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Woman jailed for neglecting pet cats in Singapore


Singapore, Nov 9: A Singaporean woman was jailed for two weeks for failure to take care of her 39 pet cats, a media report said today. Roslina Roslani, 34, together with other drug-related charges, was sentenced to a total of five years, six months and four weeks' jail on Monday, Channel News Asia reported. She could have been sentenced to up to 18 months in jail and fined a maximum of 15,000 Singapore dollar (USD 10,783) if convicted of animal cruelty.

The case came to light after the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) inspected her apartment in the Yishun housing estate on February 25, following public feedback about animal faecal odour coming from her unit. AVA found the cats housed in cages, many of which were caked with faeces. All the felines were in poor health and physical condition. Four died shortly after due to underlying medical conditions and another had to be euthanised.

Woman jailed for neglecting pet cats in Singapore

The remaining 34 cats were released to the Cat Welfare Society (CWS) for rehoming. CWS, which helped care the cats before they found new homes, had spent nearly 40,000 Singapore dollar (USD 28,757) on their medical and boarding fees. "We can really attest to the suffering and trauma of the cats that were rescued from this hoarder," CWS committee member Veron Lau was quoted as saying.

For those survived, the transformation over the past few months was "tremendous", although many of the cats had various medical issues that took a while to clear up, she said. Nine of the cats are currently living with fosterers who are likely to adopt them and 18 will be up for adoption as part of the Fur Friends Fiesta carnival at the HomeTeamNS Sembawang Clubhouse on November 26.

"We urge cat owners who are breeding and have not sterilised their cats to do so to avoid a situation when cat keeping spirals out of control to the detriment of everyone - cats, owner and community," Lau said. "Hoarding of pets may also cause public safety, nuisance and hygiene issues to the community, such as pests. AVA urges pet owners not to hoard animals and be responsible and considerate pet owners so as not to cause inconvenience to the community," AVA authorities said. If convicted of animal cruelty, first-time offenders are liable to a maximum fine of 15,000 dollar and up to 18 months in jail.

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