A passer-by was walking below a block of flats in Boon Lay when he saw a cat being thrown down from a third-floor kitchen window, a court heard.
When he looked up again, he saw a kitten flying out from the same window.
At the State Courts on Wednesday (9 January), the perpetrator Krishnasamy Kaliyappan, 50, was fined $16,000 in total for his animal cruelty crimes under the Animals and Birds Act. He was also banned from owning a pet for one year.
If he fails to pay the amount, he will have to serve eight weeks in jail.
Krishnasamy had on Monday pleaded guilty to two charges of animal cruelty. The cat and kitten were his own pets.
The convictions weren’t his first for animal cruelty. In 2012, Krishnasamy was fined $5,000 for throwing two dogs out a bedroom window of his home. He served five weeks in jail in default of the fine.
Came home drunk
The court heard that Krishnasamy lived with his wife and three cats – two adults named Quek Quek and Daisy, and one unnamed kitten. Their son adopted the cats, and Krishnasamy’s wife was their main caretaker.
On 1 July 2017, Krishnasamy’s wife went to sleep shortly after 8pm, after he had gone out for drinks. Quek Quek and the kitten were in a cage while Daisy was free roaming in the house.
Krishnasamy later came home drunk and threw Quek Quek and the kitten down from his flat for no apparent reason.
At around 12am to 12.30am on 2 July 2017, passer-by Muhamad Ilham was walking home when he saw Quek Quek being thrown down. The cat ran off and has since not been found.
The passer-by then saw the kitten flying out the window, and called the police.
The kitten had a minor cut to its right hind leg. The police allowed a resident of the same block to bring it home, and referred the incident to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA).
AVA prosecutor Yap Teck Chuan, in asking for a $10,000 fine per charge, called Krishnasamy a “recalcitrant offender”.
In December 2012, he was convicted of throwing a dog from a bedroom window of his unit. A separate charge of throwing another dog down was considered in sentencing then. The dogs belonged to his son. The dogs were unharmed, according to the prosecution.
In mitigation, Krishnasamy said he was drunk and asked for leniency.
Asked by District Judge May Mesenas whether he liked animals, Krishnasamy said, “Yes, of course.” The judge also asked if he realised what he had done to the cats, to which he said, “Yes, I understand.”
The maximum penalty for causing unnecessary pain or suffering to any animal, for a first offence, is a fine of up to $15,000 and up to 18 months’ jail. The maximum punishment for a second or subsequent offence is a a fine of up to $30,000 and up to three years’ jail.
In a statement on Wednesday, AVA said it investigates all feedback on alleged animal cruelty. “We will take enforcement action against anyone who has committed an act of animal cruelty and will press for deterrent sentences, if warranted.”
“Safeguarding animal welfare is a shared responsibility that requires the cooperation of all stakeholders, including the public,” the agency added.
Members of the public are advised to promptly report cases of animal welfare issues to AVA via its 24-hour hotline at 1800-476-1600, or via the agency’s website (www.ava.gov.sg/feedback).
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