Saturday, March 19, 2011

When removing cats just makes the problem worse

When removing cats just makes the problem worse
Letter from Tan Chek Wee
11:05 PM Mar 18, 2011
A senior property officer in my town council, responded to a resident's complaint that her 3-year-old daughter was afraid of the cats in the void deck, by activating the pest controller to "remove" the cats.

A cat that was already neutered was caught but the officer was "kind" enough to release the cat back to residents who volunteer to manage the cats in the neighbourhood. However, the officer still insisted that the number of sterilised cats at the void deck to be reduced to appease the complainant.

The problem with cat phobia or ailurophobia lies with the person and not the cats. Removal the cats will not resolve the phobia and will in fact invite more cats to fill the "vacuum effect" ( in which the "new" cats, being un-neutered will give rise to MORE problems for the complainant and the town council.

This example clearly indicates the need for formal training of property officers on how to handle animal issues. The town councils should collaborate with the AVA, the SPCA and the Cat Welfare Soceity to start a certification training so that feedback about animal issues is effectively managed.

17th March 2011, mms photos from a resident who retrieved the cat from the conservancy manager's store-room

21st March 2011: This is the cat that was trapped by the estate's conservancy manager as directed by the town council's property manager in response to a resident's complaint that her 3-year-old was afraid of cats in the void deck. This very friendly cat puts her at risk of being easy target of pest controller. Will removal of this cat and others in the vicinity "cull" the child's phobia of cats?
Is the KPI of the town council officer based on how many complaints she or he responds to, rather than whether she or he gives sensible and effective solutions?