SINGAPORE - A video of a kitten being rescued from a 12th-storey ledge went viral on Tuesday (Oct 4) after the cat's rescuers, animal welfare group SPCA Singapore, shared the story on its Facebook page.
"We were fortunate to have the camera equipment donated to us recently," SPCA executive director Jaipal Singh Gill told The Straits Times.
"The kitten rescue mission was one of the first few videos which was captured with the donated camera."
As hotly discussed as the incident was, however, it turns out that this week's high-rise drama was just a drop in the ocean.
Dr Gill said the group is called in to assist in more than 2,000 animal emergencies each year, or about five a day.
"While we now focus on domestic animals, we have also rescued animals such as wild boars, monitor lizards, otters, macaques, pigeons and birds of prey over the years," he said.
He added: "Rescuing cats from sticky situations, such as the kitten featured in the video, is routine work for our rescue team."
Dr Gill said that the team makes do with limited resources. There are just two vehicles it can deploy for its 24-hour emergency animal rescue, as well as cruelty and welfare investigation service.
"We have used one of the vehicles for 19 years and it is reaching the end of its life soon," he said.
"The SPCA is appealing for kind individuals or organisations to sponsor a rescue vehicle so that we can continue with these critical animal welfare services."
Here are some of the crises which the SPCA has responded to.
IN GRAVE DANGER
In 2011, a kitten was found trapped between two concrete slabs in the cemetery at Lim Chu Kang, on the eve of Hari Raya Puasa.
The SPCA officer on the scene used lubricants to extricate the distressed kitten, who was named Xeno and has been adopted.
Last year, a dog was found wedged between the bars of a fence along the perimeter of a house in Chu Lin Road.
SPCA officers managed to slip the dog out within 20 minutes, by lubricating its body.
In 2011, a kitten was found stuck in a container of wet cement.
It was dredged from the container by an SPCA officer, and given veterinary attention.
The SPCA said that it could not determine how the cat had ended up stranded in the goop.
Morning rush hour got a lot worse for one avian commuter, when an egret became tangled in a kite line along the Tampines Expressway in 2013.
SPCA officers rescued the bird from the tree and worked with wildlife organisation Acres to give it the once-over. The egret was medically cleared for release back into the wild.
Train tracks would be a death trap for stuck animals if not for the timely intervention of SPCA officers.
A thirsty and malnourished kitten was rescued from beneath the railway tracks at Fernvale LRT station in 2014.
That same year, a pigeon became trapped in a narrow crevice beneath MRT tracks and had to be guided with a pole towards a wider aperture to free itself.
FROM CANAL TO KENNEL
"A rescue officer turning up to a scene of an animal in a monsoon canal that is fast filling up with water does not have much time to get the animal out," said Dr Gill.
"One such case occurred in 2014 when a puppy was rescued just in the nick of time, before the rising water and strong currents in a monsoon canal washed her away."
A similar incident took place in 2011, when the SPCA and PUB worked together in the midst of a storm to save a kitten that was clinging to a pipe and floating down a monsoon drain.