Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cat abuses and the town council

Email from a caregiver, W C, to the town council

From: WC
Subject: Attn: Property Officer of Blk **** - Abuse case again
To: *****
Date: Tuesday, 1 June, 2010, 3:22 PM

Dear TC Officer,

Yesterday, my caregiver informed me that one of the sterilised community cat Tigress passed on in blk 4** (Ave 3). and today, i listened with a heavy heart as she described how Tigress was discovered in a pool of blood with a broken skull on L9 of Blk 4**. A kind resident later wrapped her body up and brought her down to L1 so the caregivers would find her and say their final goodbyes. Another kind caregiver took the body back to perform last rites and gave her a proper send-off.

This is the not the first time our community cats have been harmed... in Dec'09 one of the resident cats Kamis died from massive internal bleeding and broken ribs after being kicked by a grown man at the carpark of 4**. Unfortunately the eye witness couldn't get a clear look to recognise the abuser, and I was informed only much later, hence did not raise the alarm with TC. I believe lives have been lost in the other parts of **** as well, perhaps my fellow-caregivers have shared with TC on other occasions.

To some people, these cats are just strays... but to us caregivers, they are fellow-residents that make ***** a wonderful place, a place where we call home. I've seen how residents bond over conversations about these reline residents, I've seen how friendships were forged through the caregivers' work for these community cats, there is now a bigger group of neighbours hanging out at the garden just to watch the community cats roam while they chat, so evidently our community cats must be given some credit in this neighbourhood bonding. But yet, we have abusers that walk amongst us...

Tigress was found with a broken skull on Level 9 in Blk 4**. The murder was committed right within the block, where residents call their HOME, where we believe we'd be safe and secure from the storm, where we can return to when we're troubled or hurt. Yet, one of our feline residents was killed, in a place where she considered her HOME.

On that note, my caregivers have also earlier feedback that they witnessed a conservancy cleaner with a cat trap, and a conservancy cleaner that prowls the estate at night carrying a metal rod. Coincidentally, some cats were found with injuries during that period. Perhaps TC can also clarify your stand on having conservancy cleaners trapping cats, whether is it a directive, or their personal vendetta not endorsed by TC. Again, alarm was not raised with TC because there's nothing concrete to hold anyone responsible, but I hope that through this feedback, TC can conduct a thorough check and educate your cleaners to work WITH and not against the caregivers, who are also residents of the estate.

I do not harbour high hopes that TC can solve this murder (and some others before) and serve justice by nabbing the murderer(s). I understand the limitations of TC, and that most things are beyond your abilities and powers. Asking for CCTVs to be installed to ensure the safety of residents is way too extravagent on the budget. Asking for TC to work with the police to attempt to nab the killer is probably out of question. So I'm just here to inform you this serious and disturbing fact that there are abusers that live in the estate.

Pardon my lengthy email, and if my tone is not most friendly, but I hope you can understand the anguish my caregivers and I feel when we lose one of our cats. No living thing should suffer from violence... for now, the abuser may harm cats, but we don't know when he'll turn to other living things, like maids/ kids? Are we going to wait till that happens to take action? Do we want to wait till another life is lost to take action? My question is, what can we - the TC and caregivers do about it? Can TC work with us to raise awareness so that residents can help to stay vigilant and avoid such cases from happening again? Can we help to educate the residents and children so they know what is right and wrong? Can we start from the RC and ensure they also play a part in preventing animal abuse?

Let us know if TC is opened to the idea of putting up a series of posters against animal abuse, and if we can have your support to run animal welfare awareness events at our RC and CCs, perhaps in collaboration with SPCA and Cat Welfare Society. **** is not just home to us human residents, it belongs to our feline friends as well.



From: KTH
Subject: RE: Attn: Property Officer of Blk 4** - Abuse case again
To: *****
Cc: "*****
Date: Thursday, 3 June, 2010, 2:42 AM

Dear Officer-in-charge,

I live in ****, and many times I see children here approaching cats just to "scare" or chase them, pointless and cruel. In other societies,children approach cats to pat or play with them, with a graciousness that reflects in part on their upbringing.

Of course it is not town council's duty to determine how our children are brought up. However, I feel the stand authority makes on issues has a certain amount of effect in pointing the community in the same direction.

We are culling cats here, many times at the wimp and fancy of "complainants". What else can we expect from our general community?

I hope in time to be part of a more gracious society. It can be done elsewhere, why can't we do it here? After all, doesn't how we treat the least of beings in our community reflect on our own humanity.

Best regards,

From: YSK
Subject: Re: Attn: Property Officer of Blk 4*** - Abuse case again
To: ***
Cc: ***
Date: Wednesday, 2 June, 2010, 10:07 PM

Dear office-in-charge

Further to W C's email, you may be aware that cat abuse is not unknown in the areas managed by **** Council. In the last two years, the **** St 2 area has seen six to eight cases of serious abuse - including poisoning and animals getting thrown from a high floor. Cat abuse is a crime, and based on what I see, **** is a high-crime area.

I urge the town council to follow W C's suggestion: please put up anti-abuse notices in the areas under your control. Thank you.


2 other caregivers also wrote in, urging the town council to work with SPCA and CWS to reduce animal abuse.

From: W C
To: ***
Cc: ***
Sent: Thursday, June 03, 2010 7:18 AM
Subject: Re: Attn: Property Officer of Blk *** - Abuse case again

Dear TC Officer,

TH has raised a very important point about how children are behaving towards community cats. Education has to start early, so it is vital that we contribute to nation building through educating our young, not only through formal education system, but also through informal means like talks and roadshows (some other estates have held them successfully).

As SK has mentioned earlier, animal abuse is a crime, punishable by law, and it's happening right here in our estate. This has to be dealt with seriously.

I've raised this case with SPCA and they have sent us a copy of their anti-abuse posters, attached in this email. If we can have your consent and concurrence to engage our RCs to put them up, I'm sure it will take us one step nearer to our aim of keeping **** a crime-free estate.

From: ***
To: WC
Cc: ****
Sent: Thursday, June 03, 2010 4:57 PM
Subject: Fw: Attn: Property Officer of Blk 403-404 - Abuse case again

Dear Ms C

We refer to your email dated 1 June 2010.

We will work with the Cat Welfare Society to highlight the issue of such animal abuse to our residents in the August issue of our newsletter.

We would appreciate if you could leave us your contact number so that we can work together to prevent such an incident from happening again.

Please do not hesitate to contact Mr Mishaal, the Property Officer who is in-charge of your estate at 1800 444 9549 Ext 161 should you need further assistance or any clarifications.

Thank you.

Jolene Wood
Public Relations Manager
*** Town Council