New paper report on the poor little mutilated kitten
ELECTRIC NEWS ‘Worst cat mutilation case seen’ SPCA offers $1,000 reward to nab culprit
By Teh Jen Lee
March 04, 2009
IT was the worst case of cat mutilation he had seen in his working life.
BERITA HARIAN FILE PICTURE
Mr Shankar Suppiah, an animal-handling officer with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), went to look for two kittens after receiving a call from a resident of Block 550, Choa Chu Kang Street 52.
What he found horrified him – a badly dismembered dead kitten, with little of the body intact.
The find, on 21 Feb, is so shocking that the SPCA has offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the culprit.
Mr Shankar, 41, told The New Paper: ‘I was expecting live cats because someone had called to say there were two kittens in the 11th-storey stairwell, at about 2pm.
‘Instead, when I got there, on the 9th storey, I saw a kitten’s head and four legs dangling from the skin. Someone had used a knife to chop the body up.’
Mr Shankar, who has been with the SPCA for two years, said he has seen many cases of suspected abuse, but never before such a degree of mutilation.
‘At least once a month, we get a suspected abuse case. I’ve seen all sorts of dead cats, like the cat’s head smashed against the wall or in an accident, or bitten by dog, but never something like this.’
There was no pool of blood at the scene, which meant the culprit had probably cut up the body somewhere else.
A live kitten, believed to be from the same litter as the mutilated one, was found on the same floor. A third kitten was found alive on the sixth storey of the block.
Both live kittens were taken back to the SPCA for adoption.
The SPCA, which reported the matter to the police, has distributed 1,000 fliers through volunteers over the past weekend to highlight its $1,000 reward to catch the culprit.
It also contacted the town council to put up a notice at the block concerned.
SPCA executive officer Deirdre Moss said a resident of the block had alerted them to the presence of four kittens wandering on different levels within the same block on the day before the dismembered kitten was found.
‘There is no reason to believe that the kitten was dead before it was dismembered because on the morning of 21 Feb, the resident saw three healthy kittens.
Before that, the resident had seen four, so there might be another kitten out there that we don’t know what happened to.’
She added: ‘The fact that it was cut up and brutally dismembered in an apparently systematic way strongly suggests that this is an abuse case. And the person who did this is probably mentally disturbed.’
A vet’s report said the kitten was 6 to 8weeks old, but its sex could not be determined.
The kitten appeared to have been killed less than 12 hours before its remains were found.
Miss Moss referred to another Choa Chu Kang abuse case in which a female cat was found with its belly split open and its insides hanging out.
‘It happened in Block 130, Choa Chu Kang Avenue 1 on 29 Nov last year and we’re also appealing for witnesses for that.
‘We’re also looking into feedback from a veterinarian who has treated cats suspected to have been abused in the area.
‘It is of grave concern to the SPCA that there could be a serial cat killer or killers in the Choa Chu Kang area and the sooner they can be apprehended, the better.’
Anyone who has information can call SPCA at 62875355 ext 9, she said.
However, Miss Salina Jefrydeen, honorary secretary of the Cat Welfare Society, said: ‘Even with rewards as large as $10,000, people are generally not willing to come forward with information.
‘Maybe it’s the hassle that they want to avoid, such as being interviewed by the police.’
Those convicted of cruelty to animals can be jailed up to a year and/or fined up to $10,000.
Past reward cases
A teen kicked a cat viciously while a friend caught the act on handphone video. Both burst out laughing as the cat flew into the air and landed a few metres away.
Reward: $2,000 from SPCA and SOS Animals.
Outcome: Culprits caught. On the same day the report was published in The New Paper, SPCA received a call about two tertiary students who had made the video. After police investigations, the Attorney-General’s Chambers recommended that the boys go through a six-month Guidance Programme by Ministry for Community Development, Youth and Sports.
Cat discovered at West Coast Car Mart with its head and front legs cut off. Clean cuts indicated the killer was probably skilled with a knife. He or she was likely to have struck early in the morning. As there was very little blood at the scene, it was also likely that the killer had cut up the cat somewhere else before dumping its body.
Reward: $1,000 from SPCA.
Outcome: No one caught so far.
Seven vicious attacks in Pasir Ris. On 2 May, at Pasir Ris Street 21, two cats found dead believed to have been dunked in thinner. A third, also dunked and barely alive, had to be put down. Ten days later, residents found three cats dying of stab wounds in Pasir Ris Town Park. A fourth cat found dead with a fractured jaw.
Reward: $10,000 in all from animal welfare organisations and an anonymous family in Aljunied.
Outcome: No one caught so far.