Dog owner guilty of mistreating pets, ignoring AVA order

Chng, 43, admitted to causing unnecessary suffering to her three dogs - a bull mastiff, chow chow and poodle. The chow chow and poodle were rehomed but the bull mastiff had to be euthanised later.
Chng, 43, admitted to causing unnecessary suffering to her three dogs - a bull mastiff, chow chow and poodle. The chow chow and poodle were rehomed but the bull mastiff had to be euthanised later.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

A dog owner who abandoned her bull mastiff and chow chow without food and water was yesterday convicted on charges of animal abuse and keeping the pets without a licence.

Chng Leng Khim, 43, moved out of her Paya Lebar Crescent landed home in June 2013, along with her three children, after she stopped paying rent of $1,500 a month.

She left behind the two five-year-old dogs, which were found by the landlord two days later. Both were thin and unwell, infested with ticks, and surrounded by their urine and faeces.

Chng, whose occupation was not given, also pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to comply with an order by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA). She is expected to be sentenced next Friday.

She admitted to charges of causing unnecessary suffering to three dogs - the third is a poodle - by not taking them to a veterinarian despite their illnesses. The court heard how Chng's eight-year-old poodle was found to have strayed near her former home the day she moved out. It was traced back to her through a microchip, but attempts made by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to contact her were unsuccessful.

The poodle was severely emaciated, malnourished and tick-infested. Its fur was severely matted and even bald in some areas. It also suffered from a severe urinary infection, among other ailments.

Two days after it was discovered, the landlord found Chng's other two dogs in the house.

A veterinarian with the AVA found the home to be "filthy and not well-ventilated", with all the windows and doors closed. The floor was also filled with faeces and urine, and there was no sign of food or water.

None of Chng's three dogs - which were not named in court documents - had been taken to a vet, despite their ailments.

The chow chow and poodle were rehomed to Voices for Animals. But the bull mastiff's condition deteriorated in November 2013 and it was euthanised two months later because of a failing heart and other conditions.

On June 20, 2013, AVA officers met Chng at Ang Mo Kio Police Division. She denied abandoning her dogs, and agreed to turn up at AVA's Centre for Animal Welfare and Control at a later date. But she did not do so and did not take the AVA's calls.

The next month, at the same police station, she acknowledged a letter requiring her to give a statement to the AVA at its premises, but she never complied with it.

Chng, who has not had a permanent home since moving out in June 2013, remained out of contact until March last year, when a warrant of arrest was issued. She was arrested on June 30.

For causing unnecessary suffering to her sick dogs, by failing to take them to a vet, Chng faces up to 12 months' jail and a $10,000 fine. For keeping a dog above three months old without a licence, she could be fined $5,000. For failing to comply with AVA investigations, she could be jailed for six months and fined up to $10,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 11, 2016, with the headline 'Dog owner guilty of mistreating pets, ignoring AVA order'. Print Edition | Subscribe