Singapore— Tampines Town Council said that it was “very sorry” for “a lapse in the protocol in the handling of the recent cat-related matter,” after a post made rounds on social media detailing how a cat had been placed in a bin center as a temporary transit point before being relocated.
A netizen named Rachel YukiMizu posted on the Facebook page of Sayang Our Singapore’s Community Cats a video and photos of the incident on November 14. She wrote that two foreigner cleaners carrying a cat in a cat trap had been seen by a woman, who apparently notified her. By the time Ms YukiMizu arrived, the cat had been placed in the rubbish chute area.
Posted by Rachel YukiMizu on Friday, 15 November 2019
Ms YukiMizu introduced herself as a Cat Welfare Society (CWS) volunteer, and endeavoured to determine whether the cat is a home or community cat, but she was not allowed to do so, having been barred from further examination by an executive of the Town Council.
Ms YukiMizu and the woman could hear the cat meowing, and these sounds can be heard on the video she uploaded as well.
She wrote that they were “afraid that the cat was in the yellow rubbish mince machine since the cat sounded like it was in pain.”
The Town Council was called, but proved to be hard to contact, after which the AWS counseled Ms YukiMizu to call the police.
When a mediator from the CWS arrived, she was not allowed to check on the cat. The mediator was told by the Town Council officer that a resident had “passed the cat to the cleaners.”
Upon the arrival of the police, they questioned the Town Council about the matter, since standard protocols regarding cat complaints were not being followed.
The Town Council told the police that a resident had asked for the cat to be removed, following complaints made about it. After this, the police asked that the cat be given to the representative of the CWS.
Ms YukiMizu wrote,
Cat was under great trauamtic stress and breathing really hard.
Why did Town council or the Singapore government had not have laws to protect the welfare of animals?
When you request for removal of cats
Did u think about what would happen to the cat? Trapped in a rubbish chute?
Many ways it could be put to death?
It was in a smelly rubbish chute area trapped in a rusty metal cat trap.
It was injured from pawing so hard at the rusty metal cage.”
After Ms YukiMizu’s post, the Tampines Town Council issued an apology, recognising the lapse in protocol. It said that a resident had repeatedly told them the cat had defecated and urinated outside their unit, and therefore asked for the Town Council’s assistance.
Tampines Town Council acknowledges that there was a lapse in the protocol in the handling of the recent cat-related…
It also explained that the staff who handled the matter was relatively new.
“The Town Council staff was relatively new, instruction was given to safely relocate the cat. The bin centre was used as a temporary transit point. It was never our intention to cause any harm to the cat.
Tampines Town Council has been a long-standing partner with the Cat Welfare Society (CWS) and would like to reassure the public that this is an isolated case.
We have issued a warning to the staff and will continue to work closely with CWS to educate our staff on the proper management of cat-related issues.” -/TISG