Man jailed 6 weeks, fined $65,700 for abandoning 18 dogs

SINGAPORE - A 43-year-old man was jailed for six weeks and fined $65,700 for abandoning 18 dogs at various locations around Singapore.

In a statement on Friday (Sept 23), the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said that grooming school owner Low Chong Kiat faced 49 charges related to failure to care for the dogs, and not complying with dog licensing and control regulations.

According to AVA, Low previously kept 30 dogs on his pet farm. When the farm closed in 2015, he transferred the canines to his grooming school, Prestige Grooming Academy.

As it is illegal to keep so many dogs in his school overnight, he subsequently decided to rehome 12 of the dogs, and abandon the other 18.

The 18 dogs, mostly poodles, poodle crosses and malteses, were left in various places across the island including Yishun, Tampines, Sengkang and Upper Serangoon.

Photo: AVA

The authorities were alerted to the case in March 2016, and began investigations immediately with the assistance from the Animal Welfare Group (AWG).

The abandoned dogs were found by the AWG. Two of the dogs were found to be suffering from serious medical conditions.

Photo: Facebook / Voices for Animals

AVA said that it condemned acts of animal cruelty, including pet abandonment.

"We investigate all feedback on cruelty and will take enforcement action where necessary," the agency stressed.

Individuals who commit such offences while carrying an animal-related business may be fined up to $40,000, jailed up to two years, or both for first-time convictions.

Meanwhile, those who do not comply with dog licensing and control rules may be fined up to $5,000.

AVA also encouraged members of the public to report cases of animal cruelty via its hotline at 1800-476-1600 or through its website.

seanyap@sph.com.sg