AVA probes pet shop after puppy dies of infectious disease 1 week after purchase

Submitted by Stomper Belle

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) is investigating a petshop over claims that it sold a customer a sick puppy which later died from canine parvovirus - a highly contagious viral disease.

Stomper Belle alerted Stomp to the incident which occurred to her friend, 29-year-old Jorine Lim, a manager at a beauty-chain.

Miss Lim detailed in a social media post that she had found Fatty Paws on Facebook on Feb 23, and contacted the pet shop owner, 24-year-old Henry Aw, who informed her that they had four Pomeranians in his shop.

She went down to the store to see the dogs, and told him that she would come back the next day to discuss things.

She returned to Fatty Paws on Feb 24 and placed half of the payment as deposit.

She alleges that Henry told her that the dog she was purchasing, Minnie, was two months old and had her first vaccination done so she could bring her back home the next day.

She brought Minnie to her home on Feb 25, but stated that as a first-time owner, she was unsure of the proper procedures and that Henry did not explain much and allegedly told her that there was no need to register with AVA.

Miss Lim said she questioned him further on the birth certificate, vaccination health book and microchip, to which he allegedly said that all the documents were with his vet and the microchip could only be done after the second vaccination.

Miss Lim also states that Henry also told her repeatedly to not the bring the dog to a vet if it is unwell, as it would not survive once the sent to the vet.

He allegedly told her to inform him instead if the dog is unwell or not eating well, he would come down to personally feed and take care of it until it is better.

Miss Lim was overjoyed to have the dog.

But last Saturday, a week after her purchase, the dog started vomiting and there was blood in its faeces.

Miss Lim rushed her puppy 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 Miss Lim was told the next day that it had died.

"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.

Miss Lim's post also attracted many responses from commenters, who said they too had such bad experiences with the same pet shop.

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.