Infected pet: Cousins Xue Fen (left) and Lee Rou showing pictures of the dog Oreo, that died of rabies, at their home in Kuala Sepetang near Taiping.
TAIPING: Fisherman Lee Chai Huat, whose daughter and a niece were bitten by their rabid dog, claimed that about 20 to 60 stray dogs died mysteriously in their area at the small fishing village of Kuala Sepetang.
At Tepi Sungai alone, there were easily 50 to 60 strays roaming the row of haphazardly-built houses and fish collection points along the Kuala Sepetang riverbank – up until three or four months ago.
The stray dogs then began to die.
“At first, the dogs shed their fur and then we would find their carcasses on the road.
“We didn’t report the matter to the authorities as we didn’t think much of it at the time,” he said in an interview yesterday.
Chai Huat, 51, said he was thankful that his daughter Lee Xue Fen, 11, and 12-year-old niece Lee Rou were spared of rabies.
He added that his dog, Oreo, could probably have been bitten by a stray when it escaped from their home.
“There are foreigners here, but never once have I seen them around the strays. Neither have I seen them rearing any dogs.
“The strays roam the streets on their own the entire day and disappear at night,” he added.
Chai Huat’s cousin, seafood wholesaler Lee Chai Chong, who lives next door, said the authorities must put down the strays to ensure there are no other victims in the future.
“Our children walk along the streets to the bus stop to go to school each day.
“As this is a fishing village, the roads are narrow and most of us ride motorcycles,” he said.
According to Xue Fen, she tried to pat two-year-old Oreo when it suddenly bit her hand.
“He bit me several times till my hand bled. It was really painful. It was so unlike him. He’s usually very fun and loving,” she said.
Rou, who was bitten by the dog three hours later, said it suddenly jumped on her and started attacking her.
“Over the next four to five days, Oreo became sick. It couldn’t eat or play. It couldn’t even walk,” she added.
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