Friday, August 25, 2006


Update on the situation in Yishun. I spoke to the officer this morning. One of the cats was caught as I mentioned and sent to AVA. According to the officer, Mrs Lee called this morning and asked that the cats be removed but that they not be put down. The officer told her that the pretty, healthy cats would be sent for adoption at AVA (a notion which I tried to disabuse her of). Mrs Lee asked what happened to the rest, and she admitted they were killed. Mrs Lee apparently told her this was cruel, but the officer said there was nothing else she could do.

She told me she would go down and speak with the units in question today. I told her I had already gone down and flyered the blocks and spoke to whomever I could. I realised that besides pest control, the newspapers and the TC have not gone down yet.

I asked if the officer saw a lot of cats in the area and she said she did not.

She referred a case of someone she says is hoarding cats and requested i look into it.

A caregiver from another area also called up to see if she could redeem the cat caught. It turns out that the cat caught may be a completely different cat. Mrs Lee told me the cat they saw may have been pregnant. This was an ear tipped cat of a different colour.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can we have any proof of what AVA said to Mrs Lee? I am thinking of writing a very formal letter to the press. What AVA said is amount to lying if they say that "pretty and healthy ones will be put up for adoption at AVA" when we all know once in AVA door, its cat or dog heaven for you. It will be a good blow to them if their lies are exposed.

25/8/06 2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, i agree that misrepresentation is a serious issue and wld like to raise another example.

I was one of the ppl who wrote in to the TC on the complaint agst stray cats in another part of Yishun. i requested that they consider methods other than culling to address the issue. I received a response saying that i "may wish to know" that the TC has "arrangements with the Cat Welfare Society to resolve cat issues".

now, what is a reader to think? he wld think that the TC and CWS are working hand in hand, and if this person knows anythg abt CWS, he wld then assume that the matter is being resolved in a humane manner. from what i understand, the latest in this case is that the TC in question has decided to call in pest control. the letter therefore is a deliberate effort to mislead.

i think the CWS shld take a very serious view of this. it shld not allow anyone to use its name to misinform members of the concerned public.

25/8/06 3:26 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

25/8/06 5:39 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous - I think it was the TC and not AVA.

Anonymous - the TC in question is working with us. They sent us the email in the first place which was how we knew about the case. We told a caregiver, and she mentioned it to some friends who started circulating the information. The original email though said the cats would be cleared without giving any details. The officer subsequently called and I understand from the volunteer they now intend to poll the residents living there on their views.

25/8/06 5:41 PM  
Blogger calsifer said...

"The officer told her that the pretty, healthy cats would be sent for adoption at AVA"

So TCs are not averse to white lies? Whitewash the consequences - what a way to encourage and condone complaints, and to continue with a SOP that does nothing at all in genuine problem resolution. No wonder people have no qualms making complaints!

I agree with Anonymous 1 - is there a way to get this some constructive visibility?

25/8/06 5:42 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Calsifer, we've spoken to AVA about this and asked them to tell their officers to let people know the cats are killed. We normally only hear about it when people call us and let us know what was said.

As for the TCs, some officers also say they 'don't know' what happens.

25/8/06 5:45 PM  
Blogger calsifer said...

Right, but here, the TC officer is telling a resident that the pretty cats will be put up for adoption at AVA. Was she fibbing or just assuming? Cast an unsavoury light either way.

You know what? I just feel that a tour of the facilities is in order for TC officers. And the officers ought to get the full treatment, from capture to injection.

Singapore really needs lots of notion disabusing.

25/8/06 5:53 PM  
Anonymous MCM said...

I think the Straits Times article and Town Council has undone some of the good that the caregivers and CWS has done over the years. The Straits Times article by Leong Su-lin ought to be more balanced by asking SPCA/CWS on why they think the cat reacted so violently. With that one article, it probably resulted in the TC taking a knee-jerk reaction to solve the "problem" by culling the cats. I think ST ought to do another story on how people in Yishun feel about the cats being culled just because of one incident [I do feel sorry for the poor girl but just because of that the whole lot of community cats have to die?!], since some of them apparently do not want the cats to be put down.

25/8/06 6:02 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Calsifer - I couldn't agree more.

25/8/06 6:06 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

mcm - Including the mother of the little girl.

25/8/06 6:07 PM  
Blogger calsifer said...

I just wonder what we plebians can do to correct these naive, self-denials about round-up consequences?

Even the term culling has been corrupted to the point that imo, we need a banner campaign with the dictionary definition!

Writing letters is not that great an avenue since those are filtered and anything that's too negative sensitive gets chucked out (I still can't get a confirmed yes-we-will-publish on that article I wrote about culling and sugar-coating complaint results, and that was written MONTHS ago).

In my daily life, I disabuse people of the notion that animals sent to AVA/SPCA get a second lease, so much so I can repeat the stats verbatim.

I'm thinking of making a mp3 recording out of that every time people try extolling the non-existent virtues of packing off critters to those two destination ultima.

25/8/06 6:16 PM  
Blogger calsifer said...

BTW, kudos to the mother for not being vengeful to the point of wanting the cats there all dead.

I know she doesn't want it this way, but she's defintely opened a can of worms.

Looking on the bright side, maybe some notions can finally begin to be disbused? (Trying to think the glass is half-full here)

25/8/06 6:19 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Calsifer, I'd love to hear that MP3 :)

*Concentrating very hard on the glass being half-full*

25/8/06 6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It just hit me.. All this culling--rounding up cats and putting them down--is a chilling reminder of the Holocaust. except this time it's done to poor cats. I wonder how or whether the AVA would react if such a comparison is drawn. really, there is no difference.

26/8/06 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 cats who joined our family during the last major culling are called Anne/Frank.

26/8/06 12:45 PM  
Anonymous veganmeow said...

...another similarity is the misinformation given to the public..."the cats will not be hurt" "the cats are not killed at AVA" and etc.

26/8/06 3:50 PM  
Blogger vegancat said...

The difference with "human" hololcaust and "animal" holocaust is that human can write about it but animal can't.
Read "Animal Suffering and The Holocaust: The Problem With Comparisons"
Most suffering today, whether of animals or humans, suffering beyond calculation, whether it is physiological or the ripping apart of mother and offspring, is at the hands of other humans. - Roberta Kalechofsky

26/8/06 6:29 PM  
Blogger calsifer said...

Let me figure out the mic/recording thingy... and maybe speech/enunciation lessons first =P

*goes back to convincing self glass is half-full*

26/8/06 6:49 PM  
Blogger calsifer said...

With regards to the Holocaust comparison: BINGO!

I also highly recommend this book (it is a fascinating, but difficult, as in disturbing, read... so frankly I've only been able to read it intermittently): Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust
"Eternal Treblinka compares the abuse of animals with the Holocaust. Patterson’s analysis is straightforward: he does not base his analysis on a claim of moral equivalence between the Holocaust and factory farms, but rather on a factual connection. The techniques, knowledge, attitudes, and experience gained in the human exploitation of animals were instrumental not only in the Holocaust, but in a broader sense were instrumental toward all kinds of exploitation of humans, including war, slavery, and colonialism. The industrialized assembly-line slaughter of animals provided the model, in several important ways, for the industrialized slaughter of humans in the Holocaust. Henry Ford not only got the assembly-line model from Chicago slaughterhouses, but also helped spread anti-Semitic literature throughout Europe. Patterson concludes with some "echoes" of the Holocaust — animal advocates who were victims of the Holocaust (like Alex Hershaft) or who lost relatives in the Holocaust (like Peter Singer), and even some Germans as well. They saw the horror and determined to work to prevent and stop future horrors."

For a preview of the book's contents, including excerpts and quotes

News on its Jewish release

26/8/06 6:55 PM  
Blogger vegancat said...

I think some people think that to give in to feeling of pity that cats rounded up by TC are killed, is a sign of weakness that serves as a basis of their denial that their cats are in fact killed at pasir panjang! By saying that "oh the pretty ones are adopted" goes to show much our minds have been hogwashed to base our feelings on what only our eyes see...the cute pretty ones..whether human or non-human...deserve to be helped..but never mind the ugly and sickly looking ones lah...they deserved to be killed.

26/8/06 10:04 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Calsifer - you don't need to worry about your voice :)

26/8/06 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Few months ago, I wanted to redeem my cat from AVA and the officer there gave me a long list of details that I hv to comply with:

1) he said, I must hv a private address, not a HDB address. He wants to see my NRIC
2) i can pay a fee and redeem the cat, if i bring a friend there with a private address (living in a landed property, a condo or private apts)
3) he said, I can only redeem the cat once.
4) if the cat is caught again, I cannot redeem it. The cat will be put down.
5) he said, I cannot put the redeemed cat at the void deck of any HDB flat.
6) the redeemed cat must be kept indoors (inside the house)
7) they will micro-chip the cat
and trace my personal data/info
8) the officer wants me to personally go down to pasir panjang to search for my cat and he said there are hundreds and thousands of them there. I am not sure whether this is true.

and the worst thing is, the officer is very rude and impatient, he raised his voice at me on the phone. He sounds like a very frustrated man. What a person to represent AVA. SHAME....

27/8/06 12:14 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous, there are a LOT of cats sent to AVA every day.

If you think the officer was rude,you should complain. Some officers there aren't very good in my opinion. Others are trying but it's a tough job too.

27/8/06 4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a bloody shame that AVA is a death house! Read the HK equivalent of AVA

27/8/06 9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has the TC started culling the cats in Yishun? Any info on this.

Will other housing estates or areas be affected

28/8/06 12:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really hate the AVA. They are the mass murderers of all strays, especially cats. I agreed. AVA is a death house.

They are worse than David Hooi.

28/8/06 12:20 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous, I think it's complicated - a lot of town councils send their cats to the AVA and so do some people. we need to change how things work so TCs and people don't just send their cats to the AVA to be put down at the first instance. To do that, there has to be a change in how TCs work and how for example, the loaning of traps works too.

As for Yishun, things seem to be resolved.

28/8/06 2:04 AM  

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