Friday, October 14, 2005

How do we stop irresponsible people from 'owning cats' loosely?

Tough scenario - a few days ago I mentioned someone wrote in about her friend who was calling the pest control about the cats in the stairway because there was defecation there. The caregivers went down and the woman who lived there insisted they weren't her cats (though they were sitting on the sofa outside her house and there was milk and food there) and to take them away if they wanted to. The woman lives on the third floor. The woman took in the kittens and closed the door on the mother cat, and the caregivers took the mother cat away to get her sterilised. They managed to go back and get the kittens as well to get them sterilised.

Now the family is calling and saying they want one kitten back. I spoke to the girl and said that I thought they had insisted the cats weren't theirs? The girl said she wants one kitten back. Here's the dilemma - to give them one kitten back, which is sterilised, and impress upon them how important it is to keep them indoors? If not, they will probably pick up another unsterilised cat. The caregiver suggested telling her cats are not allowed in flats - but the woman is likely to leave the cat outside again in the corridor.

I've set down certain conditions that they must meet and told them to think about it over the weekend. Then again, they may think it's so onerous it's easier to go get another kitten. They didn't want the mother cat returned.

The caregiver also said that the stairwell did have defecation in it from the cats since the cats are not allowed in the flat.


Anonymous mrs budak said...

What??? They think free sterlisation or what?? Ask them to pay for the sterilisation before giving the cat back.

Frankly, I'd say no way. Sounds like they're treating the cat like a disposable toy. The girl wants the kitten, but when the kitten grows up??? What about the mother? Who will be the primary caregiver? Can't be the girl right?

14/10/05 6:16 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

They're not going to pay I think - the volunteers were just so happy they managed to get the cat out of the house to be sterilised.

Yes I agree with you - but how do we stop them from getting another cat? Any ideas?

14/10/05 6:41 PM  
Anonymous mrs budak said...

Oh man... Sucks that they're so damn irresponsible. You're right - can't stop them from picking up another kitten somewhere. What you can do is make it "official"... state that you're returning the kitten to them on the condition that they do not leave food outside the door and not let the cat roam. State also that leaving the cat outside will constitute abandonment (of course, the cat would have been identified), and leaving food outside will constitute littering, both subject to fines. If the cat or any more food is found outside, the Town Council will be informed. Then cc the letter to the Town Council.

That's what I can think of off-hand.

14/10/05 6:53 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes exactly what we were thinking. I was suggesting to the volunteers one thing we could do is also get them to sign an adoption contract and attach a photo so if the kitten is dumped, they can't say it's not their kitten.

And then just cross our fingers!

14/10/05 7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ask them to get the kitten microchipped if they really want the kitten(the safest way since most cats look quite alike).If they "cannot afford" to pay for it, the kitten is better off without them.A cat needs proper food, shots and boosters yearly just like a baby or child.

It's sad that s'pore doesn't have Animal Police like states.Animal Police has the right to issue verbal warnings or throw the culpit into jail if the extend of neglect or abuse is very severe.


14/10/05 8:58 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

It's not an ideal situation, but the cats looked okay according to the volunteer, well fed and healthy. The thing is - if she's going to take in another cat and abandon it which the volunteers won't know anything about - it may be better to have a sterilised cat which they DO know about. The problem is how to stop her from picking up another cat if she doesnt get this sterilised one. If she dumps an unsterilised cat, it's even worse in terms of keeping the population down.

14/10/05 11:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm not sure.The only thing to do is to educate and hope she has at least half a conscience not to abandon her cats again or to do frequent surprise checks on maybe monthly or so.

Are there laws in place for irresponsible pet owners?


15/10/05 6:20 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

There are but they're hard to enforce - it's difficult to prove the cat belongs to the family. One case in which one of the caregivers tried to press a case of abandonment, the person claimed the cat had gotten 'lost'.

15/10/05 6:26 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

They don't deserve the kitten. Imagine, wanting the kittens but not its mother, how kind can this family be? Worst, not standing up for the feline, what will happen if they were approached by the AVA or SPCA, do you think they will protect these felines?

19/10/05 12:50 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

No - but worse if they pick up another unsterilised cat I think. They haven't called back so I think they don't want the cat back anymore.

19/10/05 5:41 PM  

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