A woman who operated Platinium Dogs Club has been arrested following abuse allegations – here’s a timeline of what happened

A woman who is understood to be Platinium Dogs Club’s owner at the pet boarding house site on Jan 3, 2019.
Singapore Press Holdings

Pet owners have been reunited with their dogs and the operator of pet boarding facility Platinium Dogs Club has been arrested, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and National Development Sun Xueling said in a Facebook post on Monday (Jan 7).

Two weeks ago, dog-lovers in Singapore hit the ceiling when news broke that pets in Platinium Dogs Club’s care had been allegedly mistreated. The business advertises a variety of services on its website, including overnight board for dogs, day care, and grooming.

Sun, the MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, reportedly confirmed to The Straits Times (ST) that a 30-year-old woman has been arrested. The woman is reportedly being held at Tanglin Police Division.

In her Facebook post, Sun said that the operator is assisting with investigations on alleged animal welfare-related offences.

At the same time, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) is continuing investigations and making further inspections at the pet boarding facility.

Here’s a timeline of the events that led up to the arrest.

December 2018

Platinium Dogs Club was first thrown into the spotlight when dog owners took to Facebook to allege mistreatment of dogs.

Over the course of the month, more than five people shared similar accounts, with one dog owner claiming that her dog died after being at the facility.

In a Facebook post on Dec 28, a page owned by a group called Chained Dog Awareness in Singapore (CDAS) said it had been alerted to a case involving a blind dog trapped in the gate at Platinium Dogs Club.

The group said it was lodging a complaint with AVA as a result of the incident.

Dec 29 to Dec 31, 2018

The pet boarding facility based in a Bukit Panjang landed property was raided by the authorities on Dec 29 and Dec 31 last year following complaints that pets in its care were mistreated, according to a joint statement by AVA and the Singapore Police Force on Jan 5.

A total of 18 dogs and one rabbit were removed from the premises.

According to a report by ST which translated a Lianhe Wanbao article, a Platinium Dogs Club spokesman said that the facility had not abused any of the pets found during the raid.

After taking temporary custody of the animals, some of the dogs were reunited with their owners.

Jan 2

In a Facebook post written on Dec 30, dog owner Elaine Mao Yanlan sought help from the public to find Prince, a seven-year-old Shetland sheepdog that went missing under Platinium’s care. She posted status updates along with images of the dog, and a “missing” poster.

And then, on Jan 2, a group of 11 dog owners, including Mao, gathered outside the gates of Platinium Dogs Club demanding information on Prince, a report by ST said.

The group of people outside Platinium Dogs Club, holding up posters of the missing dog.
Singapore Press Holdings

Mao even resorted to kneeling on the ground and begging the woman believed to be the owner of the pet boarding facility for information on the dog’s whereabouts. But the woman appeared aloof as she ignored Mao’s pleas.

ST reported that according to Mao, police officers arrived on the scene soon after and urged the group to step away from the house gates so the woman and her male companion could exit in their car.

But while trying to break free from the crowd, the woman and a male driver allegedly knocked into a man with their car.

The 40-year-old man was taken to the hospital in an ambulance, and reportedly suffered light injuries.

Jan 5

Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam responded to the Platinium Dogs Club saga, and told all parties involved to let the authorities carry out the investigations, and not take the law into their own hands.

He said in a Facebook post on Jan 5: “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,” he added.

Jan 7

Sun said in a Facebook post that the operator of the business had been arrested and was assisting with investigations.

The authorities will take enforcement action on any animal welfare infringements, she added.

“I am happy to know that several pet owners have been reunited with their dogs that were being previously boarded with Platinium Dogs Club.”

She urged the public to stay calm and let the authorities investigate the case “thoroughly and fairly”.

The Platinium Dogs Club saga also sparked a petition on Change.org calling for stiffer penalties against animal abusers.

It has garnered almost 60,000 signatures as of Jan 8.