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Day reporting order for man who killed poodle after hitting it against bathtub, dropping it in river

SINGAPORE — A man who killed his pet poodle while trying to clean and discipline it was sentenced to a six-month day reporting order on Tuesday (Oct 29).

The court heard that Yeo Wee Soon (pictured), 48, suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder. The judge said Yeo displayed no gratuitous violence or cruelty towards the puppy.

The court heard that Yeo Wee Soon (pictured), 48, suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder. The judge said Yeo displayed no gratuitous violence or cruelty towards the puppy.

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SINGAPORE — A man who killed his pet poodle while trying to clean and discipline it was sentenced to a six-month day reporting order on Tuesday (Oct 29).

Yeo Wee Soon, 48, had pleaded guilty in August to one charge of animal cruelty by causing unnecessary suffering to the male dog named To-Bi. He had also kept the dog without a licence.

Yeo, who bought the puppy online just a week before it died, was also banned from owning any animals for a year, and has to perform 150 hours of community service within a 12-month period.

Those given a day reporting order must be first-time offenders above 16 years old, and they are required to report to a day-reporting centre for monitoring, counselling and to undergo rehabilitation programmes. Judges will consider the nature of the offence and the offender’s character in assessing their suitability for such an order.

In handing down the community-based sentence, District Judge Eddy Tham said that in his view, there was “no gratuitous violence or cruelty displayed by the accused”.

The judge added: “(Yeo) was handling a young puppy which was 73 days old. He was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder.

“These acts were not deliberate or intended to create any pain or suffering to the animal, and his acts of trying to revive the dog by bathing it in cold water were consistent with him being in a panic and not being able to think clearly.”

He also ordered Yeo to continue seeking treatment for his mental condition at the National University Hospital or other mental health agencies, and to continue being treated for his alcohol dependency as well.

While arguing against the prosecution’s submissions for two weeks’ jail for Yeo, his lawyer told the court that he had committed the offence “out of a sense of panic”.

Mr Charles Yeo said: “This is a situation where the accused, due to his own alcohol-addled mind, took a dog he was not able to take care of. Due to (the) frailties of his mental condition, he did not know what to do with it. In his panic, he disposed of the dog in the river.” 

For his charge under the Animals and Birds Act, Yeo could have been jailed up to 18 months, or fined up to S$15,000, or both.

HOW THE DOG DIED

The court previously heard that the incident took place on Feb 6 last year.

That evening, at about 8pm, Yeo’s mother got upset when the dog’s fur was smeared with faeces. It was not stated how that had happened.

The dog struggled when Yeo tried to wash it, so he “tapped” it twice to discipline it, National Parks Board prosecutor Packer Mohammad told the court.

“(He 'tapped') it harder the third time when it bit his finger, and the dog collapsed. In an attempt to revive the dog, the accused then hit the dog’s head against the bathtub twice and placed it in ice water and showered it in cold water, after which the dog was allegedly motionless,” the prosecutor added.

After that, Yeo placed To-Bi in a bucket and dropped it into the Singapore River along Delta Avenue in Tiong Bahru. His parents had heard the dog wailing and saw him taking the pail out of the house and returning without it.

When they could not locate the pet, they suspected something was amiss and reported the matter to the police.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that Yeo has to perform 150 hours of community service within a six-month period. This is incorrect. He has to complete the community service within 12 months. We are sorry for the error.

Related topics

poodle killing animal abuse court crime

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