I FIND the lack of empathy shown by animal abusers extremely disturbing. I don't understand how a human being can inflict such pain and torture upon an animal without guilt or regret.
The ever-increasing number of animal abuse cases in Malaysia is a worrying sign that this is a problem we cannot ignore any longer.
The recent case of a teenage boy continuously swinging and throwing a harmless puppy in the air in September; a man shooting a Rottweiler with a bow and arrow in May; or students from a local university claiming that a dog was shot on university grounds makes me worry about the welfare of animals in our country.
But two days ago, I came across one of the most disturbing cases of animal abuse yet. Penangite Azra Azreen shared her horrific discovery of one the stray cats she was caring for tied up with raffia string and disemboweled in a field nearby her house.
It is a gory sight. Abuse does not even describe the ordeal the poor cat went through. The more accurate description would be torture.
The dead cat's name was Socky, and she was two-years-old when her life was selfishly taken away from her by a cruel human being(s).
Azra, who lives in Seberang Prai, told me that she has been caring for Socky since she was born, having taken care of it's mother for close to 10 years before it passed away a month after Socky was born.
However, Azra said that Socky was afraid of humans and her efforts to bring the cat into her home were in vain.
But Azra said that Socky would respond to her name and would come to eat every day when she called her name.
"Socky recognised her name and would come when I call her every evening.
"She would eat the food which I gave her but wouldn't let me touch her. If I try to touch her, she would run away," said Azra.
The 32-year-old IT Assistant said that she came home from work at around 6pm on Monday to feed the cats behind her house when she realised that Socky wasn't there.
"I called and called for her, because she would usually come when I call her name. But this time, she didn't.
"I looked around and saw a black and white object in the middle of the field. I walked up to get a closer look and was horrified to find Socky lying in that condition," said Azra.
"Her hands and neck were tied up and her intestines outside of her helpless body. I can't imagine someone could do such a thing to a poor defenceless animal.
"I really can't imagine how these people got hold of her and did this horrible thing to her. Imagine how much pain and suffering she had to endure before she died," she said.
Azra said she looked around in the vicinity of the field, but nobody was in sight.
To her frustration, Azra's call for help to animal rescue organisations and the police station in Seberang Prai were hopeless.
"I asked if I could lodge a report, but they all said was that they can't do anything even if I had a witness," she said.
"Distressed and lonely, I didn't know what else to do but cry. My dad came around 9 pm and he helped me bury Socky in the field behind my house," said Azra.
Azra said she decided to post the pictures of mutilated Socky on her Facebook page to create awareness of animal abuse.
She has since lodged an official police report on Tuesday evening after netizens and SPCA Selangor urged her to do so.
"But now the authorities said that they can't do much since I have no witness and I have buried the carcass.
"If they had advised me to keep Socky's body for a post-mortem, I would have done so. But instead, all the officers I spoke to just told me that they can't do anything," said Azra.
"I demand the police take this case seriously. Investigate and catch the culprit. Because this is not the first case of animal abuse in my neighbourhood," she added.
Azra said that a few years ago, she found a pigeon with its legs tied and holes in its body, and her late mother also witnessed some boys beating a cat (her mother scolded the boys).
"I fear for the other animals who live in the area," said Azra.
Socky's ordeal is one of the many stories of animal abuse I have come across, and I can't help but wonder why such incidents are prevalent here.
Is it because our authorities aren't taking animal abuse laws seriously? Or is the problem with Malaysians and their attitude towards animals? Perhaps it is a combination of both.
Maybe our authorities and justice system should start prosecuting more animal abusers, or perhaps we should have even heavier punishment with steeper fines and longer jail time to make people think twice before hurting animals.
I believe that people should learn how to be kind to all of God's creatures, especially animals who have no voice.
We should all be the voice to these helpless animals by reporting cases of animal abuse and taking legal action against abusers.
No creature should endure abuse, and such an act should not be tolerated in our country.
Malaysia needs to start taking better care of her animals and stern action should be taken action against animal abusers, especially if we want to be seen as a developed nation in six years' time.
Readers can sign Azra's petition for justice for Socky here (please take note that the image is graphic in nature): http://www.thepetitionsite.com/320/134/155/justice-for-socky/
The views expressed are entirely the writer's own.