Man who ran down stairs with dog tied to him jailed 20 months

Singapore’s State Courts. (PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore)

A man who ran down almost 20 flights of stairs with a dog attached to him and intended to abandon it was jailed 20 months on Thursday (19 October).

Yeo Poh Kwee, 46, was given the maximum 18 months’ jail for causing the death of a toy poodle dog named Yoyi and two months’ jail for abandonment, with both sentences running consecutively. The combined jail term was the longest imposed on an offender since the amended Animals and Birds Act came into effect in 2015.

Yeo was also sentenced to 12 months’ jail for failing to bring an injured dog named Brownie – also a toy poodle dog – to a veterinarian. This jail term was to run concurrently with the other two sentences. In addition, Yeo was not allowed to keep any animal for 12 months – the maximum punishment under the Act.

The court heard that Yeo had brought Yoyi out for a walk on 21 December last year and planned to abandon her. He claimed that he was stressed by complaints from neighbours about Yoyi’s incessant barking.

Yeo went to a block at Teban Gardens and planned to leave Yoyi at the 38th floor – the highest floor of the block – and abandon her there. Upon reaching the floor, Yeo came out of a lift with Yoyi attached to him by a leash. When he reached the staircase, he began running down the stairs and jumping several steps at a time while Yoyi was still attached to him. This caused Yoyi to hit against the walls, floors and stairs on the way down.

When Yeo reached the 19th floor, he noticed that Yoyi was bleeding from its hind legs. He then abandoned the dog at the staircase landing between the 18th and 19th floors. Yeo claimed that Yoyi was still standing on its legs and was alive at the time. He then took the lift down and went home.

A few hours later, a cleaner who was sweeping at the block noticed blood stains on the wall of the staircase at the 24th floor. He walked down to the 21st floor and found more blood stains. He then called his supervisor to report his discovery.

The men went up to the 29th floor and began walking down to the 19th floor, where they saw Yoyi’s carcass. The supervisor then reported the incident to the local town council. An investigation by the AVA revealed that Yoyi had injuries to its skin, eye, ribs, liver and other areas.

In a separate incident, the court heard that on 18 November last year, Yeo responded to a message on Facebook from a Dawn Seet to rehome Brownie. Yeo told Seet that he was able to take care of Brownie. The two arranged to meet on 21 November for Seet to hand over the dog to Yeo.

Later on the same day, Seet contacted Yeo to check on Brownie’s well-being. Yeo claimed the dog had become aggressive and bitten his fingers. He also said that Brownie had injured its nose. Seet then advised Yeo to bring the dog to a vet but he declined to do so.

The next day, Seet checked on Brownie’s well-being again and asked whether it had been brought to a vet. She suggested that she would bring the dog to a vet but Yeo tried to avoid her.

Later at night, Yeo told Seet that Brownie had died. Anxious to find out the cause, Seet went to the accused’s house with her husband and two of her friends. Upon arrival, they saw Brownie’s carcass in a plastic bag wrapped in a towel and picked it up.

Suspecting foul play, Seet and her husband made a police report and the matter was handed over to the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) for investigation. AVA examined the dog and found that it had multiple injuries and that its death was due to the injuries.

During sentencing, District Judge Eddy Tham referred to Yoyi and told Yeo, “You were not content with abandoning the dog but cruelly inflicted on it tremendous suffering and pain.” DJ Tham added, “You turned your frustration on the two dogs under your care in the most brutal manner.”

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