Thursday, April 26, 2007

AVA reply

The AVA wrote back about their policy change over the weekend and we sent a reply today.

The AVA said replied that they felt it would be irresponsible to return the cats after the TCs have caught them should the cat be found to have caused a nuisance of be found near a food centre. They said that in the past, they had returned the cats when a letter was furnished by the TC.

It was stated that during SARS when the cats caught was quite large that they returned them to the caregivers. However this practice was not found to be working well. Also they felt that circumstances had changed and that the TCs did not trap as many sterilised cats now.

The email also stated that the TCs had met with the AVA recently and that they had complaints from the TCs about irresponsible and demanding feeders who were abusive to the TCs.

We replied that as far as we were aware, caregivers were allowed to claim the cats back with or without the letters - the difference was in whether the cats had to be microchipped or not. Also, if the cats are taken off the streets and into caregivers' homes as an undertaking for the cats to be returned if there was no letter.

In addition, we stated that to cancel a programme because the TC deals with a few difficult residents is a shame. At the same time, we see the TCs dealing with difficult residents who complain about the cats all the time. We reiterated that we felt that difficult residents, whether they be complainants or caregivers, should not be dealt with and this will help solve matters. It's a matter of common courtesy - not something to do with the cats.

It is unusual that the TC should feel that these cats which cause 'nuisance' are removed from the streets and are still causing them problems. Perhaps these aren't even the same cats causing the problem, the vacuum effect is coming into play or that the problem was not resolved at the root cause. If not, and the cats are removed, then why should the TCs be unhappy? As far as I know, most caregivers do not release the cats back onto the streets again if they were caught because of fear that the cats will definitely be put down if caught again. If so and removal is working so well, then why is there still an issue?

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16 Comments:

Blogger Hai Woo said...

Seems to me like someone, or some "garmen bureaucrats" from either the TCs or AVA, or both are trying to shed this aspect of their jobs, which probably do not take up a lot of their time or their total respective job scope/responsibilities; But they should know and be aware that 'dealing with community cats' have and will become part and parcel of their daily work, I don't think, nor approve that they think they can easily toss it away.

To me, it doesn't look (too) good on them especially they (civil servants) just had a boost to their salary structure...

Utterly Disappointed, but not at all surprise.

Cheers

26/4/07 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Really Fed-Up with AVA said...

The common sense thing for AVA to do is to be just and fair by investigation into TC's claims and not just accept "wholesale" and listen to caregivers and feedback to CWS.
AVA is using taxpayers' money to put down cats and I really do wonder how many of these cats were truly innocent and not the cause of the complaints from residents. I do believe that most if not a large number of property officers of TCs do not bother to investigate into complaints about cats and pest controllers certainly are not bothered to make sure they even round up the right cats.
All these translate into waste of public fund - TC's fund and taxpapers!
It is exasperating for caregivers to be always at the "blame" when we are really a rare breed to participating in the management of our country.
It is also a surprise that when caregivers are "loud and complaining" they are being penalised but when other residents are loud and demanding, they are pandered to!

26/4/07 11:10 AM  
Blogger calsifer said...

Welcome back, Dawn.

This is so unsurprising. But is it just me or is there an undertone reminiscent of the high-handed manner in which SCRS was cancelled abruptly during the SARS scare?

26/4/07 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please write to
MS GRACE FU
Job Title : MINISTER OF STATE - MOS
DID : 63257207
Email: GRACE_FU@MND.GOV.SG
Unit: MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (MND)

We are far from being a "gracious" country at the lack of compassion for "mere" cats who are treated worse than dirt and as mere nuisance!
If TCs are to open their eyes wide and big, they will know they need to cull the human who are the biggest nuisance!

26/4/07 11:24 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I have to say as well that I'm surprised why there was a change in policy. As I mentioned, I know most caregivers who do take the cats out with the microchips are very scrupulous about not returning the cats to the street which makes me wonder what the real problem is.

26/4/07 11:47 AM  
Anonymous john imagine said...

The real problem is the lack of concern/empathy for suffering animals and the unhealthy mindset of a lazy and unwholesome appoinment holders.

They just love to kill and think they are protecting society. Headless and mindless system on an expensive taxpayers' support system.

26/4/07 1:48 PM  
Blogger Hai Woo said...

Hi Dawn, at this point I would only say, keep engaging the AVA and the TCs and continue talking and corresponding to them to solve the matter or come out with a better policy... I think and guess there is "only so much" you and CWS can do at the moment.

Hopefully something good will come out

Cheers

26/4/07 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is AVA making it so difficult for feeders to claim the cats? Creating obstacles and problems, are they solving the stray problems in Singapore? The answer is No.

26/4/07 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Furry said...

I am a novice feeder and caregiver. I do not understand why the cats caught by pest control and sent to ava must be microchipped and the caregivers not allowed to put them back on the streets????? Then what are the caregivers going to do with these cats??? Board them in the shelters as prisoners or keep as many as you can at home???? But HDB do not allow the residents to keep even one cat!!!!!!!!!!! Contradicting policies!!!!!

26/4/07 2:30 PM  
Blogger eslina said...

It is very disheartening to know that AVA is trying to take the easy way out. I'm guessing their thinking is if the cats are still around, there will still be problems (maybe not now, but later in the future) So to make very sure no cat-related problems arise (now or the near future) simply kill them should there be ANY complaints (no matter whether it's cat-related or not).

I can imagine the frustrations of caregivers who had spent time, effort & money to manage the community cats only to lose them on account of govt's bureacracy.

I was really hoping that AVA will be more keen to work with the volunteers.

Should I even dare mention or ask about the SCRS by the AVA??

26/4/07 2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it true that AVA only returns microchipped cats once to the owners? If caught a second time, it is put down without informing owners. Heard this from a pet forum.

Concerned Owner

26/4/07 2:51 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

If you are a caregiver already working with your TC, you won't have a problem because should a cat be caught, they will furnish you with a letter and the cat released without microchip and can be released back onto the streets.

The problem lies with caregivers who either cannot or do not want to work with their town councils. If their cats are caught, the problem arises that they will be unable to get the cats back. This is a problem.

26/4/07 4:19 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Concerned owner - to be honest most caregivers I know of don't put the cats back so I don't know if it's true. I wouldn't however test it as that is the understanding.

26/4/07 4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldnt test it out too, my own cats are kept indoors, just that have some expat friends who live in landed properties and let their cats roam. According to the post in the pet forum. It seems to imply, AVA will put down any microchipped cat it catches for a second time regardless of whether it has been registered as a pet or not. Simply means caught second time means marked for death. That is quite disturbing...

Concerned Owner

26/4/07 5:21 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Hi Concerned Owner, I think there's some confusion here. Basically there are two types of microchips - one that owners put in themselves to identify the cats. Two, chips that are registered with the AVA for community cats that were released. If it is the former, the chip itself should not matter. It is only the latter cat that may potentially be put down because their caregivers have undertaken not to release them again.

Also, if they are cats from landed property, they do not need a microchip to be released - that's only for HDB estates.

26/4/07 5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Dawn for clarifying! That is good to hear.

Concerned owner

27/4/07 12:28 PM  

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