A website, savebeachroadcats.com (SBRC) is being set up by cat feeders at Beach Road to chronicle all the serial cat abuse cases from the area, along with information on the suspected abuser who has been killing the cats.
With over 50 cats are found to be killed and abused over the past 3 years at Beach Road and many more unaccounted cases along the Kallang river, cat feeders of Beach Road are forced to move their public awareness campaign online after years of inaction by the relevant authorities.
Graphical images of dead cats are shown in the blog posts, where and when the cats were found dead are documented down, along with the response by the authorities.
The creators wrote in to TOC saying that though the Singapore government reiterates a strong official stance on pet and animal abuse, all that they have been hearing from authorities, like the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), are instead empty platitudes such as:
“AVA takes animal cruelty seriously and will take action against any offender for acts of animal cruelty if there is strong direct evidence and witnesses who are willing to testify in court.”
Multiple bodies and cases have already been forwarded to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and concurrent reports made to the AVA.
Due to the investigations of the cat feeders, a suspect has been identified through various witness accounts and the documented behavior of the suspect. Many residents believe the serial cat abuser to be a “white-haired uncle” who is a resident of the area.
He has been spotted several times loitering around the neighbourhood in the wee hours of the morning and cats would often be found abused or dead afterwards. The suspect has even been questioned by other residents but he flatly denies the accusations upon him.
SBRC says that it had made one police report about the suspect in 2011, and a very recent one just last week . There may be other police reports made by others which they are not aware of but from their experience, the SBRC says the police would usually refer such cases to the AVA because they are “animal-related”.
In an incident where a community cat was flung to its death in broad daylight three years ago, a heated confrontation between the suspect who was present at the scene and the cat feeders took place. An investigation officer from the Singapore Police Force (SPF) was even assigned to the case but there had been no follow up since then despite attempts to reach the officer. (Read more about the incident here)
If the SPF’s tactic is to push all animal-related abuse cases to the AVA, an agency without actual policing powers and far less investigative resources, which in turn place an extraordinarily responsibility on civilians to do their work for them, how exactly evidence or proof of the crime are the elderly resident feeders from an impoverished estate expected to deliver, asked the cat feeders.
They added that the AVA puts the burden on the feeders or the people who care to come up with the evidence, or to source for willing eyewitnesses, in an area where the usual attitude to shady things is to close one eye and not to care.
An AVA spokesperson was reported to have said that the AVA has conducted its own investigation into the abuse cases but there is not enough evidence and there have been no witnesses who saw the abuse taking place.
Other than a poster or two or the rare occasional Facebook post, the response from the AVA and SPCA was equally as muted. “Nothing much we can do since there’s a lack of evidence”, “it’s all just circumstantial and pure conjecture and speculation” or even “this isn’t abuse” would be the often heard replies after numerous phone calls made just to chase down an answer.
They ask how could the government’s claims on taking animal abuse seriously be believed if swift resolution is not forthcoming.
“With louder voices from fellow Singaporeans who care, this will hopefully alter our dead-end efforts to make the authorities sit up and take notice.”
“Please help us spread our message, and help us bring this up to the government agencies involved.”