Singapore pet boarding service faces criticism over recruitment practices

Pet boarding facility
Pet boarding facility (Representational picture) Pixabay

A pet boarding and daycare company called, Board N' Play located at Upper Thomson road was questioned by several animal lovers due to its questionable recruitment practices, especially after a one-year-old dog under its care died on Wednesday, April 17.

The deceased Maltese, named Garfield was swimming at Tanjong Beach on Sentosa on the day of the incident along with 16 other dogs. There were seven handlers who were assigned to look after these pets.

As per The Straits Times, a 55-year-old woman, Naida Ginnane, who was walking her two labrador retrievers near that area, stated that first, she heard someone screaming and later saw Garfield unconscious on the beach.

She also stated that while the passers-by and other caretakers were standing around the dog, someone performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the dog regained consciousness. Soon, Garfield was taken to a veterinary centre but died that afternoon.

Ginnane posted the incident on Facebook where other animal lovers and activists raised their voice against those inexperienced dog handlers. But soon the netizens started questioning the company's recruitment system.

Board n' Play
Board n' Play Board n' Play website

The backpacking community, Worldpackers, listed by the pet boarding company showed that Board N' Play recruiting tourists as "volunteers" and assigning them to take care of the pets and in exchange, the company will offer them free accommodation as well as food and EZ-link cards.

Ginnane, who is a Singapore-based artist told The Straits Times that it did not look like that those volunteers had any knowledge or skills which is required for such jobs. However, she made it clear that she had no intention to destroy the business of the company or hurt anyone as she only wanted to "help other dog owners make informed choices on what goes on when they're not around."

As per the reports, it was a Board N' Play volunteer, a 40-year-old lifeguard, Loy, who performed the CPR. Her family runs a dog boarding and daycare centre in Argentina, so she had an idea about such situations. She also paid for the medical services and has been in contact with the owner of the deceased pet.

Earlier this year, Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said that they had started an investigation against Platinium Dogs Club after they found that a missing pet dog called Prince died while it was at the pet boarding centre in a Bukit Panjang.