Tag Archives: animal welfare

Area1: Snippety Happy

We thought we had a new kitty in the hood… what do we know.

The kitty we confirmed about 2 weeks was an agouti female – she was sitting right outside our door, on the ninth floor, on a night when btmao returned home late, thus confirming herself to us. Like Isam when he first appeared, and Brenda, she seemed to trying to find her home, going up and down in tireless frenzy the blocks in the ‘hood.

Around the same time, we spotted a new silver spotted tabby male, young but with fullly ripe “grapes”.

Available adult female, add virile adult male. Bad combo. But as ever, they were scaredy-attention seeking (typical of newly abandoned pets), elusive and refused to give us their daily agenga. Talk about guerilla warfare.

This morning, we spotted the female downing some cooked rice strewn on the muddy roots of a tree. She ran off as I approached. So this evening we decided we would try to nail someone, anyone, to some sort of kitty schedule.

We got more than we ask for… different than what we hoped but definitely more.

We met a new kitty. A striped female with a stumpy tail and surprise of surprises – a tipped ear. She’s a carpark denizen and completely friendly.

Then while btmao fed her, I went round the neighbourhood. The silver spotted tabby boy was out and about, up to his usual frenetic search up and down the blocks looking for a home. But at least he was calm enough and friendly. We decided to call V to come collect him, not least because his loudmouth tendency wasn’t doing himself any fabours.

Thankfully V was available to swing by, ETA 9-ish. The silver spotted tabby boy wouldn’t know what hit him. He’s friendly, bright-eyed but definitely putting on the coy. His call even sounded like he’s wanting to show some lucky gal what a lover he was. And his advertisement was being answered. We were standing at the foot of a block. I heard someone responding to him, but it took btmao’s 6/6 vision (she went home for supplies), to spot the furry Rappunzel up on the third floor, upper body clear over the ledge and at the ready to fly down.

I went up to take a look. It was the rice-gulping agouti-female. But she was right on the ledge and let out a very scared howl. So I left her, and btmao to juggle her watch. btmao had to chaparone the loverlorn twosome as I had to go home to finish up some work. I also told her she just missed Brenda trotting by a while.

btmao just got home and gave me the surprise of week. When I went looking for the spotted tabby boy, he had climbed to the second floor of another block (he’s got the Isam’s initial run-up-and-down-every-block bug), where I had spotted 3 young cats in front of a flat (which occpuants refused to open and talk), 1 friendly ginger and 3 SCAREDY dilute gingers. The friendly I could see was a boy. That was in March. Since then I’ve not caught sight of them except for a chance encounter with one of the dilutes at the foot of our block in the compromised position of pooping. So tonight I requested Vincent to see if he can nab any of the threesome as well. Vincent took care of the spoted tabby boy. btmao met a Malay man who said he feeds nightly using styrofoam plates which he clears (he felt sorry for the many cats around and was angry at irresponsible people who dumped them, ostensibly just “downstairs”) and had just left food for some cats at the ginger’s block. He told her the flat where  where I found the ginger and dilutes loitering belonged to a macik who claimed she doesn’t own them, just fed them as they kept appearing at her door. (The macik, had annoyingly, been trying to lure the spotted tabby boy away while btmao was chaperoning him for V’s arrival) Even Brenda is a regular visitor to her kitty soup kitchen.

So btmao went to see and saw…

… the ginger, one dilute/white cat, and 2 more cats!

V grabbed the friendly ginger and was nearly lynched by the Malay man and his wife/relative on the way back to his van. V kept saying “Sterilise, sterilise” and btmao was luckily there to help defuse the situation too. Ultimately, V got 3 boys from there. The dilute/white was a girl who the Malay man said is already sterilised despite the lack of a tipped ear as he had seen the surgery scar on her. Someone besides us were sterilising kitties in the vicinity it seems (and the Malay man agrees), but who we have no idea, and why was the girl’s ear not tipped? Mysteries.

Sadly, the rice-gulper was not to be found. A minion’s work is truly never done. But now that we know a feeder, who seems responsible, we can try to harness the power for good. Entrapment is the key now.

So in total 4 boys are going to lose their mojo tomorrow. The spotted tabby boy, the ginger, a new tabby white, and a new big-headed agouti tabby tux. The Malay man and his family seemed determined to be there to receive the tom kitties when they return from the event of their lives. I too am looking forward to meeting the new kitties, the responsible feeder encik and make arrangements for the area1 kitties, females or otherwise, still at large. Photos to come too.

But for now we have the task of a lifetime – a ton of names to come up with. Anyone with suggestions for names beginning with C and I? We need about 3 for girls, and 5 for boys. F is also another alphabet we’re using for area1.

Here’s the list of names already owned by our area1 kitties:

Area 1 (135)


TODAY 20051104: Why animal welfare groups in Singapore can’t reach out to the authorities

Hot News // Friday, November 4, 2005

The art of getting heard

Why animal welfare groups in Singapore can’t reach out to the authorities

Goh Boon Choo

IN Singapore, animal cruelty reports precipitate letters in the media calling for harsher punishment, tougher laws and stringent enforcement.

The authorities then issue sympathetic responses, explaining their stand and that they “will not hesitate to take strong action” against perpetrators — but stop short of committing to firmer penalties.

In a reply published in Today in June, the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said: “While we may not be able to adopt all the suggestions by the (letter) writers, we will definitely take these suggestions into consideration when we review our rules.”

So it was too, when news of Max, the Alaskan Malamute, broke in August.

For fatally neglecting him, Max’s owner, Lim Bee Leong, was fined $3,000. Singaporeans wrote letters and signed an online petition for stiffer punishment.

The persistent calls for tougher enforcement are a symptom of the gap between public disapproval of animal cruelty and official policies.

People understand that animal cruelty concerns society at large. Nine in 10 respondents believe “we have a moral duty to minimise suffering”, according to the results of an Asian survey commissioned by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, presented in March.

In July last year, a local newspaper reported that culling costs for 2003 rose 20 per cent. That year, AVA cancelled its five-year-old Stray Cat Rehabilitation Scheme (SCRS), following the Sars scare.

Eighty per cent of readers surveyed objected to AVA’s annual $600,000 culling bill, and more than half felt funds should go to animal welfare groups to re-home or sterilise strays.

Animal welfare groups play an important role in raising awareness and rallying like-minded citizens. But they seem unable to engage the authorities to the extent their counterparts elsewhere do.

The Humane Society of the United States collaborated with a senator to successfully lobby for an end to horse-slaughter for food exports. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, it secured senators’ sponsorship of its proposal to change evacuation policies to include refugees’ pets.

The disparity may be due to cultural mindset and maturity of the political system — but in comparison, Singapore’s welfare groups are often left reacting to policy changes. For instance, the Cat Welfare Society championed in vain for the continuation, then reinstatement, of the SCRS.

In fact, AVA’s own case study of the SCRS in Bukit Merah View (since been removed from the AVA website) proved the scheme’s effectiveness over culling.

Tellingly, part of that study’s conclusion was that “sterilisation and responsible management has the support of up to 96 per cent of the public. The majority want cats controlled but do not want them culled”.

Another example is the Action for Singapore Dogs’ (ASD) proposal to the HDB. It suggested easing HDB’s rule on dog breeds, to widen the adoption pool for larger dogs, as temperament rather than size determines a breed’s suitability for flat-living. Despite volunteering to monitor trial adoptions, ASD’s proposal fell through.

Since collaboration is not welcomed, groups have to try to involve themselves indirectly. For example, a US group, pet-abuse.com, produced a training film on investigating animal cruelty and successful deterrent sentencing. Targeted at police and prosecutors, the film’s distribution has widened beyond America.

Welfare groups also need to be politically savvy: Identify and initiate contact with foresighted officials, as it seems change is possible only from within officialdom.

In recent months, readers have written in urging for a rethink on current laws, legislative support for pet ownership (for example compulsory microchipping) and cooperation between AVA and welfare groups to design humane and effective solutions to issues conventional policies cannot address, such as stray culling and unregulated pet breeding. So far, the authorities have issued the standard responses.

The equation between public opinion and official stance is a skewed one. Still, if only extreme cruelty cases compel Singapore to react, it would reflect poorly on our collective compassion.

There will always be another Max, but instead of decrying lax enforcement or incongruent penalties after the fact, Singapore should minimise the number of Maxes by deterring the potential Lim Bee Leongs.

This necessitates paradigm shifts, but to effectively address prevalent problems, the authorities must include Singaporeans and the welfare groups more thoroughly in its policy formulation process.

The writer is an analyst concerned with animal and environmental issues.

SOS: Animal welfare action-EU Animal Experimentation Directive

From the animalsasia site:

Animal welfare action
EU Animal Experimentation Directive
The European Union Directive on the protection of animals used in experiments is currently being reviewed, Please click here to find out more and to read a copy of our letter to the UK Home Office in support of the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE).

Please click the link, read and take action. Not only dogs, cats are exploited too, and some 25 million cats are vivisected every year in the US alone.

Help to end situations like this…

or this (or worse)

(source: pictures from allcreatures.org‘s World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week page)

Stanley’s back

Another update on the trio.

Stanley has returned after his 2-week convalescence. Earlier this night, we met up with V, and took over Stanley who had his sterilisation on Boxing Day.

He looked very calm in the carrier, so I pushed the camera right up to the carrier door to snap a pic of him, as we may not see him again if he choose to settle down outside of Areas 1 and 2.


Closeup of his tipped left ear.

I couldn’t get a clear shot of the site where the lump was. But it was right behind his left ear. I was able to see the surgical stitches and it looked very clean and was healing nicely. Right before he was released, V had piled on the anti-septic powder on the site too. V said he was a terror to handle, though he didn’t look it.

As soon as the carrier door opened, Stanley shot off, blazing across the road into an area outside of Areas 1 and 2. I’m glad to have taken the pics.

V also checked out the territory of the dilute calico mum and her babies. A separate update on them to come.

Help Kitties: Blessing Home CNY Cookies For Sales

Blessing Home selling CNY goodies to raise funds. Please do help if you can.

Dear Cat-Lovers,

Time really flies and soon, it will be a brand new year for everyone.

As usual, Blessing Home is trying its best to help as many cats as possible, be it the sterilization of the strays out there or rehoming of the cats which currently seek their shelter in Blessing Home. However, with the economy downturn, it has been increasingly difficult to find good homes for the cats. From the beginning of the year till now, Blessing Home only managed to find loving homes for less than 50 cats, which is a great decrease compared to yesteryears. In addition, with the increment in the prices of patrol, cat food, medications etc, it has taken a toll on Blessing Home, which is a non-fundable and non-profitable cattery. Not only it has become tougher to sustain the cattery, there are more cases of strays, especially those affected by en block projects, awaiting for helps and rescues by Blessing Home.

Therefore, I will like to take this opportunity to invite everyone to do a part to lend a helping hand to the cats. I will be hand-baking Chinese New Year goodies and put them up on sale. Rest assured all the money will go to the running of the cattery and to the sterilization of the strays out there. Thus, I hope everyone will give me his or her fullest support and forward this email to as many animal-lovers as possible. The pricing of the cookies is as follows:

* Pineapple tarts -$20/45 pcs
* Cashew Nuts cookies: $10/bottle
* Vegetarian spring roll- $10/bottle
* Love letter- $10/bottle
* Prawn roll-$12/bottle

(A photo of the cookies has been attached for your viewing)

As there is no delivery for this year, there will be two pick up points for you to collect your cookies:

1) Plaza Singapura (near Dobby Gaut MRT station)

Date: 12th and 13th January 2009

Time: 6pm-8pm

2) Outside Outram Park MRT station

Date: 14th and 15th January 2009

Time: 6pm-8pm

For cookies ordering or enquiries, please contact Phyllis at 97348329. Do make your order(s) two weeks earlier as they are all hand-made cookies. Myself, as well as all my cats, will thank you greatly for your kind support.

Last but not least, I will like to wish all of you an early Happy New Year and all the best for the coming year!


Wolves under Pall(in) of slaughter

Dawn posted this. I feel very disheartened to know that after 8 continuous years George W Bush and his wars on terror and the environment (with the second 4 coming out of nowhere), we may get even more of the same… or worse. Talk about the difference between a pitbull with lipstick and a hockey mum. I do not mind either in the White House, just as long as he/she does what is right and needed. But with Mrs Palin, lipstick may well grease the barrel mouths of both hunting rifles and patriot missiles alike, oil-drilling bits and the marker pens scribbling denial of climate change. It will also mark the day my zombified faith in humanity and reason dies yet again.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Defenders of Wildlife Advertisement

This is certainly very disturbing. Shooting wolves from planes? Factcheck does add some clarifying details, but it certainly seems that most of it is true. Shooting animals is already terrible in my book – shooting animals with an unfair advantage is much, much worse.

I left a comment too, with links attached:

This has been going for a goodly number of years. It is SLAUGHTER pure and simple, just like the Japanes/Nowegian/Icelandic whale killing.

Wolves are supposed to be protected – a CITIZENS initiative banned aerial gunning since 1996, but the last two governors forced through aerial hunting of wolves as necessary protection for prey animals and people, when it is human hunters who are decimating them and taking more lives for useless trophies than the wolves do to survive. (Ref: Aerial wolf hunting flies again in Alaska)

Again, like whale slaughtering, aerial wolf gunning is something that the general public would disapprove of but is continuing due the sheer power of lobby and political pandering.

Shooting one wolf kills many even without the aerial advantage of increasing the potential of shooting more than one.

The wolves of Alaska are extremely disadvantaged. This is extra cruel for the species’ survival especially if it is one or both of the alpha pair that gets shot since only the alpha have the right to breed. Due to the social hierarchy of wolf packs, the pack disintegrates under the intense sudden stress to the social fabric. The remaining pack members will likely disperse, and die one by one. If the alpha female has new babies – the young pups starve to death.

There’s quite a few sites and movements to overturn this barbarism. Disturbing, it is being applied to bears as well. Even more perturbing, other states with strong hunting lobbies are trying to ape them.

Good ref site: http://www.alaskawolfkill.com/

Another one: http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/8/31/22337/7183

While I am aware that the other ticket may not be the ideal answer, the question is do we really really need more of the same old beating around the bush, all that whacking the environment senseless, generating war business  and tax breaks for those who don’t need tax breaks?

I feel the answer can only be a “Yes” if we want to see more and worse of the same problems the current Ptesident of the United States has shovelled onto the world. We’ve seen enough of the George W Bush version of governing, and it ain’t making the world better in my books. But the cruz is of course: How stupid is the American voter?

(Source: Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller. Click on the comic to view the original)

PS: Visit this site for more info on voting for conservation: League of Conservatiob Voters. They have scorecards, reports and the lowdown on candidates and current office holders of all stripes, from the President down to lil’ old governors wielding lipstick and hockey sticks.

[ACRES] Invitation: House-warming party at the AWRC 20 Sept!

Another date to pencil in, please also note ACRES‘ appeal, as highlighted in blue bold italics:

from Louis Ng (ACRES)
to info@acres.org.sg
date Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 7:57 PM
subject [ACRES] Invitation: House-warming party at the AWRC 20 Sept!

Dear ACRES Supporters,

I am delighted to inform you that the front portion of the ACRES Wildlife Rescue Centre (AWRC) opens tomorrow!

I would like to personally invite you to our house-warming party at the AWRC on 20th September (Saturday) from 6pm onwards (directions to AWRC: http://www.acres.org.sg/images/AWRC%20map.gif). Please RSVP by 17th September (info@acres.org.sg) as we need to prepare the food and drink!

The opening really is a milestone, as more than 4 years have passed since ACRES started work on establishing Singapore’s first dedicated wildlife rescue centre.

It has been a long and eventful journey, with many setbacks along the way. It has, however, been a journey that is without a doubt worthwhile. We have learned many important lessons and look forward to the AWRC being a landmark facility for the protection of animals.

We truly appreciate your continued support for ACRES and we would like to share with you how your support has helped make a difference. So please join us on the 20th, and also meet like-minded people who share your passion for making a difference in the lives of animals. Encourage friends and family to come too!

ACRES will begin its education and volunteer programmes at the Lee Foundation Education Centre and South West CDC Volunteer House at the AWRC respectively. These programmes aim to empower the public with knowledge about animal protection issues, inspire them to volunteer and take action to make a difference for our community.

The opening of the back portion, the Main Sanctuary Area, where animals will be housed following their 3 month quarantine period at the Wildlife Recovery and Rehabilitation Centre (front portion) will be, however, delayed for at least another 6 months.

ACRES has commenced legal action in the Singapore High Court against the contractor, A.n.A Contractor Pte Ltd (ANA) with respect to this delay. We are represented by Mr. Kenneth Pereira and Mr. Muralli Raja of Allen & Gledhill. We have also commenced legal proceedings against Mr. Tan Boon Kwee, the Clerk of Works. The Clerk of Works was required to be at the AWRC, on a daily basis, to supervise the day-to-day works that were to be carried out on site. ACRES will be claiming damages and/or losses it has suffered as a result of the actions of ANA and Mr. Tan Boon Kwee.

We will work tirelessly to rectify the problems that have arisen and we will not give up. This setback has not dampened our passion and determination to make a difference. We will learn from it and become stronger.

If you know of a construction company that will be to help us with excavation and re-building works at the AWRC, please contact me as soon as possible.

I look forward to seeing you on the 20th and showing you around the AWRC.

Best wishes,