PETITION TARGET: Supreme Court Deputy Public Prosecutor Norine Tan
UPDATE (10/12/2021): Clement Chia was sentenced to eight months in jail after he pleaded guilty to four charges under the Animals and Birds Act for torturing a male puppy named Leslie over the course of a year. He also has been banned from owning animals for a year — the maximum penalty under the current law, according to Yahoo! News.
During his trail, Chia’s attorney said he suffered from a “chronic condition” of schizophrenia and that his judgment was impacted by the recent passing of his father, according to news reports.
But Deputy Public Prosecutor Norine Tan pushed forward with the prosecution, telling the court, “We must be careful not to let some unfortunate event in one’s life become an excuse for offending, or become a way to get a low sentence especially in a case like this where no link has been shown or proven at all.”
Thankfully, the proceedings revealed that Leslie — who now is under the protection of Clement’s ex-girlfriend — is in “normal physical and emotional condition,” according to the prosecutor.
We thank the more than 42,000 people who signed our petition demanding accountability for the person who tortured Leslie. While eight months in jail does not fit the crimes committed by this individual, we are glad that prosecution obtained the maximum ban on having animals under the current law.
We’re also overjoyed that Leslie apparently is in much better hands now and is able to lead the peaceful and happy life he deserves.
Leslie, a chestnut-colored toy poodle, struggled and whimpered while his owner bound his mouth, held him down by the neck, and punched his tiny, quivering body, a viral video shows.
In another 76-second clip, the tiny dog — wet and shivering in front of a fan blowing air on him, and with his front legs bound — falls to the ground. His owner then pulls him up by the ears, saying, “One more time down… I slap you,” according to the video footage.
Clement Chia Tian Xiang, 42, pleaded guilty to four counts of animal torture under the Animals and Bird Act before a Singapore court. He admitted to torturing Leslie — a male poodle whom he bought for $2,000 — for more than a year between October 2016 and November 2017 in his Farrer Park Road flat.
Tian Xiang’s cousin Chia Yong Quan, 38, was recently fined $4,500 and barred from having animals for a year for failing to stop — and helping to film — some of the abuse.
Six videos of the abuse surfaced and went viral in 2020, prompting the investigation and the arrests. Those other videos showed Tian Xiang beating Leslie with a plastic hanger, pulling the dog up by the ears and repeatedly punching him in the face, and swinging the dog by his hind legs while smirking at the camera.
At his sentencing on Oct. 7, Tian Xiang also will face a charge of failing to provide Leslie with proper veterinary care for an untreated skin lesion and skin and ear infections.
The cruelty charges each carry penalties of up to 18 months in jail, fines of up to $15,000, and an up-to-12 month ban on owning animals.
The link between animal abuse and human abuse is clear — as is the link between previous criminal activity and future criminal behavior. The deputy public prosecutor assigned to the case noted that Tian Xiang is not a first time offender — he has previously been convicted for theft, possessing obscene videos, failing to stop in a traffic incident, and disorderly or indecent conduct — and that his acts of cruelty were “deliberate and persistent.”
This case must be taken seriously. This innocent and defenseless dog, especially vulnerable to the brutal attacks due to his small size, deserves justice.
Sign this petition urging Deputy Public Prosecutor Norine Tan to prosecute this individual to the fullest extent of the law — including the maximum ban on owning animals.