SINGAPORE: During an argument with his former girlfriend, 40-year-old Chong Choom Kiat strangled and stabbed his pet dog, a Maltese named Sweet Sweet, to death.
On Thursday (Feb 8) he was sentenced to a 12-month mandatory treatment order (MTO) and barred from owning any animals for a year.
The MTO, a community sentencing option for offenders suffering from mental conditions, compels Chong to undergo treatment in lieu of jail time. The Institute of Mental Health had diagnosed him with what is known as an "adjustment disorder with depressed mood".
According to court documents, Chong and his ex-girlfriend Jaslyn Wong had an argument at his home on Oct 30, 2016. When the latter remarked that Sweet Sweet was making a lot of noise, Chong used a shirt to cover the dog's head and attempted to suffocate it.
He then used a leash to tighten the stranglehold. Realising that his attempts at suffocating the dog had failed, Chong then took a knife and stabbed it multiple times in the chest.
He stopped when the dog began to bleed profusely. After it died, Chong threw its remains into a common rubbish chute at the void deck of his block, along with the shirt and the leash.
His ex-girlfriend lodged a police report against him that same night. Officers from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority later arrived and recovered the dog’s carcass, the shirt and the leash.
For animal cruelty, Chong could have been jailed for 18 months, fined $15,000 or both.