Owner of shady Platinium Dogs Club pet boarding facility arrested; search for missing dog continues

Photos: Video screengrab; Mao Facebook page
Photos: Video screengrab; Mao Facebook page

There’s reason to rejoice for the dog owners who claimed their pets were mistreated during their stay at a shady pet hotel — the operator of Platinium Dogs Club has been arrested.

This was confirmed yesterday by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and National Development Sun Xueling, who also assured that several customers of the controversial facility in Bukit Panjang have been reunited with their dogs.

“The (Agri-food and Veterinary Authority) is continuing investigations into the Platinium Dogs Club, including making further inspections,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “The operator has also been arrested and is assisting with investigations on alleged animal welfare-related offenses,” she added, promising that enforcement action will be taken on any animal welfare infringements.

Platinium has been the subject of public furor since the beginning of the year when videos depicting a group of dog owners confronting the pet boarding facility’s proprietor went viral on social media. They were accompanying a woman by the name of Elaine Mao, whose Shetland sheepdog went missing after she left her pet under Platinium’s care last month went she went on vacation overseas.

Mao’s vacation had to be cut short after she found out that her dog apparently ran away from the facility. Demands and pleas for answers during the confrontation last week were ignored. Nonetheless, Mao’s search for her lost dog continues with help from the public, with sightings reported in the vicinity of Bukit Timah.

The case against Platinium Dogs Club

The authorities had actually gotten word of Platinium Dogs Club’s dubious reputation last month from several dog owners who lodged complaints against the facility for ill-treating their pets. At least three dogs were said to be cremated, while others contracted serious illnesses or went missing from the premises — a semi-detached house at 38 Galistan Avenue.

Two raids were conducted at Platinum on 29 and 31 December, where officers recovered 18 dogs and a rabbit. The animals were taken into temporary custody while waiting to be reunited with its owners.

The case was big enough to attract the attention of Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam, who assured that thorough investigations will be carried out with due process.

The case also sparked off a petition to inflict stiffer punishments against animal abuse in Singapore — a petition that has since gathered over 58,000 signatures as of writing.

The authorities are also advising members of the public 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. That’s in reference to the group of dog lovers who gathered outside Platinium last Wednesday — one man was said to be injured while attempting to block the path of a car that had been reversing out from the premises.

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