AVA probes pet shop after viral post about puppy

Customer says dog infected with disease at Fatty Paws; owner considering legal action

A pet shop is being investigated by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) over claims that it sold a customer a sick puppy which later died from canine parvovirus - a highly contagious viral disease.

Customer Jorine Lim, 29, had accused Serangoon pet shop Fatty Paws of not taking proper care of its puppies in a Facebook post.

Ms Lim, a manager at a beauty chain, had bought a miniature white pomeranian from the shop. But last Saturday, a week after her purchase, the dog started vomiting and there was blood in its faeces.

Ms Lim rushed her puppy, named Minnie, to a vet who told her it had contracted the canine parvovirus and was unlikely to survive.

She called Fatty Paws owner Henry Aw, 24, but he told her it was likely a "false positive" and said he would take the dog to his vet - who he claimed had vaccinated it.

But Ms Lim was told the next day that it had died.

Fatty Paws customer Jorine Lim's puppy, named Mimi, a white pomeranian, died from the canine parvovirus a week after she bought it. She claims it was infected with the disease, spread through dog's faeces, while at the shop. Her Facebook post has bee
Fatty Paws customer Jorine Lim’s puppy, named Minnie, a white pomeranian, died from the canine parvovirus a week after she bought it. She claims it was infected with the disease, spread through dog’s faeces, while at the shop. Her Facebook post has been shared more than 1,300 times, eliciting others to post their claims of bad experiences with the shop. PHOTO: COURTESY OF JORINE LIM

"We did not take her out of the house at all, and we do not have any pets at home," she told The Straits Times about her puppy.

She said it did not come into contact with an infected dog's faeces - through which the virus is transmitted - while under her care.

Ms Lim's post has been shared more than 1,300 times, eliciting others to post their claims of bad experiences with Fatty Paws.

Housewife Josephine Lim, 40, said a miniature white pomeranian she bought from Fatty Paws in March last year was also diagnosed with the same virus. She returned the puppy and got a full refund.

Facebook user Redella Hayes replied to Ms Lim's post to say that the pomeranian she bought from the pet shop last November had a benign tumour in its belly.

But Mr Aw said Ms Lim's allegations were untrue and insisted the puppy was healthy when he sold it to her. He also said the puppies in his shop are healthy.

He added that he has engaged a lawyer and is considering taking legal action against Ms Lim.

When contacted, an AVA spokesman said it is investigating the case.

"In situations where animal welfare is compromised and the pet shop is suspected of breaching licensing conditions, AVA will conduct an investigation into the matter," added the spokesman.


Correction note: In an earlier version of the story, we misstated the name of Minnie. We are sorry for the error. 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 11, 2017, with the headline 'AVA probes pet shop after viral post about puppy'. Print Edition | Subscribe