Two extremely thin cats were found locked in a cage with the skeletal remains of three other cats in a Jalan Minyak rental flat near Havelock Road on 6 June.
The cats were estimated to have been abandoned for at least a month, with no way to forage for food or water.
Rescuers Notified by Neighbour
A neighbour posted in the Facebook group Sayang Our Singapore’s Community Cats on 5 June, asking for help. The neighbour had also alerted various authorities like the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS), the Housing Board, and the police.
On the afternoon of 6 June, independent cat rescuer Wati entered the flat along with police and HDB officers. The tenant’s daughter granted permission to enter the apartment.
There, a horrifying scene awaited them: two cats caged in the kitchen and the skeletal remains of three felines. They were trapped and could not get out to forage for food or water.
Judging from the state of their bones, the cats were estimated to have been abandoned for at least a month. The tenant’s daughter had also confirmed that the cats were hers.
The AVS took away the two cats that were alive. You can read Ms Wati’s update on Facebook here.
Worst Case of Abandoned Cats
Ms Wati, an independent cat rescuer for over ten years, shared that this was the first time she saw skeletal remains in an abandonment case.
Calling for stricter laws against animal neglect or abandonment, she shared with The Straits Times that this cannot continue.
The law against irresponsible owners are too lenient, she says, pointing out that keeping the animals locked in cages while depriving them of the ability to find food or water is abuse.
Those who abandon their pets can be fined a maximum of $10,000 or jailed for up to a year. Sounds like enough of a deterrent, right?
However, about 95% of abandonment cases reported to the AVS are not substantiated, meaning the offenders get away scot-free.
This gets even worse when you learn that just last year, AVS investigated 310 cases of pet abandonment.
Pet abandonment numbers have steadily risen from 230 in 2019, 251 in 2020, 225 in 2021 and 310 in 2022.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) also receives about 50 to 60 suspected cases of abandonment each year. And there are probably more cases that weren’t reported at all.
Many of these cases occurred in abandoned HDB flats, where cats are technically not allowed.
To learn more, you can watch this video below:
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