WARNING: DISTRESSING CONTENT
These images show the scenes that greeted a cleaner who walked into a suspected puppy farm to find more than 10 dogs starved to death after their owner fled.
Photos obtained by Asia Wire show the suspected farm operating in the small flat in Taichung City’s North District in West Taiwan.
The living quarters is filled with more than 10 crates stacked on top of one another, and the carcasses of dead dogs can be seen in each metal cage.
Pictures Credit: AsiaWire
The space is covered in rubbish such as empty plastic bottles, which were presumably used to feed the now shrivelled carcasses of breeds such as toy poodles and Maltese dogs.
According to Chiang Ho-shu, chairman of the Taichung City Association of Pet Traders, the discovery was made in April this year after neighbours in the residential block noticed a foul smell and contacted the landlord.
The unnamed homeowner sent a cleaner to inspect his property, which led in the harrowing find.
The male tenant, who has only been identified by the surname Chou, was nowhere to be found and has not been contactable, Chiang revealed.
Lin Ju-liang, deputy head of the city’s Animal Protection and Health Inspection Office, said the premises is believed to have been used as an illegal puppy farm.
The animal rights authority has been given the tenant’s personal details and is now investigating the case.
The landlord claimed they were unclear about the details of the island’s Animal Protection Act, which regulates amongst others the pet industry.
Keith Guo, PETA Asia’s media officer for China, told Asia Wire in a statement: “Anyone who purchases an animal from a pet shop or farm is in fact supporting the type of abuse seen in this article.
“PETA hopes those who truly love animals, and who wish to care for them, will choose to adopt from shelters instead of purchasing them like commodities.”
Figures from the Taichung City Association of Pet Traders show that there are currently 293 licensed breeders in its jurisdiction, and they are all subject to regular inspections by officials.
Offenders found guilty of abandoning pets can be fined between 30,000 and 150,000 TWD (750 to 3,760 GBP) under Taiwan’s Animal Protection Act.
They will also be blacklisted and forbidden from purchasing or adopting pets.
In cases of pet abandonment resulting in starvation or death, punishment includes up to two years in prison and a fine of between 200,000 and 2 million TWD (5,010 and 50,120 GBP).