Crime and Courts

Queens Dog Groomer Charged With Animal Abuse After Maltese Dies During Session

Getty Images

A Queens dog groomer was arrested and charged with animal abuse after a small dog died during a session in which the pup was hit with scissors and lifted up by the head, the district attorney said.

Lee Yat Sing, of Flushing, was arraigned Wednesday in connection with the death of a 4-year-old Maltese named Kele, Queens DA Melinda Katz said.

The dog was dropped off at Furry Babies Pet Grooming on 45th Avenue during the early evening on March 2, according to the charges. Surveillance video from inside the groomer's shows Sing "aggressively and inappropriately manipulating Kele," the DA's office stated.

In addition to hitting the seven-pound dog with scissors while restraining her head and neck, Sing lifted the pup off the table by her head and neck, as well as by pulling on her beard, according to the charges. Kele was said to have struggled and resisted throughout the session, and later showed irregular and strained breathing.

The dog eventually went limp, and Sing didn't get help or try to administer care, Katz alleged. Instead, the groomer continued to handle Kele very roughly for another six minutes, even though she was unresponsive, the DA said.

A necropsy done after Kele's death found that the otherwise healthy dog died from respirator failure as a result of the abuse, which caused bruising, pain and distress.

"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," Katz said.

Sing's next court appearance is scheduled for July 26. If convicted, he faces up to two years in prison.

Contact Us