Tuesday, July 10, 2007

How to help

I got two very different responses to this earlier post (and both were sent to me via email). One person whole-heartedly agreed with me and said the same thing had happened in case she had helped out with. She and a friend ended up with the cat and having to pay after someone else picked up the cat.

Another person just wrote in to say in response to my query on why people don't want to help directly that there were all kinds of reasons why people cannot help out. I just wrote back to say I agree. There are many valid reasons why people cannot help out - it could be due to their work, their schedules, their health or many other reasons.

The thing is this - if you can't help, then chances are someone else can't either because they have similarly valid reasons. The point of my post was that we cannot expect someone else to take over if we cannot cope. Sometimes that's the sad reality of it - if you cannot cope, you have to walk away.

There are many cats out there in need of help - and everyone only has limited resources. Sometimes the only difference between the cat that needs help that you see, and the cat that you don't is that you saw the cat. The cat is not going to suffer any more or less just because you saw it - the difference is that you feel bad because you saw the cat. And of course you will - but the question then is what will you do about it?

Does this mean that you should walk away when you see an injured cat then? Of course not - if you are able to help the cat, please, please do. But, and here's the BIG but - do it only if you can. By this I mean, if you are able to afford it, and if you can care for the cat. You know how the old saying goes - if you want something done right, then do it yourself. Sure you might have friends or other caregivers who can help - and that's great if they can, but we can't expect them to do it if we can't either.

I've seen too many cases of people taking in cats because they felt sorry for them, that end up with the cats living in terrible conditions. Or cats sent to other caregivers who then get more and more over-burdened because they cannot cope. Often these cats get sick, or die, because there are just too many cats. Or the well-intentioned person who brings in MORE cats into their colony because they can't bear to leave the cat where it was and jeopardises their entire colony. Or the cat that was taken to the vet at considerable cost and then put back on the street without aftercare and then got sicker and died because of it. Or the person who I met a while ago on the verge of bankruptcy because she could not walk away and whose cats then did not get the treatment they needed anyway. The list goes on and on of good intentions but people with limited resources who just cannot cope.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

is it true that AVA will not release unsterilized cats..

10/7/07 7:39 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes generally they will not.

10/7/07 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is not fair what if you were intending to get the cat sterilized but it was caught before you could do so?

10/7/07 8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is so goddamn ridiculous

10/7/07 8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok... if say one of my unsterilized cats got caught what can be done?

10/7/07 8:59 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Generally Anonymous I don't think the TCs are too sympathetic. What I would suggest if you're starting a new area though is to ask them for a period to get the cats done - ie tell them that you estimate that you need X number of months to get them all done. Don't under-estimate the amount of time. Then, make sure you get them done.

You can try the AVA anyway and see what they say. However, I think that it's been getting harder and harder to get unsterilised cats out.

10/7/07 10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh it's not me... someone on the singapore cats message board posted that her unsterilized cats were caught and AVA refuses to return them. im wondering if anyone can help her.

Its worrying though, because my neighbourhood is not under TC's jurisdication so trapping is done by private homeowners who dont care whether someone is looking after the cats or not

10/7/07 11:20 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Private estates don't come under the same rules I believe - so if it does happen in your estate, do call the AVA up. Are the cats in your area sterilised?

10/7/07 11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, most of them are because there are a few caregivers in the area but from time to time unsterilized newbies show up.. one of the cats i was trying to catch for sterilization disappeared before I could get her done, but at the time i didnt know that someone was trapping.

11/7/07 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think it is always prudent to check with SPCA and AVA promptly shld community cats disappear. Don't wait cos the cats don't last long, especially if unsterilised, the poor thgs.


11/7/07 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as for how to help when u yourself cannot, a good place to try to get help nowadays is on local pet forums.

i have seen many cries for help and oftentimes ppl who can, do come forward. i have offered my help on occasion and am always happy to read abt cases that end happily.


11/7/07 11:52 AM  
Anonymous belle said...

i saw a big burly (unsterilised) male cat yesterday, at one of the void decks...

he was wearing this collar/tag that had a handphone number written clearly on it ...

those of u who have outside cats, maybe u can do this too ... it allows complainants or trappers to contact u b4 they juz take the cat away...

ofcos these are worst case scenarios ...

11/7/07 1:33 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

JK - that's right, it's always best to check as soon as possible.

It's good that people are willing to come forward and help and nice you are able to do so. The point though I was trying to make is not to expect someone ELSE to do something if you can't. Time and again we see people picking up cats and asking how soon they can give the cats to us because they cannot keep them at all. Often there's nothing even wrong with these cats - someone just thought it was a good idea to pick up the cute cat and get it rehomed, but they're not prepared to foster it or do much else.

belle - hopefully that will help somewhat though collars do fall off or are taken off. I'm also not sure how many people will necessarily call.

11/7/07 2:11 PM  
Anonymous huh? said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/7/07 2:56 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

huh I removed the posting because you mentioned the location and someone might get it in their head to go to the area and toss more cats.

This is the problem - at some point there's no way anyone can cope. And then the cats suffer in the end.

11/7/07 3:09 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home