Customer Reports To NEA After Dogfight In Cafe
When one dines at a pet-friendly cafe, one would expect the pets around to be good-natured and friendly with humans. But sometimes things can get ugly, and it’s not surprising as they are animals.
But sometimes the humans who bring the animals there can behave in a much uglier manner — and they don’t have an excuse, as they are adult humans.
The award-winning Sun Ray Cafe has been issued a warning and slapped with demerit points by the National Environment Agency (NEA) after a pet-ty fight between 2 unleashed dogs was reported to the authorities.
Leash Your Pets
The cafe posted a screenshot of the charming warning letter sent to them by the NEA on their Facebook page, after the matter was brought to the agency’s attention.
Apparently, the incident led to an inspection being carried out by the NEA on April 26, and it found that the cafe did not ensure all dogs in their premises were leashed.
The cafe was handed four demerit points for failing to enforce the rule and if twelve or more demerit points are accumulated within a year, the license of the eatery will be suspended for two weeks.
NEA warned them another inspection would be conducted and that it was the cafe’s responsibility to ensure patrons to keep their dogs leashed and in check.
According to guidelines spelt out on the NEA website in the application form for a licence for a pet-friendly food establishment, dogs have to be leashed at all times in the establishment.
So it seems that the NEA was just going by the rules, which our local public institutions are very good at doing indeed.
Sun Ray Cafe Turns Dark
Incensed, the cafe took to Facebook to clarify what actually happened.
Apparently, the NEA only came over after a patron complained that his dog was bitten by another dog while the 2 unleashed canines were engaged in a scuffle at the cafe.
The cafe was exasperated that a complaint was made to the authorities as they had expected the 2 parties to resolve their issues cordially between themselves.
The cafe also said that the customer who made the complaint had an unleashed dog himself, and had visited previously with his dog without any issues.
However, this time round, his pug got into a fight — but the “injury” to the canine was so insignificant that they did not even seek immediate medical attention:
the complainant himself saw no immediate need to seek medical attention for his pug and continued to dine, and even celebrated his pug’s one year old birthday and allowing his pug to finish a 250 gm pet cake that he has pre-ordered from us and served after the incident has happened. When our staff served the pet cake and checked on the condition of the pug, he saw no visible injuries on it and in fact they chatted heartily with him on how their pug enjoyed the cake and finished it when other cakes bought elsewhere din work.
But the customer did insist that the other group, and even threatened to sue:
he said loudly in a full house of customers on both the pet and pet-friendly sides that he was a lawyer and he knew the law, and he would sue our cafe based on “occupier’s liability”.
After 6 years of operations, this was only the 3rd-such dogfight the cafe has seen, with the previous 2 cases settled between the affected parties with minimal fuss.
Despite boasting of several notable achievements, including winning Best Cafe/Bistro in the Weekender FoodMania Awards, the 6-year-old cafe is afraid this one-off incident has tarnished their reputation and will have negative repercussions on their business.
After all, the whole point of pet owners bringing their pets to such cafes are so their pets can roam freely.
After posting this, we have only one customer on the pet-friendly side of the cafe tonight. If this continues we will seriously be thinking about changing our business model.
All thanks to the one guy who needs to satisfy his ego to activate our nanny state.
They then warned other pet-friendly cafes to be on their toes as the NEA are expected to be conducting spot checks.
Several pet owners and frequent patrons of Sun Ray Cafe left messages of support and encouragement for the eatery.
And the complainant faced the fury of enraged netizens, who wanted to know who he is:
With one redditor suggesting it’s black sheep like the complainant that causes all sorts of problems for Singaporeans.
Although a law makes it compulsory for dogs to be leashed at such cafes, some netizens feel it is pointless — stating that the whole point of visiting a pet cafe is to play with free-roaming friendly canines.
Still, one user managed to see the funny side, and gave a unique and humourous analogy to the whole situation.
Complain Kings And Queens
All it takes is for one black sheep to ruin things for everyone else. Because of an entitled person who thinks the only way to satisfy himself is to report to the authorities, a business has been adversely affected.
Granted, the cafe didn’t follow the strict rules set out by the NEA, but given the insignificance of the incident, it could have been settlled amicably, rather than getting the authorities involved.
And as the cafe said, shouldn’t civil service time and public funds be better invested in bigger and more pressing national issues rather than a fight between a pug and mongrel?
Sadly, it seems it’s going to take quite some time before we can shake off the title of “complain kings/queens” — and as long as there are people like these around, Singapore can never shake off the label of being a nanny state where people can’t be trusted to behave like humans instead of animals.