Maximum fine for animal cruelty

SINGAPORE - When Lim Soo Seng's eight-year-old mongrel Chilli died, it was starving.

Lim, a 76-year-old businessman, was yesterday given the maximum fine of $10,000 for animal cruelty.

The female cross-breed died on May 17 last year, a day after it stopped eating, and he had taken the body to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) for disposal.

An SPCA vet who examined the dog found that it was severely emaciated, and a post-mortem showed it might have been starved for months. The SPCA informed the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore.

Lim yesterday pleaded guilty to failing to take the dog for timely treatment, causing it to suffer.

The court heard that he had adopted the dog seven years earlier from the SPCA, when it was about a year old. His domestic helper looked after the dog as both he and his wife were busy. The maid said that she fed the dog dry food twice a day.

Lim's lawyer, Anthony Lee, said that apart from Chilli, his client had three other toy dogs.

Lim did not take the dog to a veterinarian as he found no change in its appetite.

He could have been jailed for up to one year, in addition to the fine, for the offence.

This article by The Straits Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.

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