Friday, August 26, 2005

Animal Cruelty in Singapore is considered no big deal

I read about this animal cruelty case in the papers today. The guy left his Alaskan malamute ( an Artic sled dog) in his backyard without any water in direct sunlight. The dog died of heatstroke and was found with blood foaming at the mouth by a neighbour.

The owner could have claimed negligence and said that he did not know that an Artic dog (which has 2 layers of fur) left in a confined space without water and in direct sunlight would suffer heatstroke, if not for the fact that a previous complaint against him 2 years ago had resulted in an SPCA inspector inspecting his dog and advising him that the dog needed to be kept in an air-conditioned place or failing that, at at least he should put up blinds to shield the dog from direct sunlight. He ignored both suggestions.

The offence carried a maximum fine of 10k and a year's jail term. The guy got off with a 3k fine and no jail term. Unbelievable.

What's the point of a punishment if it doesn't even hurt the offender in question? Isn't that the whole purpose of a punishment, to deter the offender from repeating his crime? They might as well have just told him that he was a really really bad boy and make him promise not to do it again.

Offenders are rarely jailed in animal abuse cases here, even if the animal in question dies, as is the case here. It's just considered not that big a deal. Would the sentence have been different if it had been a child, instead of a dog? Definitely. But is it really that much different, both are pretty much defenceless and completely reliant on their caretakers for their well-being.

You know, if I was the judge, I would order the guy dressed up in winter clothing and then handcuffed and left in the middle of a field on a hot day, without water. Just to give him a taste of what it feels like. Then I will haul his ass down to jail for the full year.


  1. i know..i read about it...i feel so so ANGRY.
    this guy should have been jailed. i hope everyone creates an uproar over this.
    i hope the fucking asshole rots in hell (with 2 layers of fur on him.)

  2. Sorry...just had to add this in even though I don't ever comment on your blog because this irks me and I need to vent my anger.

    Most Singaporeans just have no heart when it comes to animals. To a lot, it's just a passing fancy and soon becomes a bother when they realise that they it eats, breathes, needs to be cleaned and loved. And the law just doesn't give a damn when it comes to animals. argh.

    Is the judge stupid or what? If he can have a property with a backyard, 3 k shld be peanuts. He deserves to have a pack of rabbies infected dogs unleashed onto him and THEN left out in the sun to die a slow and painful death.

  3. See how my anger just made me sound like an incoherent mad woman? But yeah. My point is he's an asshole.

  4. He murdered his HUSKY?????

    inhuman!!!! how could he murder such a beautiful animal!!!

  5. not the first time dude. animal cruelty is just no big deal to the authorities here. there were so many cases of scalded cats, beaten dogs, with the humans getting away with a small fine.

  6. What a bastard-I hope he dies...fuckin swine!
    And anyway, which dumb fuck gave him a permit to import an Arctic dog into an equitorial hellhole like Singapore? What the fuck is wrong with these people? Its called ARCTIC for a reason. The dog should not have been brought here in the first place. If I see this guy I swear I'll gouge his eyes out,and then kick him in the crotch with my 6 inch stilettos.

  7. On second thoughts, this country allows people to cut a shark's fin off and leave it back into the sea to bleed to death.
    This country also allows "growing" kittens in glass jars.
    This country has no moral bearing whatsoever when it comes to animal rights.

  8. :o

    given that he ignored the prev complaint and advice, yah, he shd be jailed the whole year!! it's simply bcos they treat animal lives as less worthy than that of humans that pple are so complacent.

    but actually, how come they allowed an arctic animal here in the first place? quite stupid right.

  9. Mahima : Just hope he doesn't get another pet.

    Queen Bee: Yeah, a lot of them treat pets too casually, like an accessory. It's sad.
    But yeah the article pissed me off as well.

    Aberwyn: Yeah , actually I blogged about another similar case a year back as well. But can't help getting pissed everytime it happens.

    Jupiter : Hmm don't think there's much, if any, shark finning in Singapore, to be honest. And the kittens in jars thing was an internet hoax, it isn't real.

    Anantya: Ya the problem is some pple feel the need to have exotic pets that few other people, and not caring abt why they are so rare here e.g. climate reasons. He probably paid a lot of money for it.

  10. Since animal crualty aint a big deal in SG...

    Thy should 1st neuter the asshole without naesthesia

    Thn be put in field wit 2layers of fur for a couple of days witout water.

    Thn they should have a pack of rabbies infected dogs unleashed onto him.

    Thn have his eyes gouged out and kicked in the crotch wit 6" stilettos.

    Thn he can rot in jail for couple of years(still wit 2 layers of fur)...

    sorry...used to have six dogs, so i cant stand bastards like these...

  11. Yeh, I read it from the newspapers too. Can't believe how can someone do this to a husky. No water + hot sun? It's like asking those penguins to march in Sahara desert.

    I don't understand how this guy can buy a pet and kill it.

  12. what a bastard.

    they should remove his ac and fridge permanently from his home.


    sorry. but animal cruelty stinks and it's a pity that it still isn't considered a big enough crime to punish humans (heavily) for.

    lives = lives= lives, right? but in the eyes of the law, no. and we consider ourselves sentient beings. nice.

  14. Did you know that surgically cutting off the cats paws so that their claws dont grow out and so the cats are always cuddly IS allowed!

    Bonsai kitten is a hoax? Thank god!

    And shark fin food should be banned because its wrong on a moral term. Which isn't the case in Singapore.

  15. Poor dog. I love malamutes!! If only I was there to save the poor malamute. And I think 3k is less than the price of the dog. Wth..

  16. Should not dress him up in winter clothing. Should dress him up like a dog instead. :)

  17. err.. i dont think they cut off the kittens' paws.. that would be silly. think they just declaw them.

  18. The perprator is a fucker. They should reveal his name.

  19. So, how many of you guys are vegetarian here?

  20. To those who love to show how super-angry and disgusted you are,
    how many of you eat the typical singaporean diet? (poultry, dairy, cattle, pork)

    Non-veg*s, please consider why you only care about "cute" species?

    Cattle and especially pigs have comparably complex nervous systems with "cute" animals.

  21. i dun want him dressed in fur and placed under the hot sun!! because, they would most probably murder some other animals so that they could mete out that punishment (the fur part)!! i want him shipped to the Arctic and left there to survive... without a single piece of clothing on him!!!

    he is the one to uproot the poor dog from a familiar and acclimatised environment to an unfamiliar and unaccustomed to place! so he should be shipped to somewhere he is unfamiliar with and left to survive on his own!!

    the dog WAS so beautiful...

  22. Haha........ I wrote about the same subject with the same suggestions.


  23. hmm. I think those who eat meat shouldn't be allowed to comment. The excessive cruelty and negligence that caused the death of the dog is probably what sparked off so much anger amongst pet owners/animal lovers.

    having said that, do you people ever think about how the poultry/dairy products you eat everyday came to be?

    so... my take is...

    the guy still deserves to die.

  24. that is awful. hearing about animal abusers pisses me off even moreso than hearing about child abusers. If I believed in heaven and hell, it would be so much more comforting, but since I don't, I'm just left feeling helpless and afraid.

  25. Hiya, I read your post and I agree with your chosen method of punishment. I'm an animal lover and think people should be held accountable for theiractions concerning pets. But I must inform you that often times cruel acts against children go with only a slap on the wrist as well. I scan my local sex offenders sites to see who's living near me and often times they get sentances like: "10 yrs with all but 6 months suspended". Anyway I like your site, check mine out if you'd like "plethora of nothing special" you may like it or hate it. I'll be back here though.

  26. anonymous vegans: just because I eat meat, does not mean I cannot have compassion for a mistreated animal. Meat-eaters vs. Vegetarians is a whole can of worms altogether.

    The fact of the matter is, this man brought a dog into his life *willingly* and thus should be expected to look after it with some form of common decency and not let it be confined outdoors under the sun and with no water.

  27. By the way you got Tomorrowed.

    Forgot to tell you earlier.

  28. I totally agree. That man has been let off too lightly. I've always believed that any human who abuses and tortures animals MAY someday "graduate" to abusing and torturing humans too.

    However, one thing I've noticed is that alot of pple are very angry over the incident largely because they find the Husky a beautiful and cute animal. What if it's some "ugly" animal? (I don't know.. like.. err.. toads?? well u know what i mean) Still doesn't make it alright to abuse it.

  29. I read that! The poor doggie. :( The guy obviously should be barred from owning pets for the rest of his life! Blardy rich guy who wants to own an expensive dog but couldn't be bothered to take care of it. Buster!

  30. Sad to say, but pain seems to be the only way people will learn. If it's not painful, then all the preachin's not gonna do shit.

    Idiot ought to be dragged out and shot. Stupidity does not deserve to belong in the gene-pool

  31. mooiness, I posted "10:16 PM" and I am a meat-eater.

    As meat-eaters, I don't think it is completely honest to call ourselves "animal-lovers".

    Sure we may adore live animals that we see and would never intentionally harm them for fun.

    But is it ok to contribute to the demand for meat and animal products?
    We get our milk, eggs, meat etc nicely packed in supermarkets.
    So the cruelty of farming is out of sight and out of mind.
    But do you think it's the farm industry that's responsible for all the suffering? Maybe partly, through violating cruelty-regulations, but we the meat-eaters are mostly responsible.

    So I would never say in these pet-cruelty cases that the offender is let off too easily. "hang the fcker! rah rah rah!" at least as long as I'm a meat eater.

    We CHOOSE to eat meat.

    This guy unintentionally let his dog bake to death. (i.e. out of negligence, not out of active cruel intent)

  32. fuck, he shd be jailed!!! U shd be the judge!! Did they post a pic of him up or publish his address? cus I will send him a few pig heads!

  33. Raj : Ya I have a dog too that's why I felt so strongly about it.

    Beng: I don't know, maybe its a stats symbol, cos not many people could own such a dog.

    Nausheen: And bundle him up in thick clothing.

    Maddie: Yeah animal life is quite expendable it seems according to the law.

    Jupiter: They remove the claws not cut off the paws. But yes its still considered cruel cos its that only means of defence.

    Eunicee : Yeah Im pretty sure a dog like that aint cheap.

    Lancerlord: Interesting alternative punishment!

    Sausage: Actually they did in the article.

    Dawn: Yeah sometimes it hard to comprehend their behavior.

    Smack Media: Oh ok, but in Singapore child abuse offenders are severely dealt with, i think even caned. Will check out your blog.

    Mooniness: Yeah my sentiments exactly.

    Caleb: Ya notice it on my referral section, thanks.

    Barf: Yeah I think he should be banned from owning pets too. Wonder what would happen if his next pet suffers the same fate? A heavier fine?

    Delta: Yeah thats why the punishment was too light, it wasnt painful at all.

    Sari: Pig heads? That will be a bit ironic right. :)

  34. Take on veg vs. non-veg:

    I eat meat. I know the cruelty that the animals suffer in captivity, but the sad fact is I love the taste of meat too much to give it up, and I have tried in the past. Not proud of it, but it's true.

    If I could eat free range meat I would, but it's pretty hard to find here, and secondly my mom is the one who does the cooking and she won't understand the concept.

    But I think that and this case are two separate issues and should be treated as such. Otherwise, by that logic the next time I encounter someone abusing an animal, I should just ignore it and keep walking on, because the abuser could just tell me that I am a meat eater so I am no different from him.

    Regarding the anonymous who said he was negligent, I think it was way more than that. He was warned in the past about the danger the dog was in. He simply couldn't be bothered enough to do something about it.

  35. Hi stallion,
    OK, I stand corrected, I read that he had been warned before etc, makes it worse than a one-time case of forgetfulness, agree.

    > "But I think that and this case are two separate issues and should be treated as such."

    You think they are separate because...?

    > "Otherwise, by that logic the next time I encounter someone abusing an animal, I should just ignore it and keep walking on, because the abuser could just tell me that I am a meat eater so I am no different from him."

    Is that your main justification for why they are separate issues?

    I think it is not so much a justification, rather you are describing the uncomfortable consequence of NOT treating them as separate.
    (YES, an animal abuser might respond in that way! and then what are you gonna say? Just keep repeating that "they're separate things!"?)
    It is a consequence that is problematic for so-called "animal-lover" meat-eaters.
    Could it be that we merely *like* to think of them as separate because of that problem?

    But it doesn't have to be problematic. All you have to do is admit to yourself that you only love *some* animals. And certain other animals, you love the taste enough that you continue to choose to eat them.

    To make sharpen the point, imagine a community elsewhere in the world where they eat dogs, and not just any breed, but [insert-your-fav-breed] especially. And you feel sad/angry/outraged ya? Do you think you'd be satisfied to hear from them that, "sorry, I just love the taste of [your-fav-breed]-meat too much to stop eating it." and they'd rather eat free range, but unavailable / or their mom blah blah..

    For sure I am not saying that if you eat meat then you are equally cruel with someone else who also eats the same amount of meat and in addition abuses cute animals.
    (It could be argued that if you're a big meat eater, and the animal abuser is vegan and only abused one individual animal, that you have caused more animal suffering than him, and it wouldn't be your place to tell him off)

    (I was mostly-vegan for the last 3 yrs of studies abroad, but back in sg, I'm back to meat-eating except in order-for-myself settings.)

    As long as eating farm animals remains the legal norm, I will not support harsh laws for isolated cruelty to animals, especially when it isn't with explicit cruel intent. Just because I think it is more important that laws are fair and consistent.
    Individual people can be as self-righteous-hypocritical as they like in posting voicing their opinions, but hopefully laws need to be of a higher standard of fairness and reasonableness.

  36. are you talking about the human animals or animal animals?

    From where i stand, both are equally abused via various sources that is fast diminishing the distance between either in their perspective of life.

  37. Anonymous: No you are wrong in that, I would not and do not make a stand about people eating dogs. If I were to do so then that would make me a hypocrite. I don't like it obviously, considering I have a dog as a pet, but I do realise that what they are doing is probably no less cruel from what happens to animals that end up on my plate. That's what I meant by they being different situations, your argument would be more suitable if I had spoken about the cruelty of dogs being tortured in Korea before they are eaten, or the fact that frogs have their legs chopped off and thrown aside in restaurants.
    Regarding your point about me being less cruel compared to a vegan who abuses an animal I have to disagree. One is done with malice. One is not.
    So are you saying that the $3000 file is fair in this case? Despite the fact that it is nothing but a slap on a wrist to that guy?

  38. Stallion,
    I think you have made it clear that you think animal-suffering as side-effect of food-production is separate from animal-suffering that isn't a side-effect of food production.

    I think you repeated this assertion without saying *why* they are separate. but nevermind that now.

    *Even* if they are "separate issues", the amount of suffering can be compared right? (yeah, we don't have instruments to objectively measure what other beings feel, but we don't need such precision, just roughly guess from their behavior, or you know.. just empathise.)

    The suffering we cause by eating meat, perhaps it isn't done with malice, we don't feel anything because it happens to be the convention.
    But are we any less responsible?
    Remember how people used to keep slaves? They did it without malice too, because it was the norm.
    Nowadays it is illegal. And people get really angry about maid-abusers. ya?
    Would you say maid-abusers of today are more guilty than slave-keepers of last time?

    Maybe unconsciously we want to remain ignorant and distanced so that we can enjoy, without feeling guilty, the benefits that come at the expense of other beings.

    We *feel* less guilty. But are we less guilty?

    Know the difference between someone *being* guilty, and someone *feeling* guilty.

    Meat-eating versus punishable-animal-cruelty, maybe doing either incurs similar guilt, but the former incurs less feeling-of-guilt.

    Another way to say why I think meat-eating and punishable-animal-cruelty may not be as different as you think:
    This guy with the dog.
    Would you say his inaction was with malice? I think it's just can't-be-botheredness. The same reason why farm-animals suffer.
    If I then buy the dog-carcass from this guy, because I want to eat it, then would this case become more equivalent to the case of dog-meat-industry cruelty in other countries? In both cases, it's an animal that suffers because its people can't be bothered to alleviate their suffering. In both cases their meat is eaten.

    You may say that the difference is that this dog was not acquired for the purpose of providing meat.
    This is *a* difference, yes.
    But is this *the* difference that makes it improper to compare meat-eating with punishable-animal-cruelty? (if yes, why does it make meat-eaters less guilty?)

    $3000 may be too much considering that meat-eating is completely the norm here, and given that that kind of death by heat-exposure/dehydration/neglect is commonplace in farms.

    Sorry, I'm super longwinded when it comes to this issue...

    Imagine a time and place where white people dominated the world, and using dark-skinned-asian/african people as slaves were the legal norm.
    And suppose there was a law against mistreating a lighter-skinned peoples such as chinese people.
    So this white guy mistreated his chinese butler... treated him too harshly... treated him like how the dark-skinned slaves are meant to be treated.
    And he is fined uh.. $3000.

    Some "chinese-loving" white people think that the fine is too small. slap-on-the-wrist-blahblah. And yet they continue to use dark-skinned people as slaves. but they dun feel it is as bad, since it is the norm. in fact, most of the time they forget that their use of slaves is an issue at all.

    And yet some pple might think the fine might be too much, given that it is perfectly legal to mistreat dark-people, in their line of duty.
    Either that or, mistreating ethnic group should be made equally punishable.

  39. I think we are straying too far from the point here.

    The guy in question was a pet owner. And as a pet owner, he had certain responsibilities to his pet. It depended on him for its needs and its well-being, and he in turn should provide a safe and comfortable environment for his pet, whether its a dog,a chicken or a snake. Otherwise, he should not own one. I hope you can at least agree on this point.

    I have a dog of my own. And for me, it's in many ways the same as raising the kid. But a lot of people don't see it this way, they think of them more as commodoties or expendable things. But there are others like me who have an emotional attachment to our pets. That's probably why most people here are outraged at it.

    The fact here is he not only was ignorant, he really could not be bothered. Otherwise, he wouldn't have ignored the SPCA inspector's the first time despite being told of the danger his dog was in.

    The dangerous thing about his punishment is it tells other irresponsible pet owners that it's ok to buy a pet and just treat it like crap afterwards, because if it dies, they will probably just get off with a fine at most. Is this really the way to go?

    I am not saying your views on meat eating are wrong, you are right, eating meat is considered acceptable because it's a norm. But i re-iterate my point that it is a separate discussion altogether, because the key issue here is the ill-treatment of a pet by a person who is supposed to protect and care for it. That's why I asked if the punishment would be any different if it was a child. I feel that's a better comparison than comparing it to cruelty to animals in farms reared for food.

    So that's why I feel I have a right to express my disgust at his actions, despite me being a meat eater. If you feel differently, then well that's your right. We just have to agree to disagree.

  40. > "And as a pet owner, he had certain responsibilities to his pet. It depended on him for its needs and its well-being, and he in turn should provide a safe and comfortable environment for his pet, whether its a dog,a chicken or a snake. Otherwise, he should not own one. I hope you can at least agree on this poit."

    Ok. But from the victim's point of view...
    If you were a dog, whether or not you have a human-pet-owner who "took responsibility" for you. (or if you were in a dog-meat farm) you have the same capacity to suffer no?

    It doesn't matter to the victim.
    To the victim, it's still a bunch of humans mistreating it.

    > "I have a dog of my own. And for me, it's in many ways the same as raising the kid. But a lot of people don't see it this way, they think of them more as commodoties or expendable things. But there are others like me who have an emotional attachment to our pets. That's probably why most people here are outraged at it."

    Treating your dog as your kid is your personal choice, it doesn't mean anyone else is obliged to do the same, although you definitely have every right to voice your displeasure on your own blog.
    YES, I agree that the outrage is mostly emotional and my point is that it is emotional but not strictly reasonable coming from meat-eaters.
    And laws should be reasonable.

    "Animal-lover"-types making noise about isolated cases of cruelty to cute-animals while they continue to support SYSTEMATIC cruelty to farm animals. This is not surprising given the current social norms.
    But doesn't anyone else think that some moral issues should transcend convention?

    It should be apparent tt i am mostly utilitarian... so of course I would like to see minimal cruelty to pet-animals even as cruelty to farm-animals doesn't decrease.
    I just think meat-eaters should think twice before they make noise about this guy getting off too light, blahblah. It's too easy to say how big an "animal-lover" you are and attack the guy.
    You would disagree, but I think it is hypocritical.

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