Woman returns to find pet dog injured after leaving it at Bukit Panjang Plaza pet store for 10 days

Submitted by Stomper Elizabeth

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Stomper Elizabeth was heartbroken to find her dog injured upon collection from a boarding centre after her holiday. 

In a post on Elizabeth’s Facebook page, she wrote that she had left her nine-year-old toy poodle, Mocha at a boarding centre in Bukit Panjang Plaza on Nov 25. 

When Elizabeth’s helper picked up Mocha on Sunday (Dec 3), she found Mocha limping, and had an injured left hind leg.

According to Elizabeth, when her helper asked the boss of the stall and a female assistant for an explanation for the dog’s condition, they did not answer her.

Not knowing what to do, Elizabeth left with Mocha.

When Elizabeth returned from her trip on the following day (Dec 4), she immediately called the owner and demanded an explanation for Mocha’s injuries.

The boss told her that Mocha had gotten the injuries when he was scratching its cage. 

She also asked the boss if the injuries required medical attention.

The boss told her that they were minor and would heal by themselves in a few days.

Elizabeth's further queries on yellowish discharge from Mocha’s eyes, as well as his loss of voice, were brushed aside by the owner. 

With the boss’s reassurance, Elizabeth decided to wait a few days before seeking treatment, thinking that there was a chance that Mocha was simply overreacting.

On Dec 7, she brought Mocha to a vet in Clementi. 

The vet suspecting a joint fracture, conducted an X-ray on Mocha and confirmed that the dog had a joint fracture in his left hip.

He added that such a fracture does not occur easily. 

The vet told Elizabeth that a great impact is needed to cause such a fracture, such as a fall from a high place. 

Unfortunately, attempts to push the dislocated hip bone back in place failed, as the muscles around the joint had already stiffened up. 

In fact, Mocha’s left hind leg had become completely dislodged from its socket, held together only by muscles and soft tissues. 

Thus, Elizabeth had to bring Mocha back to the same clinic for a surgery the next day. 

She wrote: "Dr Hsu (the surgeon) assured me that as Mocha is small, it should not affect his walking in the long run.

"Again, Dr Hsu confirmed that to sustain such injury, there must have been trauma to it."

After the incident, Elizabeth, accompanied by her husband, went back to the store and confronted the owner. 

However, according to her, the owner denied responsibilities and said that the injuries were caused after

Elizabeth’s helper collected the dog from the shop.

Elizabeth wrote: "The boss was there. 

"He denied responsibility (as expected), gave lots of justifications and suggested that Mocha's injury was caused after he left the shop (and probably by my helper). 

"And as usual for drama purposes, the CCTV in the shop was spoilt."

Fortunately, Elizabeth’s husband pointed out that that there was a closed-circuit television (CCTV) outside the shop, and the couple approached the mall’s management to look at the footage on the day of Mocha’s collection. 

Sure enough, Mocha was already limping on his right leg when he was led outside the shop by Elizabeth’s helper.

Said Elizabeth: "So nothing to deny already right? But the boss still refused to admit that Mocha was injured under his care. 

“We told him that we were going to file a police report on suspected dog abused and he simply told us that he intended to close down his shop anyway. 

"No apologies, no attempt to investigate, no intention to assume responsibility.

"Such obnoxious attitude. Him closing down the shop or not, I just had to share this experience because it was too painful for any dogs and dog owners to go through."

Elizabeth has since lodged a police report and also filed a complaint with Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA). 

In response to media queries, the AVA said that it is aware of the case, and investigations are ongoing.