KOTA KINABALU: IT has been a nightmare for animal lovers. Since August last year, dogs and cats have been darted with spiked metal and bamboo rods around here and in Penampang.
Many strays and pets were injured, and a few died from the attacks, which happened in the early hours of the day.
Reports were lodged, but the attacks continued, prompting a band of animal lovers to act.
The volunteers formed a team, dubbed the Strays Indie Fund, to patrol the streets to stop the attackers.
There have been no more attacks since last month, but the volunteers have assured that they will continue monitoring the streets.
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Kota Kinabalu (SPCAkk) spokesman Dr Randolf Paza Tsen Sham Sun said the team patrolled at least four days a week in random locations.
Tsen, a veterinarian, said nine reports had been lodged with the authorities, but he attended to at least 30 injured dogs and cats that were darted.
“The animals were injured by the same type of metal or bamboo darts,” he said.
Tsen said a pet owner from Taman Peluduk in Penampang had claimed he saw a man darting his dog at 2am and fleeing in a white Perodua Kancil car sometime last month.
“We got friends and help from social media to track down the man,” he said, adding that volunteers confronted the man, who denied any wrongdoing.
Tsen said they managed to take photographs of some items, including a blowpipe and darts, inside the man’s car before he fled again.
A police report was lodged, but the man was cleared due to lack of evidence. However, the man was being monitored, Tsen said.
SPCAkk has raised RM10,000 as a reward for those with information and evidence that can lead to the conviction of the attacker.
Since the lodging of the police report and the confrontation, there have been no more attacks.
Funding for Animals and Independent Rescues (FAIR) president Shirley Chong, who also received such cases from an animal clinic, suspected the culprit also intended to break into houses, as the dogs hurt were around residential compounds.
The state’s Veterinary Services Department has confirmed receiving reports from SPCAkk on the cases. Its deputy director, Dr Nasip Eli, said it would provide support to the group to prevent cruelty to animals.
“The department will provide post-mortem reports for dogs.
“Some of the wounds included punctured livers and other organs, causing deaths,” he said.
Nasip said its investigating officers had also recorded statements from the main culprit, who is a local, and from other witnesses.
The investigation has yet to determine whether there are other people committing the offences.
Those found guilty under the Animal Welfare Enactment 2015 will be fined up to RM100,000, and/or imprisoned up to three years.