Thursday, June 14, 2007

Long term management

Someone spoke with me this afternoon about a woman who wanted to get some cats sterilised at a hotel. She had been at the hotel a few weeks ago and saw the cats who weren't done. She tried to contact the management who told her to contact the pest control and said they were in charge, who told her to contact the management. She wanted to know if we could talk to the management.

This person asked a third party to call me and I suggested that she might want to speak with me directly so there isn't so much potential for miscommunication. The third party will be helping her if she decides to go ahead with the sterilisation.

The woman apparently was planning to get the cats sterilised, and to remove the females but to leave the males according to the third party.

I said that we'd be happy to speak with the management. However my main concern was what was going to happen to these cats long term. Who would look after them? It's great the woman wants to get them done - and it'll certainly help to reduce the population and cut down on complaints. However, the thing is that the hotel (and the vast majority of managements) in all likelihood doesn't care if the cats are sterilised. What they DO care about is how to handle complaints and minimise problems.

If there is no resident caregiver there, then who will take care of the complaints? The cats may be sterilised - but that doesn't mean the complaints will come to an end solely due to sterilisation. It will definitely cut down the complaints - but probably won't bring them to a complete stop.

In addition, should older cats die and new cats come in, what happens then? Also who handles the responsible feeding? Who will take sick or injured cats to the vet?

The third party told me that the woman rarely goes there and she may not be able to do all this. I told the third party that sterilising is definitely important - but that if she wants to try as much as possible to guarantee their survival in the area, sterilisation alone isn't enough. If she is prepared to sterilise anyway (and has the resources do to it), and not be too upset that they are gone if she goes back, then that's good to do.

The third party also pointed out that it would be a waste of time, money and resources though if the cats are caught. He said he would speak with her and ask her if she wanted to speak with me.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do the first thing first, get the cats sterilise. If nothing is done, they multiple. It's not about money, it's about preventing them from multiplying, I have done cats in major shopping malls and management supported sterilisation as they can save on pest control.

14/6/07 7:01 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I think BOTH need to be done - I also know of areas where all the cats were sterilised and were still caught and killed.

Preventing them from multiplying is only one part of it - there are many other problems that can arise and need a resident caregiver to solve.

For example, say in your shopping centre example - if the sterilised cats start wandering into the shops (as happened in one shopping centre I know), there was a problem. It was only because there was a caregiver there who took steps to work on this that the management let the cats be.

14/6/07 7:56 PM  
Anonymous Hoon said...

Dawn, are you suggesting that if there is no caregiver in that area, then do not bother sterilising the cats?

Problem is, there will always be places without any caregiver. If you leave things as they are and do not sterilise, they multiply more. When there's any trapping, MORE cats will get caught. Moreover, we do not know for sure whether there will be any trapping. However, if you sterilise, at least the population stays stable and even if there is any trapping, it would only be that few cats and not "more" cats.

As for feeding, some places which have no caregiver, the cats may still have limited access to food, though not on a regular basis.

Like what anonymous said, my opinion is that even if there is no caregiver, sterilise.

14/6/07 10:40 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14/6/07 10:53 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Hoon what I am suggesting is basically this. If you have a lot of time/money/resources, then please DO sterilise. It's a good idea to do it as you said, no matter what. It also means less cats get caught because less cats are born.

However if you find that you don't have unlimited resources (as most of us don't), then you can do one of two things. One, do it anyway as you said - but go in with your eyes open. Don't expect to go back and find the cats still there. If you are content knowing that at least less cats were caught, then all is well.

Two, if you DO want to ensure that the cats are looked after as much as possible, then help in an area where there ARE caregivers or at least somewhat responsible feeders. Certainly there are a lot of places without caregivers - but there are also a lot of places with feeders who could do with a bit of extra help to get the cats sterilised. If you do those areas, then the caregivers can help to do the management, or at the very least, alert you if the cats are caught.

The thing is, as in this case, the woman in question wants to ensure the management doesn't catch the cats. And frankly sterilisation is only one part of that. As I mentioned in the post, the management doesn't care if the cats are sterilised - who is going to help them if they have complaints? So if you sterilise, thinking that it will save the cats - chances are it won't, not on its own.

14/6/07 10:55 PM  
Anonymous cat talk said...

' the stranger who sterilises ', that's what I am. I went for lunch and found a pregnant cat well loved by shop keepers there they won't know what I was talking about. i returned one night and got her sterilised.

I just sterilise and know it's worth the effort and do check around who been feeding them but won't wait or expect them to do it.

14/6/07 11:42 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

cat talk - it's good that you do it and don't expect that the feeders do it. The point I was trying to make with this post is that I've met quite a few people who sterilise, don't do management (or find caregivers in the area) and then feel very upset that the cats aren't 'saved'. Some of them then throw up their hands and ask why they bothered to sterilise when the cats are going to be killed.

15/6/07 1:08 AM  
Blogger Hai~Ren said...

In essence, it's quality vs. quantity.

In an ideal situation, we would have the power and resources at our disposal to provide sterilisation and management to an extensive area. But alas, this is not an ideal situation.

15/6/07 1:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I have the money, I will run all over singapore to sterilize cats.

15/6/07 1:56 AM  
Anonymous cat talk said...

the government has the funds but rather kill than sterilise. Even agreements are broken and dishonoured and sterilised cats are killed according to the whims and fancy of ever changing management.
Nevertheless, don't give up. if situation looks bad, change the lousy fate.

15/6/07 3:32 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

hai ren - exactly. The question then is what you are trying to achieve. If you think sterilisation for its own sake is good enough because less cats are killed then it's fine. But management needs to be done to ensure their survival.

Anonymous - as do we all. If we had that much money, we'd get a mobile van and drive around and sterilise the cats in the van! Anyone could come.

cat talk - yes. And of course you're right, managements can and do change their policies. However, it's important to at least try and speak to the management. If their stance is unremittingly hostile right from the outset, then you may want to try somewhere else. The most important thing is to go in and know what you're getting into as much as possible. Sometimes management would be supportive - but you need to give them an opportunity to do so, and you need to put yourself in their shoes in order to offer them an effective solution.

One management we worked with wanted to fine all cat caregivers for feeding. The residents in the area decided not to start the programme as a result. A few months later the management contacted us and said they wanted to start - they realised it was too expensive to keep killing the cats. As a result, a proper programme is now in place and the last time we met with the management, they agreed there was a distinct decrease in the number of cats through TNRM.

15/6/07 9:11 AM  
Anonymous cat talk said...

I am convinced CWS is doing a fantastic job and government should allocate funds to CWS for sterilisation. An initial amount of 200K will see a drastic reduction of the cats population. The amount should increase as system picks up momentum.

All the kind hearted people who sterilise strays should refrain from asking reimbursments as a way of contributing to CWS TNR programme. Send in receipts but mark it as ' Donation '.

CWS needs a van, full time staff as well as vet fees. Let's buy the van, do it now and not wait thirty years; millions of cats would have died from all the waiting.
This is the best time to sterilise all cats. People, please donate to the TRN van program. I will start with a mere $100/- . Dawn, how can I transfer electronically to you?

Keep up the amazing work.

15/6/07 12:03 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

cat talk - thanks for the kind words. We did the math for a van a few years ago and it didn't work out - it would be too expensive to run. It's still cheaper to ask caregivers to send in the cats to vets.

Also, I have to thank the caregivers who aren't claiming reimbursement and there are many of them. There are however quite a few people claiming whom I believe really could do with the money so I would tell them to not feel bad and to keep sending in their claims.

15/6/07 1:20 PM  
Anonymous mew said...

Yes it'll be good come July 1, all of us donate our GST credits to CWS :) Really, it would be even better if CWS can register itself with tax-deductible status, I can then sell CWS to all easily..

18/6/07 12:54 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Hi mew - the last time we tried we were told we weren't human orientated enough. SPCA were kind enough to also speak with them and mention that they had IPC status (tax exempt status) in support of our application, but we were told SPCA had been granted theirs a while ago. Since the new slew of charity regulations since the NFK matter, we're waiting to see what exactly is required before we apply again.

18/6/07 1:35 PM  

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