|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!