He was working at a pet boarding facility when Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) officers knocked on the front door.
Atwell Tay Wee Meng, 33, then proceeded to help shift a crate of puppies to another person over the fence behind the premises of The Pet Hotel, located at Pasir Ris Farmway 2.
Tay was caught in the act when an AVA officer went to the back of the facility.
On Wednesday (30 January), Tay was fined $3,000 by the State Courts on one count of obstructing AVA officers from carrying out their duty.
It was not revealed in court why the AVA officers were inspecting the facility.
An AVA prosecutor told the court that Tay, who was working at Kennel 5 of The Pet Hotel, was notified by an operator – a person by the name of Lim Kim Soon – that AVA officers were conducting an inspection. Kennel 5 is understood to be a pet farm.
On 24 March 2017, at about 2pm, a group of AVA officers arrived at Kennel 5 for the inspection. The officers identified themselves but the occupants of the kennel didn’t reply to the officers.
One of the officers checked the back of the kennel for movement. She spotted Tay and Lim carrying a crate of puppies from inside the building to the back of the compound. After recording the men’s movement on video, she informed the other officers.
A few officers went to the back of the building when they saw Lim trying to shift the crate of puppies over the kennel fence to an unknown person. When Lim was confronted, he dropped the puppies and retreated to the kennel, according to the AVA.
Some 10 minutes later, a group of people, including Tay, left the kennel through its front door.
AVA prosecutor Yap Teck Chuan urged the court to impose a fine of at least $3,500 on Tay, arguing that he had attempted to get rid of the “evidence”.
Seeking a fine of not more than $2,000, Tay’s lawyer Choo Si Sen said, “It was very ‘chaotic’ and many puppies or dogs were barking and running wildly due to the sudden appearance of the officers.”
Tay was helping his wife to care for the puppies when AVA officers arrived at the kennel, Choo added.
It is not clear if Lim would face any charge for his role in the incident.
More Singapore stories: