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Saturday 17 November 2018
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Mayo couple grieves for poisoned cats

Bibi Karim and her pet cat Susie, who was poisoned close to their Mayo home last Thursday.
Bibi Karim and her pet cat Susie, who was poisoned close to their Mayo home last Thursday.

A MAYO couple is heartbroken after their three cats were poisoned over the weekend.

Shafayath Karim, 67, and his wife Rita Ramdass, 57, visited Newsday’s South Bureau this morning to express their frustration and pain over the ordeal.

Karim said about a year ago, they found an adult female cat which fell into a septic tank in their yard.

Karim said he and his sons sprang into action to save the drowning feline and she quickly became a part of their family.

They called her “Susie” and their 22-year-old daughter, Bibi, quickly became attached to her.

Three months ago, Susie had three kittens, who Bibi named “Ears,” “Frazzle” and “Mama.”

“They were like our children, so loving and playful,” an emotional Ramdass said. “I don’t know why anyone would want to harm such beautiful, innocent creatures.”

She said her family has lived in Mayo for over 35 years and they are accustomed to feeding abandoned animals.

“We live in a bushy area with not a lot of houses around us, so people always come and dump kittens and dogs in the area. We take them in and feed them but Susie was different because she stayed with us.”

Ramdass said Susie was found dead on Thursday morning and the kittens died on Saturday. She recalled seeing Mama fighting for her life on Saturday morning.

“I got up and fed them as usual and they were out playing, when I saw her coming running back in, she was running in circles and falling down…I tried to call her to see what was wrong but she wouldn’t come to me. She ran upstairs and onto the shed roof and fell off.”

Karim described the actions as callous and savage.

“How could any right-thinking human be so cruel and wicked?” he asked. “It was a cruel and vicious attack to put something which would attract the animals to eat in order to kill them.”

He said on eight occasions, Susie killed snakes from around his home, protecting him and his family.

For years, animal rights activists have called on government to update legislation to protect animals, as many see the fines and jail sentences as not enough of a deterrence to those who harm animals.

Section 79 (1) of the Summary Offenses Act of 1921 states: “Any person who cruelly beats, ill-treats, starves, overdrives, overloads, abuses, tortures, or otherwise maltreats any animal is liable to a fine of four hundred dollars or to imprisonment for two months.”

Eight months ago, veterinarian Nicole Straker started an online petition calling on Attorney General Faris Al Rawi to update the laws but to date, nothing has been changed.

The petition currently has 11,242 signatures.

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