Businessman fined $10k for failing to bring dog for treatment

Lim Soo Seng, fined $10,000 for not bring the dog to a veterinarian, even though it was severly emaciated. A businessman was handed the maximum fine of $10,000 on Thursday, April 24, 2014, for failing to bring his severely emaciated dog to a vet
Lim Soo Seng, fined $10,000 for not bring the dog to a veterinarian, even though it was severly emaciated. A businessman was handed the maximum fine of $10,000 on Thursday, April 24, 2014, for failing to bring his severely emaciated dog to a veterinarian for treatment. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

A businessman was handed the maximum fine of $10,000 on Thursday for failing to bring his severely emaciated dog to a veterinarian for treatment.

The female crossed-breed dog died on May 17 last year, a day after it stopped eating.

Its owner, Lim Soo Seng, 76, pleaded guilty to unreasonably omitting to do an act by failing to bring the dog for treatment, causing it unnecessary suffering.

The offence occurred on or before last May 16 at Lim's home at Happy Avenue East near MacPherson Road.

Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority prosecutor Yap Teck Chuan said Lim and his domestic helper brought the dead dog for disposal to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) at Mount Vernon Road on May 17.

SPCA officers examined the carcass which was severely emaciated and appeared to have been neglected before its death.

A post-mortem showed that the dog might have been starved for months.

The court heard that Lim had adopted the dog seven years earlier when it was about a year old. His domestic helper was looking after the dog as both he and his wife were busy.

The Indonesian maid claimed that she would feed the dog dry food twice a day. About a month before its death, she noticed that it was getting rather thin, and told her employer about it.

Lim's lawyer Anthony Lee said that apart from the dog named Chilli, his client had three other toy dogs and they were well-loved by the family.

He said despite being provided with more than adequate food each day, Chilli had always appeared to be very lean since it was adopted. Lim did not bring the dog to a veterinarian as he found no change in its appetite. This was a mistake that he made, he added.

The lawyer said Lim unreservedly accepts that he failed to exercise reasonable care and supervision and was extremely remorseful.