SINGAPORE: East Coast pet shop Whatupdawg (WUD) has issued a fresh apology after a video capturing dog abuse at their storefront resurfaced on social media and went viral this week.
The video was reposted by Facebook user Pandora Abigale on the Dogs Singapore Facebook group. The video shows a man within the WUD repeatedly hitting a small bulldog with what appears to be a switch. The dog can be seen cowering in a corner while the man continues raining blows on the animal.
Pandora said, “I have already reported to AVS. This video was sent to me by my family friend and im sharing this out to the public to seek awareness and hopefully the shop gets the right punishment for abusing the poor puppy.” Asserting that the man’s behaviour disgusts her, Pandora pointed out, “It’s not even right to hit a dog.”
The video was also shared on other platforms, such as the Complaint Singapore group, by incensed Singaporeans, leading the video to gain even more traction.
Some users condemned the abuse and quickly went to WUD’s social media pages to criticise the shop. Several Singaporeans online, however, pointed out that the incident occurred a year ago, revealing that the authorities have already investigated the case and that these individuals said the person in the video is no longer working at WUD.
WUD confirmed this in an Instagram story. Apologising for the distress the disturbing video has caused, the shop said, “We sincerely apologize for the distressing incident involving our former staff member, Mr Sim, who was reported to have mistreated one of our puppies back on November 22 last year.”
The shop revealed that they only became aware of the incident on 23 June this year, when approached by the National Parks Board (NParks) and the Animal Veterinary Service (AVS), who were alerted to the video.
WUD said, “Subsequently, Mr Sim was dismissed and appropriate actions were taken following reports from AVS and NParks.”
The licensed dog seller added, “We deeply regret any inconvenience caused and are committed to collaborating with the authorities to address this matter appropriately.” Asserting that they prioritise the wellbeing of their animals, the shop promised to diligently train and educate all staff to prevent such incidents from recurring.
The shop’s assurances have assuaged most of those concerned, but some remain dissatisfied. One Singaporean Facebook user, Amy Chew, commented on WUD’s FB page: “Not acceptable. People should not support your shop. Even if it was your staff that hit the puppy, there has to be guidelines to adhere if you are selling animals and that comes from the boss guiding the staff.”
She added, “Putting out a statement to state “former staff” is not good enough. Pls do not support this shop.”
She was not alone. A significant number of Singaporeans online slammed the shop in the comments section of their most recent posts, and their posts began accumulating dozens of “angry” reactions. The uproar was so great that WUD ended up disabling the comments section of their posts and limiting what kind of comments remained visible on their page.