All she wanted to do was to take the train, but Paralympic swimmer Sophie Soon ended up being wrongly accused instead.
Yesterday (Nov 27), a fellow passenger complained about a MRT train ride on Nov 18, where she shared the same cabin as Soon and her guide dog, Orinda.
The commuter said she was worried Soon's dog might "suddenly attack" her and her baby who was in a pram.
"Two people came inside the MRT carrying a big dog. There was one MRT staff, but he just ignored it," the passenger recounted, adding that she felt that the staff in charge should have talked to Soon.
"The MRT is catered to people, not big dogs."
To address the issue, Soon, 25, made a TikTok video yesterday to share more about guide dogs as well as the laws and regulations surrounding them in Singapore.
"So yes, that is my feet and my dog in this photo," she said with a laugh while referencing an article about the incident.
"I'm very grateful that the majority of the comments have come to our defence, thank you for that."
Soon went on to explain that guide dogs spend the first two years of their lives undergoing intensive training.
During this period, the animals go through plenty of tests, training and socialising
"Unfortunately, not all dogs make the cut because they fail certain tests," explained Soon.https://www.tiktok.com/@sophsoon/video/7170625617640115458?is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1
Even after graduating from guide dog school, the canines still have to undergo another three to four weeks of training with the handler before being allowed into the "majority of public spaces".
"The only two spaces they're legally not allowed in are restaurant kitchens and surgery rooms," Soon clarified.
At the end of the one-minute video, she also said: "In case you're wondering, yes I am blind/visually impaired, I'm very liberal whichever term you want to use for me."
AsiaOne has reached out to Soon for more details.
In the comments, several netizens said they are surprised there are people out there who are so ignorant when it comes to guide dogs.
Some even pointed out that guide dogs are probably more well-behaved than most children.
This isn't the first time someone has kicked up a fuss about Soon and her guide dog. Back in 2020, a Subway staff at Kallang Wave Mall refused the pair entry.
Apart from that, the staff refused to talk to her and even yelled at her for trying to get him to talk to her instead of her friend.
The staff insisted that Subway is a Halal restaurant and guide dogs are not supported by the Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (Muis).
In response to AsiaOne's queries then, Subway said that guide dogs are welcome in its Singapore restaurants and permitted under Muis guidelines. The company said that they had apologised to Soon following the incident.
ALSO READ: Woman with guide dog barred from boarding bus, but driver helps her find a seat
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