In the early months of 2023, a disturbing trend emerged in various parts of Singapore – a series of cat deaths and injuries that sent shockwaves through the cat-feeding community.
A Disturbing Discovery
It all began in January 2023 when cat feeders in the neighborhoods of Ang Mo Kio, Seletar, and Hougang stumbled upon a grim sight. Carcasses of cats were found with bite or puncture wounds, unmistakably the result of an animal attack. It was a heart-wrenching scene, leaving cat lovers in these areas in distress.
As investigations progressed, it became evident that a pack of dogs was likely responsible for these brutal attacks. The wounds on the cats matched those typically inflicted by canine predators. Alarmed by these findings, cat feeders initiated nighttime patrols to safeguard their feline companions.
The situation escalated when reports started pouring in from Paya Lebar, where the marauding dog pack had extended its reign of terror. Shockingly, they had claimed the lives of approximately 50 cats, according to Channel NewsAsia.
Concerned citizens and animal welfare organizations swiftly alerted the National Parks Board (NParks) and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
AVS Steps In
In response to mounting concerns, the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS), a division of NParks, sprang into action. On September 8th, 2023, AVS received reports of three free-roaming dogs displaying aggressive behavior toward residents at Fernvale Lane. AVS wasted no time and promptly intervened.
Of the three dogs encountered, two were successfully captured and taken into AVS’ care. Subsequent observations indicated that these dogs bore a striking resemblance to the ones implicated in the cat attacks across various locations, particularly in Ang Mo Kio.
Chang Siow Foong, the group director of community animal management at AVS, assured the public that the captured dogs were now under the agency’s care. Plans were set in motion to collaborate with animal welfare groups to find suitable homes for them. AVS also committed to ongoing monitoring of the situation.
Chang shed light on the behavior of dogs, emphasizing their territorial instincts and their natural inclination to chase and catch objects. While some dogs may exhibit such tendencies more strongly than others, not all will confront humans or other animals. It was advised that, in the presence of free-roaming dogs, people should avoid staring at them and instead speak softly while walking away slowly, avoiding sudden movements.
Interestingly, AVS had prior knowledge of stray dogs in Ang Mo Kio, including the three dogs associated with the cat attacks. Chang revealed that these dogs were believed to have wandered from a remote site in the north to Ang Mo Kio. AVS intended to guide them back to their original location through feeding and conditioning, a strategy employed under the nationwide Trap-Neuter-Release-Manage (TNRM) program.
Despite their best efforts, AVS faced challenges in capturing the elusive dogs. Traps were deployed, but the dogs, accustomed to their nomadic lifestyle, proved evasive. Chang acknowledged the complexity of the situation, emphasizing the need for patience and continued efforts.
In conclusion, the recent wave of cat deaths and injuries in Singapore has prompted swift action from AVS and the wider community. As authorities work to address the issue and protect both cats and dogs, it is essential for residents to remain vigilant and compassionate towards these animals.
- What should I do if I encounter free-roaming dogs in my neighborhood?
- If you come across free-roaming dogs, it’s best to avoid direct eye contact, speak softly, and slowly walk away without making sudden movements.
- Are all dogs territorial and likely to attack other animals?
- No, not all dogs display strong territorial instincts. Their behavior varies, and many tend to be wary of humans and other animals.
- How can I help in such situations of animal conflict?
- If you witness or suspect animal conflict, you should report it to the relevant authorities or local animal welfare organizations.
- What is the Trap-Neuter-Release-Manage (TNRM) program mentioned in the article?
- TNRM is a humane strategy aimed at managing the population of stray animals by trapping, neutering or spaying, and then releasing them back into their original location.