Woman convicted of animal cruelty gets more jail time after appeal

Woman convicted of animal cruelty gets more jail time after appeal

Chow Chow 1
Photo of the chow chow taken during AVA's investigation. (Photo: AVA)

SINGAPORE: A woman who appealed her 10-day sentence for animal cruelty in 2016 was slapped with a longer four-week sentence on Wednesday (Apr 4).

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said in a news release that Chng Leng Khim was also fined S$6,000 for failing to comply with an order to assist in investigations and for failing to license her pet dogs. 

AVA said it was informed by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Singapore on Jun 12, 2013, that there was a stray black poodle at Paya Lebar Crescent.

Poodle 2
Photo of the poodle taken shortly before rehoming. (Photo: AVA)
 

Chng was found to be the owner of the poodle based on its microchip.

As the poodle was emaciated and infested with ticks, AVA investigated her for animal cruelty.

Poodle 1
Photo of the poodle taken during AVA's investigation in June 2013. (Photo: AVA)

Investigations also revealed that Chng had two other pet dogs, a chow chow and a bullmastiff, which were thin and tick-infested. All three dogs were also unlicensed and Chng failed to comply with AVA’s order to assist in investigations, the agency said. 

Bullmastiff AVA dog
Photo of the bullmastiff taken during AVA's investigation. (Photo: AVA)

While investigations were ongoing, the dogs were cared for by AVA. However, the bullmastiff developed "severe health issues" and had to be humanely put down, AVA said.

The other two dogs were rehomed with the help of Voices For Animals, an animal welfare group. 

Chow Chow 2
Photo of the chow chow taken shortly before rehoming. (Photo: AVA)

Subsequently, Chng was arrested and charged in court.

Chng was sentenced to 10 days’ imprisonment for animal cruelty and fined S$3,100 for failing to comply with the order to assist in investigations and for failing to license her pet dogs in February 2016. 

After Chng appealed, the High Court set aside her plea of guilt and sent the case for a retrial where she was convicted again.

"AVA would like to remind the public that animal cruelty is an offence," it said in the news release. 

"A pet is a lifelong commitment and potential owners should seriously consider the many responsibilities involved before getting a pet. AVA condemns acts of animal cruelty and will investigate all feedback on alleged cruelty. 

"We will take enforcement action against anyone who has committed an act of animal cruelty and will press for deterrent sentences, if warranted."

Anyone found guilty of animal cruelty can be fined up to S$15,000 and jailed up to 18 months for the first offence. For subsequent offences, the maximum penalty is a fine of S$30,000 and up to three years in jail. 

Source: CNA/mz(hm)

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