SINGAPORE: The Shetland sheepdog that was reported missing after it was taken to Platinium Dogs Club had died while it was at the pet boarding centre, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said on Wednesday (Jan 9).
In a Facebook update, AVA added that the dog was later cremated by a pet cremation service provider.
"Preliminary investigations have revealed that Prince, a Shetland Sheepdog reported to be missing from PDC (Platinium Dogs Club), had died while it was boarded there and was cremated by a pet cremation service provider," the update said.
Separately, the animals AVA had taken temporary custody following raids at the centre have been returned to their respective owners except for one dog, whose owner is not in Singapore, and a rabbit.
"We are continuing to establish ownership of the rabbit," said AVA.
"AVA’s investigation is still ongoing. The public is advised not to speculate and let the investigation take its course," it added.
"AVA takes animal welfare seriously and will take enforcement action against any offenders to safeguard animal welfare."
Platinium Dogs Club has been under investigation by the authorities following complaints of alleged mistreatment of animals under its care.
One of the pet owners was Ms Elaine Mao, who was told on Dec 30 that her Shetland sheepdog named Prince had gone missing after she took her pet to the centre on Dec 16.
Her dog was not among the animals that AVA had taken temporary custody of following raids at the pet boarding centre on Dec 29 and 31. Eighteen dogs and a rabbit were found by AVA at the pet boarding centre, a semi-detached house at 7 Galistan Avenue.
On Wednesday, Ms Mao described the loss of Prince as "totally unbearable".
"A part of me has gone with him," she said on a Facebook page called Lost and found pets in Singapore.
"Sorry for not responding to anything from now on as we need some time and space to calm down," she wrote.
The operator of Platinium Dogs Club, a 30-year-old woman, was arrested on Sunday.
She is assisting with investigations on alleged animal welfare-related offences, according to Senior Parliamentary Secretary for National Development Sun Xueling in a Facebook post on Monday.
Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam pledged that there will be a "thorough investigation" into the pet boarding centre.
He said in a Facebook post on Saturday that "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.
On Jan 2, a 40-year-old man who was among a group of people who gathered outside Platinium Dogs Club's premises, was taken to hospital after a car knocked into him.
He was believed to be a volunteer helping one of the pet owners who had gone to the centre to confront the owner.
Under the Animal and Birds Act, those who fail in their duty of care towards the animals in the course of conducting an animal-related business may be fined up to S$40,000 or jailed for two years, or both.