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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vaccine rules for pet sales extended

AVA rules on mandatory shots apply to pet farms too from this year; some buyers complain of improperly vaccinated pets dying

Miss Shonia Ng and her dog Donut which died from a contagious canine disease because the pet farm she bought it from did not give it proper vaccinations. -- PHOTO: SHONIA NG

MISS Shonia Ng fell in love with a seven-week-old Maltese puppy she saw on Jan 10, and bought it on the spot. Eleven days later, her dog Donut was dead from a contagious canine disease.

Proper vaccinations could have saved it from a painful death, but the puppy had received only one from the Pasir Ris pet farm which sold it to her, instead of the mandatory two shots.

Last month alone, at least three complaints against unscrupulous pet farms have surfaced on Internet pet forums. All cases involved improperly vaccinated puppies which were sold and died soon afterwards.

Four veterinarians who spoke to The Straits Times also confirmed that such cases are not uncommon.

According to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), puppies have to be vaccinated at least twice before being sold. There must also be an interval of two weeks after the second vaccination before they can be taken home.

At least two vaccinations are needed to give adequate immunity against a range of deadly dog diseases, while a third vaccination within the puppy's first year gives full protection.

While pet shops have always been required to comply with the rules, pet farms, which usually also breed animals in addition to selling them, have had to do so only from Jan 1 this year.

AVA says that it has extended these regulations on the sale of puppies and kittens to pet farms as more of them are selling them directly to customers, instead of through pet shops.

But some pet farms are flouting the rules, say unhappy customers.

Said sales executive Kenny Lee, 23, whose puppy had not been fully vaccinated and died from a virus within a week: 'I had no idea about the regulations, and they didn't bother to tell me.'

An AVA spokesman confirmed that it has received similar complaints, but declined to reveal figures until investigations were completed.

Anyone who breaches AVA's licensing conditions faces a fine of up to $5,000, and recalcitrant offenders may be charged in court.

Over the past two weeks, a Straits Times' check on 10 pet shops and nine pet farm kennels found that five farms were still flouting the rules.

'If anything happens, you must be responsible,' the owner of one such outfit told a buyer.

Another seller revealed that he recently sold an unvaccinated puppy, insisting that 'it's not about the injections, it's how one takes care of the dog'.

Veterinary experts disagree with this.

'Vaccinations are an absolute must for the well-being of a puppy,' said Dr Daphne Ang of Vet Practice.

In their first year, puppies should be vaccinated three times, followed by a yearly booster. This is particularly important since the stress of new surroundings after a puppy is sold may lower its immunity.

Ms Deirdre Moss, executive officer of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), said that the cases which are reported are just the tip of the iceberg.

'Such practices are irresponsible.

'If we don't speak up, then the situation won't improve and more animals will suffer,' she said.


Pet shopping tips
  • Observe the animal. It should look bright and alert, not lethargic. Look out for skin problems and discharge around the nose, eyes and ears.
  • Check its vaccination card. Before taking the puppy home, make sure it has had at least two vaccinations, certified by a veterinarian. The second vaccination should have been at least two weeks ago.
  • Verify its age. As the first vaccination can be administered only at six weeks of age, puppies for sale should be at least 11 weeks old. Very young animals tend to be more fragile.
  • Check for licensing and grading. Both pet shops and pet farms must be licensed by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA). Pet shops are also graded by AVA according to compliance with regulations and adoption of best practices. Pet farms, which may also breed the animals, are currently not graded.
  • Look around the shop or farm. The premises should be clean and well kept. Shop attendants should be knowledgeable and concerned about the puppy's welfare.
  • Be wary of short-term health guarantees and indemnity agreements. Symptoms for certain diseases may show only after a week or two. Consult your vet within a day of getting your new pet, even if it seems healthy.
  • Do your homework. Be aware of your responsibilities as a pet owner. Read up on health-care issues for pets. Pet shop and farm licensing conditions can be found at the AVA website:
  • Or adopt from SPCA. Dogs there are all vaccinated and are in need of a home. Visit for more information.
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    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    Check out this great xinmsn Video: On the Beat 5 Episode 13

    Check out this great xinmsn Video: On the Beat 5 Episode 13

    Dawn on TV!

    Happy Mid-Authum festival 2010!

    This year, unlike last year, we had doggie mooncakes.
    Our jie jie didn't manage to get us doggie mooncakes this year but we still do have a wonderful special mid-authum dinner!

    What's included: Minced Mutton, Canned Mutton with Rosemary and brocolli, Egg, Long Beans, Carrots, Baby Dou Miao, Celery

    Into our bowls...

    Yum yum!

    Happy Mid-Authum to all~

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Groomers snip off dog's tongue but get away with medical compensation only

    Dog groomers are supposed to keep dogs looking good. Unfortunately for STOMPer Wapi Aware’s dog, its tongue was snipped off by careless groomers and little has been done to compensate his owners since then.

    Although the grooming shop paid the STOMPer back for medical costs incurred, the owners have hardly given them a proper explanation and seem reluctant to talk to the STOMPer.

    Appalled by their nonchalant attitude, the sender approached various institutions like CASE, SPCA and AVA for help.

    Despite this, none of them could do anything to punish the groomers.

    A Facebook page has been set up to spread the word about what happened to Wapi.

    Here are some excerpts of the story, as told by Wapi’s owner on the page:

    “I was a happy three-year old Yorkshire Terrier until my tongue was cut off by my groomers on August 28, 2010.

    “I will have to live my future life, mutilated and mentally scarred.

    “My owners are emotionally distressed by my injury and have been running around trying to get my veterinary report (took one whole week), rushing home after work and waking up early to give me medication and trying to appeal to authorities to do something!

    “The purpose of this page is to:

    “1) Publicise the gross negligence of a pet groomer which resulted in our dog's tongue being cut off while grooming and how consequently, we were only offered and compensated for the medical costs ($66+ $152 = $218).

    “This could happen to your dog too!

    “2) Generate enough public awareness so that the proper authorities will step in and set up protocol and jurisdiction in the event of such atrocities.

    “Can you imagine if a barber or hairdresser disfigured his client this seriously while shaving or cutting their hair? Would a mere apology and a trip to the doctor suffice?

    “Wapi's tongue was cut off by his groomer and there is nothing much that can be done after this incident!

    “CASE said: ‘The best outcome you can hope for is contract compensation.’

    “SPCA said: ‘Unfortunately, there is no jurisdiction in Singapore on groomers causing grievous hurt to pets. We can only refer you to AVA’.



    Monday, September 6, 2010

    Inhuman man kills dog by slamming it 10 times on floor but no one stops him

    STOMPer muffy was horrified by the report of a dog that was brutally killed by a man. According to the report, a witness saw the poor pomeranian being thrown repeatedly "for at least 10 times" onto the floor of a HDB block in Sengkang.

    The report describes how the man was seen dragging the pomeranian by a leash into a coffeeshop near Compassvale Link in Sengkang. The man asked one of the hawkers at the cofeeshop, a Mr Toh, for a knife, but his request was refused.

    The man then left with the dog and a short while later, sounds of a man yelling and a dog yelping in pain were heard.

    Mr Toh went to have a look, and saw the man hurling the dog on the floor "at least 10 times" over 10 minutes.

    Several people saw what happened to the dog, and some of them cautioned Mr Toh against intervening, as the man "seemed like he was crazy."

    Mr Toh called the police, but by the time they arrived, the dog was dead. The dog was described as having its face "soaked in blood".

    The STOMPer says:

    "I read a report in the New Paper and the Straits Times about a poor dog that was bashed to death by a man.

    "The reports says the man asked a hawker for a knife, but the hawker refused.

    "Can you imagine what would have happened had the hawker handed the man the knife??

    "The dog-murderer would probably have used the knife to slash the poor dog to bits.

    "I'm just wondering why no one stopped the man, and how these people could stand there and witness such cruelty for 10 whole minutes without lifting a finger to help the dog.

    "As much as I'm horrified and disgusted at the cruelty of the man who killed the dog, I'm also appalled at the apathy of the people who witnessed the incident.

    "Of course, no one wants to be beaten up, but the report states that several people were on hand when the man was abusing the dog.

    "I'm sure if all these witnesses had gone forward to stop the man, he would have been at least scared off by the sheer number of people.

    "Because these people refused to step forward to stop the man, a dog is dead."


    Animal abuse on the rise?