Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Sterilisations on the quiet

I got off the phone with a caregiver this morning who mentioned she has been sending the cats in to a private vet. She said that a van comes around to pick up the cats and then they take them to a secret clinic where the cats are operated on at night. They are then returned the following night after work. The sterilisations are cheap and she says she has not had any problems so far. However, no one is allowed to know where the clinic is (the clinic is scared people will dump cats there apparently) nor whom the vet is.

This is rather worrying, because last month we did have a complaint I blogged about (and before that another complaint earlier) about a 'secret' vet doing sterilisations. According to this caregiver, the cats returned have all been done properly and she is happy, which is great.

It is strange though that a vet does not want to let anyone know where they are - the caregiver had offered to send the cats in herself but was told no one is allowed to know the address. She also said that the volunteer who picks the cats up is her good friend, but when she asked whom the vet is and where it is, the volunteer said that if she told the caregiver, she could get people into trouble.

Now there will always be some blotched surgeries (though there really shouldn't be too many at all), but if you go to a vet that is registered under the AVA and you think there really was negligence, you can get the AVA to act on the complaint. If you send your cat somewhere and the cat comes back ill or worse dies, whom are you going to take action against?

If someone does offer you cheap sterilisation, make sure it is done at a proper licensed vet.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could be an un-licensed "vet" doing "experiments"..

18/10/05 11:26 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I really don't want to speculate - chances are they're just trying to help out but there are some strange details about this.

18/10/05 11:33 AM  
Anonymous whiskers said...

If only someone can be bothered to put a tail on the van then the truth will be revealed.

18/10/05 1:26 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

True - but the caregivers are getting cheap sterilisations and don't want to risk it, so they're not likely to help.

18/10/05 1:33 PM  
Anonymous existentialist cat said...

a lady approached one of my area's feeder too. this is shady.

many a times, they 'prey' on the feeders who are genuinely interested to help but have limited funds.

hope these vet are not those in the 70s who claim they can sterilise pigs using sharp hooks.

18/10/05 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

would alerting Singapore Veterinary Association help?

18/10/05 1:39 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Right now I think there's not enough evidence to come forward. I did ask the lady whose cat died as a result of what she thinks was a blotched surgery to file a report, but I never heard from her again.

18/10/05 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Caregiver who knows vet should suggest vet gets in touch with CWS for spay days? Don't want to be mean and dissolve arrangement if good intent and beneficial to community but caregiver can be cautioned that he/she is party to something that may be illegal and liable for prosecution? Caregiver should be persuaded to convince vet that if it's something good, there can be a legitimate arrangement.

19/10/05 7:41 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Good idea - but I do understand the caregiver's reluctance to reveal it too. It's like looking a gift horse in the mouth!

19/10/05 10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know some caregivers are really really really broke and having 20 unsterilised cats in their feeding area can be quite a stress. Even more when they start fighting and screaming their heads off when on heat. So I guess it's diificult to reject when someone offer to help.

Hey..let's not jump to the conclusion that the vet is a crook who is all out to cheat the ignorant & helpless cat feeders. Talk to the feeders involved and check if they are unhappy with the sterilisation done. Dawn did mentioned that the cats were properly done.

Don't get me wrong. I am not encouraging this and I think the vet should be more open. But there must be some reason that the vet wants to keep a low profile. I've heard this rumour from a friend and a feeder had many of her cats done in a short period of time. Also heard they are all properly done... better than some in clinics. So I thought a vet willing to sterilise strays at a cheap rate shldn't be such a bad person. I imagine the vet as someone concern abt the stray population and just want to help. I may be wrong but why some of the harsh accusation......

20/10/05 11:14 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I agree that the vet may wish to help and I do agree with Anonymous that I can fully understand why such a vet would be seen as a godsend from caregivers who need cheap slots.

However, my concern stemmed from the fact that I've heard of at least two people complaining their surgeries were blotched. At a proper clinic, if there had been a problem, action could be taken. We have had well meaning people offer to do sterilisations for us on kitchen tables in the past, but have declined these offers. It may be cheaper and we can do more, but the cost in terms of cats' lives is something we don't want to gamble with. They certainly meant well - and I know they want to help - but the problem is sometimes lack of surgical equipment if something goes wrong.

20/10/05 11:19 AM  

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