By Wong Casandra and Vernon Lee
Platinium Dogs Club has raised the ire of animal lovers across Singapore in recent weeks.
The controversial pet boarding facility has been accused of mistreating several dogs under its care, with at least two dogs dead following a stay at the premises in Bukit Panjang.
The heartbreaking accounts of the affected dog owners have elicited strong reactions from netizens, as many call for stern action to be taken against the operator of Platinium.
Even Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam has commented about the saga.
With Platinium expected to be in the media spotlight for some time to come following the arrest of a 30-year-woman, the operator of the facility, here is a recap of the saga (including photos, quotes, and videos) in the timeline below:
The major developments of the saga at a glance:
18 April: platiniumdogsclub.com registered by a Charlotte Liew
July: Repeated complaints allegedly made by neighbours to the authorities about Platinium
8 to 12 December: Dental nurse Elaine Yong leaves Pika, a 13-year-old male Shih Tzu, at the facility; Pika develops “multiple focal infected skin patches with visible pus”
9 to 18 December: Choo’s six-month-old Chow Chow removed from facility earlier; vet concludes dog developed sores due to “prolonged exposure” to urine and faecal matter
11 December: First of three unidentified dogs from facility allegedly cremated by Mobile Pet Cremation Services
16 December: Bid manager Elaine Mao’s seven-year-old Shetland sheepdog Prince checks in
18 to 25 December: Facebook user Gwyneth Lee boards her two-year-old Japanese Spitz Glacier; dog returns “extremely yellow”
20 to 26 December: Self-employed Joanne Png boards two dogs – 14-year-old Jack Russell Terrier QQ and 11-year-old Louis
23 December: Platinium staff sends Mao a video of Prince
24 December: Second unidentified dog allegedly mass-cremated
25 December: Third unidentified dog allegedly individually cremated
26 December: QQ dies at a vet clinic and Louis is removed from facility
27 December: AVA states that it is looking into the matter
29 December: AVA, SPCA, and police conduct joint raid on facility
30 December: AVA states that it is investigating the facility; Mao is told by Platinium staff member that Prince went missing during the raid
31 December: AVA and SPCA conduct another raid; 18 dogs and one rabbit found during both raids
1 January: Mao returns to Singapore to look for Prince
1 to 8 January: Search for Prince intensifies and an animal communicator is engaged to help find the dog
2 January: Police turn up at the facility after a group of people gathers to demand information on Prince
3 January: An online petition calling for stiffer penalties against animal abusers is created by a volunteer
5 January: Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam reassures the public in a Facebook post of “thorough investigations” and “due process”
6 January: Platinium’s operator, a 30-year-old woman, is arrested
7 January: Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and National Development Sun Xuelin says the AVA is continuing investigations into Platinium
9 January: The AVA announces that Prince had died during its stay at Platinium and was cremated