When the couple went on holiday during the long National Day weekend in August, they decided to take their pet Maltese, Woffles, with them.
It turned out to be a costly decision because they did so without getting authorisation from the Agri- Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).
The couple told The New Paper last evening that they were not aware they needed a licence to take Woffles out of Singapore and back.
Even so, when they were caught by immigration officers, they dug a deeper hole for themselves - first by stealing Woffles back from the quarantine centre, where the dog had been placed, and then by lying to AVA officers that it had run away.
For these offences, Mr Chow Teck Meng, 41, and his wife, Madam Karen Yip, 37, were fined a total of $24,000 on Wednesday.
This is how the Chows ended up in the doghouse.
OFFENCE 1: NO EXPORT LICENCE
The couple left for Malaysia on Aug 7, driving their car through Tuas Checkpoint at about 3pm. Going along for the trip was Woffles, a white male Maltese.
They did not have an export licence, for which they must apply to the AVA.
The dog was not discovered by the immigration authorities during their departure from Singapore.
After staying in Kuala Lumpur for the next two days, they returned to Singapore.