The Mews (November-December 2011)

November-December 2011
message from the president

THANK YOU!

On behalf of the committee, I would like to extend our gratitude for the unprecendented public support that the Cat Welfare Society has received in 2011!

It has been an exciting year where cat welfare achieved many key milestones. July 2011 saw the launch of the long-awaited Stray Cat Sterilisation Scheme, under which AVA provides 50% of the funding for sterilisation in four pilot areas. It is a turning point since the abrupt termination of the previous programme in 2005. Chong Pang, Tampines North, Ang Mo Kio, and Macpherson are currently championing the stray cat sterilisation programme by bringing together stakeholders such as the Town Councils, AVA, NEA, animal welfare groups, and residents into a collaborative framework to address all aspects of community cat management.

More recently in November, Minister of State Tan Chuan-Jin at AVA’s responsible pet ownership roadshow announced the Ministry's intention to pilot cat ownership (in HDB flats) in Chong Pang. This is something we can all rejoice in because it means that finally, we can start to tackle difficult issues like irresponsible cat ownership and cat abandonment head-on, issues that continue to impact and unravel the good works and efforts of caregivers in managing the stray population in their estates.

These milestones would not have been achieved if not for the caregivers all around Singapore. Their collective efforts have inspired a nation to take a long hard look at our humble stray cats and our responsibilities toward them. They also proved that humane solutions are effective by playing a significant role in the reduction of our stray cat population and national culling rate, year on year.

CWS also achieved several firsts this year. Ms Karen Mok, a major international celebrity was our spokesperson for Spay Day! A record of 394 cats were sterilised through 27 participating vet clinics in one day on October 28!

Following the success of Spay Day, CWS also launched the inaugural Project 500 in November to provide more free stray cat sterilisation to our caregiving community. In particular, the project aims to benefit caregivers who have made significant contributions in establishing good working relationships with Town Councils. They are the tireless ones on the frontline ensuring that humane efforts are adopted by Town Councils and residents, thus deserving our due recognition and support for this important work.

CWS also collaborated with Pet Lovers Foundation on a fortnightly cat adoption drive that ran for four months in prominent retail malls, resulting in nearly 50 cats being adopted. It was a good way to engage the public on responsible cat ownership and its success paves the way for more adoption drives in 2012.

Finally, CWS made the national news with its rescue efforts at the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station where 50 cats were abandoned. Through the project, we were able to gain support for sterilising and rehoming the abandoned cats, also ensuring that community cats can remain safe from culling on state land.

We are proud to note that CWS was presented with the Animals Asia Welfare Award for its “outstanding contribution to a community-based programme or campaign" this year. This is a strong affirmation of our efforts in building a strong community in Singapore who care about the welfare of community cats in Singapore.

We could not have done all of this without the support of our volunteers and donors. We strive to do even better next year, with your continued support! Let’s work together to take the welfare of our community cats to even greater heights.

Have a wonderful new year!

news

Canadian specialist holds a talk on feline infectious diseases

On November 5, we caught a talk by Dr Susan Little, DVM, DABVP (Feline), on the control of feline infectious diseases. A feline medicine specialist from Canada, Dr Little has been practicing for over 10 years and her main areas of interest are cattery medicine, feline reproduction, and management of stray and feral cat populations.

Dr Little discussed cat flu, one of the most common diseases for cats in shelters worldwide. It is highly contagious among cats, but unfortunately there are not many specific treatments available. While vaccinations are unable to prevent cat flu, they are useful in protecting against severe diseases, lowering mortality rates, and decreasing viral shedding. It is recommended that cats be vaccinated upon entry to shelters and that this should happen unless they are very sick or have high fever. An important fact to remember is that kittens are able to enjoy immunity via the colostrum (first milk) if they are nursed within the first 18 hours of their life, thus it is important not to remove kittens from their mothers if possible.

Dr Little also shared some stories on how Ottawa citizens have managed the stray and feral cat populations in the city. For example, a feral cat colony near Parliament Hill is now under control. The cats were originally brought in to control the rodent population, and after chemicals were used instead, the cats were left to roam around the place. Soon, caregivers started to feed the cats and they were able to get the support of a local veterinary clinic to provide spaying and neutering as well as inoculations for the cats. All these have helped bring the population down to about a dozen from an original number of approximately 30. And the place is now a tourist attraction!!”

For more information on how shelters in North America are managing their resources, please refer to www.sheltermedicine.org or www.sheltervet.org. —Wendy Ng

upcoming events

Mad about Katz 14 January 2012 | 2:30m – 5:00 pm | National Geographic Store (VivoCity) Learn about responsible cat ownership at this family-friendly event!

promotion

PawMart
Purchase 5 bags of Fussie Cat Litter and get Fussie Premium Tuna with Tiger Prawn/Shrimp at a special price of $19.90 per carton only! www.pawmart.com.sg

fun stuff

Reindeer Cats Not surprisingly, most of them don't look happy about their antlers...
Oskar the Blind Kitten and a Christmas Tree His humans can't get the tree to stay up for more than ten minutes—Oskar thinks it's just one big cat toy!
How To Wrap a Cat For Christmas A cat owner enjoys a bit of fun at the expense of a very patient feline.
Jingle Cats And of course, the obligatory cat carols! The Jingle Cats have a bunch of tunes in their repertoire.
support cws

Make a donation through PayPal, bank transfer, cheque order, or at any AXS Station. Volunteer with us in your areas of expertise. We can always use extra human hands! Adopt a cat and give him/her a loving home for life. Click the link to see our adoption board. Be a CWS member and enjoy sterilisation subsidies and perks at our partner establishments!
"It is impossible for a lover of cats to banish these alert, gentle, and discriminating little friends, who give us just enough of their regard and complaisance to make us hunger for more."
– Agnes Repplier
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