Owner of dog that died at Platinium Dogs Club speaks out about the physical and emotional toil he faced

Elaine Mao and Matt Rowe. Photo: Serene Wong / Facebook
Elaine Mao and Matt Rowe. Photo: Serene Wong / Facebook

Since the authorities officially confirmed the death of Prince — the Shetland sheepdog initially believed to have ran away from a shady pet boarding facility — the dog’s owners have had little to say in public.

Yesterday, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) confirmed that the dog actually died in the care of Platinium Dogs Club, which then cremated the animal without its owner’s knowledge. Prince’s owners — Elaine Mao and her fiancé Matt Rowe — launched a massive search effort across Bukit Timah and Bukit Panjang to look for the dog.

After failing to get any concrete answers from the owner of Platinium (who has since been arrested), the couple believed that their dog was still alive and was looking for a way home after going missing from the pet hotel they left it in while on vacation last month.

The two finally found closure yesterday, but it was not the outcome they hoped for. Preliminary investigations revealed that Prince had died while it was boarded at Platinium before getting cremated by a pet cremation service provider.

“RIP my noisy boy”

Photo: Mao / Facebook
Prince the dog. Photo: Mao / Facebook

Though Mao remains mum about her heartbreak, it was Rowe who publicly posted his farewell message to Prince on Reddit. Having appealed for help and information about his dog on the Singapore subreddit since last week, the man has since spoken about the distressing experience he faced for the past several days. He also confirmed that AVA’s findings were correct.

“I wish it wasn’t true but we have spoken further with the AVA and there is no doubt that Prince was cremated,” he wrote, adding that they are now hoping to have the dog’s belongings returned to them.

His eulogy for Prince is, no doubt, heart-wrenching.

You were my best friend in Singapore, always there when I needed a hug, always excited when I got home, I miss you so much already and I’m so sorry I wasn’t there to protect you. You will always be in my heart, every time I open a can of drink or sneeze, I will always pause waiting for you to bark at me, every time Elaine scolds me I will miss seeing you rush to get to calm her down. I hope you have found your way to a big open green field where I will find you one day. I am so sorry…”

Rowe also thanked everyone for their support and kind messages and promised to reveal much more about the case after police investigations have been completed.

In response to a comment of support, Rowe details the physical pain and emotional hurt over the last couple of days while out searching for Prince — something that he would have gladly continued doing if they hadn’t received the bad news.

“In the past 8 days I have been back, with the exception of the days we were in police interviews I have been walking an average of about 20km looking for Prince, I would usually also drive 2 or 3 times this also searching. I have been chased by a pack of stray dogs looking for Prince, I have blisters all over my feet cuts from branches and sticks, I am about as sunburnt as I can get, but it didn’t stop me from searching. If we hadn’t received this news today, I would still be out searching. No matter how much I got burnt, how much I bleed, how much I sweated and got dehydrate or how many blisters I got, I would have kept walking till I found him, day and night, sun and rain.”

“I hope he is all right where ever he is.”

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