SINGAPORE - 20 cats were rescued from a Bukit Merah flat with a burst sewage pipe on 19 August.
The SPCA said via social media posts on Wednesday (6 September), that it had worked with the Cat Welfare Society (CWS) in a 12-hour operation to rescue the cats.
The CWS was first informed by the flat owner that a sewage pipe had burst on 10 August, with leaking waste matter throughout the flat.
According to SPCA, the owner had left his cats and one kitten to fend for themselves, leaving them at risk of malnutrition and poisoning from the toxins in human waste.
SPCA, CWS mounted rescue mission
The SPCA was first alerted by the CWS of an "urgent" case on 18 August.
Later that evening, SPCA officers and the CWS hurried to the flat, but were only granted access after midnight on 19 August.
The floor was covered in "human waste", and some of the cats were seen drinking liquid from the sewage pipe leak. Two cats were also in cages.
None of the 20 cats had access to any fresh water for more than a week, the SPCA said.
Authorities were immediately alerted by the SPCA of the "dire" situation, and requested to seize the cats for urgent medical attention.
The cats could have faced "life-threatening" consequences if they had not attended to in time, the SPCA said.
They are currently under the care of the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) of the National Parks Board (NParks) and investigations are ongoing.
The SPCA has said that it will help rehome the cats after investigations are complete.
Not first incident
This is not the first time SPCA has encountered incidents like this.
It understood that many factors, such as financial difficulties or relocation, can make it hard to care for pets.
However, SPCA reminded the public that pets are a "lifetime responsibility", and are to be cared for "no matter the situation".
Pet owners are encouraged to have a contingency plan, should they be unable to care for their pets in case of a crisis, such as seeking help from a relative or a friend.
Members of the public can alert AVS of any suspected cases of pet abandonment via their feedback form or call them via their Animal Response Centre at 1800 476 1600.
They can also call SPCA’s 24-hour hotline (6287 5355) for assistance, or email email@example.com regarding any difficulties in caring for their pets.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.