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Man sentenced to 20 days in jail for neglecting 43 cats in Ang Mo Kio flat

On Wednesday, a man was sentenced to 20 days in jail for neglecting 43 cats, including two deceased ones, found in an empty flat in Ang Mo Kio in 2021. During the inspection, it was revealed that there was no food available for the cats.



SINGAPORE: A 31-year-old man, Muhammad Danial Sukirman, was sentenced to 20 days in jail on Wednesday (24 April) for neglecting 43 cats found in a vacant flat in Ang Mo Kio.

Danial pleaded guilty to 10 charges of causing unnecessary pain and suffering to animals as a pet owner.

Additional 34 charges under the Animal and Birds Act were considered during sentencing, including one for failing to comply with a notice from AVS.

Court documents revealed Danial’s neglect of the cats between August and November 2021, citing inadequate provision of food and water.

NParks prosecutors highlighted the unprecedented scale of abandoned pets in an animal cruelty case.

This marked the first jail sentence under Section 42(1)(d) of the Act, focusing on neglect by pet owners, as reported by TODAY.

Ms Farisha, representing NParks, described the cats’ plight in the confined space, stressing the significance of the case.

The prosecution argued against a mere fine, considering Danial’s deliberate conduct and poor management of the cats’ living conditions.

In his defence, Danial expressed remorse and cited being the sole breadwinner.

However, District Judge Lorraine Ho sided with the prosecution, acknowledging the health hazards posed by the neglected cats to the neighbourhood, thus justifying the jail sentence.

Neglected cats found in unattended flat

The case gained attention when reports of a foul odour emanating from a public housing unit surfaced on 5 November 2021.

Upon investigation, police officers discovered the unattended flat, locked for approximately a month, with signs of cats inside.

Concerned about the situation, they gained entry and found over 30 cats, including some skeletal remains.

Further inspections conducted jointly by NParks and Housing and Development Board (HDB) officers confirmed Danial as the owner of the cats found in the flat.

Danial admitted to being the owner of the 41 live cats, two deceased cats, and skeletal remains discovered in the vacant flat.

He acknowledged that the uncontrolled breeding of the cats resulted from their lack of sterilization.

Subsequently, he surrendered them to AVS.

During the inspection, it was discovered that there was no food available for the cats.

Further investigations unveiled that Danial only fed the cats once a week with a large bag of dry kibble, creating a stressful environment as they had to compete for food at a single feeding point.

The living conditions within the flat were described as severely poor and unsanitary, with fecal matter, decomposing carcasses, and skeletal remains scattered throughout.

With closed windows and inadequate ventilation, ammonia buildup posed health risks to both the cats and nearby residents.

Neglected cats left behind as owner relocates to new home

In July 2021, Danial acquired a new HDB flat in Yishun and was granted six months to vacate his previous residence.

The family relocated to the Yishun flat in August, with Danial acknowledging that he made no arrangements to rehome the cats, leaving them behind in the vacant apartment.

Ms Farisha, the prosecutor, revealed that Danial failed to visit the old flat regularly or provide daily care for the cats due to his demanding work schedule and financial difficulties.

She noted his admission of visiting the cats once a week to feed them, with his last visit occurring in early November 2021, shortly before NParks contacted him.

Danial confessed to locking the gate and door of the flat shortly after pouring dried cat food on the floor, leaving within minutes without further care or cleaning.

He was aware of the unhygienic conditions and presence of feline fecal matter in the flat.

For each charge of causing unnecessary pain or suffering to a pet, Danial could have been jailed for up to 18 months or faced a fine of up to S$15,000, or both.

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Hoarding is a kind of mental illness …this guy just lost it…
He shd be helped not jailed.
Sad for the poor cats too..

It should have been at least 2 months jail!