KOTA KINABALU - Tears flowed freely as family members mourned Jay Ferret Jeffrey Linjungan who died trying to save a litter of puppies near their home.
The 28-year-old lawyer had gotten stuck and suffocated to death as he was pulling the pups out from a metre-deep hole behind the house in Penampang on Wednesday.
"He saved two puppies but lost his own life when he tried to rescue the remaining two," said Jeffrey Linjungan, Jay's father.
Linjungan was at the St Michael's Church where family and friends paid their last respects yesterday. They remembered Jay as an animal lover and that he cared for all 11 dogs at the family home.
That Wednesday, Linjungan left the house at about 6am and returned about noon.
"Jay was supposed to be at work by then so I was surprised to see his car still parked outside the house," he said. "I went to have a look around and was shocked to see his legs sticking out of the hole behind the house."
Linjungan then yelled to his two younger sons to come help. The three of them were unable to pull Jay out of the hole and it was only when a fourth person came to assist that they were able to free him.
"Jay was not breathing. I tried CPR but there was no response from him," said Linjungan who was referring to cardiopulmonary resuscitation. They took Jay to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at about 1pm where he was pronounced dead.
According to Linjungan, the family's pet dog Nina had dug the hole just before she gave birth to the four puppies. He said Jay had planned to move the puppies to a safer spot because it had rained the day before.