A 51-year-old man, who is the owner of miniature schnauzer, was fined S$3,500 for animal cruelty as he was found to have caused "unnecessary suffering" by denying medical attention for his sick dog, who died due to serious illness.
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said on January 16 that the pet owner Ng Yeow Chian did not send his dog back for follow-up treatment by the vet, even though the pet was diagnosed with serious medical conditions.
In a news release AVA said further investigation revealed that "following the first vet visit in September 2017, Ng did not bring his dog back for the scheduled review despite several calls from the clinic, causing it unnecessary pain and suffering. The dog eventually succumbed to its condition and died after a month."
As per the charge sheet, a lump was developed on the right shoulder of the miniature schnauzer and it was diagnosed with chronic heart disease, as well as stones in its bladder and urethra.
The AVA told Channel NewsAsia that when the dog was first brought in for a medical review, the vet noticed that its health condition was not good. Later, the vet recommended that the dog either be treated, albeit without guarantee of recovery or can be humanely euthanized.
Ng's family asked the clinic to give some time before taking a decision. Meanwhile, the vet provided temporary pain relief medication. After the completion of the painkillers course, the clinic called the family several times to convince them to bring the miniature schnauzer for a review but they did not listen to the vet's opinion.
In addition, AVA stated that instead of feeding the dog prescribed painkillers for animals, they gave him aspirin tablets and finally after one month the dog passed away.
In the news release, AVA added that the agency will take "enforcement action against anyone who has committed an act of animal cruelty and will press for deterrent sentences if warranted. Individuals who commit animal cruelty are liable to a maximum fine of $15,000 and/or 18 months jail term for first convictions.
"Safeguarding animal welfare is a shared social responsibility which requires the cooperation of all stakeholders, including the public. While AVA continues to ensure that the necessary enforcement action is taken and raise awareness of animal welfare, members of the public can play their part by being vigilant.
"Members of the public should promptly report cases of animal cruelty to AVA via our website (www.ava.gov.sg/feedback). All information shared with AVA will be held in the strictest confidence."