So it seems that the case of the 45 dead cats in Seletar is not the work of a serial cat killer after all. While I am glad, I do not much care for the how the case got airtime for thoroughly undeserving individuals. Still, while I lament the state of journalism in Singapore, I am definitely appreciative of the opportunity to get the situation and plight of Singapore’s homeless cats some light. Let’s hope for positive after effects.
The Electric New Paper
DEAD CATS DUG UP ALONG SELETAR ROAD
By Teh Jen Lee
March 06, 2009
SHE was simply dressed and brought two injured kittens to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
GRUESOME DISCOVERY: Black trash bags containing cat carcasses were dug up along Seletar Road. TNP PICTURES: CHOO CHWEE HUA
But what she had to say that afternoon, on 16Feb, took Mr Ng Wee Kwang by surprise.
She told the SPCA’s animal handling officer: ‘I am the woman who buried most of the cats in Seletar.’
She was referring to TheNew Paper front page report on 2 Feb about the mystery burial of 45 cats along Seletar Road.
Investigations by both the police and the National Environment Agency (NEA) have been inconclusive.
But now, things may be clearer.
Said Mr Ng, 38: ‘When I heard her, I thought she was very good-hearted. Two of the cats had died from sterilisation operations and she bothered to bury them.
‘Not many people would bother themselves with dead animals.’
The Mandarin-speaking woman in her 50s, dressed in a simple blouse and pants, gave a detailed breakdown of 28 cats she said she had buried.
According to her, besides the two who died on the operating table, nine were accident victims, another eight died of food poisoning and nine had died of general sickness.
However, it’s not known how she came to that conclusion. The cats were picked up from all over the island.
The woman claimed that some of the other carcasses which were found could have been buried by her son, who is currently doing National Service.
They have been doing this for the past eight years.
Only recently when she suffered back problems did she ask her maid to help bury the carcasses, she claimed.
Mr Ng said: ‘She said the doctor told her to stop carrying heavy things so she got her maid to carry the carcasses instead. They can be quite heavy.’
She told Mr Ng that the maid didn’t do a good job because she didn’t dig deep enough.
This could be the reason why the bags started to smell, and the police were alerted to the buried bodies.
The woman said she had made a report to the police and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).
The police said they have completed their investigations and submitted the findings to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
A spokesman for AVA said: ‘The lady had informed our officer that she had buried the dead cats over some period of time.
‘As and when she found the cats had died of natural causes such as sickness or accidents, she had buried them or got her maid to bury them at the site.’
The woman claimed she goes around Singapore to feed stray cats and will pick up any dead cat she comes across, even as far as Jurong.
She would bury them at the spots where she found them, but recently because of her back problem, she started burying them closer to home, said Mr Ng.
When asked, the woman could not confirm whether any of the rest of the 45 carcasses were cruelty cases.
What she could say was that she had packed the black bags herself and buried them.
They were taped tightly to prevent the smell from escaping, said Mr Ng.
The two kittens which she took to the SPCA were later examined by the SPCA consultant vet, who did not find sufficient evidence to suggest abuse.
Mr Ng added that the woman would sometimes get emotional and angry when talking about the burial.
‘I think it’s because she feels so much for cats. Cats are often the victims of accidents and abuse,’ he said.
SPCA executive officer Deirdre Moss said: ‘This is the first case we know of someone going out of their way to pick up dead cats and bury them while going around feeding and caring for strays.
‘Obviously she’s a compassionate person who may be wants to give them a proper burial.’
Illegal to bury animals in public places
DEAD pets should be put in a strong opaque plastic bag and tied up securely. They should be taken to and put into the bins at a nearby bin centre.
Alternatively, pet owners can look up the Yellow Pages and approach private animal crematoria thatoffer disposal services, according to the National Environment Agency website. (Learn more athttp://app2.nea.gov.sg/topics_waste_dispose.aspx)
A spokesman for NEA said that it is an offence under regulation 19(2) of Environmental Public Health (Public Cleansing) Regulations to bury the animal in a public place.
Those who do so may be asked to take action to remedy what they have done.