Friday, July 27, 2007

Temple caring for cats

Vegancatsg told us about a Buddhist temple that he went to for a talk and he noticed a number of community cats around. He was concerned that the cats might not have been sterilised and wrote to them. He also copied us on the email.

We sent the temple a copy of the information on TNRM and they wrote back. It seems that the cats there were brought in by devotees of the temple and that the temple then had them vaccinated, dewormed and will have them sterilised once they are of age. They have had several 'generations' of cats living there. We were so glad to hear they have such a nice policy!

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27 Comments:

Anonymous apple said...

Very heartened to hear there is still a real compassionate temple,built for e goodness of all living things.
Unlike e other temple where they built a golden enclosure housing a relic for ignorant ppl to pray.
The money could be used instead to build a large enclosure for all the homeless cats and dogs in singapore.Or donated to e Spca,for them to build a bigger place for them.

27/7/07 1:11 PM  
Anonymous jk said...

In Inle, Myanmar, there is a temple in which resident cats have been trained to jump through hoops! they have regular "performances" for visitors everyday.

i hv been there and seen it for myself. no doubt the monks feed the cats but my impression was that they didn't treat the cats with a whole lot of TLC. some of them (the cats that is) weren't in very good shape.

27/7/07 1:25 PM  
Anonymous huh said...

Do not buy paintings by elephants, all victims of abuse.

Go visit the Elephant Nature Park, the founder, Lek rescued injured and abandoned elephants, shares her bedroom with 12 rescued dogs and dozen cats as well.

We are the temple of God, we don't turn away the hungry and abused animals.

27/7/07 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Myanmar, the people are poor and it is not surprising that animals are in poorer state of health too so it is not unexpected for cats to look less healthy than in Singapore. I am sure vet services are sparse and may not be affordable to most average person in Myanmar.

27/7/07 2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont think it is right to attack the temple at Chinatown, put it this way... if you dont promote Buddhism, you wont have people taught the values of Buddhism. The temple is merely promoting a set of values.

Also do you think if the temple called for a donation to build a enclosure for homeless animals, anyone would donate anything? I think not...

I have been to the temple at Inle a few times and put it this way, please understand that we are talking about a third world country where things are not as advanced as Singapore and FYI Inle is at one of the more remote parts of Myanmar, I would say that the monks do a good job of taking care of the cats with whatever resources they have. I dont see them abusing the cats or anything. Also the cats are not forced to perform tricks, they just do it..

27/7/07 3:21 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes I was very pleased to hear the temple was so compassionate.

I agree that vet care may be more difficult to get in places like Myanmar. I do think though Anonymous that the cats were probably trained somehow - jumping through hoops isn't something cats normally do (the closest mine come to jumping is when they see food!).

I think people donate money for different reasons and for different causes - everyone may have different pet causes (no pun intended), and as long as it does good, we should be glad that they are giving.

27/7/07 3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dawn what I meant is the Inle cats are not forced to perform tricks. Spoke to a monk about it, and the story is that one day many years ago, they discover that their cats would instinctively jump for treats. So they just added in the hoops and wala jumping cats of inle.

27/7/07 4:08 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I was so fascinated by this I went to do a google:-

http://www.burmalibrary.org/reg.burma/archives/199906/msg00498.html

27/7/07 4:12 PM  
Blogger VeganCatsg said...

Can the temple authorities be contacted so that we can contribute the care (including sterilisation) for the cats?

27/7/07 5:27 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Not sure how easy it is to get money into Myanmar. It might be quite tricky. Anyone know?

If the temple doesn't particularly mind all the cats though, perhaps we should save the money for Singapore cats where people do mind.

27/7/07 5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps our SG vets would consider trips to nearby countries to do sterilisation ; ) I have heard of at least one vet who has done that already.

27/7/07 5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frankly why not concentrate on our own local cats than to go meddle in other countries? I really dont think the temple needs the money... They get donations from visitors. Concentrate on our own backyard before going to be busybody in other people's cultures

27/7/07 6:33 PM  
Blogger VeganCatsg said...

Deja vu...i have just been called a busybody for helping the cats when i "should use your $ to help OUR own kind :)

27/7/07 7:40 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Poor Vegancatsg.

I do know of vets too who do go to other countries to help out. Sometimes it doesn't need to be vets - it could be by donating to another country's TNR programme with different groups. Most countries do have animal welfare groups that help out. Some countries though are obviously a little easier to get money into than others! :)

27/7/07 7:47 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Poor Vegancatsg.

I do know of vets too who do go to other countries to help out. Sometimes it doesn't need to be vets - it could be by donating to another country's TNR programme with different groups. Most countries do have animal welfare groups that help out. Some countries though are obviously a little easier to get money into than others! :)

27/7/07 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vegancat I am not calling you a busybody but facts are we have a big problem in SIngapore and we cant even handle it.... let's just be level headed and do our part to help our own local cats instead of being "noble" and go help others when we dont even know if they need our help. I say that they dont cos I have visited that temple a few times, the cats are their way of getting donations from locals and tourists alike.

27/7/07 7:53 PM  
Blogger Surferket said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

27/7/07 8:16 PM  
Anonymous huh said...

Without sterilisation, the temple will be overpopulated with cats.
Should not rule out the possibility
of having a collaboration between Myanmar SPCA/animal rescue group and Singapore.

The temple may not use the donated funds for sterilisation...

Surely we can raise some funds.

27/7/07 8:21 PM  
Blogger VeganCatsg said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27/7/07 8:32 PM  
Blogger VeganCatsg said...

don't think our cat problem will ever go away for a long long time yet. I was thinking, that perhaps if some contact can be established with the temple authorities and establish some communication to see if they need information such as sterilisation, basic care of cats, etc as someone did mention the cats were in poor state of health. Donation by tourists may not necessarily go towards the care of the cats.
This is not able being noble. This is about extending help beyond our boundaries but within our means. Just like many of us, instead of just extending our concern for cats beyond our home-cats, beyond our estate and beyond our country. Many "world" animal welfare organisation wouldn't have existed if they wait till their own cat problems are resolved.

27/7/07 8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing is all of you have never been to this temple and all you know is from hearsay and news reports. I have been to that temple and I have been a few times and honestly they really dont need the help..... The cats are well taken care of and they actually live on a Island as the temple is situated on a island. So why not concentrate on our own problems instead of trying to impose on others that they have a problem?? Not unlike the Americans who invade other countries on the pretext that they need democracy USA style....

27/7/07 10:10 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

suferkat - I took the comment off in case people start dumping there.

huh - one of the things about Myanmar especially is that I think it might be harder to get money in for these purposes. I also am not aware of any animal welfare groups.

Vegancat's idea of getting them information is a good one (if anyone knows exactly how to contact them) if they would need it.

I do have to say though that other countries may treat the situation differently. When I was in Cambodia, I was told that the temples there take in a lot of cats though cats aren't very popular as pets. I asked if there was ever a problem with too many cats due to lack of sterilisation and the person I spoke to looked at me strangely - I don't think that the concept of too many cats was one that they thought was a problem. The cats get free rein of the grounds. People don't complain and the cats are left alone. I think the situation in Singapore would be different however - maybe it's a question of space.

27/7/07 11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes yes yes,
space constraint, lets get back to working on allowing cats in HDB, very headache issue to cultivate responsible ownership too, free roaming pets probably contributed to the banning of HDB cats, two sides to please....big local headache

28/7/07 3:50 AM  
Blogger Surferket said...

That temple is not easy to find so those dumpers are from the nice houses around it. Even rich people dump their animals once they outgrew the cute stage.

28/7/07 4:49 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes Suferkat - that's probably the case right now, but if the information gets out where the location is, people from elsewhere will make an effort to find it, thinking they can leave their cats there.

28/7/07 6:07 AM  
Anonymous jk said...

oh dear i didn't mean to start a debate on the welfare of cats at inle!

what i meant was that some of the cats are not in the pink of health. there was a large ginger tabby, for example, which looked a little lop sided, like he had fallen on his head or smthg (tho this is a speculation on my part) and i can't imagine that anythg was done for him, even if he was not feeling well. also, i noticed that the person who was "performing" with the cats was none too gentle with them. he wld yank the ones to him that he wanted to perform and some of the cats retaliated by hissing and scratching.

that said, however, i do not believe that the cats are abused or neglected. it's just that, as some of you have pointed out, life is harder in myanmar, for humans as well as animals, and i think the ppl develop a more pragmatic and robust attitude, and there's less mollycoddling all ard.

and yes, in such countries, sterilisation of strays is unheard of and yet there don't seem to be obvious clashes with humans or overpopulation. i guess there is enough space for all. also, as i mentioned, ppl there tend to be more pragmatic. if strays wander into their homes or caused problems, i guess they wld either put up with it or shoo them out, and not make a huge fuss like the world was coming to an end.

29/7/07 11:08 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Possibly jk because people there may not be so particular about things being neat and 'clean' too :)

29/7/07 11:10 AM  

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