PETALING JAYA: Hundreds of pet owners returned home after a week-long festive holiday to find that their cats which they had left at an animal boarding facility were abused, missing or dead.
Alarm bells began ringing on Saturday night when Petknode failed to drop off the cats at the owners’ residences at the appointed times.
Repeated calls to the Damansara Damai office went unanswered and the company’s website was abruptly taken down.
When Petknode finally returned some of cats in the wee hours of the morning, the pet owners were shocked to find their pets malnourished and sickly.
Angry messages sped over Twitter and Facebook alerting other owners and animal lovers who rushed to Petknode yesterday morning.
Among them was Emi, a volunteer for NGO Kucing Terbiar Anjing Jalanan (KTAJ).
“When we reached Petknode’s office we saw about 20 cats wandering around outside…
“All of them looked like they were starving so we fed them and that’s when we heard the meowing inside,” she told FMT.
Still unable to reach the Petknode management, frantic pet owners decided to break into the premise.
The sight that greeted them was of about 100 cats and a puppy crammed into cages and on the brink of starvation and dehydration.
“The owners were hysterically screaming and crying while searching for their cats…
“All the cats were depressed, shedding heavily, severely malnourished and stank of faeces.”
“The pet food that the owners had provided to Petknode was unopened which meant that the cats hadn’t been fed for about nine days.
“Some, including kittens, were already dead…” Emy recalled.
The group brought their cats and the rest of the animals to the Sungai Pelong police station where they lodged a joint police report.
Moments later the owners of the two-year-old Petknode – known only as Yushari and Shahrul – also arrived to lodge a report against the group for trespassing.
“That’s when we found out that more animals were in their bungalow in Saujana Utama,” Emi said.
“The police escorted the two men there for fear that the pet owners would beat them up.”
“According to those who trailed the police car, there were cats roaming around freely in the bungalow grounds. Many were already missing.”
About 200 more cats were found in the bungalow in the same deplorable condition.
The cats were ferried back to the police station in a van where the furious crowd shouted for their arrest.
However the men were questioned and released late yesterday evening.
‘All they wanted was money’
Another KTAJ volunteer, who only wanted to be known as Shah, said that the police had told them that they needed an individual report and not a group one to warrant an arrest.
“But before the men left they threatened us against lodging further reports.
“All they wanted was money because the owners had to pay them in full before Hari Raya.
“I think they suddenly found themselves with 300 cats and no place to house them,” she said.
A few cats had to be sent to the veterinarians for immediate treatment due to their serious condition.
As updates were posted on Twitter and Facebook, panicked owners who were still overseas pleaded with the volunteers to look for their cats.
Throughout the day pictures were uploaded online of the unclaimed cats which saw an outpouring of rage over their pitiful condition and a call for the imprisonment of Petknode’s owners.
By last night over 200 cats were reclaimed their cats while the rest are being temporarily fostered by volunteers.
A total of 13 cats have died.
“I’m speechless… I urge every owner to make an individual police report against Petknode’s owners no matter what the threat.”
“I told the two men that I didn’t understand how they could treat God’s creatures with such cruelty and that they would one day receive their punishment,” said Shah.