A 45-year-old Singaporean woman named Zariyah received a fine of $4,000 and a half-year ban from owning a pet. She pleaded guilty on Jan 6, 2021, to two counts for abandoning her cats without a reasonable cause.
The judgement was lenient considering under Singapore’s law, abandoning an animal can attract jail time of up to one year, a fine of $10,000, or both, for a first time offence.
The incident happened on Mar 28, 2020 at the letterbox area of Block 31 Marsiling Drive. A concerned citizen heard the cats meowing loudly and approached the accused woman. When the witness went to check what was going on, she found her releasing the cats from a carrier cage. The witness then asked Zariyah what she was doing, and she replied she couldn’t take care of them. Zariyah left the scene without the cats.
The National Parks Board took up the case after getting a report of the incident.
In her defence, she said she feared the cats would infect her family with COVID-19 if they’d continued to stay with them. So she dumped them.
A member of the public adopted two cats, and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) rescued the remaining ones.