Shanmugam assures thorough investigations on Platinium Dogs Club saga

Police officers at premises of Platinium Dogs Club in standoff with woman inside cordoned area on 2 January, 2019. ( PHOTO: Derrick Tan)

UPDATE: Joint AVA-police media statement on their investigations.

Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam has assured that there will be thorough investigations and due process on the saga involving alleged animal mistreatment at pet boarding house Platinium Dogs Club.

In a message posted on his Facebook page on Saturday (5 January), he noted that several serious allegations have been made against the facility, and that both the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) and the police have been actively investigating the allegations.

“Police have raided the Club as part of the investigations,” he wrote in the post. “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.

“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.”

AVA and the police released a joint media statement later on Saturday, and said, “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.”

They added that anyone who wishes to provide information in relation to Platinium Dogs Club can contact AVA at 1800-4761600.

A 14-year-old Jack Russell Terrier died after a stay in Platinium Dogs Club boarding facility. ( PHOTO: Joanne Png)

The saga unfolded after several dog owners claimed in the past few weeks that their pets had been mistreated by Platinium under its care. One dog owner told Yahoo News Singapore that QQ, her 14-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, died after a stay at the facility.

The complaints by the dog owners prompted an investigation by the AVA and raids of Platinium’s premises at 7 Galistan Avenue by the authorities on 29 and 31 December.  During inspections of the premises, the AVA found 18 dogs and a rabbit.

Separately, a worker at Mobile Pet Cremation Services, a pet cremation company, told Yahoo News Singapore on 31 December that he had handled requests from a woman in December for Mobile Pet’s services. The worker said three dogs were taken from the premises on separate occasions last month for cremation.

On Wednesday afternoon, police officers turned up at the Platinium premises after a woman, who is alleged to be linked to the controversial pet boarding facility, was caught in a standoff with the police.

During the standoff, several eyewitnesses claimed that while the woman was being driven out in a car as she tried to leave the house, the car was reversing and it hit a person.

In a statement issued on Wednesday night, the police said they were alerted to a case of a group of people who had gathered outside 7 Galistan Avenue, and was obstructing its driveway.

“Preliminary investigations revealed that a 40-year-old man from the group had alleged that he was hit by the vehicle that was reversing out of the compound of the unit. The man was subsequently conveyed to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital in a conscious state,” the statement said.

The 33-year-old driver of the vehicle and the group of people comprising seven women and four men, including the 40-year-old man, are assisting with police investigations, the police added.

According to eyewitnesses, there were several people standing outside the premises holding a “Missing Dog” notice bearing the picture of Prince, a seven-year-old Shetland sheepdog. Elaine Mao, a bid manager, had left Prince under the care of Platinium, but the dog was nowhere to be found during the raids by authorities.

Nine persons carrying a Missing Dog notice bearing the picture of Prince, a seven-year-old Shetland sheepdog, who was boarded at Platinium Dogs Club and is currently missing. (PHOTO: Derrick Tan)

Yahoo News Singapore understands that among the persons who were assisting the police investigations were those who had held the Missing Dog notice.

The saga has also sparked an online petition calling for stiffer penalties against animal abusers on Change.org, which has gathered nearly 47,000 signatures as of Saturday noon.

Related stories: 

Police officers at premises of Platinium Dogs Club in standoff with woman inside cordoned area

At least 3 dogs taken from Platinium Dogs Club premises to be cremated

Dog dies after stay in Platinium Dogs Club boarding facility: pet owner