KUALA LUMPUR - A dog photographed on the ledge of a high-rise apartment in Taman OUG had caused a stir on social media, but its owner was totally in the dark until enforcement officers knocked on his door.
The 52-year-old taxi driver was preparing to move to his new home in Subang Jaya yesterday evening.
The man said the dog was put on the balcony a few days earlier so it would not mess things up while he and his family were packing.
The man, who lived in the apartment with his wife and their two children, was unaware that the dog had escaped from the balcony and gone out onto the narrow ledge, which had no railing.
It was only when four officers from the Kuala Lumpur Veterinary Services Department enforcement division knocked on his door at about 9am yesterday that he found out.
The department received a report from the Selangor Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) on Tuesday night and paid a visit to the apartment the next day.
"The owner said he did not notice the dog had slipped through the metal railings and gone out on the ledge several times," officer Masdin Ubin said when met at the building.
Another officer, Mohd Subhy Mohd Basaruddin, said the dog, a five-year-old male mongrel, appeared healthy and normal.
"The owner was sleeping when we arrived and seemed puzzled. When we told him the case has gone viral, he went Eh Sudah Ada kah? (It already has?)" he said.
The owner was warned not to put the dog out on the balcony in future.
On Monday, the apartment's management issued a warning to the owner over the incident.
"However, it was the wrong address. The dog owner never received the warning," said Mohd Subhy.
Contrary to claims made by an animal rescue group on Facebook that the department first received a report about the matter in 2016, he said this was actually the first time.
Read also: Owner leaves dog on high-rise ledge in KL
SPCA inspector Kelvin Cheah said pet owners living in high-rise buildings should use the necessary safeguards.
"For example, when putting a dog on the balcony, secure the railings with chicken wire so that it can't escape through the gaps.
"Irresponsible pet owners make it harder for responsible pet owners to keep their pets," he said.
Under Section 44 of the Animal Act, those charged with animal abuse can be fined RM50,000 (S$16,000), jailed for a year or both upon conviction.
The department said it would be checking today to see if the owner had moved out.