ANIMAL welfare groups are advising the public to address the issue of stray animals humanely and not resort to extreme measures.
Selangor Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) chairman Christine Chin said it took effort to deal with these animals.
“We advise people that the best way is to trap, neuter and release (TNR) these animals.
“If there are a group of residents who are feeding the strays, they can come together to neuter and release.
“This way the population is controlled.
“Strays are a human problem and poisoning or killing them is not the answer. It also goes against the Animal Welfare Act 2015,” she said.
She advised the public to subscribe to the SPCA-led “Stray Free Selangor (SFS) – The Humane and Compassionate Way” programme.
The programme focuses on educating the public on humane and compassionate ways of treating stray animals, as well as encouraging all quarters to work together to spay or neuter stray animals and provide shelter for them.
This comes after reports that 19 cats were found dead at the Sri Kenangan Condominium in Wangsa Maju.
Resident Adibah Zainualdin, 58, said about four adult stray cats and a kitten were found dead around the condominium complex between Dec 31 and Jan 2.
“We later heard from the guards that at least 12 others were found dead over the past few months.
“We were shocked and heartbroken when we found out.
“We do not know for certain if they had been poisoned, but there are no signs of injury or disease on them,” she said, adding there were some 20 stray cats that roamed the neighbourhood.
Adibah said her family had spayed and neutered around 12 cats over the past few years to help manage the population.
The carcasses were picked up by the Veterinary Services Department (DVS) on Friday, but according to residents it would take months for the results to come out.
Another resident, Asmah Ismail, 52, said the cats helped control the rat population and deterred snakes from coming into the compound.
“About a year ago, a python came into my house which is on the ground floor.
“The cats actually alerted me to it when I saw them playing with it,” she said, adding that many of the strays would roam in and out of her house.
Another resident Faezul Fitri, 27, said he had to ensure that none of his cats went outside for fear of them being poisoned.
However, not all the residents were happy with having the stray cats around.
Norhayati Ahmad Kamal, 56, said the stench when the cats urinated and defecated was unbearable.
“It is not acceptable for anyone to kill the animals, but something has to be done about the strays.
“All the green areas are dirty with the cat faeces and even the children’s playground is affected.
“I have to clean my staircase area every day as they urinate there.
“Even my neighbours try unusual ways to deter them, like placing bottles with coloured water,” she said.
Trap-Neuter-Release-Manage (TNRM) founder and president Stuart Tan suggested that an enclosure for the strays be built in the compound.
“While the TNR method was the best way, we understand that not all the residents would be happy with cats roaming the area.
“With the enclosure, those who feed the cats can continue to do so and will not affect other residents. It will also protect the cats’ safety.
“But the community must come together to discuss and voice out. TNRM can advise them on the possible solutions suitable for them,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Sri Kenangan Management Corporation said the suspected poisoning was not sanctioned by the committee.
“That being said, we would also like to stress that we do not have a responsibility over the welfare of the stray cats.
“The committee has formulated an action plan to rid the condominium of stray cats without resorting to this kind of action but due to the concerns of animal lovers here, we have been deliberately slow and careful with our planning and have yet to implement this plan of action,” they said in a statement.
It added that the incident had been reported to the authorities and would leave it to them to investigate this matter.