Most people in Singapore are all for protecting animals, even going so far as to care for the strays in our neighbourhoods, eventually dubbing stray cats as “community cats”.
But for those cats in Ang Mo Kio, their “community” wasn’t a safe haven anymore. Wounds after wounds were seen on cats roaming the area, all pointing to deliberate attacks.
Thankfully, the cruel slashing attacks on community cats in Ang Mo Kio has come to an end (for now) with the arrest of the suspect on Tuesday (8 Jun).
The 37-year-old man was arrested in an operation by the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS), with support from the Singapore Police Force (SPF).
Ms Jessica Kwok, NPark’s group director for community animal engagement, said that the man would be charged in court today (9 June) with animal cruelty, an offence under the Animals and Birds Act.
10 cats had been allegedly attacked by the suspect from late April to May. The incidents had occurred around Blocks 302, 316B, 335, 337, 343, and 346 in Ang Mo Kio.
At the time, animal welfare organisations—the Cat Welfare Society and SPCA—appealed for public help to bring the slashing incidents to an end. Authorities were also involved in the investigation, urging those with evidence to come forward.
In fact, AVS could use more help in this area.
“As with all investigations, all forms of evidence are critical to the process, and photographic and/or video-graphic evidence provided by the public will help,” explained Ms Kwok. She also reassured that information shared with AVS will be kept confidential.
“Safeguarding animal welfare is a shared social responsibility,” she added.
The public can report suspected cases of animal cruelty to the AVS website or call the Animal Response Centre at 1800 476 1600.
Recap on Cat Slashing Incidents
As mentioned earlier, the slashing incidents first began in late April and continued in May.
One of the caretakers in the area, Ms Nicole Chan, told the media that the first five cases happened between 25 April and 4 May, when each cat was found to have a “consistent deep slash mark”. Then again on 19 May and 20 May, another five cats were found with the same injuries.
The first batch comprised family cats, while three out of five of the second batch were feral. One of the feral mother cats was found with two slash wounds on her back.
“The slashes look like they were made by a very sharp object and looked to be human-inflicted,” she noted.
Ms Chan’s husband, Mr James Wong also added that the attacker had initially hurt the most friendly cats but was now apparently seeking more timid ones, seemingly having “some kind of compulsion on it.”
To protect the cats, nine of them were placed in boarding facilities in Lim Chu Kang and at The Animal Lodge by Ms Chan.
One of the cats was treated at the SPCA and has been recovering well, while the others were treated at private clinics, reassured SPCA’s executive director Dr Jaipal Singh Gill.
The SPCA and the Cat Welfare Society had distributed flyers and put up posters in the affected neighbourhood, encouraging residents to look out for the cats and the attacker. Safe to say, their efforts have paid off.
Featured Image: Facebook (Ning Wong)