SINGAPORE — The cat-loving community online was shocked by a tragic incident that took place at Rental Block 6 Jalan Minyak. After the tenant’s family moved out, their pet cats were left unattended inside cages.
Two of the cats were severely emaciated, while the remaining three were merely skeletal remains.
This heart-wrenching incident came to light thanks to concerned members of the Facebook group “Sayang Our Singapore’s Community Cats.”
On Monday (5 June), Zirah Fahmi, who appeared to be a resident of Rental Block 6 Jalan Minyak, shared a video showing cats trapped inside a rental flat unit.
The video was taken from outside the unit, and when the person recording the clip meowed, the cats inside the unit responded.
Zirah Fahmi expressed hope that the Housing and Development Board (HDB) or the town council would take immediate action to rescue the cats.
“They are still stuck and AVs (Animal & Veterinary Service) have just come by just now to check but they can’t enter the house still and need approval from Hdb, ” she prayed for the cats’ survival until they received help, added that she also alerted the police, HDB and AVS about the issue.
Police officers, NParks personnel and volunteer rescuers visited the unit
The case has since raised attention from authorities and cat rescuers. According to the Chinese media outlet Lianhe Zaobao, several police officers and personnel from the National Parks Board visited the unit on Tuesday (6 June).
Volunteer rescuers, who frequently save abandoned cats, also arrived to offer assistance after seeing the Facebook post.
WatsIn Sal or known as Wati, one of the “Sayang Our Singapore’s Community Cats” group member and a volunteer rescuer, shared shocking photos that sadden all the cat lover.
In a video uploaded by Wati on Tuesday, a large metal cage can be seen was placed at the back of the one-bedroom rental unit.
Two black-and-white kittens were seen moving around in the three-tiered cages, appearing very thin.
At the bottom of the cage, there were numerous bones and cat fur, which was quite horrifying.
Based on the number of bones, Wati concluded that they were the remains of three cats. She later borrowed cat food and water from a neighbor and placed them inside the cage.
The two surviving cats eagerly rushed forward to devour the food.
Wati believes that the three cats had likely been dead for quite some time, possibly due to starvation leading to cannibalism.
Rescuers horrified by discovery of cats’ remains in a cage
Rescuers were left in shock when they discovered the remains of cats trapped inside a cage, suggesting that the felines had been abandoned for an estimated period of “one or two months.”
The owner of the cats claimed that they had been fed two weeks ago, which appeared to contradict the dire condition of the cats and the evidence found.
In another distressing video, a rescuer carefully examined the remains of the cats inside the cage, pointing out the presence of fur, skulls, and skeletons for the camera.
An off-camera voice expressed disbelief, saying, “And the girl can say she fed the cats two weeks ago. That’s blls**t. Absolutely blls**t.”
Authorities subsequently confiscated a black garbage bag suspected to contain cat bones from the unit. The two surviving cats were also placed in small cages and taken away by the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS).
During her interview with The Straits Times, Wati shed light on the distressing reality of neglect that she has encountered, specifically in rental flats.
She recounted how tenants would abandon their cats within the premises before vacating. The reasons behind such actions varied, with some individuals unable to afford rent while others sought refuge from creditors or the law.
“Most of these cats starve and by the time we find them, they are skin and bones.”
Pet owners who abandon their pets can face charges
Last year, AVS investigated 310 cases of pets being abandoned, but approximately 95 percent of these reported cases were not substantiated.
It is worth noting that under the Animals and Birds Act, those who abandon their pets can face charges.
First-time offenders who neglect their duty of care towards their pets may be fined up to S$10,000, imprisoned for up to 12 months, or both.