An 85-year-old man in Malaysia died after he fell into a drain while struggling to save his pet dog from municipal council enforcement officers who wanted to take it away.
According to Malaysian media, the man was trying to pry off a catchpole from the officers' hands with which his dog was caught in.
He was pronounced dead on the scene when the ambulance arrived.
Man raised the 7-year-old dog since it was a puppy
The incident occurred on May 24, 2023, at Taman Saga in Bentong, Pahang.
According to The Star, the man is named Law Sei Kiew, and the dog is a seven-year-old mixed breed he raised since it was a puppy. According to Chinese media Sin Chew, the same man's name in Mandarin is Huang Yunhong (transliteration).
The two media outlets interviewed different neighbours, Chan Poh Loong and Ah Xing (transliteration), who claimed they saw what happened.
Dog walked out of house when dog catchers came close
Chan told The Star that the dog was inside the man's compound. However, he saw the enforcement officers, described as "dog catchers" by local media, go near the gate, which caused the dog to exit the unlocked gate.
The dog catchers then used the catchpole to capture the dog.
Chan and Xing both saw the man running out of his house after he heard the commotion. They saw the man pleading with the dog catchers to let his pet dog go.
However, the dog catchers continued to drag his pet dog away. The man then grabbed the pole to stop them from leaving.
Both sides refused to let go
Xing told Sin Chew that the situation made him very worried that the elderly man would fall, so he tried to persuade the dog catchers to let go of the dog — but they ignored him.
Xing then saw the elderly man suddenly faint and fall into the drain.
The dog catchers called for the ambulance immediately, but paramedics couldn't revive the man and pronounced him dead on the scene.
According to The Star, the man lived alone with his dog as his children lived in other states. His son declined to speak to the media. The dog was also reported to be not taken away.
Lawmaker urge changes to dog-catching operations
The Star contacted Bentong Municipal Council’s Public Health Department head Norizam Saad, who said the council had made a police report.
He declined to elaborate, saying he was attending a course and had not received full information regarding the incident.
A DAP lawmaker urged the Local Government Development Ministry and local authorities to issue clear guidelines on procedures for stray dog-catching operations.
On her Facebook, Bentong member of parliament Young Syefura Othman urged the local ministry and authorities to issue clear guidelines on procedures for stray dog-catching operations.
Top photos via Sin Chew