An online petition that calls on authorities to go easy on a cat that allegedly injured a small boy at a local shop last week has been endorsed by tens of thousands of people.
More than 34,000 citizens signed an appeal urging officers from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) to not seize a cat that was reported to have been involved in an incident at a pharmacy in Kwun Tong on October 6.
According to lawmaker Roy Kwong, he received the response after he launched a petition in relation to a feline that is often seen at a drugstore at the On Tat Estate and is much loved by the locals.
The petition was initiated as authorities were preparing to take the cat away after a woman complained that the animal had injured her five-year-old son, news website hk01.com reports.
Last Friday, a woman alleged that her son suffered scratch marks from a cat while on a visit to the Kwung Tong pharmacy.
The child had accompanied his mother on a trip to the drugstore when the animal suddenly became violent and lunged at him, according to the woman, who is said to be from mainland China.
Following the complaint, AFCD is said to have ordered that the cat to be brought to a government animal management center for observation and possible detention.
Concerned that the cat may no longer be reunited with its owner, who runs the popular Kwun Tong neighborhood drugstore, Kwong launched a petition and urged animal lovers to throw their weight behind him.
Kwong said he is overwhelmed with the response and that he would pass on the signatures collected to the AFCD.
The department should stop unreasonable “arrest” of the drugstore’s resident cat, which bears the name Marble, he said.
Marble has been at the Kwung Tong drugstore for years and is loved by residents near and far, the lawmaker said.
Locals are worried about the safety of the cat, should it be taken away by the AFCD, he said.
Meanwhile, reports say that the cat has remained at home the last two days and that it is refusing to eat and drink.
The animal’s owner, a person surnamed Choi, has sought help from a vet late Monday. It is said now said to be under the doctor’s observation.
According to Apple Daily, the mainland woman who lodged a complaint had alleged that Marble bit her son on the head.
The woman called the police and the AFCD, citing worries about rabies. The AFCD subsequently asked the drugstore to hand in Marble, which will have to undergo a seven-day quarantine process.
Marble, a four-year-old female Persian cat, is one of the two cats that Choi keeps at his drugstore.
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