Dogs at Sembawang temple not chained up, free to roam at night, says management

(PHOTO: Facebook / Sembawang God of Wealth Temple)
The management of the Sembawang God of Wealth Temple said it has seven stray dogs under its care, three of which died in Friday night's blaze. (PHOTO: Facebook / Sembawang God of Wealth Temple)

SINGAPORE — The dogs kept on the grounds of the Sembawang God of Wealth Temple are not chained up and are free to roam the temple the night, said the temple’s management in a Facebook post on Saturday (19 September).

The post came after the carcasses of three dogs were found after Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers put out a large blaze at the temple on Friday night.

“We would like to make clarifications on some misinformation that has been going around with regards to the dogs at our temple,” said the temple management, adding that it has seven stray dogs under its care.

“Unfortunately, we have lost three of them as they were trapped on the second level when the fire broke out. The remaining four managed to escape and are safe.”

The temple management noted that this information was “not originally released” as it was still waiting for confirmation from the SCDF. It also shared photos of four dogs, although it did not specify if these were the surviving animals.

In the wake of the blaze, the Chained Dogs Awareness in Singapore advocacy group posted on Facebook that it was aware of three dogs at the temple having been confined to “decent-sized” enclosures.

The group expressed its devastation at the dogs’ death, and called for authorities to stop temples, workshops and factories from confining the dogs to cages and tethered to stationary objects.

About 60 firefighters and 11 emergency vehicles were deployed to combat Friday’s fire, which also saw a nearby nursing home evacuated. No one was injured in the incident although one resident from the home was taken to a hospital after experiencing breathlessness.

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