He could have been fined up to RM50,000.
Siberian Huskies are an expensive breed of dogs to own. Most husky puppies cost at least RM2,000 (S$700) to purchase from a breeder or a shop.
Irresponsible owners in tropical countries often buy the large breed not knowing how to take proper care of it. Due to our tropical weather, the husky should ideally be kept in a cool, air-conditioned room and be fed an appropriate diet.
However, this is not always practised by dog owners.
Recently, a man was fined and attended a court hearing for allegedly mistreating his pet husky. The man, according to The Sun Daily, is 35-year-old Lai Yik Loy, who is unemployed and living in a house along Lorong Peel, Jalan Peel.
He was accused of mistreating his pet and was charged with animal cruelty towards a male Siberian Husky. Enforcement officers from the Federal Territories Veterinary Department had arrived at his house for an inspection and found the Siberian Husky chained up to a gas cylinder and in a lot of pain.
The incident happened on September 26, 2017 at around 10.30am. The officers found the dog in dire need of medical treatment.
The Siberian Husky was suffering from a severe tick infestation, skin and ear infection, which had gotten so bad that it was filled with maggots, and a swollen left eye. The dog was also malnourished, neglected and covered in matted fur.
Ownership of the dog was immediately revoked and the dog was taken to the Veterinary Department to be nursed back to health. Under Section 44(1)(d) of the Animals Act 1953, Lai could have been fined a maximum of RM50,000 (S$17,000) and jailed for a year or both, if convicted.
Veterinary department prosecuting officer Hasiah Musa said Lai had caused terrible pain and suffering to the poor animal. She added that he had refused to cooperate with the authorities until he saw the warrant of arrest. He pleaded guilty in court on May 3 and asked for leniency as he was unemployed and had to take care of his parents and live-in girlfriend.
Magistrate Zuhair Rosli sentenced him to four days in jail and a fine of RM8,000 (S$2,700) in default four months jail for abusing his pet.
Lai will also need to cover grooming and treatment charges for the dog, which amounted to RM6,872 (S$2,300), owed to the Veterinary Department. Meanwhile, the Husky is being put up for adoption.
In a country which has a majority population of Muslims and with little law against animal cruelty, we're happy to see justice served to this man.
Having a pet is a huge responsibility that shouldn't be taken on lightly. Be kind to your pets and report any dog abuse cases to local authorities.
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