Man sets neighbour’s cat on fire, fined S$3,000

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Angry that his neighbour’s cat was always defecating on his doorstep, a man decided to set the seven-year-old cat on fire.

The 78-year-old retiree, Chua Tuang Seng, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and was fined S$3,000 on Tuesday, according to local media reports.

Chua was at the corridor of his Pasir Ris Drive flat spraying kerosene around his potted plants to keep ants away when he noticed his neighbour’s cat among the plants, reported Channel NewsAsia.

When the cat refused to go away even after he tried scaring it off, Chua squirted kerosene on the Persian tabby and set it alight with newspaper he had lit up with a match.

Chua’s neighbour, Salman Mohd Aris, discovered her badly-burnt cat which was foaming at the mouth some 15 minutes later.

According to The Straits Times, the cat was sent to Mt Pleasant Veterinary Centre where it was hospitalised for four days. Treatment and hospitalisation costs amounted to S$1,235, which Chua was
ordered by the court to pay.

The cat, which suffered from swollen eyelids, skin loss at the neck, and singed fur, survived the ordeal but remains scarred from the burns, said CNA.

Chua could have been jailed up to a year and fined S$10,000 for the abuse.

The Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) told Yahoo! Singapore that it feels that a “S$3,000 fine is not a deterrent sentence”.

“Chua deliberately caused both physical and psychological harm to a cat and should be punished more severely, to send out a strong message to the public that we do not condone animal abuse,” said its executive director Louis Ng.

“It is timely that we introduce compulsory community service with an animal welfare NGO as part of the sentence, so the offender can gain a better understanding on animal welfare,” he added.

ACRES also advised the public to contact the Cat Welfare Society which, Ng said, can assist in mediation efforts with their neighbours on cat-related issues.