Volunteers and supporters of a group dedicated to caring for community cats of their condominium residence in Bonifacio Global City are voicing out their concern regarding the condo’s management and property developers have reportedly been taking action to remove these cats from its premises.
In an email sent to WhenInManila.com, the volunteer group shared the challenges of trying to protect these community cats over the past years amid the apparent “opposition” by the management and the property developers. Despite efforts made by the volunteer group, consisting of concerned residents, such as the implementation of a spaying and neutering program and the attempt to reach out to relevant authorities to engage in dialogue, the group said that these were always “met with disappointments as the scheduled meetings were always canceled at the last minute by [the property developers and condo managers].”
The group added that it was thanks to key people like James Deakin, Marcelle Marcelino (the hero behind the Shangrila BGC cats), and Nancy Cu-Unjieng (Cara Welfare Philippines President) advocating for the protection of their condo cats on social media that the volunteer group was able to provide these cats with the care they needed.
“Through heartwarming stories shared on social media, the residents sought to introduce the community cats and their unique personalities to the world. Slowly but surely, our messages began to resonate, drawing attention to the cause and raising awareness about the need to protect these innocent creatures,” they said. “Our volunteer group has worked tirelessly to care for the community cats providing food, medical attention for their well-being and safety. We have even managed to find loving homes for over 30 community cats, spayed and neutered an additional 50, with many more being cared for, all these using our own personal funds.”
However, they expressed that “the battle was far from won.”
“As we fought to safeguard the community cats, new challenges emerged. Abandoned and dumped cats and kittens continued to be discovered within the [condo] premises and reported to [condo] security and admin. We couldn’t turn a blind eye to these vulnerable creatures, and we took it upon ourselves to rescue, foster, and find them forever homes. We have never posted their stories on our social media as we do not want to be known as a dumping ground for cats,” the group continued.
“Last Saturday, July 22, 2023, [the condo management] called for an Annual General Meeting. In attendance of that meeting were just 25 residents which falls short of the proper quorum. Despite the lack of quorum, these residents together with the [officers and admin] proceeded with the meeting. One or two residents made comments and complaints about the community cats pooping on their cars, scratching their cars, and getting them sick.
“That same evening, the feeding bowls for food and water and scratching boards and toys of our basement 4 cats were removed. The following morning, these containers were found in the rubbish bin by housekeeping. In the aftermath, a memo was issued last July 24, 2023, stating the basement community cats would be removed asap without consultation or consideration for their well-being.
“We immediately confronted the Building Manager that afternoon and got him to retract the Memo. The community cats are safe for now, but we know this won’t last long and that they can be endangered again soon.”
There are currently 23 community cats spread out across the condominium towers which Corrine claims is “a very healthy number of community cats living in the premises to protect the premises and its residents from new unvaccinated and unfixed cats, including rodents. Our community cats are all spayed and neutered except for the newly abandoned 3 cats that are still scared and cautious of humans.”
The volunteer group in the hopes of reaching relevant stakeholders in order to have a dialogue that will lead to a mutually beneficial solution, “one that upholds the welfare of the community cats while addressing residents’ concerns,” they said.
“We hope our story will touch your hearts. It is a testament to the power of compassion and the positive impact we can have when we act together. We stand up for what we believe in to protect the most vulnerable among us.”
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