Tuesday, May 20, 2008

ST (20-5-08)

Oh dear - this is exactly what I was concerned would happen, and it looks like it has. It's become a dog lovers versus cat lovers cat fight - and the animals are going to lose. There will be people who question why either animal is in the community at all. By the end of this, the caregivers (both dog and cat caregivers) are also probably going to end up looking like crazy people to the general public.

At the same time, AVA will continue talking about Responsible pet ownership - which isn't doing anything about the problem now. Instead of fighting each other, the animal caregivers should work together and get AVA to work with them to solve the situation together.

Here's the full article.

20 comments:

Toni said...

I was pleasantly surprised that the picture accompanying the article in the ST was that of a malay lady who has been feeding stray dogs for the past 4 yrs.

Most Malays tend to steer clear of dogs - and the fact she has been doing this for 4 yrs makes her very special. We need more ppl like her.

baoer said...

oh mine.. how does it come to this. it shouldnt b a situation of cats VS dogs. they r still both stray. we should love them all.

y cant ppl b more tolerant of them. they way cats n dogs fight are just part of nature. just like cats bullying rats. it's nt their fault. they cant help it. it's part of nature.

those ppl should just relax n leave the animals alone. animal wont attack human unless provoked.

just like a cheetah wont attack a human whose visiting a safari, unless u provoked it.

Anonymous said...

Hai. Please, all of us, let's just stop right here and let's stay focus and objective.
The animals are already suffering. Doesn't matter whether it's a cat or dog or bear or hamster or chicken or a pig or a cow.

Anonymous said...

We cannot rely on AVA to solve such problems. They are extremely rigid in dealing with 'stray' issues and their only solution is to cull. Now that this has been brought to the press it can only end tragically for the dogs

Dawn said...

Yes - what I meant is that the different caregivers can get together and ask/demand for better treatment for both the dogs and the cats. Divisions like this only hurt - and it allows the AVA to fall behind platitudes like responsible pet ownership again.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's strange is it not.... Both groups look after strays and now there is this big fight. And with the cat lovers leading the fight, it further enforces the myth that cat lovers are a bunch of crazy old ladies. Put it this way... if the cat lives in the open, it is subjected to risks... diseases, fights, cars, serial cat killers and many many other factors. Dogs are also part of the these factors. I mean I have even heard of eagles, bears, wolves, etc etc taking cats in the northern countries. So does that mean that these animals all must die too?

Cat caregivers really have to be realistic... and really if you feel that much for the cat and want to protect them then you should bring them home. If you decide to leave them in the streets, you have to accept that such incidents are facts of life.

Adriane

Anonymous said...

and reading the article carefully. It says 10 cats, both strays and pets. In the very first place, why are these people allowing their pet cats to roam around?? I mean if you dont let you dog roam freely then why let the cat roam free? And go do things like poo into other people's garden, flowerpots, run into people's kitchens and giving ammo to people like Mr Tan to keep believing that he is doing a God Appointed duty in trapping every cat he can find?

In my opinion, the cat owners are to blame here.

Adriane

Anonymous said...

i so agree with adriane here.

triple-x said...

It is understandable for the cat caregiver to feel hopeless and distraught to find her community cats that she has put in efforts and feelings in taken care of killed by pack of wild dogs which are not taken care of.

It is also understandable that the caregiver's need to do something about it to stop the constant killings of her community cats by the stray dogs. Otherwise, how could a caregiver claims her love for the animals she cares and telling them this is your own fate and just simply doing nothing to prevent this.

We read that the caregiver never want to have the dogs killed and i believe she was exhausted in her efforts to stop the dogs from coming in for the kill but they did not work.

Instead of those people giving their own brilliant advice as well as criticising the caregiver, why not try to understand her emotions of losing her loved ones.

Those who care about dogs and only talk and advise here but do nothing to help those poor homeless dogs, like what the cat caregiver has been doing with her community cats, please re-consider your remarks.

Although i still agree that involving AVA is never an option.

triple-x said...

i really hope to see more volunteers, whether you love dogs or cats, walk out of your comfort zone to help those homeless animals which need us and give them a better lives. Then comes the day that the AVA's so called Animal Welfare dept will close down and their retrenched paid employees will find something to do elsewhere rather than CULL, CULL and CULL.

Anonymous said...

Triple X, it is not that we don't care but honestly I don't think the caregiver is at her wits end. She took the easy way out and immediately call AVA. And now they are saying things like "WHAT IF" the dogs attack children one day. Please then we can also say "WHAT IF" the cats spread Sars, "WHAT IF" the cats scratch the eye balls out of my kid.... just as it is nonsensical that cats will scratch out kid's eyeballs or spread SARS, it is not fair to say that these dogs will definitely bite children.

She is no better than Mr Tan who spread false info about dogs... And I don't agree that it is a show of love that she must "protect" the cats.

If you want to talk about volunteers... well perhaps I would like to ask you back what have YOU done to do something about the issue? And as for the issue of stray dogs, I don't mean to be rude and all but I recently find something really strange. ASD (Action for Singapore Dogs) is a well known animal welfare group, they conduct high profile fund raising like the auction of a designer dog decorated by celebrities. Yet they claim sterilization is too expensive and of no use as AVA still catches these dogs, they don't help to trap any strays. So actually my question is what do they actually do?

I hope no one is offended by my question and I just think we need to work together, be it cats or dogs or monkeys or whatever lover....

Adriane

Dawn said...

Triple X - first of all, I think everyone has sympathy for the caregiver who has lost her cats. How could anyone not? Feeling sorry for the caregiver alone is not going to be very helpful though - and not when it puts all the animals there in jeopardy.

I believe that suggestions were thrown up by both ASD other caregivers. I am not sure if the caregiver has tried them or if she is even aware of them - ie shooing the dogs by using waterguns, umbrellas, noise making equipment. I am not aware that this has been used from what I do know, but perhaps this has been tried. I do know this was successful in another colony I know.

In addition, this is not a colony of 'wild dogs' no one is taking care of. It seems that there is a dog caregiver who is known to the group who however may not be willing to work with them.

The main issue I have with this was that it was sent to the press and now with this article, it will do more harm. It's a great 'story' - dogs versus cats - but how does it help either?

There are a large number of people who question why the CATS are there too - and since it seems that the caregivers have no issue with dogs being removed if they are a threat to safety for example, what happens when the argument gets flipped around? it wasn't that long ago SARS happened. This 'just in case' behaviour can be used to justify a whole litany of actions.

In addition, my whole point of writing this was as you say, to get people out of their comfort zones. You now have one faction 'the cat people' and another faction ' the dog people'. AVA has an easier time now because it's a case of divide and rule. AVA can easily point to the 'cat group' as wanting the dogs removed and how they can't ignore their calls for action.

If both groups can work together, they can put their energies to much better use - and combined they can make a bigger impact.

How do we give them better lives? I think the answer is in demanding change. How many dogs or cats can you take off the street? If policies change though, then more can be done to protect both.

I don't believe in hoping that AVA will one day stop killing - I believe we need to take action to get to that goal, and what we DON'T need is for the different groups to fight amongst themselves when they should be fighting the existing policies.

By the way, the Animal Welfare department does not kill animals - that's the Animal Control department which has different functions.

Anonymous said...

The newspaper is the culprit lah - they write to make waves and if any cat/dog dies as a result, it really does not matter. Story is "well received".

Both community cats are dogs are victims - they do not seek the 5 mins of fame. They rather not be noticed and stay alive.

The less anyone talks to the press about this matter, the chance of animals staying alive longer is better. It is not dogs vs cats - rather these potential victims are being used to sell newspaper.

Dawn said...

Right - there are some things you really don't want to focus attention on.

AutumnPiglet said...

And at the end of it, I believe that cats and dogs not getting along is a fallacy. I have both a cat and dogs. They get along fine. Even the stray that I've been feeding, and other strays that I've come across don't run at the sight of my dogs. They basically hold their ground and look as my dogs walk pass. My dogs will also basically just give them a glance and walk pass with no lunging or barking.

I also believe that in most instances, even if the dogs do chase the cats (and I've seen cats chase dogs too, my cat is a very good example until I had to be very creative in keeping her indoors) they don't mean any harm. A dog will basically chase anything that runs, be it cats, dogs, humans or cars. But it doesn't mean that they will attack. They chase because it's their instinct to. If the prey stop running, most of the time, they'll stop chasing.

I really hope the caregivers in Jurong can resolve this. Like all of you have said, the ones that are losing as a result of all these are the animals.

Anonymous said...

Like many have said, it is NOT a dog vs cat issue - it is again a HUMAN issue.
Some people wants community dogs culled by ava so THEIR (personal pronoun) community cats they feed would not be harassed....never mind that the community dogs are in turn fed by other people.
Some people just don't want a single community cat or dog in their neighbourhood because THEY think cats/dogs are threatening (humans are a lot bigger, so one party must be damn cowardly).
Some people talk nonesense eg our famous Mr T** who thinks every cat is dripping with watery stools. I wish he could see some ex-community cats - they could be healthier and cleaner than him anyday. And do not spew dripping vemin too. Aninmals are so much more wholesome as a comparison.

suzanna said...

I'm worried for both the cats and dogs.

These few days, I've seen some stray mongrels in different parts of my estate (which was stray-dog free previously). They are seen roaming around the car parks. I hope that they are not transferred here to ease the problem in Jurong. I fear for the community cats and I worry for the dogs.

Anonymous said...

Suzanna, i don't think it is easy to "transfer" what you called "stray mongrels" to another location.
Just try trapping one such "stray mongrel" - mongrels are very smart.
I have several mongrels at home presently and they are smart dogs. I used to have generations of imported pedigree with impressive champion blood-line complete with very fancy names & birth certificates. Now, stupid me realise the good dogs are right here in our midst.
That is why "mongrels" are so hard to trap, they have good instincts.

I certainly hope one day the name of our local "mongrels" will not be uttered with contempt - they are as good dogs as any.

Sorry to write in praise of dogs-esp mongrels. Actually I have more cats than dogs at home & i love both species dearly. They get along with very few problems.

ava had gone and trapped the two sacrifical dogs as scape-goats. From this episode, i like ava a little better, they did what was necessary to appease the people who demand for that pound of flesh.

Anonymous said...

Most Malays tend to steer clear of dogs - and the fact she has been doing this for 4 yrs makes her very special. We need more ppl like her.

There are such Malays who are able to decondition themselves and see all creatures with equanimity. However local Malays seem especially fearful of dogs, sometimes thinly disguised in letters to the press to express such intolerance.

Dawn said...

I think I'd change the word Malay to 'Singaporeans' Anonymous :)