Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Petknode (Warning: Long Post Ahead)

First of all, let me wish all my readers Selamat Hari Raya, maaf zahir & batin and Happy belated 54th Merdeka. This last Ramadhan was a busy one for me & over the week-long holidays I took a nice extended break to recharge my batteries & to catch up with my loved ones over yummy lemang & rendang. I was really looking forward to start blogging & crafting again.

Unfortunately, I’m going to have to kick off my return to blogging with an issue that deeply saddens & infuriates me at the same time. If you’re on Facebook & Twitter, your timeline would’ve been flooded since Sunday with the news of what happened at Petknode, which is a somewhat popular cat boarding center in Damansara Damai. Over 170 cats were rescued in deplorable condition from the center & a bungalow used by the company; the cats were starving, severely dehydrated, filthy & traumatized. About 16 cats & kittens were also found dead, with some so badly decomposed, they were stuck to the floor. There are also an estimated 100 cats still missing that the operators of Petknode are not disclosing. I’m not going through all the details but more info of the story can be found here & here (be warned that there are some very disturbing pictures). You can also do a simple Google search & you’ll get countless hits.
petknode PC 1
On Monday the various animal welfare NGOs teamed up for a press conference at Hotel Armada. I went with some fellow cat avengers I met through Twitter; Aishah (@aimizubouken), Suen (@suzannajuwita) & later on met up with Aida (@aidaazwar). It was very heart warming to walk up to the conference room to see so many animal lovers there & many more arriving by the minute. So much so, that the hotel staff had to open up another room so that everyone could fit in. Even then, there were a lot more people outside. In total, an estimated 400 people showed up; media, affected cat owners, animal rights activists & supporters like me.

petknode PC 2 
With radio personality JFK acting as the emcee, the press conference kicked off with the representative of the group Kucing Terbiar Anjing Jalanan (pictured above, bottom left -  receiving a round of applause) telling us what happened on Sunday; how they broke into Petknode with the Police’s permission, the condition of the cats (and one lone puppy) they found & their efforts to get all the cats fostered before owners could step up to claim them. She, along with many of us in the audience, broke down in tears. Picturing cats in tiny cages, stacked on one on top of another in a tiny room with no ventilation, starving, dehydrated, covered in feces & pee, some dead & some on the brink of death… It was very emotional to say the least (click on the video below to get an idea).

Along with representatives from SPCA, PAWS, Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better, My Animal Care Organization, ROAR, Animal Society Penang, Rina Omar & Joe Lee (Klub Kid KL) who were instrumental to getting the info out & support from the public, also spoke up & gave their input. It wasn’t long though before some members of the audience started pinpointing the blame on the bigger organizations like SPCA for not preventing something like this from happening.

Little do they know that SPCA & the like are not regulatory bodies nor are they in any position of power to put those to blame (like the Petknode operators) into jail. They COULD however (especially in SPCA’s case) have offered man power & medical assistance or even cages & transportation to move the rescued cats from Petknode which I understand they didn’t do (except My Animal Care) & I find highly perplexing given that they have all of those things at their disposal. Limited though they may be but every little bit helps right? I now understand SPCA is taking a bigger role in the issue by offering legal advice & getting media attention which is an area they excel in but that’s just from my perspective as an outsider.

The press conference was highly charged with emotion with upset cat owners & animal lovers uniting in their anger towards the Petknode operators & lack of support from the authorities namely the police. It ended with the Chairman of SPCA, Christine, calling for all of those at the press conference to go to the police station at Damansara Damai to try to get the police to do something & to help locate the missing 100 cats.

petknode police station
Despite the numbers of people there, including more cat owners affected stepping forward to lodge police reports,  the police remained nonchalant. We left feeling disappointed & I for one felt uneasy. Why are the scums of Petknode being (seemingly) protected? And why aren't the police investigating the fraud & theft aspect of the case? A day later I found out that the police had in fact passed the case over to the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) whose main concern are livestock & poultry. Christine of SPCA disclosed that amongst the countless animal cruelty cases that DVS handles throughout the many years they were established, only ONE handful have ever made it to court & only in ONE case was a man convicted & he only paid a paltry sum & spent ONE night in jail. Where’s the justice in that??

All in all, I am angry. After the press conference, I took a step back from the drama unfolding on twitter to quell my anger, but oh it’s still there alright. The more I think of the operators of Petknode’s greed & neglect plus the nonchalant stance taken by the authorities, the more anger I feel. Malaysians are not uneducated. Malaysians are not barbarians. Yet why does our government let people like these scums of Petknode get away with such blatant cruelty?? Over 170 cats were found starved with another 100 still missing & countless cat owners who were cheated into believing that their cats would be in safe hands… Even if you are not an animal lover, I’m sure you can see the injustice in this.

I for one will not rest until I see justice served to the operators of Petknode. The fine for animal cruelty is a laughable RM200 but Christine suggested if we could push for RM200 PER CAT, then justice would be rightly served. An estimated 300 cats are said to have been in Petknode’s care during the Raya break so RM200 x 300 would equal RM60,000 but I say the scums should also serve time for at least a year at the very minimum for not only animal cruelty, but for fraud & theft. With that, I am going to write in to the Department of Veterinary Services, Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (to shut down Petknode), my local MP (Member of Parliament), the Prime Minister of Malaysia & anyone else I can think of. If you too are outraged & want your voice to be heard, here are the addresses:

Dato' Dr Abd. Aziz Jamaluddin
Ketua Pengarah,
Jabatan Perkhidmatan Haiwan,
Wisma Tani, Blok Podium,
Lot 4G1, Presint 4,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,
62630 Putrajaya.
Tel (main): 603-8870 1000 Fax: 603-88701792 Mobile: sms him at 0195136055

Tuan Haji Syed Abd. Malik Bin Syed A. Hamid Al Jafree
Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya
Jalan Yong Shook Lin
46675 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Tel : 03-79563544 Faks : 03-79581494

Here’s a list of all the MP’s addresses (look for your area & click to get the info)

YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Abdul Razak
Office of the Prime Minister
Blok Utama, Bangunan Perdana Putra
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan
62502 Putrajaya
Tel: 603 – 8888 8000
Fax: 603 – 8888 3444

YABhg Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor
Office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia
Blok Utama, Bangunan Perdana Putra
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan
62502 Putrajaya

Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia
Blok Utama, Bangunan Perdana Putra
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan
62502 Putrajaya

Click here to go to the E-Feedback form for the Prime Minister.

Also, sign the petition to stop animal abuse in Malaysia.

Let's flood their mailboxes! Let's give voice to the voiceless! If you can think of another way, a more EFFECTIVE way, please leave a comment. My cat Hassan & all the other animals out there thank you.

JFK & Rina Omar speak up for animal welfare.


shelbybaby said...

go rina, jfk + murni!

Murni said...

the folks from KTAJ & the people who stepped up to be fosterers deserve huge props. wish i could do more.