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Mona Lisa with her cat at Sazai hall - Temple of Five Hundred Rakan

First charity dinner by the Cat Welfare Society to seek reinvention

Every year, local animal welfare group, the Cat Welfare Society (CWS) fight for its survival as a non-profit animal welfare organisation, funding sterilisation of cats, medical fees and other miscellaneous fees for the welfare of cats in the community.

In 2015, the Cat Welfare Society handled more than 2,500 cat-related community cases, of which over 60% were referred by Town Councils and government agencies. It's humane approach to resolving issues through education, mediation and sterilisation, has seen overwhelming demand from agencies and the public. It aims to continue to meet this demand because the alternative, without the Society's intervention, is often the activation of pest control or the loaning of the free AVA traps.

CWS says that it will place more emphasis on education and outreach in 2016 as it sees the pressing need to raise a new generation's consciousness about animal welfare and cultivate more leadership and active participation for the cause.

"People seek our help because they don't want to resort to culling but have no means to carry out a humane approach. Either they are impeded by corporate red tape on resource allocation, or they are individuals who simply do not have the means. Animal welfare is only just gaining a foothold in Singapore and our Society needs the support of the public to fully fulfill its goals of community transformation at grassroots and cultural level," says Thenuga Vijakumar, President of the Cat Welfare Society.

This year, the CWS aims to raise $800,000 this year to fulfill its mission. To help it meet its goals, Scotts 27, a prestigious private and luxury dining restaurant on Scotts Road, is hosting a charity dinner titled "Society of Cats" on 30 January 2016 in benefit of the Cat Welfare Society. It is the first for the restaurant and for the Society. The event aims to raise $20,000 for the welfare of cats.

Amongst its guests to-date are Minister K. Shanmugam, CEO of AVA and EM Services, ardent fans of Scotts 27 and supporters from businesses like Darby Media Pte Ltd and Pet Lovers Centre. These businesses also supported the production of the Cat Welfare Society's first commemorative book "Society of Cats", of which the dinner is titled after.

catwelfare
"Society of Cats"

The book was officially launched on 19 December 2015 and marks the Society's fresh commitment to making an impact in the area of education and outreach. The book is in major bookstores around the country, and the Society aims to present the book to schools as part of its leadership through kindness programme by April.

To further the fundraising reach of the event, Scotts 27 will also host the ever popular Purrzaar from 2.00 - 7.00pm on the same day. The Purrzaar is open to the public and will feature a selection of popular craft merchants, many with an avid cult following, selling creative cat crafts, art, photos and fashion accessories.

Mona Lisa with her cat at Sazai hall - Temple of Five Hundred Rakan
Mona Lisa with her cat at Sazai hall - Temple of Five Hundred Rakan

The highlight of the day would surely be Svetlana Petrov's Mona Lisa with her cat at Sazai hall - Temple of Five Hundred Rakan (2014). Launched into the public eye in 2014, the artist is best known for working with her cat Zarathustra to produce “famous paintings improved by cats”. Valued at SGD 3,200, the painting is donated by Art Porters to the "Society of Cats" silent auction.

The silent auction will be conducted on 30 January from the start of the Purrzaar at 2.00pm and end at 10 pm. Bids will start at SGD 2,800 with full proceeds to the Cat Welfare Society. Online bids from the public can also be sent to [email protected]com. Online bids end at 6 pm on 30 January.

"For a young IPC organisation working with animals to meet a $800,000 goal is a big challenge. We are grateful for the support of businesses like Scotts 27 who can help us raise so much awareness by virtue of their brand name and talents. But we also need individual donors to drop in your 10s and 50s to make it truly possible for us to continue to create change for animals in Singapore," says Ms Vijakumar.