Pet salon under investigation for alleged mistreatment of dog

In a video posted on social media on Oct 24, 2021, a groomer can be seen hitting and choking a brown poodle. PHOTOS: WAKE UP SINGAPORE/ INSTAGRAM

SINGAPORE - A pet salon which allegedly mistreated a dog it was grooming is now the subject of an investigation.

In a video posted on social media on Sunday (Oct 24), a groomer can be seen hitting and choking a brown poodle. Another pet owner had caught her in the act.

According to the caption on the video, the incident occurred on Oct 23 at 6.26pm.

The National Parks Board (NParks) on Tuesday said the Animal and Veterinary Service, a cluster under NParks, is investigating the incident.

Ms Jessica Kwok, group director of community animal management at NParks, said: "We take all feedback received from the public on animal cruelty seriously and are concerned about the alleged case of animal mistreatment reported at The Fur Room."

A staff member of The Fur Room, which is in the Serangoon area, posted a statement on Monday on the salon's Instagram account apologising to the dog owner and expressing remorse over the incident.

In the video, a groomer can be seen combing the poodle's fur on a table shortly before it falls to the floor.

Another groomer picks the dog up and places it back on the table.

The first groomer then picks the dog up and shakes it by its neck and tail before placing it back down on the table.

Referring to the poodle as "A", the staff member who posted the apology said: "A has been our regular customer and while it has been challenging to groom him due to his hyper-activeness, we took for granted this familiarity with A and was rougher with him during this particular grooming session as he wasn't cooperating with us."

The staff member added that they should have been more attentive when the poodle was close to the edge of the table.

"All these should not have happened and it was unprofessional of us to react in this manner. It was a one-off negligence on our part and we should have been more patient and understanding towards A," said the staff member.

Dr Jaipal Singh Gill, executive director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), said the organisation received multiple reports about the incident.

"No animal should be handled in such a manner," said Dr Gill, who added that animal abuse is punishable under the Animals and Birds Act.

Pet owners should send their pets to groomers who use low-stress techniques, but it is also important for owners to watch the grooming session, he said.

"If you (owners) feel at all uncomfortable with how your pet is being treated, end the session and encourage your groomer to learn about humane handling.

"If your groomer refuses to use humane methods, find another groomer. If there has been abuse, report the incident to the authorities," added Dr Gill.

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