Tuesday, July 26, 2005

School cats kicked out

One of our members works in a school and she set up a cat cafe project - they sterilised the two cats on the school premises and had them fed away from the canteens. The cats were looked after by the staff and the children really liked them. I'm sure most people remember having one or two school cats when they were in school - they add a nice touch and most of the kids really love them (the one I had in school was called Oreo, Brownie or Kitty by different people - poor cat must have had a personality disorder).

Unfortunately, a parent wrote in anonymously to say that a cat had stolen food from her child and had scratched her child when the child was in the canteen. Our member looked into it and could not find any evidence that this had happened. However, the Principal has now told her to get rid of the two cats because the Principal is worried she'll get into trouble with the MOE.

This is a most unfortunate saga. The Principal has stopped speaking with our member and the member says it would not be a good time for us to speak to the Principal. The children have gone up to ask not to have the cats removed but the Principal is adamant. It's a most disturbing trend that because of one anonymous complaint, a humane method of implementing community cat management has been overturned.

This reminds me of another school that got a pest controller to remove their cat (which had been there for years) because a new manager came into the school. The children were so upset, the school called us and we traced down the pest controllers within the company who took the cat. They said that while they were having a coffee break, someone came up and asked to adopt the cat. Why they took the cat out of the van for a coffee break and why they just handed the cat out to someone just all seemed very fishy.

The children actually went to the area but could not find a cat. Eventually of course, another cat moved into the school and it remains there to this day as far as I know.


Blogger coboypb said...

This is sad. The Principal has chosen to act on an anonymous complaint and did not consider the benefits/joy that the cats and children experience in interacting with one another.

26/7/05 12:15 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes poor cats. We're supposed to give a talk there in August too - I'm going to focus it on TNR and it's benefits.

26/7/05 12:51 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Why are cats treated so unfairly in S'pore?

26/7/05 12:52 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I'm not sure if it's just Singapore - but I have to say we're a little less enlightened here in general.

26/7/05 12:55 PM  
Blogger vegancat said...

It is a rare to find anyone in "commanding" position such as a school principal to act according to his or her conviction. Most choose the easy way to toe the line that he or she thinks is trouble-free with MOH and hence trouble-free in their career path! Perhaps the teachers and school children plus their parents can sign a petition to MOH.

26/7/05 2:58 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes - it is difficult to stand up for what you believe in. In this case, I don't think she really believed in it, so that made it more difficult.

26/7/05 3:00 PM  
Blogger coboypb said...

I just read an interesting article about character building programs in American schools and how animal welfare education is an essential part of it. http://www.animalsheltering.org/resource_library/magazine_articles/sep_oct_2001/character_connection.html

The cat cafe in the school would have been great in teaching the children compassion, humility and respect for animals.

26/7/05 3:19 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Unfortunately I couldn't open the article - but this is what 'education' really should be about, allowing children to interact with animals daily.

26/7/05 3:42 PM  

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