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Monday, September 5, 2011

Owners rescue cooped-up cats

Two of the 12 cats found dead at the pet shop in Damansara Damai yesterday.
Two of the 12 cats found dead at the pet shop in Damansara Damai yesterday.
KUALA LUMPUR: More than 20 exasperated pet owners broke into a pet shop yesterday morning and made a shocking discovery when they found 12 cats dead after the animals were left there for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Merdeka Day break.

After trying in vain to contact the owner of the shop, based in Seasons Square, Damansara Damai, the group decided to break in.

They managed to rescue some 100 cats and a dog.Pet owner Azmi Othman said the shop owner had sent him a text message to collect his cats yesterday as it would be closed today.

Perplexed, he made more than 50 calls but was not entertained.

"My wife and I arrived at 11am. Although the shop is on the first floor, we could smell the strong stench from the ground floor.

"On discussing with other pet owners, we decided to lodge a report at the Sungai Palong police station before breaking into the premises. If we hadn't, God knows how many more pets would have died of dehydration as they had been left without water and food for more than five days," he said.

So far, 10 police reports have been lodged. "We are looking at our options and will take legal action against them," Azmi added.

Sheila Grewal, who volunteered to help the group and was among the first to arrive there, said six cats had so far been brought to the vet.

"It's sad seeing the cats treated this way. This is just too much," she said, adding that all the animals were covered in faeces and urine. The cages were stacked one on top of the other and the only ventilation was a small window.

It was revealed that the operator's licence had expired in 2009 and the pet shop was only allowed to sell cat food.

Also present were two representatives from the Petaling Jaya City Council.One of the representatives, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the council would investigate the matter.

"By the looks of it, the licence had been misused by the operator. We will look into the matter and take action," he said.

Meanwhile, residents at a Sungai Buloh housing area made another shocking discovery when they found some 100 cats left unattended at a terrace house, believed to be in the care of the same pet shop owner. The owner could not be contacted at press time. - NST

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