One of two cats has died after they were catnapped and relocated from their usual territory at Marine Terrace to Seah Im Food Centre in HarbourFront by the Marine Parade Town Council (MPTC), a Facebook post has alleged.
In response, MPTC has since issued an apology for the "misjudgement" of their staff in relocating the cats and added that the cats should have been sent to Agri-Food Veterinary Authority of Singapore instead.
Town Council allegedly did not reveal location at first
On March 27, Snowy Tan put up a Facebook post in which she alleged that Ben Ben, one of two cats who had supposedly been relocated by the MPTC, had been found dead in the morning at HarbourFront.
In explaining that the whereabouts of the second cat, Leng Leng, was still unknown, Tan further alleged that the town council had denied their actions initially.
However, MPTC allegedly then admitted to their actions in the wake of a Meet-the-People session with the MP.
Additionally, the town council had supposedly only revealed where the two cats had been relocated after repeated phone calls from their caregiver, Mdm Tan (unrelated to Snowy Tan and whom we shall refer to as the caregiver).
Caregiver supposedly spent days searching for the cats
Tan stated that the caregiver herself had supposedly spent days searching for the cats in the vicinity of HarbourFront, the nearby forest and Mount Faber Park, missing work as a result.
Tan added that the location the two cats had been relocated to had high traffic and low access to food.
It was also a location that the two cats were not familiar with.
Tan subsequently concluded her post by questioning why MPTC engaged in such actions, and whether it was working with the Cat Welfare Society (CWS) to resolve such issues.
Here is Snowy Tan's post in full:
Town Council apologises, points out that caregiver's cats have been a nuisance
In response to Mothership.sg queries, a representative for MPTC apologised for their staff's "misjudgement" in relocating the two cats, who were found to have been roaming around the caregiver's block -- Block 15 Marine Terrace (statement reproduced in full at the end of the article).
The representative also clarified that the town council has been working closely with CWS in managing cat issues, including this case.
With regard to this particular case, the representative stated that MPTC had received more than 45 instances of feedback from residents of the same block, since 2016, complaining about the caregiver's cats in general, which totalled about 15.
He added that the cats affected public health and hygiene as a result of their activities such as defecating and urinating, fur shedding, and caterwauling, among others, at the common corridor, staircases and lift lobbies.
Moreover, the cat-related nuisances were reported from most levels of Block 15.
The representative highlighted that MPTC has been engaging the caregiver on multiple occasions, to advise her against keeping so many cats in her flat and allowing her cats to roam freely.
He added that CWS was also aware of the situation and was also assisting MPTC in educating the caregiver on responsible pet ownership.
Here are the town council's photos of said caregiver's cats:
Who is the caregiver?
According to a 2017 post on the Facebook page Cats of Marine Terrace, the caregiver is known as Mdm Grace Tan -- a woman who has been feeding over 30 community cats in the vicinity of Marine Terrace, East Coast Park.
The post added that the caregiver has been feeding generations of such cats and that she often has to deal with cases of unsterilised cats abandoned by irresponsible owners in the estate despite her low income.
Here is the post in full:And here is MPTC's reply in full:
"We would like to clarify that the Town Council has been working very closely with the Cat Welfare Society (CWS) in managing the cat issues, including this case.
For this case, we received more than 45 feedback since 2016 from residents of the same block at Blk 15 Marine Terrace. The cats, around 15 of them, were left roaming freely within the block, causing dis-amenities and hygiene-issues such as cats defecating/urinating, fur shedding, caterwauling, etc, at the common corridor, staircases and lift lobbies. The cat-related nuisances were reported from most levels of the block.
For the past years, we have been engaging Mdm Tan on many occasions to advise against keeping so many cats in her HDB flat, and not to allow the cats to roam freely at the common areas of the block, affecting many residents. CWS is also aware of the situation and assisting to educate Mdm Tan on responsible pet ownership.
We wish to apologise on behalf of our staff who has made the misjudgement of relocating the 2 cats that were found roaming in the block. The cats should have been sent to AVA.
We will like to appeal to our residents to play a part as responsible pet owners which will help us in maintaining a pleasant environment for all residents. CWS has an extensive educational resource on pet ownership which can be found here: https://www.catwelfare.org/education-resources/."
Top image collage from Snowy Tan Facebook and MPTC Facebook