Author page: ivanong

Update on MUIS case

Ivan:

Regarding the earlier post about MUIS’s stand on keeping and treating pets, Salina has written in to them.  According to her, she decided to write to MUIS directly as a milder approach, rather than addressing them through the press as she felt it might create a fair bit of negative reactions. 

On the same topic, the magazine that I mentioned yesterday has a section on religion and pets too (Pg 63).  However, it did not touch on MUI’s stand: if a pet causes conflict in the family, it is permissible to kill it.  CWS hopes this particular suggestion by MUIS can be changed as it conflicts with responsible pet ownership which is what all the local animal welfare groups are advocating.

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MUIS stand on keeping of cats as pets

Ivan:

CWS has received email from a muslim caregiver about the stand that MUIS has given on the above issue.  She is not agreeable to statements that are publised on the MUIS website about it.  She mentioned that some of the statements advocated irresponsible pet keeping and hoped that MUIS works more closely with SPCA and AVA to improve responsibility toward pet cats, including keeping them indoors and keeping them for live.  Another non-muslim caregiver has also texted me about this and he has written to the press as well.

Due to the religious/racial sensitivity of the issue, we have asked Salina, our sole muslim committee member to respond to it since she is familiar with the muslim teachings.  Our media representative, LiTin is looking into the matter too. 

CWS urges all to share with their religous leaders, friends and family about the benefits of TNR and other responsible pet cat keeping issues.

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Cat Deterrent – “Xiang Mao” Oil

Ivan:

I tried using this to deter community cats on top of moth balls and it proved to be useful.  Xiang Mao if I translate it correctly should be lemon grass.  You can buy this oil at medical halls or selected organic produce shops.  It sets you aback by $11.9.

Here’s a photo of it and I cropped out the Chinese name also for a clearer view.

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Meeting with Central-South Caregivers

Ivan:

I met with two caregivers yesterday evening to give them some CWS brochures that I had promised one of them earlier.  In the half hour session, they shared about the concerns they have with regard to caring for cats in the area.  Two of the issues highlighted include:

1. Stray Dogs killing Community Cats for the past 7 years. They witnessed many slow deaths of cats who were severely injured.

Advice to them include approaching Action for Singapore Dogs to come sterilise the dogs; find the stray dogs feeder to ask him or her to feed away from the estate (since the dogs all looked plump according to caregivers – so there has to be a person giving them food); speak to NEA if there are any nearby coffeeshops leaving their foodbins uncovered – attracting the dogs; do not leave kibbles for cats to eat as the dogs will be attracted to the food too and come to the estate.

2. Cats drowning when heavy rain sets upon the area.

Advised them to speak to their Town Council to about fixing the drains.  If Town Council is not in charge of the area, they can help channel the complain to other agencies that are in charge.

3. New Town Council Officer.

Shared with them about the importance of maintaining a good relationship with the new TC officer and they agreed to give it a shot.  This will be helpful when there are complains as the TC officer would likely approach the caregivers first than calling in the Pest Controllers directly.

My outreach work for here is done.  I have passed the case over to one of our Central-South zone representatives, Jeannie to follow up with them if necessary.  Ok, that’s all for now.

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CWS Adoption Advert back on Sunday Times CATS Classifieds

Ivan:

Thanks to the hardwork of Webgal (our Adoptions Bulletin Volunteer), we are able to put up some cats (belonging to fosters) for adoptions on the above paper, after a hiatus.

Many thanks too to Dell who has given advice on how to go about reviving this mode of advertising that we use to be part of, and Michelle for connecting with the journalist in charge of this third page of Sunday Classifieds.

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Dedicated Caregiver Award Winners

Ivan:

It is CWS’s pleasure to announce to everyone that we are giving out five Dedicated Caregiver Awards.  The receipients of these awards were nominated by other caregivers and CWS.  The award winners are from various parts of Singapore.

These five individuals were selected because of their hard work sterilising community cats over many years and their constant efforts working with their respective Town Councils in managing the community cats.

The award winners are (not in order of preference):

1. Mrs Neo aka Tay Bee Leng of Upper Changi

2. Foo Wei Fong of Bedok North

3. Mdm Soon of Boon Lay

4. Helga Gamp of Yishun

5. Susan Lee Kum Lan of Teban/Pandan Gardens

Receipients who can make it to the Tea session this Saturday (2nd Aug) will be receiving their awards from our President, Dr. Michelle Lee.  Those who cannot attend will have the awards dispatched to them. 

Let’s all congratulate the above caregivers for their awards and their hardwork helping fellow caregivers and community cats.

Finally, I just like to highlight that there were other caregivers who were shortlisted but they prefer to give up their nominated status so as to give opportunities for similarly deserving caregivers to be nominated for the awards.  These nominees were Dr. Tan Chek Wee (Bedok), Goh Boon Choo (Woodlands), Corinne and Florence (Pasir Ris), and Rebecca (Tampines).

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Shifting to 2nd gear for me, Chinese Delegates & Membership

Ivan:

With the completion of hectic July doing outreach projects, I am shifting to a slower 2nd gear with CWS’s taks for August as I am involved in the judging of the Animal Protectors Grant which requires several meetings in the month of August.  Moreover, school starts for me so I need to hit the books and do my research.

CWS just got an email asking us to speak to some Chinese Animal Welfare Delegates.  We were asked to speak to them about the larger and finer issues with regard to caring and controlling the population of community cats in Singapore (so that they can bring the understanding back to China and apply them). 

LiTin and I are the assigned Mandarin liasions for CWS and we are discussing if we should take up this project up as it happens in August when I am busy with the grant judging and LiTin with merchandise/website projects.  Having said that, it is likely that we take it up as the plight of the community cats in China is really very sad, especially with the street strays cleanup before the Olympics (cats were caught and left to die) and cats/dogs eating in Canton.  The sharing of knowledge about implementing and managing TNR programmes in Singapore will help our Chinese partners with their plans to more effectively reduce the population of stray cats in China.  This in turn will minimise the harm done that could possibly be done in the future when there are other street clean-up exercises and killings for cat meat (since there will be less cats on the streets due to effective TNRM programmes). 

An elderly caregiver I met when I was in the Eastern part of Singapore just called me as I blogged this entry.  He was asking about his membership status as he has not got a reply from us.  CWS does not issue receipts but we give out membership cards to applicants for CWS membership.  The cards are being made ready and will be sent out in August.

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Merchandise and Outreach Collaboration: Hitting the shops

Ivan:

Li Tin and I have allocated half a day tomorrow to hit the shops.  Earlier, I have contacted two pet shops that are currently selling our merchandise about the stocks that they have left, and if they wish to carry more items.  At the same time, I have approached another 2 pet shops and a cattery and they have agreed to carry our items too. 

So far, we have the following shops participating: Pet Essentials (Opposite Ten Mile Junction), Loving Pets (Upper East Coast), Sundream Petland (Far East Shopping Centre), All Breeds (Chip Bee Gdns – Opp. Holland Village) and Siaping’s Cattery (Lim Chu Kang).  Please watch our Merchandise Webpage for the updates shortly and you should be able to go buy our items from late August/early September from these shops.  LiTin will in the next few weeks go down to these shops to pass the merchandises to these shops.

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Cats and Asthma Misconception

Ivan:

I just got off a long conversation with someone about cats and asthma.  There is a general misconception that cats if there are any being kept at home is the cause of asthma.  Rather than pointing finger at one’s home pet cats straight away, it is necessary for asthma patient to request the Ear-Nose-Throat Specialist to help perform an allergy test.  An allergy test involves drawing blood and then the lab technician will test it against several common allergy causing things, e.g. dust mites, cat’s dander (dead skin flakes), dust, cockroach droppings, etc.  The blood test outcome will reveal what the asthma patient is allergic to and to what degree for each allergent.  Only then, the real cause(s) will be revealed.

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