Woman Who Left 2 Dogs to Die in Car After Being Distracted by Social Media Fined $8,000


Once in a while, we’re prone to bouts of forgetfulness, whether it’s because we were distracted or we had something more urgent to attend to in the moment.

For dog trainer Sabrina Sim Huey, she was fined $8,000 this Wednesday (1 June) for failing to ensure that the dogs in her care were not confined in a manner that would subject them to unnecessary pain and suffering.

What Happened Exactly?

The 30-year-old accused had been a qualified dog trainer for six years at the time of the offence.

In the court documents, it stated that the two dogs under Sim’s care in 2020 were named Chocoby and Hunniby, both French bulldogs that the owner had imported from Australia.

Image: National Parks Board

Around January 2020, the owner had hired Sim for ten training sessions for Chocoby and continued to engage in her services when Hunniby arrived in Singapore later.

The arrangement included boarding and training services, where both dogs would stay with Sim during the entire training period.

On 25 August 2020, Sim placed both dogs in the open boot area of her hatchback car and drove them to an undisclosed location for training.

The training lasted from 12:30pm to 1:45pm, wherein Sim put the dogs back in the car and drove on, with the air-conditioning turned on.

Upon reaching her home at approximately 2:30pm, she parked her vehicle in an open-air carpark. The windows were closed, she switched off the engine and air-conditioning before climbing out.

National Parks Board prosecutor Andy Dinesh recounted to the court that Sim was suddenly distracted by a social media post related to a former customer’s second dog being bitten by another dog.

Hence, Sim forgot to take both dogs out of the car when she exited the car and went up to her apartment.

She only realised that she had neglected the dogs around 4pm, to which she rushed back and found both French bulldogs unresponsive.

She drove them to the nearest veterinarian  clinic at around 4:30, but they were pronounced dead.

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The tissue samples from Chocoby were sent for a post-mortem autopsy, and the report showed that it had been in a stressful state before it died with an increased red blood count.

The medical summary declared that Chocoby’s cause of death was heat stress.

The Final Settlement

The court heard that there was a confidential settlement made between the owner and Sim for the dogs’ death.


During the sentencing, District Judge Carol Ling also acknowledged that Sim was genuinely remorseful for actions, as she had pleaded guilty under the Animal and Birds Act on 5 May.

She concluded that while there was no evidence of “recklessness or risk-taking” from Sim, and the offence had been the result of an act of forgetfulness, it’s irrefutable that it had caused dire consequences.

Therefore, the damages inflicted, however unwittingly, have to be paid.

Having said that, the judge ordered Sim to pay a fine of $8,000 for the offence committed to one of the dogs, for failing to take appropriate steps to ensure that it wasn’t confined in a space that subjected it to unnecessary pain and suffering.

Another charge involving the other dog was taken into consideration before the final sentencing.


Sim was disqualified for six months from carrying out any animal-related business and from being in-charge of any animal-related business, though her lawyer indicated that she intends to appeal against the disqualification.

For failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the dogs weren’t trapped in a manner that subjected it to unnecessary pain and suffering, Sim could have been fined up to $40,000, jailed for a maximum of two years, or both.

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Featured Image: National Parks Board