Dog 'rescuer' fined $8k for abusing husky

Chiam leaving the State Courts yesterday. He was fined after pleading guilty to ill-treating his dog.
Chiam leaving the State Courts yesterday. He was fined after pleading guilty to ill-treating his dog.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

He called himself an animal "rescuer" but was caught on video hitting and kicking his dog.

Alan Chiam Choon San, 41, who was caught on camera by a neighbour, was fined $8,000 yesterday after pleading guilty to ill-treating the Siberian husky at his Jalan Loyang Besar house.

A charge of keeping 22 dogs on the premises, without permission from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, was taken into consideration during sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Azri Imran Tan said the case came to light after a neighbour heard dogs yelping at around 7am on May 23 last year.

The neighbour then saw Chiam abusing the Siberian husky.

From the window of her room, she recorded these acts on her mobile phone and uploaded three videos online.

They subsequently went viral.

The first video shows him kicking the dog while it is sitting with its head down.

The second recording shows the dog sitting upright while Chiam berates it. He then punches the dog on its head, resulting in the animal yelping and recoiling in pain.

Chiam also pulls the dog up by its collar for a few seconds, leaving only its hind legs on the floor. This causes the dog to gasp for air. Chiam then kicks the canine.

In the final video, Chiam is seen kicking the dog while it is chained and on all fours. He also hits its head with a pole.

According to a medical report, the dog had a scrape on its body, but the wound could not be conclusively established to be the result of Chiam's acts of cruelty.

Yesterday, the court heard Chiam abused the dog after it growled at his helper.

His lawyer, Mr Charles Yeo, asked District Judge May Mesenas to fine his client $6,000. Mr Yeo said Chiam earns a low income.

He also said Chiam is not inclined towards animal cruelty and has a family to support.

However, DPP Tan, who said the dog is now with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and will be rehomed, urged the judge to fine Chiam $10,000.

Said the DPP: "Even if the dog had growled at the helper ... the husky had already been subdued and was not acting aggressively.

"It was not just a single act of violence but multiple blows that lasted around six minutes on a subdued and non-hostile creature."

For ill-treating the dog, Chiam could have been fined up to $15,000 and jailed for up to 11/2 years.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 24, 2017, with the headline 'Dog 'rescuer' fined $8k for abusing husky'. Print Edition | Subscribe