Someone wrote in to ask for help. He knows a woman who has taken in more then 30 cats into her flat. These were all community cats that she had picked up. The cats are apparently not in good condition now, skinny and with bad fur because she is not looking after them well. Someone complained to the HDB. He said that he has been helping her, sterilising the cats and getting cages and the like for her.
Now he has decided that he should rent a place and board the cats. He is asking around for help. I told him that the problem is that if he takes this lot of cats out, she may well go and help herself to another lot if she does have a problem. He said he thinks she is a hoarder but he intends to check up on her once in a while.
The thing is - once in a while is probably not going to be enough. Taking the cats out may mean that she fills the flat up again in no time. I read about a woman who was a hoarder - she picked up more cats on the way home from court where she had been fined. In a way, it is allowing her to continue to pick up MORE cats and make their lives miserable too.
In addition, the man cannot afford to pay for the boarding and is asking others for financial assistance. Many people will try and help out at first but at the end of the day, chances are they have other commitments or may not be able to help out for other reasons. Then what happens to the cats?
I asked if it's possible to adopt them out or release but he doesnt think they are adoptable. At least if the number can be reduced through adoption and release, then perhaps the woman may be better able to cope.
I do know a lot of people help out with the best of intentions - but intentions and results can differ vastly. 'Helping' this woman out by boarding the cats may lead to even more cats suffering. She does not suffer any consequences of her action - so she may not have any compunctions about picking up more cats. She may not be able to stop herself. The people who help can make a profound difference - and it can be for the good of both the people and cats involved, or it can be the polar opposite.