JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A landlord who went to check on a tenant for owing four months of rent stumbled upon a sad scene: 24 malnourished dogs in the Johor Baru house, some of whom had started eating each other as they were too famished.
Property agent Francis Goh, 57, visited his house in Taman Pelangi here on Wednesday and was stunned to find the emaciated dogs in the compound and inside the semi-detached house.
He was even more stunned to see some of them eating two other dogs because they were too hungry.
"I can never get that image out of my head. The dogs were too hungry," said Mr Goh, who is a Singaporean.
"Some of the dogs were lying in the backyard while the rest were too feeble to move. They were lying in their own filth among all the rubbish in the house," he said.
Mr Goh immediately called the non-profit organisation, Homeless & Orphan Pets Exist (Hope) here for help to rescue the dogs.
He also bought three bags of dog food to feed the animals.
The next day, with the help of the shelter's volunteers and about 10 animal lovers, they managed to rescue 24 dogs and sent them all to Hope's shelter in Pekan Nenas.
Mr Goh said his tenant was a single mother who was a reputable veterinarian.
"The nursery operator next door complained about a foul smell coming from the house, so that prompted me to enter using a spare key," he said, adding that he had lodged a police report.
He said the tenant was nowhere to be found and pleaded with her to settle the matter.
"I am not a dog lover, but they are living beings and need to be taken care of, not left there to fend for themselves," he said, adding that he wanted the tenant to settle the debts and compensate him for the damages to his property.
"The house is filthy, with dog faeces everywhere," he said.
Hope volunteer Serene Tan said the dogs suffered from severe malnutrition and had ticks all over.
"We will feed and monitor the dogs until they are healthy enough to be vaccinated and checked for tick-borne fever," she said.