'Relocated' cat found dead, town council sorry for 'misjudgment'

A March 9 Facebook post had called for Marine Parade residents to help Madam Grace Tan, who cares for a dozen cats in her flat, to track down the two which were missing.
A March 9 Facebook post had called for Marine Parade residents to help Madam Grace Tan, who cares for a dozen cats in her flat, to track down the two which were missing.PHOTO: CATS OF MARINE TERRACE/FACEBOOK

The death of a cat which had been "relocated" from a housing estate in Marine Parade to HarbourFront has led to criticism from some netizens.

The Marine Parade Town Council (MPTC) has since apologised, saying that its staff made a "misjudgment" in moving several cats, which should have been sent to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority instead.

But it also urged residents to play their part "as responsible pet owners", highlighting how it had received "more than 45 (cases of) feedback since 2016 from residents of the same block at Block 15 Marine Terrace".

"The cats, around 15 of them, were left roaming freely within the block, causing disamenities 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," the statement to the Mothership website said, adding that the town council had been working with the Cat Welfare Society in managing the cat issues.

A March 9 Facebook post had called for residents to help Madam Grace Tan, who cares for a dozen cats in her flat, to track down the two which were missing. Madam Tan told The Straits Times (ST) yesterday that she had called the town council to report the loss.

The 58-year-old was later told that the cats had been moved on March 8 to Seah Im Food Centre at HarbourFront, a day before she realised they were gone.

The part-time McDonald's employee searched HarbourFront and the nearby Mount Faber Park, to no avail. But on Wednesday, she received a message that one of the cats had been found dead. She went to Seah Im Food Centre and confirmed the cat was hers. "They stole my 'children'," she told ST.

Some netizens questioned the move by the town council to relocate the cats, calling it irresponsible.

  • 15

  • Approximate number of cats roaming freely around Block 15 Marine Terrace.

Mr Louis Ng, chief executive of Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) and an MP, said he empathises with both sides.

"There is no binary solution to these issues. On the one hand, MPTC clearly did the wrong thing in relocating the cats without prior consent.

 

"But it is difficult to get residents to cooperate, so I can see why they took matters into their own hands," he told ST.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2019, with the headline ''Relocated' cat found dead, town council sorry for 'misjudgment''. Print Edition | Subscribe