How does AVA handle complaints about pets?

Recently, two officers from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) showed up at my door asking for the licence for my dog.

Apparently, a complaint had been lodged against me. A week ago, my dog and I were waiting to take the lift. When the door opened, we were startled by the scream of one of my neighbours inside the lift. I offered to take the next lift, and thought that was the end of the matter.

The private estate I live in has clear rules governing dog ownership.

Nevertheless, I wonder what is AVA's protocol regarding ad hoc complaints about pets?

Would a phone call without any evidence of dog misbehaviour be sufficient?

After I produced the dog licence, the two officers apologised for disrupting my day and left. The agency could have saved everybody's time by checking its database for my dog's records.

Wouldn't public resources be better utilised by acting on complaints premised on a clear violation of laws? Also, I wonder if the AVA could do more to educate the public about animal behaviour and treatment options for cynophobia, or a fear of dogs.

With an increasing number of pet owners in Singapore, it might be good for the AVA to share how it handles complaints about pets.

Moi Sok Ling (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 10, 2017, with the headline 'How does AVA handle complaints about pets?'. Print Edition | Subscribe