Singapore man abandons 43 cats without food, water

By Phan Anh   April 26, 2024 | 03:00 pm PT
A man in Singapore has been sentenced to 20 days in jail for leaving 43 cats inside an apartment without food or water for months.

On Wednesday, Muhammad Danial Sukirman, 31, pleaded guilty to charges of animal cruelty, Today Online reported.

Court documents stated that Danial had caused "unnecessary pain and suffering" to the 43 cats by failing to provide them with enough food and water, and for abandoning them in an Ang Mo Kio neighborhood apartment in between August and November 2021.

Prosecutors from Singapore’s National Parks Board Farisha Asharaff said the cats were kept in small, confined spaces without enough water or food. They said Danial knew the cats were breeding uncontrollably, and yet he did not provide adequate living conditions for them to live healthily.

The case came to light in November 2021 when the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) received reports that there was a foul smell coming from an apartment. The police who arrived at the scene said that the doors to the apartment were locked, and its occupant had not returned home for a month.

When they unlocked the door, they found over 30 cats, along with skeletal remains, inside the apartment.

When authorities managed to contact Danial, he admitted to owning 41 live cats and two dead ones, and he handed them over to authorities. He said he and his wife moved into the scene of the crime in January 2016 to stay with his mother-in-law. At the time, they had only three cats, but as they were not sterilized, they began to breed.

Farisha said the only water source available in the apartment was a dripping tap in the toilet, and there was no food available for the cats, Today Online reported.

In July 2021, Danial obtained a new apartment at a different location. His family moved to the new one in August the same year, leaving the cats behind. Farisha said Danial did not visit the old apartment to provide the cats with food and water daily, due to his long working hours and heavy debt.

Cases of animal neglect are not rare around the world. In March last year, over 1,000 dead dogs were found in a house in South Korea’s Gyeonggi Province, and a man in his 60s was put under an investigation for violating animal protection laws, the Korea Herald reported.

The man said he had gathered abandoned dogs and starved them to death, but activists claimed the man was actually paid by breeders to get rid of dogs with little commercial value.

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