SHAH ALAM: The Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) today raided a pet shop in Section 14, Shah Alam following allegations that the cats under their care were neglected and being kept in poor condition.
Some 20 personnel from the department were involved in the inspection at Imadi Pet, which begin at around 11am.
Several DVS and police vehicles were parked along the road and three police personnel were guarding the entrance to the building.
Members of the public and the media were not allowed to enter the premises. DVS officers, clad in face masks and gloves, were seen making their way in and out the building.
It is learnt that the inspection of the three-storey building will be carried out until this evening.
An officer, who declined to be named, said as of 1pm, only 200 cats out of the 600 cats in the premises have been checked.
He said officers have yet to find any severe misconduct or ill-treated cats as of 2pm.
“We need strong evidence to prove that the cats have indeed been neglected or kept in poor condition. Only then can this case be brought to court for further action,” he said.
Imadi Pet, which also offers breeding services for pure-bred felines, came under fire after claims that cats there were left starving went viral on social media on Jan 3.
This, however, was not the first time that the shop had been inspected by DVS.
Imadi Pet shop Shah Alam branch manager, Zaidi Musa said the premises had been inspected several times, with the latest being on Tuesday after a similar allegation was hurled at the company.
He said DVS did not find anything amiss and had cleared the shop of animal abuse claims during the inspection, but issued several orders for improvement.
“DVS came over again due to pressure from non-government organisations who alleged that we are not taking good care of the felines.
“But never once have they found any seriously injured or ill treated cats in the shop,” he said today, adding that a video clip that went viral on Facebook, showing cats there supposedly in hunger, did not reflect the true picture.
Meanwhile, an employee at a nearby office building said she had seen DVS officers inspecting the building but the shop was still in bad shape.
“They should not merely look on the outside. At the back of the shop, for instance, you can see lumps of hairball and dirty water along the back alley.”
It was earlier reported that the felines were fed twice daily, the first at 9am with biscuits, and then between 5pm and 7pm with diced meat.
According to a copy of the DVS Veterinary Inspection Log issued to Imadi Pet on Dec 27, the department found several cats had sore eyes and flu.
The document, furnished to New Straits Times, stated that "there was no element of animal cruelty but management has to be improved.”
Among the improvement orders were for Imadi Pet to isolate sick cats, clean up the existing isolation area, and to improve ventilation for the spaces where they keep the cats, on the first and second floor.