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Woman fined for abandoning two kittens weeks after adopting them as they 'stressed' her out

Woman fined for abandoning two kittens weeks after adopting them as they 'stressed' her out

Natalie Lau Sze Yuin adopted the two kittens, named Milky and Panda, from a Ms Teo in early August 2020. (Photo: NParks)

SINGAPORE: A woman who adopted two three-month-old kittens soon felt "stressed out" by the sounds they made and their "hyperactivity", especially at night.

She claimed that she tried to give them up for adoption but was unsuccessful, so she placed them in a pet carrier and left them on a grass patch with the door open.

Natalie Lau Sze Yuin, 40, was fined S$4,000 by a district court on Wednesday (Oct 27) for one count of permanently abandoning an animal without reasonable cause. A second similar charge was considered in sentencing.

Lau was also banned from owning any animals for 12 months. 

The court heard that Lau adopted the two kittens, named Milky and Panda, from a Ms Teo in early August 2020. 

She kept the kittens in her home, but was "stressed out" from the noises they made.

Lau claimed she tried to get the cats adopted via friends, family and animal welfare groups, but was unsuccessful.

On Aug 19, 2020, Lau placed the two kittens in a pet carrier and walked across from her block in Sims Place. She placed the carrier on a nearby grass patch, opened the door and watched the kittens run out before walking home.

She did not leave behind any food or water, and did not make any attempts to check on the kittens afterward, the court heard.

Later that same day, Ms Teo saw a Facebook post of Milky and Panda being spotted and suspected to be abandoned. She managed to find Panda, but Milky has not been found.

Between Aug 19 and Aug 28, 2020, Lau lied to Ms Teo that she was taking care of the two cats, by claiming she had vaccinated them. She also sent Ms Teo a video of the kittens.

According to court documents, Lau adopted another two cats shortly after abandoning Milky and Panda. Those two cats have since been rehomed.

In a statement after the hearing, NParks said that being a pet owner is a lifelong commitment, and urged owners to be responsible and provide appropriate care for their animals.

"Pet owners are reminded to fulfil the standard of care for their pets, ensuring the pet's shelter is safe and providing suitable food and water regularly," said the NParks spokesperson.

"Those who are unable to care for their pets should find a suitable home for them or approach an animal welfare group for help to rehome their pet."

First-time offenders caught abandoning their pet can be jailed up to a year, fined up to S$10,000, or both.

Source: CNA/ll

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