Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Dumping again

I was just speaking to a caregiver as there was a complaint in her area. She in turn was telling me that people are dumping cats again. She said one woman she suspects is an especially recalcitrant dumper. She has gone down and spoken with her, as has the town council on several occasions. The woman will not budge to get the cats sterilised.

The volunteer said there was a pregnant cat on the street and she booked an appointment to get her sterilised. When the date drew near the cat disappeared - she suspected the woman took the cat in to let it give birth. Kittens were soon found dumped in the area.

It really gets to me - why do people continue to let their cats give birth? If say they have a home pet, why not keep it indoors at least while it is on heat, so it doesn't get pregnant even if they don't sterilise it? Do they think that cats somehow enjoy mating? Why let the cat give birth when they clearly do not want the kittens? Do they think that throwing the kittens downstairs means that the cats will have a good life in the neighbourhood? Or do they simply not care what happens? Then why let them be born in the first place? Is it because they feel bad about killing, but not bad about abandoning the kittens to their fate, whatever that may be? One of the kittens in fact was run over by a car.

The problem in most cases is no consequences. How do you even catch someone dumping? It's almost impossible. So the problem is taken out of their hands and they just go out doing whatever it is they've been doing all along. The problem is passed on to the caregivers - they end up with an increasing cat population. They end up having to pay for sterilisation and additional food - and dealing with complaints coming in.

21 Comments:

Anonymous rachel said...

In my neighbourhood, a cat which was let out of the house recently by the owner had developed an abscess. My neighbour brought the cat to a vet and got it treated. She then approached the owner who said that he had to let the cat out because of his daughter (about 1.5 yrs old). He said the cat sheds and his daughter likes to put her finger in her mouth after touching the cat. The thing is, they have had this cat for 6 - 7 years already! Although he paid for the medical fees, it appears that he does not want to have anything more to do with the cat. When we told him that another neighbour already complained when the cat defecates at the corridor, he said at most, he will put the cat up for adoption. But judging from his expression, we know that he will not take the trouble to do that. He will probably take the easy way out, i.e. send the cat to spca or continue to let the cat out.

I thought of taking a picture of his house (since he has a carrier and a bowl of dry cat food outside) and report him to AVA of abandonment, since he already admitted that he was the owner and we could be the witnesses.

On second thoughts, is it workable? Or, he may turn around to say that he is simply abinding by the hdb rule of not keeping cats at home.

24/1/07 3:14 PM  
Anonymous autumnpiglet said...

Has it ever occurred to him to teach the daughter not to do that? It's really that simple.

24/1/07 3:22 PM  
Anonymous ej said...

Sad that there are always such people with dumping mentality and atitude. Letting their cats multiplied irresponsibly are the roots of the kittens' sufferrings.Very sad to see helpless kitty run over by car.

24/1/07 3:30 PM  
Anonymous rachel said...

I guess it may be difficult to teach a 1.5 yr-old kid. But I think he could supervise them when they play or keep them apart if they are alone with each other?

Anyway, we could sense that he is adamant about not keeping the cat. He told us that he is not an animal lover. He said tha cat was picked up as a kitten by his wife 6 - 7 years ago.

If he is an animal lover or being responsible in the first place, he would have thought of all these solutions. To me, he just wants an easy way out.

24/1/07 3:34 PM  
Anonymous rachel said...

Oops, referring to my previous post, I mean to keep them apart when no adults are supervising.

24/1/07 3:38 PM  
Anonymous autumnpiglet said...

He might not be the animal lover, but what about his wife? She picked up the kitten, doesn't she feel at least partially responsibile for the cat? Or just because she has a daughter now, the cat can be dumped?

Definitely not setting a good example for the daughter. Basically teaching her that if you can't bear the responsibilty, you can just dump the thing. I wonder when the daughter grows up, whether she'll think that "Hey, I can't take care of my parents, I'll just dump them".

24/1/07 3:40 PM  
Anonymous rachel said...

Autumnpiglet, we did not get to speak to the wife at all. She gave some excuses & did not come out to meet us.

Anyway, good point there. Will tell him that when I have the opportunity, though I think he might get offended.

24/1/07 3:46 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Rachel you can certainly try. the problem is that he'll probably deny the cat is his at all. Would you and your neighbours be able to say that the cat has been seen in his house for the last 6-7 years and that it was only recently dumped?

24/1/07 3:52 PM  
Anonymous rachel said...

His balcony is directly facing my kitchen. So, from my unit, I can see very clearly that they used to keep 2 cats at the balcony for years. I can't remember how many years though.

24/1/07 4:17 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

rachel - the cats were kept indoors all that time? What happened to the other cat do you know? Could you drop me an email on this?

24/1/07 4:20 PM  
Anonymous rachel said...

We were also puzzled as to what happened to the other cat. The 2 cats were at the balcony all the time. They never let the cats into the house, as far as I know. The glass door separating the house and balcony is always closed.

My neighbour now suspects that the cat which is recuperating in her house is not toilet-trained. He defecates on the floor. ANd when she tried to put him into the litter box, he jumped out immediately. Anyway, she said she will return the cat to him after he recovers. Then, it's up to him what he wants to do with the cat.

About reporting to AVA.....so sorry, my neighbour tells me that she does not want to report him to AVA becoz she does not want AVA or hdb to come after her as she herself has 3 dogs and 3 cats at home. TC already has her name.

Actually, come to think of it, I may also get myself into trouble as I have 3 cats at home.

Sigh, that hdb ruling again!! Irresponsible owners get away with it and responsible owners worry about being prosecuted.

24/1/07 4:42 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Actually the AVA does not enforce the ruling - only HDB does. The AVA only enforces the laws on animal abuse, abandonment and cruelty laws so they're quite separate. The AVA is very unlikely to care that you have cats in your own home - nor do you need to announce it to them.

24/1/07 4:53 PM  
Anonymous rachel said...

Even if AVA does not come after us, what happens if that irresponsible owner decides to do a "tit for tat' by reporting us to hdb? Guess we just have to let this one go, huh?

24/1/07 5:03 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

That is certainly possible - unfortunately this is another reason why abandonment is so hard to prosecute which is lack of witnesses.

24/1/07 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think more importantly is will reporting to AVA result in the cat being confiscated and then put down? After all the owner doesnt want it, and it is living in a HDB. The one who suffers in the end might be the cat. Perhaps Rachel you can ask the neighbour if you can help him rehome the cat and put it up for adoption?

Sure beats AVA bringing the cat off to be put down.

25/1/07 1:18 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

If you're asking if the AVA will remove the cat because it is in an HDB flat, no they won't. Again they are two separate agencies. They have investigated cases before and the cats weren't taken unless the cats were in bad condition.

However if the flat owner hands the cats over to the AVA and asks them to take it in, they will do so.

25/1/07 1:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats the fear.... When AVA come around, the owner might say that it is not his cat and since AVA is here could they help him to take it away.

He does not get into any legal issue of abandonment and cat "cleared" away solving his problem.

25/1/07 7:55 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

No the AVA doesn't just walk around removing cats. Unless he admits its his cat and wants to surrender it, they're not going to remove it. What if it's someone else's cat?

25/1/07 9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not meant to be a racist remark but if the family that refuses to sterilise its home cats is Malay, it might be good to ask Malay cargivers to speak to them. A very dedicated Malay caregivers spoke to the family and it finally agreed to have their remaining 4 cats sterilised. The rest were dumped downstairs earlier on but they were all eventually sterilised.

25/1/07 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(additional info to the above posting)
This is not meant to be a racist remark but if the family that refuses to sterilise its home cats is Malay, it might be good to ask Malay cargivers to speak to them. We have the same problem in our estate and a very dedicated Malay caregivers spoke to the family concerned and it finally agreed to have their remaining 4 cats sterilised. The rest were dumped downstairs earlier on but they were all eventually sterilised.

25/1/07 9:40 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I agree - it helps for example to have someone speak your own language. Most people (Chinese, Malays, Indians) are more comfortable speaking in whatever language they generally use and this can really help.

25/1/07 9:43 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home