“Those allegations will also be investigated,” he noted.

A petition sparked online to inflict stiffer punishments has garnered more than 57,000 signatures on Monday (7 January).

The petition was started on petition website Change.org by Roderick Low. He wrote on the petition’s page that he wants “to seek justice for those voiceless furry kids who can’t speak for themselves nor tell us what happened inside (the) facility and how much they have suffered”.

It is said in the petition that at least 3 dogs were found cremated. 18 dogs and 1 pet rabbit were found ill treated inside the facility and at least 2 dogs went missing.

He also noted that when confronted by one of the missing dog’s owner (Elaine), the boarding facility owner Charlotte Liew (aka Rachel Liew) ignored her heart-wrenching pleas, even when Elaine knelt in front of her.

The Police and AVA’s investigations will be thorough and fair. The public is advised not to take matters into their own hands or engage in any actions that may violate the law or cause harm to themselves and others. The public should also refrain from speculation, and let the investigations take their course.

Anyone who wishes to provide information in relation to Platinium Dogs Club can contact AVA at 1800-4761600.

Commenting on this, Lawyer Ms Teo Soh Lung stated that there is unequal treatment regarding this matter.

She wrote that under the Animals and Birds Act, cruelty to animals is an arrestable offence. This means authorised officers (including AVA officers) or police or customs officers are empowered to enter premises to investigate an alleged offence.

“So I was quite surprised that the house of the owners who allegedly ran the dog club was not raided by AVA officers. Instead a rather polite notice was posted on the gate requesting them to resolve the matter with affected parties and the relevant authorities “as soon as possible”,” she wrote.

She then compared the treatment which activists receive from police officers for offences that attract penalties of between $2000 to $5000 and jail of up to 2 years, there appears to be a huge difference.

The activists are intimidated by police officers (at least 5 or 6) who suddenly appear at his door, invite themselves into the house and the activist is treated like a dangerous criminal with a number of officers standing guard on him while his personal computers and electronic devices are seized.

“So why is there such a huge discrepancy in the treatment of an alleged animal abuser and an activist who is alleged to have committed a minor offence?” she asked.