At Least 13 Malnourished Cats Rescued From Sembawang Flat
Hearing news about animal cruelty is always anger-inducing, and it’s much worse when a large number of innocent animals fall victim to a cruel handler.
On 25 Feb, rescuers saved at least 13 malnourished cats from an HDB flat in 363C Sembawang Crescent.
One of the rescuers, Wati, documented the entire process of rescuing the cats.
She shared the rescue process on Sayang Our Singapore’s Community Cats Facebook group.
Cats’ plight discovered by rabbit rescuer
Speaking to MS News, Wati shared that she found out about the cats’ plight through another post on the Facebook Group.
The tenant supposedly abandoned two rabbits in cages outside the flat, so a rabbit rescuer was at the flat on 24 Feb to rescue them.
While rescuing the rabbits, they found that there were also cats in the flat.
Wati, who proclaims to be an experienced rescuer, obtained the flat’s address from the rabbit rescuer that night.
Cats came pouring out when rescuers opened door
Wati told MS News that she and a fellow rescuer decided to go down to check the situation out on 25 Feb. They also enlisted the help of a community feeder in Sembawang.
According to her, the community feeder reached the unit first.
The gates of the flat were padlocked shut, but they managed to push the wooden door open as it was already slightly ajar.
As soon as they opened the door, as many as 13 cats poured out of the flat.
The community feeder on site caught the felines and placed them into cages found at the stairwell door for their safety.
Wati guessed that the cages were originally used to house the rabbits.
Wati and the other rescuer eventually reached the Sembawang Crescent flat around 1pm and bought food for the cats.
According to the rescuers, around four to five cats were kittens about three months old, while the rest were grown cats.
Rescued cats apparently starved for multiple days, kept in poor conditions
Wati told MS News that most of the cats rescued were malnourished, dehydrated, and had very dry skin.
Rescuers even described one of the cats as all “skin and bones”.
The tenant’s neighbours told authorities he had not been back for about a week, leaving the cats starved.
Wati shared that some cats were also injured. In particular, one cat had cloudy eyes, and another two could not open their eyes.
In addition, rescuers noted that at least two more cats were caged in the house, as they could hear two distinctive ‘meows’ from within the flat.
Based on the captured videos, the house appeared unkept and messy.
Authorities assisted in getting cats to safety
Wati shared that the rescuers called the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Housing Development Board (HDB) to help with the rescue operation.
However, Wati alleged that HDB personnel refused to open the door for them since the tenancy period was not up.
Based on a notice pasted at the front of the house, the tenant was expected to vacate the premises on 31 Mar this year.
The rescue team apparently also tried to contact the town council to assist in opening the door but to no avail.
Eventually, five SPF officers came on-site and assisted in reaching out to the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS), who sent some contractors down to assess the situation.
After gaining an understanding of the situation, the AVS personnel took the cats that were already outside the flat with them.
Rescuers did not immediately rescue the remaining cats within the flat.
However, residents told the rescuers that authorities entered the flat that night, presumably to rescue the remaining cats.
Rescued cats currently under AVS’ care
In response to MS News‘ queries, AVS confirmed that the cats are under their care.
They added that they take “a serious view of pet abandonment, and investigations are ongoing.”
Members of the public with information related to the case can contact AVS through its website or call the Animal Response Centre at 1800-476-1600.
They can use the same channels to alert the AVS of any suspected cases of pet abandonment.
We’re glad that the cats were brought to safety in a timely fashion. Kudos to the rescuers and all authorities involved for promptly rescuing the cats.
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