A second man was sentenced to jail time today over last year’s shockingly cruel killing of a launderette cat — an act captured on CCTV, setting off an incredible online backlash against the men seen stuffing the feline inside a drying machine.
Contract worker K. Ganesh was given a 34-month jail term, and a RM40,000 (US$10,000) fine at a Selayang, Kuala Lumpur court. Judge Rasyihah Ghazali ordered that the jail term begin upon the day of sentencing, and ordered an extra four months should the guilty party be unable to pay the fine.
“In this case, the accused was the person who put the cat in the dryer and then locked it. I hope this sentence will serve as a lesson to the accused and the public to not be cruel to animals,” she added.
The judge granted a stay of sentence while Ganesh appeals, though she did raise his bail from RM12,000 (US$3,000) to RM20,000 (US$5,000).
The tragic case of the tortured laundry cat was the first case to go to trial under the country’s Animal Welfare Act 2015, enforcement of which began in July of 2017.
Prosecutor Roslan Mohd, from Selangor state’s Veterinary Services Department, had requested that the suspect be charged to the fullest extent of the law considering the especially cruel nature of the crime.
Ganesh, along with two other men, were caught on camera walking into a self-service Gombak launderette in September of 2018. CCTV footage shows them picking up a cat inside the establishment, throwing the animal into a dryer, closing the door, and turning on the machine. The trio then walked away, leaving the tortured animal to only be discovered the following morning by a customer who was about to dry washed clothes.
Social media was justifiably appalled, with netizens calling for justice for the defenseless animal, popularly referred to as dobi cat (laundry cat).
Both suspects faced up to three years in prison, and a RM100,000 (US$25,000) fine if found guilty.
Earlier this year, taxi driver A. Mohanraj, was sentenced to two years’ jail for a similar charge after he changed his not guilty plea to guilty.
Prosecutors declined to pursue the case against the third individual captured on camera, S. Satthiya, who was not seen in the video actively participating in the crime.
Rest in peace, dobi cat. We haven’t forgotten you.