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Woman choked, beaten while feeding stray cats

Deutsche Presse Agentur
Published: Sunday August 20, 2006

Singapore- A woman was choked and beaten while feeding stray cats on a Singapore road, in the latest twist to a string of feline abuse cases hitting the city-state, news reports said Friday. Annie Lee, 52, was busy feeding the animals after work when she noticed a man emerge from behind an excavator, The Straits Times said.

Shouting "diam," the Malay word for "quiet," the man allegedly punched her in the head and grabbed her by the neck. His repeated beatings to the face left her unconscious.

Two passers-by found Lee Wednesday night and called the police.

The contents of her handbag were found nearby, with money strewn on the ground.

The woman was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where she was placed in the intensive care unit. She remained hospitalized on Friday.

A spate of attacks on felines in the city-state has alarmed animal activists and cat lovers. Many have been tortured to death, with the remains of 10 cats found in one neighbourhood.

The suspected culprit, a 28-year-old air-conditioning technician, was arrested by police on August 2 after neighbours hooked up closed- circuit television cameras in multi-storey car-parks where several of the mangled bodies were found.

Anyone found guilty of animal cruelty can be fined up to 10,000 Singapore dollars (6,329 US dollars) and jailed for up to 12 months.

The group Cat Welfare has offered a 1,000-Singapore-dollar (632- US-dollar) reward for anyone who witnesses a cat being tortured or killed.

2006 DPA - Deutsche Presse-Agenteur