Friday, February 09, 2007

Writing Anonymous Letters

I just got off the phone with a feeder. Unfortunately there seem to be occasional cases of cat abuse in her area and it used to be quite bad. The problem is that there never are witnesses that will come forward. In one case, her friend saw someone abuse the cat, and I went down with the two of them. After giving testimony for two hours or so, the minute the feeder left the room the friend said that she did not want to go to court - she was just scared of her friend being angry with her. So that case never got prosecuted (and when the feeder came back, she turned on her heels and told her friend she would never speak with her again -whereupon the friend got very upset).

Another time, she insisted that she had stirling witnesses this time - they turned out to all be children, whose parents did not want them going to court.

Now I know she's frustrated that she does not have witnesses, but if the witnesses will not go to court, there is nothing that we can do.

So she called up this time to say that she had another witness - a security guard at a building who saw someone whom she claims is a doctor throwing pebbles at some of the cats. I asked her if this person is willing to go to the police. Predictably he was not. Instead, she wanted us to write a letter to the alleged abuser (she said she knew his address) and tell him that he was not to abuse the cats. I told her, we had no proof and could not go around accusing people of abusing cats. She said perhaps we could send an anonymous letter because we had more power as a Society. I asked her what the point of that was - it would tell the person that someone who did not have the courage (and obviously the proof) to write their name down was making accusations they could not back up. She said that the person might be 'scared'. I told her on the contrary the person might be even bolder knowing that there was nothing to link him to the cats (none of which were injured by the way). I asked her why she didn't write the letter herself since it was going to be anonymous anyway. Our policy on Anonymous letters is simply that we don't entertain them - and we certainly won't be sending them out either.

In addition, she claimed that there was another security guard in the same building whom she was convinced was killing her cats - though again there was no proof. The bodies were not taken to the vet to have a necropsy done, and she did not make a report. She said it was no use to speak to the police. She wanted us to go down and get the security guard's NRIC and name. I told her again, firstly, we had no authority to go around demanding peoples' NRICs and secondly, she still had no proof linking this man to the supposed abuse. She said she saw him yesterday throwing something in the direction of the cats. I told her the police could go down and have a word with him but she needed to first make a report, which she does not want to do.



Anonymous ej said...

Is it possible to take pictures or video for evidence of the possible abuses?

9/2/07 10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand. Is there a social stigma associated with bearing witness in court? Why are people so afraid to stand up for what is right?

10/2/07 1:16 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Well some people are scared because they might lose their jobs I guess. For others they might be frightened of the abusers. For yet others, who knows? Singaporeans tend to like to remain anonymous somehow!

10/2/07 2:18 AM  
Anonymous Jacky said...

Another reason might be they have to take time off during giving statement in court, which normally during weekdays, within working hours.

10/2/07 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's still rather infuriating. So many such cases go unresolved because people would rather keep silent

10/2/07 5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon, people always tell others
"Heros always die first" Even a high ranking policeman(from Jurong police division)told me this to absolve him from doing extra paper work by taking down my statement.
I had to lodge an online police report for him to call me back and to speak to me in a nicer tone.

Since police are not doing their job well, taking matter lightly, and residences are being mum, history will definately repeat itself. Doing the same things, thinking the same thoughts, and the same things happen again and again. Logical?

12/2/07 2:58 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous, I'm glad you persisted and made that report though!

12/2/07 9:00 AM  

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