Meeting with caregivers, TC and AVA
I just got back from a meeting with some volunteers, following which we met with the town council and the AVA. The problem with this particular estate is that there are a LOT of people dumping cats out. One of the caregivers wrote down all the units where she knew people had cats and who let their cats run out, artificially increasing the number of cats in the area. She also said that a lot of these cats are not sterilised. She has been trying to get the residents to get their cats done, but a lot ignore her or tell her to take the cats away because they don't want them anymore.
She passed the list to the town council and requested help, but here's the thing - the town council said they can't do anything. Why? They have no jurisdiction. All they can do is tell the HDB if at all. What can the HDB do? Tell these people they cannot own cats - whereupon the cats often end up dumped! It's a vicious cycle. If the HDB rule was changed however town councils, HDB and residents could work together to find a real solution!
The caregiver said that they are having problems keeping up because so many cats are tossed in the area. The TC said they keep getting complaints that there are too many cats. We had to explain again that caregivers are NOT bringing cats in - these cats are tossed out and that is increasing the number. As I said to an officer why would caregivers want to spend even more time, money and effort on the cats? They already have their hands full and just want to control the population which will hopefully go down in time.
In the end the town council said that they would not trap any sterilised cats. One of the officers then turned to the AVA though and asked if they could please not kill the unsterilised cats caught in the area even if they were sent in! The officer did clearly feel bad about the cats being rounded up and killed.
The AVA officers on their part said that they supported everything we had said about sterilisation and how it was a better solution. They also said that it did not mean that the number of cats would drop overnight - but that the population would stabilise.
It's really sad and frustrating that a few people who don't sterilise and who toss their cats out can really make a huge mess. All the cats in this area are sterilised, but new cats keep popping up because of the dumping.