The Mews: January 2015
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To start the year off on a lovely note, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) are bringing you 'I Adopt... Love', an event partnering with CWS that advocates animal adoption in Singapore! 

The event will feature adoption drives by not only CWS, but also other local animal welfare organisations such as House Rabbits Society, Animal Lovers' League, SOSD and many more! You'll have a chance to learn more about the pursuits and efforts of different animal welfare organisations on our island and if you're ever so inclined, sign up to volunteer with your preferred society in person as well!

Be prepared for a day full of activity for you and your family as we bring you dance performances, a literal 'Cat Walk', a record setting gathering of cat lovers and many, many more! You might even get a chance to sneak a peek at your local Supurr feline celebrities! 

So if you were considering bringing a new family member into your home, why not drop by to learn about what it takes to be a responsible pet owner and perhaps meet a potential forever pet! 

Event Details:
Saturday, 31 January 2015, 10am - 6pm
Venue: Playground@Big Splash, 902 East Coast Parkway Big Splash, Singapore 449874*
Nearest carparks: B1/ B2/ C1
Facebook event's page

Imagine living life surrounded by filth and rubbish. Image the smell that came with it. Image being locked in and not being able to go out. That was the condition the 7 cats trapped in the recent Kim Keat case were put in, probably all their lives. A troubled resident had written to his MP and various organisations after a man found dead in his flat was removed, leaving behind a trash filled house with some of his cats, locked up for 3 weeks. Cat Welfare Society (CWS) was alerted and decided to take action.

“The deceased in this case obviously had issues in his life, his living condition was bad. Despite the filth, we found many opened and unopened cans and bags of cat food. Even in his state, he loved his animals,” Ms Fareena Mehr Omar, 36, Cat Welfare Society’s secretary said.

5 volunteers, Elaine, Nurul, Belle, Regine and Ms Fareena herself were involved and had to endure the stench and hazards because they could not bear to have the cats suffer. They were able to trap the cats after negotiating with authorities to have the door unlocked. All cats are now in stable conditions.

This was not the first hoarder case CWS has dealt with and they want to ensure that protocols are enforced in the future for similar cases. Ms Fareena states that none of the cases were good. “What we want always is a good outcome from a bad situation,” she said. “Relevant bodies have to be informed when live animals are found on premise when unfortunate incidents like death, accidents or incarceration happen.”

“The 7 cats we managed to rescue are lucky. How many others perished and suffered over the three weeks we will never know,” Ms Fareena said. “We would feel best if we can successfully find homes for these cats.

Click here for more information on adopting the cats affected by the case.

Contrary to popular belief, many people do not know that older pets are less attention-seeking and make much calmer pets than younger animals. If you are a busy professional who does not have much time for your pets, you would be pleased to note that senior pets are easier to train and require less monitoring. It is indeed a myth that kittens are easier to adopt!

If you would like to see how older cats thrive in a home environment, make a trip to The Cat Museum, Muses and Mansion for an afternoon with them. Amongst the senior cats, you will find Midnight, a beautiful black Persian cat who has survived the odds and is patiently waiting for a second home. If you feel absolutely ready to open your heart to one of these Oldies, you may also head down to the “Oldies Only” Adoption Drive on 8 February 2015 at Art Park @ *SCAPE from 11am to 5pm, an event organised by Old Is Gold. 

To find out more about adopting senior pets, please visit the website and Facebook page of the Old Is Gold project, lovingly brought to you by students from the Nanyang Technological University - Dai Ling, Ming Min and Sharon. Old Is Gold is a non-profit nationwide campaign, advocating adoption and better welfare of senior pets.

Ex-President and current secretary of CWS, Fareena, has seen the different sides to cat rescue in her six years with CWS. From the horrific to the heartwarming, each case she has ever been involved in has left an indelible mark on her.

1. How long have you been involved with CWS and what were your roles?

I’ve been with CWS for six years, of which I was President from 2010-2012, Treasurer from 2012-2014 and currently serve as its Secretary.

2. I understand you've been involved in many hoarder cases. Can you tell us which was the most memorable one and why?

In 2010, I headed the Tampines emanciated case, which saw a family of hoarders keeping 54 severely emaciated cats in their HDB. The case spanned a year and a half, involving multiple agencies including Family Services. Starting with just two cats, the family that kept them were not well off and didn’t sterilize them. Of course, the situation quickly got out of control within four years and we ended up rescuing 54 cats in horrific conditions.

The owner was successfully prosecuted for abandonment and neglect. What made this case really special to me was that it brought about much needed awareness on the importance of sterilization. The case was covered in all major newspapers. We received many calls for help to get their pet cats sterilized, especially from families at risk through this case. The projects to help low income families sterilise their cats still continue today.

And the case had a very good ending. The family is doing much better emotionally and financially and the cats rescued have found loving homes. Thinking back, it was a very emotional period for me and I still tear when I remember the terribly sorry state that we found the cats in. I am very heartened that it had a happy ending. This case will always be my baby.

3. What do you love most about this job?

I can't pinpoint any one thing but I have always felt greatly for the underdog. Animals need a voice, especially the helpless ones. If I can take them away from a horrible past and work to give them a better future, I will do it a million times over.

4. What is one piece of advice you strongly believe in about keeping cats?

Go into in prepared, whether emotionally, financially or mentally. Animals are a lifelong commitment and understand that this could mean 5, 10 or even 20 years, and not as long as you find them fun. They are sentient beings too and treat them as so.

Special Appeals Spotlight

Tough Guy was a community cat from eastern Singapore. He was limping terribly and was in constant pain from a deep, bloody abrasion to his right paw.

At the clinic, the vet recommended an immediate amputation of the paw from the joint down. The rationale was that the curled paw had been fused and would always remain deformed. In such a case, Tough Guy would continue using its forearm area to assist its walking which could result in further injury and infection. If he received the amputation instead, he would be more able to live a healthier life.

Tough Guy had the operation the following day and spent the next week at the clinic. He was fostered for a month and has since recovered. Tough Guy was also sterilized during this period. He has been adopted by a lady who is willing to care for a handicapped cat.

The total medical cost incurred was SGD739.39. The caregiver is appealing for donations to help defray the cost incurred for Tough Guy, with the appeal amount at SGD739.39.

Click here for more details on making a donation to Tough Guy's case.

2-Weeks is a cat from southern Singapore. When she was found, another cat was trying to chase her away. 2-Weeks had a deep and wide wound at the side of the neck.

The caregiver gave her some treats and followed her for a few hours. 2-Weeks was caught, fostered for a night and was brought to the vet the next morning. At the vet, the open wound was stitched up and 2-Weeks was fostered for 2 weeks according to the vet's advice.

After following up with the vet, the stitches had fallen out by themselves and the wound had healed up nicely. 2-Weeks was released back to her neighbourhood.

The total medical cost incurred was SGD 216.89. The caregiver is appealing for donations to help defray the cost incurred for 2-Weeks, with the appeal amount at SGD 216.89

Click here for more details on making a donation to 2-weeks' case.

Many more special appeals need assistance on our Special Appeals Board.

Adoption Spotlight

5 Years Old

Flower became a community cat as a result of abandonment. She is looking for a sincere, responsible and committed owner, who can provide her with love, care and a safe environment to live in. She had been sterilised and is very healthy. She is well loved due to her gentle and well-behaved nature, not to forget her very pretty and adorable looks! 

Click here for more details on adopting Flower.
8 Months Old

Pepper is a 7-8 month black kitty, rescued from a dangerous location and is now looking for a forever family he can spend his life with. He has a good temperament and will make a great addition to any household. He has been sterilized, vaccinated and dewormed.

Click here for more details on adopting Pepper.
4 Years Old

Rena was abandoned at a void deck with another cat. She enjoys human company and attention and would take initiative to get your attention! You just can't help but give her belly rubs as she adorably gets on her back when you approach. Fiv/Felv negative, untipped ears.

Click here for more details on adopting Rena.
CWS Adoption guidelines apply.
Many more cats are available for adoption on the 
Public Adoption Bulletin Board.

The Mews is brought to you by CWS Volunteers Denise Tham, Qiuling Low, Emi Matsumoto and Vicki Teo.
Header Photograph by Gerald Paul Tan.
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