SINGAPORE - A veterinary clinic in Pasir Ris has suspended two of its nurses after a video of them behaving inappropriately with animals in the clinic was posted online.
Apologising for the actions of its staff on Thursday (Nov 14) and for any distress caused, the clinic, Ohana VetCare, told The Straits Times that it "will review their conduct in the meantime as well as investigate the incident fully before deciding on our next course of action".
The clinic added that it would contact the clients whose pets were in the video "to apologise and provide them with a full explanation".
The video, which is made up of several different clips, was shared on the Kaki's Club Facebook page on Wednesday.
In one part of the video, a person is seen throwing tear-dropped shaped objects on the floor of a room with the caption "bouncing testicles". In the next part of the clip, a person wearing a surgical mask juggles similar objects.
Another segment shows a woman in scrubs clapping her hands behind a cat which appears to have had its ears surgically removed.
Ohana VetCare's Facebook post on the incident on Wednesday morning had garnered more than 500 comments by 1pm on Thursday.
Many netizens berated the nurses' actions. Facebook user Nor Aishah Abu Bakar wrote: "Such barbaric acts by these staff (should) not be taken lightly. Obviously these staff have no respect for these voiceless ones... their actions speak... in the videos."
Ohana VetCare said that it was alerted to the video on Facebook of its two nurses displaying "inappropriate and unprofessional behaviour" in relation to animals in the clinic. Ohana VetCare then contacted the employees involved to remove the clip from their social media accounts.
"We have decided not to immediately terminate their employment as we are a company that believes in giving people second chances," the clinic added. "In this case, the nurses are contrite over what they did and are truly remorseful. We will counsel them further before deciding how to move forward."
Ohana VetCare said that if the nurses do stay on at the clinic, they would not be handling animals but instead be confined to administrative roles.
In future, the clinic said it would be conducting weekly meetings and training sessions with all employees on the level of professionalism expected from all workers in veterinary care.
"Our primary aim is to ensure the welfare and well-being of all animals", it said, adding that the incident was an isolated one and did not reflect the clinic's work ethics.
"Our primary aim is to ensure the welfare and well-being of all animals," it said, adding that the incident was an isolated one and did not reflect the clinic's work ethics.
The Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS), a cluster of the National Parks Board, said that it was aware of the incident involving the two nurses and is looking into the case.
AVS said: "The veterinary profession is expected to perform their duties to the highest standard and also ensure their staff do so. The behaviour of the nurses as seen in the videos raises questions on their professionalism."