|Cat abuser dodges jail time, sentenced to rehabilitation
An 18-year-old girl has been sent to a drug rehabilitation center by Kwun Tong Court for her part in a horrific attack on a stray cat in November 2012.
The attack took place at the Shun Tin housing estate in Kwun Tong where witnesses had reported seeing a group of people kicking the cat like it was a football, while others looked on and laughed, RTHK reports.
The attack left the stray with severe internal injuries, and it had to be put down a day later.
The girl, Kong Ka-man, was among three people who were charged with cruelty to an animal. Her lawyer said in mitigation on Thursday that she had stopped taking drugs recently and was willing to receive treatment.
In passing sentence, Deputy Magistrate Kennis Tai said the case was serious. But she said since Ms Kong was young, it was more important to help her rehabilitate.
The other defendants -- So Pak-lam and Yeung Kiu-yue -- were earlier jailed for 16 months each by Tai. It was the highest penalty ever to be imposed for animal cruelty in Hong Kong.
Tai said at the time that the three defendants had abused the cat for their pleasure, and had inflicted severe pain on the animal without feeling any sympathy for the stray.
She hoped the stiff sentence will set a deterrent and send a strong message that animal rights must be respected.