Man failed to take his dog to treat maggot-infested paw , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Man failed to take his dog to treat maggot-infested paw

A man who said he loved his dog as his child was fined $4,500 in a district court on May 17 for not taking the animal, which lived on Pulau Ubin, to be treated for a wound infested with maggots.

Khor Lian Huat, 61, was also banned from owning all classes of animals for a year.

He was charged with unreasonably omitting to do an act that caused unnecessary pain and suffering to the dog – a brown female mixed breed.

National Parks Board prosecuting officer Lim Chong Hui said Khor had observed that the dog had a small wound on its front right paw some time between July and August 2021.

Khor cleaned the wound with antiseptic solution. As he did not normally live on Pulau Ubin, he instructed a Ms Ho Beng Neo, who was present on the island on most days, to monitor the wound.

When Khor returned to Pulau Ubin some time in August 2021, he realised the wound had become bigger and maggots could be seen.

Mr Lim said: “However, instead of bringing (the dog) to the veterinarian to receive the necessary medical treatment, the accused continued cleaning the wound with antiseptic solution and picked out the maggots in (the) wound himself.”

The prosecutor added that Khor then left for mainland Singapore without taking the dog to the vet for its wound to be assessed.

Ms Ho soon observed the dog’s wound was not healing, and in fact seemed to be getting bigger.

She felt that the dog required urgent veterinary attention and asked friends and relatives for recommendations.

Ms Ho’s nephew helped put her in touch with a representative of animal welfare group SOSD, who assisted in making arrangements to send the dog to a vet.

On Aug 14, 2021, a representative from SOSD took the dog to a vet who observed that the wound was necrotising – the process of body tissue dying. The wound also had “putrid brown discharge” dripping from it and open cavities with numerous maggots.

The dog underwent treatment which included flushing the wound with copious amounts of water, picking out the maggots, and a course of painkillers and antibiotics.

The initial diagnosis was for the dog’s dewclaw – a toe that sits a little higher on the leg – to be amputated. But after being warded at the vet for 10 days, the dog recovered fully and the amputation was not needed.

On Aug 26, 2021, the Animal and Veterinary Services received feedback about the dog from SOSD, and its investigations revealed that the dog belonged to Khor.

Mr Lim said the dog is currently under the care of SOSD.

In seeking the 12-month disqualification in court on May 17, the prosecution said Khor had not visited his dog after it was sent for treatment, and that he was not ready to take care of animals.

Speaking via a translator, Khor said he had tried to visit the dog, but SOSD did not allow him to and reported to the police that they were being harassed.

“I love this dog very much, Your Honour. I treat this dog as my child,” he said.

District Judge Lorraine Ho said she agreed with the prosecution that it was the responsibility of every owner to take care of their pet. She added that regardless of where the pet is located, it should receive medical treatment if required.

For unreasonably omitting to do an act that caused unnecessary pain and suffering to his dog, Khor could have been fined up to $15,000, jailed for up to 18 months, or both.

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