SINGAPORE: A man was fined S$2,500 on Wednesday (Oct 19) for abandoning his cat by leaving him in an elevator lobby in Bukit Batok.
Lau Wai Hung, 43, pleaded guilty to one count of violating his duty of care as an animal owner by permanently abandoning a British Shorthair cat named Bao Bao.
The court heard that the cat was found abandoned on September 6, 2021 on the empty deck of Block 624, Bukit Batok Central.
It was left there with food, water and a handwritten note in English and Chinese with the cat’s name, breed and health status. It also stated, “Unable to continue care due to personal issues”.
The cat was taken care of by the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and was found to be in good physical condition with no welfare concerns.
Lau, who lived a few blocks away, was identified as the cat’s owner through investigation.
In his statement, he admitted to putting Bao Bao in a bag and leaving it at the elevator lobby before heading out for lunch.
Lau was represented by lawyer Chung Ting Fai. In his softening, Lau apologized and said it was his fault, saying he didn’t know his act was illegal in Singapore.
Lau said he migrated from Hong Kong to Singapore in November 2019. He bought Bao Bao in Hong Kong when the cat was two months old and lived with it for over three years.
However, after moving to Singapore, the cat started attacking his other cat and dog. The attacks started in May 2021 and lasted for three months.
“So I made the mistake and (the) wrong decision to leave him in the elevator lobby near… my house,” Lau said.
He said he could see the lobby from his window and said it was to “cool it down”. He also mentioned the cat’s name to let other people know that Bao Bao was not a wild cat.
“I really regret my stupid behavior,” Lau said.
For abandoning his cat, he could have faced up to a year in prison, a fine of up to S$10,000, or both.