Singapore Man fined by court for repeatedly walking dog without a leash – Owner says ‘He’s very different from other dogs’

Channel; News Asia’

The 61-year-old repeat offender told the court that his dog was “very well-trained”, obedient and “different from other dogs”.

Despite receiving warning letters and reminders to adhere to the regulation to leash his dog when walking it in a public place, a man continued to walk his Japanese spitz without one.

He was eventually hauled to court over his violations of the Animals and Birds (Dog Licensing and Control) Rules and told the judge that his dog was “very well-trained” and “different from other dogs”, but was told sternly that it was not for him to make that assessment.

Ng Lai Beng, a 61-year-old Singaporean, was fined S$3,000 (US$2,210) by a court on Friday (Apr 12).

If he does not pay the fine by the end of the month, he will have to serve four weeks’ jail in default.

Ng pleaded guilty to two counts under the Animals and Birds (Dog Licensing and Control) Rules for failing to place his dog under a leash under his control in a public place, with another four similar charges taken into consideration.

The court heard that the National Parks Board (NParks) received feedback on Aug 18, 2022, that Ng’s dog was being walked unleashed at the rooftop garden in Fernvale Road.

Investigations revealed that Ng had strapped a leash onto the dog’s body harness, but did not hold onto the leash.

In early September 2022, Ng was issued a letter that indicated he was being placed on official notice that public feedback had been received regarding the walking of his dog.

Ng’s wife acknowledged the letter on his behalf.

However, even after the letter was issued to Ng, he continued to walk his dog on five occasions at various locations including a park, a playground and a rooftop garden without holding onto its leash.


NParks prosecutors told the court that enforcement action had been taken against Ng on six previous occasions for walking the same dog and another dog in public places while unleashed.

Ng has previous convictions for similar offences. He was also fined in 2021 for fighting with a man at a lift lobby after refusing to shift his dogs.

The prosecutor told the court that Ng has been shown “considerable latitude” for previous occasions with warning letters and composition fines, but he has “not learnt his lesson” and continues to “flagrantly flout the regulations”.

The prosecutor said the aim of the regulation was to prevent any accidents or “dog bite cases” when owners walk their dogs in public.

“The fact that no such accidents occurred is purely fortuitous and not (because of) any preventative action by the accused,” he said. “The accused must learn that it is not for him to decide whether the regulations should be adhered to.”

He said other dog owners must also be reminded that it is “a serious offence to walk their dogs in public” without ensuring the animals are leashed and under their control.

The prosecution sought a total fine of S$3,000 for Ng.

Ng initially said he could not afford any fine and would serve jail time in default.


He read out a statement to the judge, saying he bought the dog when it was two months old and raised it like a family member.

“He’s very different from other dogs, and after my business failed, I’m looking after him full-time, and he learned how to cross the traffic without guidance all by himself,” said Ng, adding that the dog would wait for the traffic lights to turn green.

“We also advise him not to be aggressive to any pedestrian or passer-by all this while, and even my nearby neighbours, Malay family, also praise him that he is a very well-trained and obedient dog,” said Ng.

He said the reason for not holding onto the leash was because “I want him to be more safer” than other dogs who were leashed but still ran away and were killed on the road.

In response, the prosecution said it was counter-intuitive to say that holding onto a dog’s leash makes it more dangerous for the animal.

He stressed that this was not Ng’s first time committing such offences.

District Judge Wong Li Tein told Ng: “It’s not up to you whether you think your dog is well-trained. There are other people on the road who would not want to encounter you and your unleashed dog.”

She said it was aggravating that he continued to offend despite being warned, and that he did so not just for this dog.

“You know there are neighbours living in your neighbourhood who do not like it and are fearful. If you continue to do this, you will be going to prison, paying fines for no reason at all,” the judge said.

Ng shook his head when told he was “blatantly disregarding the law and the safety of other people”.

The judge told Ng that he must obey the law or face the penalties, adding: “I don’t think it’s worth it for you.”

She allowed Ng to pay his fine in instalments by end-April.

The penalty of walking a dog unleashed is a fine of up to S$5,000.