When pet owners go away for a period of time, they often entrust the care of their furbaby to a pet boarding house.
This is all with the expectation that their furbaby would be well taken of.
However, a cat allegedly died within 16 hours of being sent to a pet boarding service in Singapore.
Its body was later found in an IKEA bag on the premises.
A nightmare for all pawrents out there.
Cat Goes Missing
The cat’s owner, J, detailed her ordeal in a Facebook post dated 24 August.
She enlisted the services of Hotel Petopia, a boarding house in Toa Payoh, as she was going on holiday.
The caption of the Facebook post is entirely capitalised, saying, “CREATING AWARENESS AND WARNING TO ALL PAWRENTS OUT THERE.
“WE WOULDN’T WANT YOU & YOUR FURBABIES TO GO THROUGH WHAT WE WENT THROUGH.”
She checked in her cat, Jooni, on 19 August.
Before and after checking Jooni in, she requested for the windows and the doors of the boarding house to be closed at all times.
The owner of the house agreed.
However, to her horror, J received a message from the owner alleging that Jooni was missing 16 hours after check-in.
J posted screenshots of her conversation with the house’s owner on her Facebook page.
The owner said they were “flipping the whole house” to find Jooni.
According to the owner, Jooni was not in her resting cage when breakfast was served.
Since Jooni wore a collar with a GPS tracker, J sent numerous location updates to the owner.
The GPS tracker showed that the cat was in the car park and, later, somewhere in the unit.
Like any other person in this situation, J was worried for her cat.
Thus, she cut her holiday short and rushed back to Singapore to help look for her cat.
Meanwhile, the owner claimed that he did not leave the door open.
However, he also suggested that Jooni may have slipped out of the house without anyone noticing.
Cat Allegedly Found Dead
When J arrived at the boarding house, the owner kept denying that Jooni was inside via text.
However, the GPS tracker showed that the cat was inside the unit.
One of the boarding house owners arrived at the unit and allowed J to check inside.
She said, “We used our GPS to detect [Jooni’s] collar only to realise that they had removed her collar with the GPS on it.”
Apparently, the owner continued to deny that the cat was in the house and that the service was pursuing an ongoing search for Jooni.
To J’s horror, Jooni’s lifeless body was inside a blue IKEA bag.
She said the discovery occurred from around 2.54 pm to 3.06 pm.
She added, “I also wish to add that he [the owner] was trying to hide the bag from us despite us requesting to check the bag.”
J later sent the owner a stream of angry messages.
She called him a “f***ing liar” and demanded that he return to the premises.
She also told him that she was going to call the police.
However, the owner merely responded, “I am really, really sorry.”
In her Facebook post, J added, “They were so dishonest, lying the entire time about the death of my cat. This was what made us so furious and upset.
“If we hadn’t found her body inside a blue IKEA bag hidden under a table, we wouldn’t have known my cat had died or how long they would continue lying to us.”
According to J’s post, the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS) and the police have been contacted.
She also alleged that the boarding house “is unsanitary, unhygienic and in absolutely unacceptable condition to be boarding pets”.
Speaking to MustShareNews, she said that the AVS is currently working with the authorities to investigate the case.
Director of AVS at the National Parks Board Joshua Teoh told Mothership that the agency is concerned and looking into the case.
Speculation on the Legality of Hotel Petopia
Based on the screenshots provided by J, Hotel Petopia appears to be located in Toa Payoh.
Notably, the pet boarding house J enlisted the services of is not affiliated with Petopia International Pte Ltd.
The latter is located in Geylang and has a 4.8-star rating on Google.
However, Hotel Petopia only has 3.7 stars on Google.
It is currently “temporarily closed”.
Netizens expressed their outrage on the subreddit r/SingaporeRaw.
Some speculated that Hotel Petopia may not be a legal service.
The claims were based on the poor English of the pet boarding house’s owner and the fact that the “facility” in J’s post looked like an HDB flat unit.
Similar Horror Stories
In October 2022, a Facebook user detailed her experience with pet boarding facility Mutts & Mittens.
Her rescue dog was allegedly neglected under the service’s care.
According to the Facebook user, the facility neglected her dog to the point that his condition worsened and he had to be euthanised.
In August 2021, the owner of Platinum Dogs Club, a pet hotel, was fined $35,700 for cremating a customer’s dog and lying about it.
The owner, Charlotte Liew, was also jailed for two weeks.
If you think this is terrible, her business also came under fire in late 2018 after several complaints of animal mistreatment.
She also admitted to providing pet boarding services as an unregistered business.
Platinum Dogs Club was run in a rented semi-detached house in Bukit Panjang.
Liew could have been jailed for up to two years, fined up to $40,000, or both under the Animal and Birds Act.
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