Thursday, July 24, 2008


This is the problem when people have an issue of pet hoarding - how do you stop them from taking in more cats? Often when I was with CWS, people would ask us to remove the cats from an overcrowded house - only to find the person took in more cats again, just like this woman.


eslina said...

I was just informed by a caregiver that she knows of a hoarder who keeps lots of kittens (about 50 or 60 of them). But the house is very dirty and unhygienic.

The kittens were not well fed (in fact they are starving) and most died due to infections. When asked why weren't the kittens fed properly, the hoarder replied that the kittens are lucky that they have a roof over their heads.

2 caregivers had tried helping by cleaning the hoarder's house and get several of the kittens sterilized. But it's tough since the hoarder is suspicious of kittens taken away for sterilizations.

Problem is if this is reported to SPCA, the kittens will definitely be put down.

But I don't know how many of these kittens can be saved. Btw, the horader has about 50 to 60 kittens in a HDB flat.

The 2 caregivers are still doing a weekly cleanup at the hoarder's house and are appealing for funds to sterilize the kittens.

I feel that it's really difficult to save the kittens since the hoarder can totally refuse people to come into the house to save the kittens and is there any authority in Singapore to charge this hoarder for cruelty to the kittens??

If this is reported to the authority, can the kittens be saved??

Anonymous said...

Sterilisation may prevent reproduction - ie if the cats are healthy enough to mate. Many cats kept by hoarders are suffering from malnutrition and dehyration & living in filthy conditions - they may not live long.

The kittens/cats will die sooner or later from diseases & overcrowding. One cat comes in with an infectious disease and there would be sick cats all around before some would die off.
And hoarder would go out and get more cats to repeat the cycle.

Helping the hoarders (with cat food, cleaning, sterilisation) could mean providing the means for the hoarder to bring in more cats & for suffering to go on indefinitely.
If you report the abuse and the hoarder is banned from keeping any more cats - you could stop the cycle & more kittens from the same fate.
Yes, some cats will die (whether killed by diseases in hoarders' flat or culled), but other (perhaps more) kittens/cats could be spared the same fate.
This is of course just my 2cents' worth & i am sure others may not see it in the same way.

Yes, I was one of the silly ones that "helped" a hoarder by providing cat food & sterilising some of hoarder's cats. I could not continue as hoarder took in more cats though we had an agreement that she would stop taking in more cats. I managed to get a few cats out but many remained.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, i mean i was silly. I did not mean to imply that people who help hoarders are that at all.
Helpers are compassionate people.

Dawn said...

The problem eslina, as Anonymous said is that it would be difficult to stop them from taking in more kittens. The question of whether they can be saved is a difficult one. Having dealt with some hoarding cases in the past, I can say that some of the cats are in such bad shape, they don't live. Secondly, even those that can, often take months of socialisation and treatment. More than one concerned caregiver I know has taken the cats in and they are still in boarding because they can't be rehomed.

This IS a case of abuse - and if the authorities are called in, it should be treated as such. It may be too late to already save the cats IN the flat - but it may be possible to save others, IF the hoarder is stopped and that would include possibly psychiatric treatment too.

veganmeow said...

Actually this case is not "hoarding" its "breeding" of her own cats that led to the huge number of kittens. According to the caregiver who managed to smuggle out some of the sick kittens and a pregnant female, the old lady does not take in more cats she feeds them downstairs. The problem is she refuses sterilisation ever since 2 of her cats died when a caregiver from that area brought them for sterilisation. She threatens suicide and to burn up the place if authorities get involved.

I believe in this case something can be achieved by sterilisation, medical and adoption... but this will need some funds for the medical.

Dawn said...

veganmeow - hard to say, that's what the woman says but whether she can be relied upon is another matter. After all, if she feels she is 'protecting' the cats, she may well lie to do it.

Anonymous said...

Whether the cats are offsprings of her "own" cats or not - multiple sick/pregnant kittens/cats in a dirty & overcrowded flat IS hoarding.

In Wikipedia, it says " Animal hoarding involves keeping higher than usual numbers of animals as pets without having the ability to properly house or care for them, while at the same time denying this inability. "

Ok, due to hoarder's inability to care for her cats adequately, helpers help with food, medical & sterilisation costs. However, there is no way anyone can adopt more than 10% of these cats/kittens even if hoarder allows for adoption. Most hoarders refuse to let go of "their" cats - even to good homes.
The problem will not go away & helpers have to be prepared to help for years&years (provided neighbours do not complain & authorities had no choice but to step in).
Hoarder use emotional blackmail like threatening suicide/send cats to xxxx to manipulate helpers to help according to their dictates.

If you believe a hoarder could be persuaded to give up their cats - think again.

Anonymous said...

Dawn said...

well said anonymous.