Earlier this week, a video of a young boy throwing a cat down a Housing Development Board (HDB) block at Boon Lay shocked cat lovers (and other Singaporeans) alike.
The incident, which happened on Wednesday (14 December) at around 1.35 pm, came to light after CCTV footage of the boy throwing the cat down the 22nd storey of Block 186 Boon Lay avenue was uploaded online.
Since then, the video has gone viral, and a petition has even been set up to demand justice for the poor cat who unfortunately died after being flung down the block.
Over 28,220 people have signed the petition in just a few days.
Netizens have also insisted that the young boy, who is of primary school age, should not be pardoned for his actions due to his cruelty.
Additionally, they noted that he looked around to ensure that no one was present before throwing the cat, which suggested that he was aware of the nature of his actions.
Some even threw phrases such as “satanic” and “murderer” in the boy’s direction and said that he would only get worse if the police and his parents did not intervene.
And amidst all the opinions about this incident posted online, we’re finally getting to hear from the boy himself.
Here’s what he has to say about his actions and what those around him have to as well.
Neighbour Confronted Him With Footage
In an article published today (17 December), a resident living in the same block named Cai Meimei (Hanyu pinyin) told Lianhe Zaobao that the cat involved in the incident was a community cat named Panther.
Panther was at least 15 years old and was already dead by the time it was found.
Cai, a 47-year-old bus driver, expressed her sorrow at Panter’s unfortunate death. She shared that over the past two years, the neighbourhood has seen at least five cats passing due to them falling from high levels of HDB blocks.
However, she could not confirm if people also threw the other cats or if they accidentally fell down the block by themselves.
She then revealed that she confronted the boy who flung Panther down the block the next day (15 December) when she ran into him, and here’s what the boy has to say.
Threw Cat Down Building Due to Lack of Love and Attention from Family
When Cai first saw the perpetrator, she asked if he had thrown the cat down the building.
Initially, he denied doing so.
However, he eventually admitted to throwing Panther down the block after Cai pulled out the CCTV footage and showed it to him.
According to the young boy, he had done so out of feeling a lack of love and attention from his family members at home.
When reporters visited the boy’s house in a nearby area, the boy’s father said that the relevant authorities were currently investigating the incident and declined to comment further.
What Others Have to Say
A 10-year-old boy named Warren revealed that the perpetrator is the same age as him and that they sometimes play hide-and-seek with other children who live in the area.
Warren, who lives in the same block as the perpetrator, mentioned that the latter is relatively quiet and usually wears a smile on his face.
As for how various organisations have responded to the boy’s actions, the Cat Welfare Authority announced on Facebook that they have “assisted the caregivers [in filing] an AVS report this afternoon and linked the caregivers to the investigating officers”.
According to the post, the cat’s caregivers have also lodged a police report.
“We are extremely upset about this incident. One case of abuse is one case too many, what more when a minor is involved. We want the investigations to be carried out efficiently and without issues[,] including any attempted witch-hunt of the individual and/or his family,” the society added.
When interviewed, its president Thenuga Vijakumar shared that individuals should be more observant of whether or not those around them may be showing signs of them abusing animals.
Additionally, she called for schools to educate their students more on animal protection to prevent such an incident from happening again.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) also released a similar statement, condemning the young boy for his actions.
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Police Report Made, Counsellor’s Advice: Parents Should Guide Child
A representative from the police confirmed that they had received a report regarding this incident, and a spokesperson from the Animal & Veterinary Service under National Parks (NParks) also said the investigations are currently ongoing.
Aarthi Sankar, the Executive Director of SPCA, mentioned that SPCA has already visited the perpetrator’s home and will work together with the relevant authorities to provide him with the necessary counselling.
She added that children abusing animals is less commonly seen, but this incident has proven that raising awareness regarding caring for animals around us is crucial.
An experienced counsellor from TOUCH Community Services added that the boy might have resorted to such actions to vent his frustrations or attract his family members’ attention and that he needs adult guidance.
She advised his parents to communicate more with him to understand how they can allow their child to feel loved and cared for at home.
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