Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A community working together

I went for a meeting last night where caregivers, the RC and the TC were all involved to see what more could be done for the cats in the area. The different groups already work together in this area. I showed the video on the cat cafe and also the Alley Cat Allies DVD. The people at the meeting found both videos very educational.

They have decided to put the plans for the cat cafe on hold at the moment while they sort out some other issues (and the caregivers are not all that keen on one anyway because right now their system is working quite well). What was very interesting was what was discussed and the amount of co-operation.

For example, there is a sub-committee within the RC that deals with cats and is helmed by an RC member who is herself a caregiver.

Another caregiver is also very good at getting other residents in her community involved. Both caregivers speak and to people as they do their rounds. When one of them (the non-RC member) found an area to be littered with leftover food, she took a novel approach - she convinced the people sitting around in the void decks to help her clean the area up. The littering stopped.

The town council officer said that since he started working with them, he has found the area to be much cleaner. They have less complaints as a result. He said that it was good to see that they had contained and managed the community cat population.

Also in the course of discussion, matters were clarified - for example, animal hoarding. Many other cases of hoarders were raised and discussed - the RC Advisor mentioned for example, they had someone who hoarded so much newspaper, that the resident could only open the door a crack and needed to climb in over it to get into his own home. I think it gave a better conception of the problem to the RC and TC and they also realise it is not just an 'animal' issue from their experience.

Issues like abandonment were discussed, with the TC officer agreeing that if the HDB changed their rule it would really help. They said right now, once the warning letter is issued, a lot of cats are dumped. The RC Advisor then said that they would also write a proposal to query if the rule could be changed.

Ideas of having more outreach programmes to the residents were broached as well through the RC.

It's really great to see what can be achieved when a community works together. I think everyone left the meeting feeling glad to have had an exchange of ideas, and there was a sense of everyone working together. Let's hope this can be replicated all over the island!


Blogger vegancat said...

Geez..where is this place. I want to move there :)

26/9/06 10:32 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Are you sure vegancat? What is going to happen to your babies in your area? Dawn, glad to know you have a positive meeting, must be rather refreshing, i say.

26/9/06 10:59 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

26/9/06 11:04 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Mary - it really is!

26/9/06 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are many good people out there, what we need is to be able to reach them. With continous love and attention, I am sure everybody will be able to connect to the community positively. Keep up the Great Work Dawn !

26/9/06 11:34 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Thanks Anonymous - but I think the credit really goes to the caregivers there for being so great. As one said, it's about making sure your neighbours are happy :)

26/9/06 11:38 AM  
Blogger vegancat said...

I will forward this to the TC manager and the property officer in my estate.

26/9/06 12:10 PM  
Blogger calsifer said...

Now that's what I call prime estate! Not for the superfluous notion of prestige or worth of location, but for the people there.

I wanna move there too!

26/9/06 2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, is the petition to HDB for the rule change still ongoing? I hope that HDB can allow residents to foster the cats at least.

26/9/06 2:28 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous we wrote to them to ask for another meeting in I believe, August. Still no reply.

I was so pleased when the RC Advisor suggested that the RC would write in - I have to say I wasn't expecting it!

26/9/06 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can we send an online petition to HDB?

26/9/06 9:24 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Well you can certainly email. I think it would be better than SMSing.

26/9/06 11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is CWS, together with other animal welfare group, organising a petition signing campaign? I think this is more effective than a single email.

27/9/06 9:41 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous - what I meant was, everyone should start sending emails. We had 3000 people sign letters to the HDB in 3 weeks and it wasn't deemed enough.

27/9/06 9:57 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Oops I realised I put SMSing - I meant better than an online petition.

27/9/06 10:15 AM  

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