Mechanic claims he's an animal lover

PETALING JAYA - The owner of the Subang bungalow holding close to 100 animals that was raided on Sunday claimed that he is an animal lover and did not know that some of the animals he kept were protected species.

The owner, who is a mechanic, said he fixed cars to earn money to take care of the animals.

"Every week, I buy 120kg of rice to mix with dog food to feed them every day," said the 52-year-old.

Asked about the wounded and severely malnourished dogs, he said they were not his.

"I like to keep dogs, and a lot of people just dump the dogs in front of my house because they know that I really love animals," he said.

"Most of the dogs are in good health. The dogs in bad condition were given to me in that condition."

According to the man, the dogs with wounds were given to him a week ago. "I did not have time to take them to the vet, but I sprayed medication on the wounds."

He said the Veterinary Service Department and Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) inspected his home on Tuesday and took five dogs in critical condition into their custody for treatment.

"The vet came to check my dogs one by one. They said that most of the dogs were healthy but had skin problems," he said.

About 80 dogs were found on the premises - some in cages and others chained, along with three cats, two geese, several birds and chicken and a gibbon - when Malaysia Independent Animal Rescue and the police raided the bungalow.

The mechanic said the man who left the gibbon in his care came to collect it on Monday before the authorities came to his home on Tuesday,

"The man had asked me to take care of the gibbon for two months while he travelled overseas, but he didn't leave his contact number with me. And it was only after five months that he came to reclaim it. I did not know that it was illegal to keep, otherwise I would not have taken it," he said.

As for the birds, he said he did not know they were a protected species.

"The birds were still babies when they fell from a tree. I found them in front of my house," he said, adding that Perhilitan confiscated them.

The Veterinary Service Depart­ment and Perhilitan recorded a statement from the bungalow owner yesterday.

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