Dog Trainers Handle Canines Roughly At Telok Blangah Playground, Get Suspended

Dog Training Company Suspends Staff For Roughly Handling Canines

UPDATE (16 Jan, 5.01pm): The Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS) has issued a statement regarding the incident to MS News.

It confirmed that it is aware of the video and that it is looking into the matter.

“AVS does not condone mistreatment of pets and first-time offenders caught abusing an animal may be charged under the Animals and Birds Act, and could be fined up to $15,000, jailed up to 18 months, or both,” said AVS Director Joshua Teoh.

He added that safeguarding animal welfare is a shared social responsibility.

While AVS will continue to take the necessary enforcement action and raise awareness on animal welfare, members of the public can also do their part by reporting suspected cases of animal cruelty to AVS here or by calling 1800-476-1600.

Anyone making a report is encouraged to submit photos or videos as evidence to aid in the investigations. All information will be kept strictly confidential.

On Monday (15 Jan), footage emerged showing staff from a local dog training company handling canines roughly at a playground in Telok Blangah.

In response, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) appealed for information regarding the incident.

The owner of the company addressed the matter as well, stating that the firm has suspended the employees seen in the video.

Dog training company staff seen roughly handling canines

On 15 Jan, user @monkey_bear2 posted footage of the trainers manhandling the dogs on Instagram. They told MS News that the incident occurred at a playground in Telok Blangah at around 12pm that day.

The video starts by showing six dogs wearing leashes, with five of them lined up in a row in front of a man wearing the company’s uniform.

Source: @monkey_bear2 on Instagram

Tugging out a tangled piece of the leash from one of the canines, he forces the dog to sit by pressing down on its hindquarters.

Source: @monkey_bear2 on Instagram

Another staff member then approaches the group, tugging the sixth dog over by its leash before lifting it up by its fur to turn it forward.

He then slaps the dog on its back and shoves it into place before striking it a second time on its head.

Source: @monkey_bear2 on Instagram

As he does so, his partner continues to force the other canine to sit by roughly shoving down on its back.

Another follow-up video showed men similarly treating the other dogs in a rough manner.

A third video then revealed that it was possibly a photo-taking session, as one of the staff was seen checking his camera.

dog training company canines

Source: @monkey_bear2 on Instagram

Dogs appear frightened during incident

The OP told MS News that the canines appeared frightened by the staff members’ actions.

“They were all really quiet and were not misbehaving,” they said, adding that the entire episode lasted for 15 minutes.

They were eventually able to identify the company as Xavian and Pack by snapping a picture of the name emblazoned on the back of the men’s shirts.

dog training company canines

Source: @monkey_bear2 on Instagram

After their post on Instagram, other netizens came forward with accusations of similar cases of abuse their pets had experienced at the hands of its staff.

One user claimed that a trainer dragged their dog down the stairways between three storeys, leaving it with injuries.

dog training company canines

Source: @monkey_bear2 on Instagram

Staff suspended for rough handling of canines

On the same day, the owner of Xavian and Pack addressed the incident via an Instagram story.

dog training company canines

Source: @xavian_and_pack on Instagram

Xavian said he was aware of the footage and described the employees’ actions as “disgustingly inappropriate behaviour.”

“This is definitely not what Xavian and Pack stands for and will not condone any of such behaviours,” he said. “As a dog parent myself, I would definitely not want my dogs to be treated that way.”

He clarified that he was not present for the incident the video had captured. In addition, his company has suspended the staff involved with immediate effect.

“We [will] be scrutinising all aspects of our services moving forward to avoid such events from happening,” Xavian said.

SPCA appeals for information regarding dog training provider

In a Facebook statement on 15 Jan, the SPCA confirmed that it was aware of the video of the trainers handling the dogs roughly. According to the organisation, the incident took place during a photo-taking session of the canines.

Source: SPCA Singapore on Facebook

“Just like us, animals experience pain and distress,” SPCA said.

“We appeal to pet owners to only use humane, science-based and force-free training methods. Positive reinforcement helps nurture a loving, enriching relationship with our pets.”

The organisation went on to urge pet owners and trainers to refrain from using violence or intimidation.

“Hitting, hurting, or threatening animals can cause increased fear and anxiety, that could result in long-term health and behavioural issues,” SPCA added.

It ended the post by urging those with negative experiences with the training provider in the video to write in to them at so that they could further investigate the matter.

“All information will be treated with strictest confidence,” SPCA assured.

Also read: Woman Threatens To Cane Dog At Pek Kio Hawker Centre, SPCA Escalates Case To Authorities

Woman Threatens To Cane Dog At Pek Kio Hawker Centre, SPCA Escalates Case To Authorities

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Featured image adapted from @monkey_bear2 on Instagram.

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