A police report has been made against Express Pet Cremation, for allegedly returning compounds likened to sand and cement to a pet owner, who had used the company’s services to cremate his dog.
When Boston, a 16-year-old shih tzu died on Jul 19, its owner Alex Chua decided to use the company to give his pet its final farewell. He paid about S$280 to cremate Boston.
The porcelain urn, which was sealed with silicon, was returned to him the next day. The 26-year-old student did not witness the cremation process, as he was told that he had to pay more to do so.
However, he became suspicious after looking at the size of the urn.
“I felt that the size of the urn that they returned me is so much of a big difference compared to when I sent my dog for cremation,” said Mr Chua.
“When I got the urn, it was actually sealed with silicon, and I felt that something was amiss. So I decided to pry it open and what I found inside is a pack of grey powdery substance which doesn’t look like ashes or my pet remains to me,” said Mr Chua who posted his experience with Express Pet Cremation on his Facebook page.
ASHES CONTAIN COMPOUNDS SIMILAR TO SAND AND CLAY: FORENSIC SCIENTIST
Channel NewsAsia approached Mr Chua on Jul 26, and a forensic test was arranged on Monday (Aug 1).
Speaking to Channel NewsAsia, Chia Poh Ling, a consultant forensic scientist at the Forensic Experts Group said, “We subjected (the powder) to at least two techniques and found that most of them are consistent with silicate containing compounds, which are found in things like sand or cement.”
Ms Chia added that remaining large fragments were also subject to tests, and were found to be consistent with hydroxyapatite, which is found in bone; while some of the large fragments were also found to be silicate containing compounds like those found in sand or clay.
When contacted by Channel NewsAsia, Mr Patrick Lim, the owner of Express Pet Cremation, denied the allegations.
“We are not a cement company, we are a cremation company. We are also not a construction company,” said Mr Lim. He added that the police had not contacted him as yet.
“As far as the police report is concerned, of course, he (Mr Chua) has to substantiate whatever he’s reporting. I’ll leave it to my legal department to handle the situation,” he said.
When contacted, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) told Channel NewsAsia that it is also looking into Express Pet Cremation, which is not in the list of approved pet cremation service providers on pet farm land or veterinary clinics.
As for Mr Chua, even as he continues to grieve, he had advice for pet owners.
"I hope people would be much more aware to make a choice in engaging a pet cremation company to have their beloved pets cremated," he said.
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