SINGAPORE: A man has been fined S$5,000 for keeping his pet dog in the balcony of his apartment, and exposing it to the sun and rain for long periods of time.
Roy Ling Chung Yee was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to his pet Border Collie.
The court heard that the dog was left on the open balcony - measuring about 3 metres by 1.5 metres - for up to six hours a day, over a period of six months, and not given adequate food and water.
The dog was not physically hurt, but District Judge Ng Peng Hong ruled that subjecting it to the sun and rain caused unnecessary suffering.
Ling had said he was not aware of causing any suffering to his pet as it was healthy.
However, Judge Ng said: "Unnecessary suffering is not the same as the dog was sick or physically injured... the welfare of the dog is not dependent on whether the dog is healthy or not."
The judge said he agreed with the prosecution's veterinarians that the dog can be stressed when exposed to the elements for a long time, and that this was tantamount to cruelty.
The case emerged in June 2011 when concerned residents living in the apartment block, 88 Mackenzie, alerted the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) about incessant barking from the dog, which was seen almost every day on the balcony.
SPCA then alerted the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) and gathered evidence over a period of three months, including photographs and video recordings.
Corinne Fong, SPCA's executive director, said this is a landmark case, for recognising the animal's mental stress in the conviction.
She said: "When the SPCA is called to investigate other cases down the road, we will have the judgement behind us. We now know that if owners persist in keeping their animals in less than ideal conditions, in terrible living conditions, we can go after them. The law is on our side." - CNA/ms
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