An elderly man has been sentenced to a year in prison for animal cruelty after 10 dogs starved to death in his Yuen Long village house last year.

Deputy Magistrate Frances Leung also fined 68-year-old Chan Sing-cheong HK$4,000 on Monday, reported Headline Daily.

Chan Sing-cheong
Chan Sing-cheong.

Before the Lunar New Year holidays, he pleaded guilty at the Tuen Mun Magistrates’ Court to a charge of animal cruelty and to eight charges of keeping dogs without a licence.

Chan kept a total of 18 canines and a cat at his house in Nam Hang village, Yuen Long. On June 30, neighbours called the police after discovering animal carcasses and a foul smell emanating from the site.

Chan previously took his animals out often, but had stopped doing so in the days leading up to his arrest, reported Ming Pao.

Eight dogs and one cat were still alive at the time of the discovery.

tuen mun law court
Tuen Mun Law Courts Building. File photo: Wikicommons.

Announcing the sentence, Deputy Magistrate Leung told Chan that he should have either asked someone else to take care of the animals or freed them from his house before leaving.

Chan had reportedly taken the animals into care because he did not want them to suffer abuse from others. But he suddenly left his house last year, claiming that it was haunted by ghosts.

Elson Tong

Elson Tong

Elson Tong is a graduate of international relations and former investigations consultant. He has also written for Stand News.