In Malaysia, animal rights activists are demanding jail time for the owners of a boarding business described as a “pet hotel from hell.” PetMD reports that over 300 neglected cats were rescued Sunday from two sites outside Kuala Lumpur. Nine cats were reported dead.
The local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals released a statement calling for the facility operators to serve the maximum six month jail penalty for animal cruelty. They also suggest that the responsible parties “undergo psychiatric treatment and be banned from animal businesses and from owning pets for life.”
The cats were boarded while their owners traveled in observation of Malaysian holidays. Upon returning, the cats’ owners found both facilities locked and abandoned — with the cats inside. Authorities broke in and discovered that the animals were hungry, dehydrated and trapped in squalid cages. Many were sick or covered in urine and feces.
According to PetMD, police have questioned the two owners of the boarding business but no arrests have been made.
Animal rights groups in Malaysia have often criticized the government for being too soft on animal abusers. The current fine for animal cruelty is 200 ringgit or about 65 US dollars. Following news of the “pet hotel from hell,” Veterinary Services Department head Abdul Aziz Jamaluddin has announced a plan to increase this fine to up to 100,000 ringgit ($34,000) by next year.
Photo credit: frakenstoen (Creative Commons)