Oct 02, 2013

    Alleged cat abuser listed torture process

    AN ALLEGED case of animal abuse - with the apparent abuser leaving behind a strongly worded letter detailing "experiments" conducted on a cat - has caused alarm among animal lovers here.

    A photograph of the letter was first posted on Facebook late last week by user Mitchell Sopiano Tan and later on citizen-journalism website Stomp on Sunday.

    Among a list of torture methods cited, the letter said that the abuser had "tested" the cat's "hearing", "threshold (of) pain" and "diving abilities".

    The original Facebook post has since been taken down.

    In his posts, Mr Tan said the tabby cat had gone missing for three to four weeks before it was returned to its owners in a plastic bag, along with the letter.

    The abuse had allegedly taken place in Edgefield Plains in Punggol.

    Mr Tan was informed of the case by a friend who works at the veterinary clinic which the owners had taken the abused cat to. He did not name the clinic.

    The cat's fate is unclear, but Mr Tan said in his Facebook post that the cat was in its "last moments and may leave this world any time".

    On Monday night, he took to Facebook again, to say that the case is not a hoax and that the alleged abuser is "still at large".

    He also clarified on Facebook that he had taken down his earlier posts after requests from the cat owners, who are believed to have lodged a police report.

    The authenticity of the abuse has come under question as animal-welfare groups said that they have received no reports of the incident.

    Ms Corinne Fong, executive director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said it is questionable as to whether the case is true, as there is no evidence to verify it.

    Similarly, Ms Veron Lau, president of the Cat Welfare Society, said that no one directly involved in the case has contacted the society, although an appeal for information was put out last week.

    When My Paper contacted four veterinary clinics near Punggol - where the abuse was believed to have taken place - two said that the cat was not admitted to their clinics and a third had been closed since Sept 27.

    The fourth clinic, located in Jalan Kayu, told My Paper that it "cannot disclose clients' information".

    Ms Fong said that while veterinary clinics are advised to report cases of animal abuse that they come across, it is not mandatory for them to do so.

    She said: "It is a confidential issue between the client and the veterinary clinic."

    Ms Asmaliah Kassim, a volunteer Cat Relations Officer at the Agency for Animal Welfare, said that she was appalled by the case. She said that "if it is a hoax, it is in very poor taste".

    If it is true, Ms Asmaliah said: "A life is a life and there is no discounting its value.

    "We hope the vet will do the right thing and make a report so that an investigation can be carried out, regardless of the outcome."