Two men charged over dog-related offences

Low (left) is accused of abandoning 18 dogs, among other offences, while Tan is alleged to have not provided adequate medical care for eight dogs at his dog farm.
Low (left) is accused of abandoning 18 dogs, among other offences, while Tan is alleged to have not provided adequate medical care for eight dogs at his dog farm.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

A 43-year-old pet grooming school owner allegedly abandoned 18 dogs islandwide in March, after being told by the authorities that he could not keep the 30 dogs in his shop following noise complaints from neighbouring establishments.

He left the 18 dogs, mostly poodles, poodle crosses and malteses, in various places - such as an industrial park in Yishun, and in Tampines, Sengkang and Upper Serangoon - where he thought people would find and adopt them.

Yesterday, Low Chong Kiat was charged with 49 counts of contravening the Animals and Birds Act.

The owner of Prestige Grooming Academy, located at 52, Chun Tin Road, faces 28 charges of keeping the dogs without a licence, 18 counts of abandoning dogs, two charges of failing to ensure the dogs were protected from and rapidly diagnosed of injury or disease and one count of keeping the 30 dogs in a place that is not a dog farm without permission from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).

One of the dogs, an unsterilised female shih tzu, was found with dental issues, skin problems and corneal damage in its right eye. It had to be treated for scabies, ringworms and ehrlichiosis - a bacterial illness transmitted by ticks.

Another dog, an unsterilised female maltese, was found without teeth and with a broken lower jaw.

Low is also the owner of Marine and Pet Image, a pet shop.

He did not have a lawyer and did not enter a plea. The case will be mentioned again on Aug 4.

If found guilty, Low faces a fine of up to $40,000 and up to two years' jail for each count of abandonment and failing to ensure that the dogs were protected from and rapidly diagnosed of injury or disease.

The maximum punishment for keeping dogs over three months of age without a licence and for keeping more than three dogs in a place which is not a dog farm without AVA permission is a $5,000 fine.

In the same court, a 28-year-old dog farm owner was charged with nine counts of contravening the Animals and Birds Act.

Edwin Tan Guowei, who owns The Animal House, is accused of failing to ensure that eight dogs at a Pasir Ris kennel were protected from and rapidly diagnosed of diseases or injuries.

One of the dogs, a male unsterilised pomeranian, had corneal swelling in the right eye and was blind in its left eye, which was shrunken.

Another dog, an unsterilised male husky, had muscle wastage and open wounds on its left hind leg and posterior.

Tan also allegedly failed to comply with the conditions of his AVA dog farm licence. If found guilty of this, he faces a fine of up to $10,000 and up to one year's jail.

He did not have a lawyer and did not enter a plea. A pre-trial conference has been fixed for Aug 17.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2016, with the headline 'Two men charged over dog-related offences'. Print Edition | Subscribe