An 18th cat was found dead in Yishun, a day after a suspect was charged in court with throwing a cat from a block of flats, raising questions about who else might be involved in the serial animal abuse.
The female tabby was found yesterday at Block 734, Yishun Avenue 5, near the hardcourt grass verge at about 3pm, said a post by volunteer cat interest group Yishun 326 Tabby Cat.
"The cat has blood on the ears and mouth," said the group in its Facebook post, noting that the animal was "big-sized" at about 7kg.
No details were forthcoming about the culprit or culprits, but on Tuesday, a 40-year-old man was charged in court for allegedly throwing a cat down 13 floors, killing it.
Lee Wai Leong, who did not enter a plea to his single charge, was remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for assessment and is expected back in court on Jan 12.
It is unclear what the extent of his involvement is in all the abuse cases, or how many others are involved.
He is the first person to be hauled to court under the new Animals and Birds Act, which was amended last year to toughen the penalties against those convicted of animal cruelty. If found guilty, he could be jailed for up to 18 months and/or fined up to $15,000.
Mr Louis Ng, an MP for Nee Soon GRC and the executive director of the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society, said that the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) is conducting a post-mortem to determine whether the cat had been abused.
"I previously shared that it's good news that a suspect has been arrested, but we should not let our guard down and must remain vigilant," he said. He added that the AVA and the police are continuing their investigations.
Mr Ng said he would meet to discuss plans soon with community volunteers, who have been patrolling the neighbourhood.
Since September, 17 other cats have been found dead and two seriously injured. Most of them were strays.
Last Saturday, the carcass of a grey-white cat was found floating in a Yishun pond next to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. Other cats were found with severe trauma to the head and back, injuries to the intestinal organs, gouged-out eyes and chopped-off limbs.
Facebook users and cat lovers reacted with anger and sadness to the recent case, with the Facebook post garnering close to 200 comments and more than 500 shares as of yesterday evening.
Members of the public with information can contact the AVA on 1800-476-1600.