That's the number of cats "humanely destroyed" by the SPCA Singapore in its last FY ending 30 June 06.
Its latest annual report came through the post today, and here are some grim statistics on cats:
No. brought in: 5,568
No. of adoptions: 358
No. claimed/rehomed/released: 138
No. in shelter: 60
No. humanely destroyed: 5,012
90% of the cats brought in to the SPCA are humanely destroyed (I love euphemisms!).
Why? Because SPCA does not have the space nor financial resources to keep all 5,568 of them in the shelter.
Why were these 5,568 cats brought to the SPCA then? Because some of us humans have deemed that cats cannot and should not co-exist with us in our clean, modern urban dwellings. Ergo, these cats are condemned and kaput!
Of course, some of the 5,012 cats HAVE to be put to sleep because they were victims of OUR abuse, and letting them go is the solution to their physical and emotional suffering.
But what about the rest?
Finishing them off with a lethal jab is, of course, the easiest way out to the "overcrowding" situation. But is it really humane? From whose perspective is it humane anyway? When did they become lesser beings?
Indeed, if you look at it from a certain perspective, dying seems to be far better off than living life as a community cat - running away from nasty children, watching out for cruel abusers, suffering from constant hunger and cold, and living in perpetual fear of pest controllers.
What bothers me is this: Why can't we accept these animals on their own terms? Why don't we learn to tolerate them? Afterall, we don't go around rounding up people whom we dislike and finish them off with a gun, do we? (Unless, of course, you are from the mafia.)
I know putting animals to sleep is a nasty job which the SPCA had to do. Because WE allow it to happen. And which is why I have decided NOT to donate to the SPCA. I know it also needs funds for public education and outreach activities and sterilisation of strays etc. SPCA has done a decent job in raising awareness of animal welfare and deserves a pat on the back. But I cannot sign on the dotted line, knowing that part of my donation would go towards the killing of 5,012 cats.
I think my money would be better used in sterilising the community cats in my neighbourhood and allowing them the chance to live out its life as a fellow being.
Kootoo - one of the lucky few put up for adoption at the SPCA in May 2005.
Community Cats of Bedok North
11 hours ago