14 pets living in filth in Bukit Merah flat, volunteers seek foster homes
While out conducting their regular Sunday door-knocks, volunteers Calesta Teo and Fion Phua got a rude shock when they witnessed 14 animals living in “horrible conditions” inside a Bukit Merah HDB flat.
The flat, at Block 92 Henderson Road, is rented by an elderly woman who, according to Teo, has a tendency to hoard stuff.
Teo and Phua are volunteers with Keeping Hope Alive, an initiative set by Phua to provide a better life to less-privileged Singaporeans, visiting one- and two-room HDB flats to help those in need.
Speaking to Asiaone, Teo, a National University of Singapore undergraduate, said: "Together with the other volunteers, we went in to clean the flat, only to realise the animals were in distress."
On Sunday (June 26), Phua posted a video on Facebook pointing out that the unit is home to 10 cats, three terrapins and one rabbit. Teo also tapped Facebook to seek new homes for the cats.
From the videos and photographs, the home looked in need of major cleaning.
Teo said the elderly woman did not take too kindly to the volunteers wanting to help her pets, though she was agreeable to them cleaning her place.
"(She) doesn't allow anyone to take her animals, even to see the veterinary surgeon," Teo said.
"Urgently in need of cat fosterers/adopters/caregivers. If there's no (foster homes), we can't remove the cats and we do not have any place to house them. Please help," Teo pleaded on Facebook.
Some 10 volunteers helped remove the trash from the unit and provided the elderly woman with new furniture and paid her utility bills in full. Painters were brought in to spruce up the walls as well.
Teo said there are actually many hoarders living in rental units in conditions "worse than this".
"But every house we visit still brings a lot of sadness, knowing that these elderly live in such an environment," she said.