Thu, Jan 10, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Owner fined NT$60,000 for mailing cat to pet shelter

By Chen Hsin-yu and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A Scottish fold cat sits in a cage at a city-run animal shelter in New Taipei City’s Banciao District after being sent there anonymously last month.

Photo courtesy of the New Taipei City Animal Protection and Health Inspection Office

A pet owner surnamed Yang (楊) was fined NT$60,000 after attempting to abandon a cat by sending it to a shelter via express mail delivery last month, the New Taipei City Animal Protection and Health Inspection Office said on Tuesday.

A city-run shelter in Banciao District (板橋) on Dec. 11 received a sealed cardboard box originally intended for household electronics, the office said in a statement.

A shelter worker shone a flashlight through the handholds and found that it contained an adult Scottish fold, the office said, adding that the shelter identified the sender through the delivery service.

Alerted by the shelter, the office said it contacted Yang, who admitted to abandoning the cat because it has restricted mobility and his family is too busy to take care of it.

The owner said they tried to treat the cat’s condition with methods such as acupuncture, but nothing worked, the office said.

“Containers designed for the storage of inanimate objects are inappropriate for transporting pets under the Animal Protection Act (動物保護法),” office Director Chen Yuan-chuan (陳淵泉) said. “An animal can suffocate in an insufficiently ventilated container, has no access to clean water and can become distressed.”

Yang was fined NT$30,000 for pet abandonment under the act and another NT$30,000 for not giving the cat a rabies vaccination under the Statute for the Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Disease (動物傳染病防治條例), he said.

As the delivery service claimed that it did not know the box’s contents, no fines or penalties would be imposed, but this could change as the inquiry continues, he said.

A pet can be given away legally through the office or an authorized shelter, which would provide arrangements for the adoption of animals that have been chipped, neutered and vaccinated, he said.

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