Above shows one of the abused cats, Greyie, who was found badly injured at Northland Primary School. Greyie has survived and is recuperating at the vet but its hind legs are now paralysed. (Photo: Cat Welfare Society)
In a joint news release on Monday, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) and the Singapore Police Force (SPF) announced that a 40-year-old man was arrested on Sunday for suspected involvement in a series of cat abuse cases in Yishun.
The agencies had received several reports of cats being found injured or dead in the Yishun neighbourhood between September and December this year. At least 19 cats have been found dead or injured since September.
It is said that police officers from the Ang Mo Kio Division assisted AVA in their investigations and established the suspect's identity.
The man will be charged in court on Tuesday for animal cruelty. If convicted, he could be fined up to $15,000, jailed for up to 18 months, or both of the first offence. For second and subsequent offences, he could be fined up to $30,000, jailed for up to three years, or both.
The Cat Welfare Society (CWS) welcomed the news of the arrest. The society had issued a “high alert” in Yishun after the series of cat killings continued to take place in Yishun since September.
"We do hope that with new laws in place, they will map out a reasonable fine, and will not let (perpetrators of) a crime like this get off too easily," said CWS spokesperson Veron Lau.
Ms Lau added that CWS was heartened to see AVA and police working together to solve the case.
"This is a protocol that we hope will continue - that for animal cruelty cases, they will put in such resources and cooperation among agencies to crack the case," she said, adding that awareness has helped with placing pressure on agencies to get to the bottom of this case.
In an earlier dialogue held by CWS, it was suggested the creation of an animal police unit within either the police force or the AVA, to provide a dedicated team of trained individuals who will know how best to proceed in the event of animal abuse being reported. Trained personnel could also be present within the town councils, as people sometimes make reports to the town council when animal carcases are found.