Post-graduate student Chen Haoyang (陳皓揚) was sentenced by the Taipei District Court to 10 months prison commuted to a 350,000NTD fine for the killing of two cats.
The former National Taiwan University student, from Macao, first came to public attention last year after killing a popular street cat near the university campus. People called the cat 大橘子 (Dajuzi ‘Big Orange’).
Chen was charged with animal cruelty offenses after confessing to torturing the cat to death. Both the university and Chen issued public apologies. The university assigned him a mental health counselor, and Chen made a promise to the public that he would not repeat the offense, and that he would work as a volunteer to pay his debt to society.
Earlier this year he was charged again after killing a cat resident at a campus cafe. Security camera footage showed him picking up the cat 斑斑 (Bun-Bun – ‘Spotty’), and taking it away on a bicycle. He confessed that he had taken the cat to a nearby riverside park and had tortured and strangled it to death.
Chen’s actions shocked the public and enraged animal lovers. He appeared in court August 16 this year. Chen told the court that he had an uncontrollable urge to kill cats, and he hoped the court would give him a lighter sentence. After the court appearance, Chen was mobbed by a crowd outside the courthouse. He was expelled from NTU later that month.
Trees Party Secretary-General Lee Chien-ming (李建明) said that Chen appeared “unrepentant” and “conceited” at the August 16 hearing.