Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Who's paying for cats to be killed?

I've been toying with this idea for a while and was talking it over with Michelle today after the incident with the TC officer. Here's the thing - when you pay conservancy charges, they go to maintaining the estate. It goes to things that I would say the vast majority of people would need and like to see in their estate. For example the garbage being picked up, the corridors being washed and cleaned, the trees being trimmed once in a while, the lights being changed, lifts being serviced - you get the picture.

Now here comes one complainant. He or she has a problem like the complainant this morning. What does town council do? Spend the same conservancy amount and catch the cats and it doesn't even work. For example, in this case, it's quite probable that the problem has to do with a cat lured upstairs or a home cat. Trapping the community cats downstairs is not going to solve the defecation problem. In the long term moreover, removing and killing does not manage the population.

In the meantime (and I have seen this happen in other areas), the complainant is still not happy. The complainant tells the town council the problem is not solved. The officer then sends out pest control again, traps the cats again and sends more cats to be killed. Like some other officers I speak to, it doesn't matter if the problem is solved, as long as it is solved just for right NOW. Sometimes, it doesn't matter even if it is not solved at ALL, as long as the officer is seen to be doing something.

Meanwhile, who is paying for all of this? The complainant? Of course not! The complainant who may be the only person in the entire block with a problem with the cats can call repeatedly and have the cats removed without paying any extra. Instead I am assuming this money comes from conservancy funds which are collected - certainly town councils aren't paying for it out of the kindness of their hearts.

I'm pretty sure that the majority of people in TC managed estates everywhere do not want to pay for cats to be removed and killed. Why then is this money being used to satisfy (and usually in most cases it doesn't even satisfy them because the problem isn't solved) a minority of complainants? I am pretty sure if you asked the complainants even THEY don't want to have to pay for the cats to be removed - that's why you see in private estates that when residents realise they have to trap the cats themselves or pay someone to do it, that quite a few decide not do it after all.

It's a waste of money pure and simple - and I think it has to stop. TC officers need to look for solutions and not throw money away just so they can have a few days grace period from a complaining resident.

Solution? How about asking the complainant to pay? If he or she is so disturbed by the cats, why don't they pay to have them removed? Imagine that you decided you wanted a bench built just for you to sit on - no one else can share - do you think the town council would pay for that? So why is everyone being made to pay for the cats to be killed?


Blogger Mary said...

Hi Dawn, good question and food for thought. How can we inform the public they are the one indirectly paying for all these unnecessary culling of innocent lives?

14/6/06 4:07 PM  
Blogger vegancat said...

Indeed, if the officer in my estate, I will make sure that he or she is accountable for using OUR fund for unworkable solution. And if the problem recurs because the officer has been inefficient (or would lazy be a better descriptive?) to investigate the complain thoroughly, then he or she has to "pay" (perhaps reflected in his or her appraisal that should be done by ALL residents).

14/6/06 4:25 PM  
Anonymous mr giggles said...

Great idea to put out the word, say via a poster or flyer? Or perhaps take the diplomatic approach first and talk to the Town Council. If its officers and still a stubborn lot, can we place adverts of some sort? Maybe those free post cards type?

Asking the question of why are we ALL paying for the complaints of a few intolerant people who have no respect for life and other neighbours, and Town Council officers who are not interested in getting to the root of the problem rather than just wanting to be SEEN doing something?

14/6/06 4:29 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Interesting ideas everyone - I think Mr Giggles and Vegancat are right in approaching town council officers first. This would probably be the best way to bring it up.

Mr Giggles, a public awareness campaign is interesting.

14/6/06 5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I support Dawn's opinions and comments. Why should the conservancy funds be used for killing cats. If the complainant is not happy, he/she pays for the removal of the cats, why made other residents pay for it. TC should make use of the conservancy funds for other purposes such as upgrading of lifts, provide more covered walkways, frequent cleaning of the lift lobby and common areas, provide adequate car parks etc. etc. Why spend unnecessary money on killing cats (taking innocent lives)??? It's time TC do some soul searching.

14/6/06 5:10 PM  
Anonymous yskat said...

Money is only part of the problem here. I am sure some complainants, given the option, will not hesitate to pay pest control companies to trap the cats. The fact remains that there is a significant number of people who think that it is wrong (and also ineffective) to get the cats killed, and tc officers need to respect their beliefs.

14/6/06 9:22 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

true Yskat - but I have also seen quite a few people baulk at the cost and effort and just give up. Plus it would probably stop repeat complainants because it would just get too expensive - imagine if you paid $50 per cat.

14/6/06 9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The TC thought that by rounding up the cats and have them killed, they solved the problem immediately. This is not the right solution. And, the problem is still not solved.

The best solution is to sterilise as many cats as possible on the streets. By doing so, the cat pollution will be reduced.

How many cats can the TC killed? And if the cats are not sterilised, they will keep producing and the pollution will grow and grow. How long can the TC keep killing cats?

I personally feel that sterilisation is still the BEST way to control the cat pollution.

Of course, the TC has lots of reserves. But, why can't they put the money into better use.

14/6/06 11:45 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous well put.

15/6/06 12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Singapore is such an anal place to live in.... people are selfish n no compassion... cant even tolerate animals and people who show love for animals...

shit place!

15/6/06 1:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some TCs are spending hdb residents' conservancy fees on unnecessary projects like eco pond, pebble patch & of course cat culling to show they are doing something. It just goes to show that it is high time to review & reduce conservancy fees for some hdb estates.
See MPs and ask to pay less conservancy charges and TC officals hopefully would prioritise their reduced spending on essential services to benefit the majority of the the hdb residents.

If the hdb estate is always clean, residents may not notice the regular maintenance so perhaps some TCs send in the renovation teams, the culling squads, wayang for the week/day.

15/6/06 9:48 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes there were a whole bunch of letters in today's Forum Page bringing this issue up. No killing of cats mentioned - but a whole lot of other things that money is wasted on.

15/6/06 10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't understand why TC spent so much money to kill cats. They are creating bad karma for themselves.

Why don't they sponsor the money to CWS so that CWS can help more feeders to sterilise their cats.

Instead of using the money to kill cats, why not use the money to sterilise and save cats. Isn't it more meaningful.

To the Town Council: it's time you review your system..

15/6/06 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ask the TC to sponsor for the sterilisation of stray cats. By doing this, they are creating good karma for themselves and at the same time save the lives of these poor innocent cats.

They can help to reduce the cat pollution which means, less complaints for them to deal. Isn't it good.

15/6/06 1:53 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Excellent ideas. After all, since the TC is paying to trap them, they might as well just send them to be sterilised and then released!

15/6/06 5:38 PM  
Blogger vegancat said...

If we can inform neighbours of a complainant that the TC officer is going to spend OUR money to get rid of the cats without proper investigation (complainant's reluctancy to cooperate with provision of details will be a reflection of the officer's inefficiency, so that the officer will have to courage to inform complainant that if he or she refuses to provide details of complain, even to cws, then "sorry lah, we cannot help" and MP must support such approach), there will be an outrage. Residents just do not realise that the pest control personnel predating in our estates are paid by OUR $.

16/6/06 11:14 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I bet you even a lot of COMPLAINANTS don't want to spend the money.If you tell them their money is going to this, they'll want to know why. They want it done and they want it free.

That's how some condos ended working up with us. It was just cheaper!

16/6/06 2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will write to the MP and urge him to consider a sterilisation programme for the stray cats. Instead of trapping and killing cats, why don't the TC pay for the sterilisation of strays. Use the money to do good deeds.

18/6/06 1:12 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

That's a good idea Anonymous!

18/6/06 2:44 PM  

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