In the past 6 weeks, we’ve shared some of the most common cases our mediators handle in the course of their work. If it’s not already apparent, mediation is hard work that requires grit as well as a great amount of patience and resources.
CWS mediators are community leaders who act as central contact points for Town Councils, AVA, HDB, NEA officers and other government agencies in assigned areas.
They actively engage with feedback providers, cat owners and cat feeders to educate and advocate the importance of the following, saving lives through the prevention of culling:
2. Responsible Cat Ownership
3. Responsible Cat Feeding
In 2017, through both our sterilisation programmes (Stray Cat Sterilisation Programme (SCSP) and Low Income Pet Cat Sterilisation Scheme(LIS)), we sterilised more than 7000 cats in Singapore. It is simply unimaginable to think of the catastrophe of having 1000 let alone 7000 unsterilised cats running around.
AVA currently funds 50% of cat sterilisations (for just the cost of surgical procedure) under SCSP, which means the other half of the cost is borne by the Society. Trapping and transport costs are wholly covered by CWS, which runs on donations from kind members of the public. We have no external funding support for our LIS Scheme, which means that cost of trapping and sending 1346 pet cats (belonging to families with financial difficulty) for sterilisation in 2017 was undertaken 100% by CWS. We are the only organisation in Singapore (and have been for a long time) that conducts cat sterilisations on such scale because we strongly believe that “Sterilisation saves lives”.
Why are there so many unsterilised cats? CWS’ SCSP was expanded in July 2016 to cover the whole of Singapore, including HDB, private, commercial and industrial estates. Most stray cats on the streets would have already been sterilised, yet the number of cats we sterilise yearly keep increasing. It’s clear that this increase comes from unsterilised pet cats.
These pet cats are:
- allowed by their irresponsible owners to roam, contributing to unwanted litters that likely end up on the streets.
- cruelly abandoned by their owners.
With the HDB ban on flat owners owning pet cats, there is no legislation for cat owners to register, microchip or even sterilise their cats. With no legislation, there is no real way to enforce rules and sanction irresponsible cat owners since there are no official records on them. What this means is that as long as the blanket ban remains, there will always be unsterilised cats roaming the streets of Singapore and there will always be abandoned cats.
In concluding this series of posts, we would like to share a TNRM exercise that was conducted recently in one of the industrial estates. Please note that CWS does not condone the irresponsible cat feeding shown in the photo as it constitutes littering and attracts pests like flies, rodents and cockroaches. We might be seasoned cat-loving professionals, but it still sends bristles down our spines whenever we spot unsterilised groups like this as we are aware of quickly they can spiral out of control and burgeon into colonies.
CWS continues to sterilise at such numbers simply because it is the only way. We cannot and have never turned away a cat which needs to be sterilised because the alternate reality is a nightmare that can never be allowed to happen. Unfortunately, given the rates at which we are doing this and with the dwindling donations, the truth is that the Society has had to turn to our reserves. Unsterilised cats continue to breed, regardless and it is possible that you may see more of such colonies of cats creeping into your housing estates if we are unable to continue or keep up with the incessant sterilisation demand.
You can do your part to help prevent this alternate reality from ever happening by making a generous donation to aid us in keeping our operations afloat. With the additional mediator headcount and the increased mediation caseloads, we need your support now more than ever. For those who are unable to donate, please help us to share this post to as many people as possible.
Because mediation really matters.
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