Police raid alleged cat butcher’s home in Medan following pet abduction

Tayo, a pet cat that was abducted and butchered for its meat in Medan, North Sumatra. Photo: Instagram/@soniarizkikarai
Tayo, a pet cat that was abducted and butchered for its meat in Medan, North Sumatra. Photo: Instagram/@soniarizkikarai

Police in Medan, North Sumatra have raided an alleged cat butcher’s home and named him a suspect for animal abuse after he was accused of abducting someone’s pet cat and killing it for its meat.

Yesterday, a Medan resident named Sonia Rizkika took to Instagram telling the story of how she had just lost her pet cat, Tayo. In the post, Sonia said she had been looking for Tayo for two days when her search led her to the house of NS, an alleged butcher of cats and dogs, where she managed to retrieve what she believes to be Tayo’s decapitated head and innards, among the remains of several other cats, following a confrontation with NS.

Sonia said she took Tayo’s remains to the police to file a report, only to be laughed at by the cops who didn’t seem to think NS’ crime was serious enough. Her story drew sympathy from around the country after it went viral, as well as harsh condemnation against law enforcement for allegedly failing to do their jobs.

The police did eventually act and reportedly raided NS’ home yesterday, where he’s believed to have butchered countless cats and dogs for their meat. Neighbors said they have known all this time that NS both consumed the meat himself and sold some to a market, but have left him to his devices.

It’s not immediately clear if NS himself abducted Tayo or if he had others working for him.

Police say NS was charged with animal abuse under the Criminal Code, which is punishable by up to nine months in prison or a small fine of IDR300 (US$0.02). Animal rights activists have long called for a revision to the law, which was drawn up during the Dutch colonial era, to introduce harsher punishments to prevent animal cruelty.

The current charges against NS do not warrant that he be placed in police custody while investigation into the case continues. However, police say he may be arrested if police rule that he had abducted Tayo and therefore committed theft under the Criminal Code, which is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Coconuts has attempted to reach Sonia for comment. Based on her Instagram posts, Tayo is around two years old and Sonia had cared for her furry companion ever since it was two months old.

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