SINGAPORE, Feb 9 — A dog abuser was sentenced to 12 weeks’ jail yesterday for hitting and killing a toy poodle that belonged to his girlfriend’s brother.
Gerald Kok Zhin Oi had abused the toy poodle, named Treasure, on seven occasions in 2016, hitting it with a cushion and plastic clothes hanger before causing its death on Christmas Day in 2016.
He had flung Treasure towards a bed, causing it to hit a wall and die.
Kok, 23, was convicted of four counts of animal cruelty under the Animals and Birds Act.
Three similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing by District Judge May Mesenas, who said she hoped the episode would “drive home the lesson that there are consequences if you give in to anger”.
The abuse took place at the Lorong 2 Toa Payoh flat of Kok’s girlfriend.
The first occasion occurred in July 2016, after the dog apparently bit Kok without any reason when he was preparing to leave his girlfriend’s flat to book into his army camp.
He took the dog to the sofa in the living room and hit it with a cushion for about 10 times over 15 minutes.
Kok continued to abuse the dog on various occasions.
On the day he killed Treasure, Kok used a plastic clothes hanger to hit the poodle before flinging it “violently” twice towards the corner of the bed in the room of his girlfriend’s brother, according to court documents.
Later that afternoon, he used a sofa cushion to hit the dog twice, before again flinging it towards a bed where it hit a wall and died.
Kok’s girlfriend and her parents had gone out for dinner, but his girlfriend later returned home at the behest of her mother, who had been told by her son — who was in Japan at the time — not to leave the dog alone with Kok.
Kok’s girlfriend found him with blood-soiled tissue paper and saw the dog lying motionless on the floor.
She took it to the vet, where an x-ray showed that it had died from head injuries.
Kok had lied that he had slipped and fallen while carrying the dog to her room, and it had died after being dropped on the floor.
But his actions were captured by a closed-circuit television (CCTV) that his girlfriend’s brother had installed a few days before the incident.
The brother had suspected Kok of abusing the poodle and had switched the CCTV on before going overseas.
After he returned to Singapore, he found that the CCTV’s USB cable had been unplugged and grew suspicious.
He took out the memory card and viewed the footage, which showed Kok abusing the dog.
Urging the court to impose a jail term of 3.5 months, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority’s prosecutor Yap Teck Chuan said Kok had persistently abused the dog, causing it to “live in fear and suffering”.
But Kok’s lawyer Josephus Tan argued that there was no evidence to back up the claim, adding that Yap was not a “dog whisperer”.
Calling for a jail term of no more than 10 weeks, Tan said Kok was a first-time offender with a “remote chance” of repeating the offence, and is no longer in a relationship with the woman. — TODAY