GEORGE TOWN: An administrative clerk today pleaded guilty to a charge of animal abuse at the Sessions Court here and was fined RM30,000, in default 10 months jail.
Oh Ju Lian, 40, had abandoned two dogs in a vacant house in Tanjung Tokong last year, causing one to die and another to be barely alive after being without food for a week.
Breaking into tears, Oh admitted leaving the dogs at her former home at Pepper Estate due to events in her life and space constraints at her new home.
She said the dogs were primarily pets to keep her mother-in-law company.
After the woman was taken ill due to tuberculosis, Oh said, she had to move to a new home with her husband and two children to avoid being infected.
She said the dogs, however, remained with her mother-in-law as she wanted them around.
“Then my mother-in-law died of TB. At the time, we could not bring our dogs to our new home as it was too small,” she said.
Oh, who was unrepresented, said she regretted her action. She asked the court to impose a lenient penalty as her husband had just found a job after being unemployed for a long time.
She said her spouse was also ill, suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes.
“My salary is only RM2,000 and I have two children to take care of,” she said.
Deputy public prosecutor Roziman Awang Tahrin told the court that a deterrent sentence should be meted out to serve as a lesson to people who ill-treat animals.
“When the dogs were found at the home, one of them was barely alive and the other was infested with worms.
“It goes to show that they did not care for the dogs in the first place. This case should be used as a lesson to others to not abuse animals,” Roziman, representing the Penang Department of Veterinary Services (DVS), said.
He said fortunately, one of the dogs was nursed back to good health by the DVS.
He requested the court to grant custody of the dog to the department.
Judge Mazdi Abdul Hamid fined Oh RM30,000 and ordered the rescued dog to be placed under the custody of the DVS.