Man who kept dogs in filth sentenced to 200 hours of community service
A hairdressing apprentice has been ordered to perform 200 hours of community service for confining his two mongrels in a cage filled with their excrement, and strapping up the mouth of one of the dogs to silence it.
Yu Wing-ho's treatment of his dogs at his Sham Shui Po home came to light in October when an alert neighbour called the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Yu, 19, pleaded guilty to one count of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and one count of failing to keep a cage containing animals clean, Kwun Tong Court heard earlier. Principal Magistrate Ernest Lin Kam-hung said yesterday: "If you fail to perform the community service order, you will be sent to a drug rehabilitation centre."
He did not elaborate on why Yu might be sent to such a centre.
Earlier, the court heard that one of the dogs was barking in the early hours of October 21.
The neighbour tried to find out what was happening and Yu's grandmother answered the door. The neighbour became worried about the poor condition of the dogs and contacted the SPCA.
A veterinarian found one dog had been injured by the strap placed around its muzzle, which caused undue psychological stress and physical pain.
In mitigation, Yu's lawyers said he suffered feelings of inferiority because of a scar left on his face in an operation.
The defendant was described as an "unfortunate man", the court heard. As a child, he experienced his mother's suicide and was abandoned by his father, who moved to the mainland.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance states that anyone who keeps any animal in a way that may cause needless or avoidable suffering is liable to up to three years in jail and a fine of HK$200,000.
Members of the public are encouraged to report animal abuse to a network of "animal protection commissioners" formed by 14 groups across the city in June.