Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Lee Yat Sing was arraigned on animal cruelty charges in connection with the death of a 4-year-old Maltese dog that died after being abused during a grooming session.

District Attorney Katz said: “When we entrust our beloved pets to caretakers, they should be returned to us in the same healthy condition. Instead, this pet owner learned his dog had cruelly died during a routine grooming service. We will hold the defendant accountable for his alleged actions.”

Sing, 31, of 72nd Road in Flushing, was arraigned yesterday on charges of aggravated cruelty to animals and overdriving, torturing and injuring animals. The defendant must return to court on July 26, 2023. If convicted, he faces up to 2 years in prison.

According to the charges, on March 2, between 4:50 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., the owner of a Maltese named Kele dropped the dog off at Furry Babies Pet Grooming, at 143-01 45th Avenue in Flushing.

Video surveillance footage of the grooming session shows Sing aggressively and inappropriately manipulating Kele. Sing twice hit the 7-pound dog with a pair of scissors while restraining her head and neck. He also lifted the dog off the grooming table by holding her head and neck and by pulling on Kele’s beard. Kele struggled and resisted throughout and exhibited irregular and strained breathing.

When Kele went limp, Sing failed to get help or administer care and instead continued to roughly handle the unresponsive dog for an additional six minutes.

A necropsy done by a forensic veterinarian found that the otherwise healthy Kele died from respiratory failure as a result of being forcefully manipulated and restrained during the grooming session, which caused bruising, pain and distress.

The investigation was conducted by Detective Michael Fitzsimons of the NYPD’s Special Investigations Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad under the supervision of Lieutenant Adrian Ashby and under the overall supervision of Chief Michael Baldassano.

Assistant District Attorney Justin Bobko is prosecuting the case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Lauren Michalski, Section Chief of the District Attorney’s Animal Cruelty Prosecutions Unit, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Mary Kate Quinn, Bureau Chief of the District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Bureau, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Special Prosecutions Joyce A. Smith.

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