A PET shop where 19 dogs and cats were found starved to death was operating illegally, the Agriculture and Fisheries Department revealed yesterday. The owner of the Fung Shing Pet Shop in North Point, who has still not been traced, was selling and boarding animals but did not have a licence to operate a boarding kennel. The store was broken into by police and firemen on Sunday and 13 dogs and six cats were found dead. The owner had last been seen three days before Lunar New Year. An department investigation has shown that the store was licensed only to trade in animals, which allows for the buying and selling of domestic animals, but not boarding. Owners of the dead and sick animals had left their pets in the care of the shop while they went away for the New Year holidays. A department spokesman said the shopowner could be fined up to $2,000 for the offence and have his licence revoked. He may also be charged with animal cruelty. Another five dogs and two cats were found barely alive. A dog was put down and another died yesterday. The surviving animals are being cared for by the RSPCA, with two dogs in intensive care. They have a 50 per cent chance of survival. The other dog and the cats will be placed in Agriculture and Fisheries Department care today where they will stay until their owner's are found. A demonstration outside Government House yesterday - spearheaded by actress Sheila Chan Shuk-lan - called for the animals to remain in the care of the RSPCA because of fears the department would put them down if their owners were not found. A department spokesman said the pets would be cared for until the owners came forward.