Araneta City says community cats safe amid viral posts of feline in sack

May 7, 2024 - 5:26 PM
Araneta City_cats
Community cats in Araneta City in this photo posted on its Facebook page on May 6, 2024 (AranetaCity/Facebook)

A lifestyle and shopping destination assured the public that no cats in its vicinity were sent to the city pound after a cat volunteer group posted pictures of a feline trapped in nets.

The management of Araneta City on Monday released a statement addressing viral posts of some cats in its area that were spotted in a sack.

“Over the weekend, we gathered cats in mall premises to keep them away from dangerous areas for their safety,” it said on a Facebook post on May 6.

“Our team has been in constant communication with Ms. Luchie Diaz of Cats of Araneta City since Friday for updates,” the management added.

Cats of Araneta City is a volunteer group that cares for the stray community cats in the lifestyle and shopping hub.

The management also said that the cat in the viral photo which the Cats of Araneta City have posted “is currently safe in a pet carrier at Gateway Mall, and is awaiting to be neutered” as of Monday.

“All other cats have been adopted or are being monitored. Not a single cat was sent to the city pound. The management has also reminded all personnel to make sure that all cats are safe and treated properly,” Araneta City said.

Last Sunday, the Cats of Araneta City claimed that the business center was “currently forcibly rounding up all cats and kittens inside parking lots and basement parking lots.”

“They are being dumped outside where there is no access to food and water and is putting them in areas where they will be in grave danger. We also suspect most are now being kept in a big cage within Araneta City and will be or [have] been sent to pound already,” the volunteer group said on May 5.

“They are claiming that a cat caused an electrical short circuit in Gateway but they are unable to produce proof or have refused to provide details when we inquired,” it added.

The group also posted pictures of a cat inside a green net and called out the business center.

“Sinako mga cats! Is this humane? Is this animal-friendly? PLS. LEND US CAGES AND CAT CARRIERS. Kawawa po mga cats. The cats are hinihingal, nakalabas mga dila, iyak [nang] iyak, uhaw na uhaw!” the group said.

The group also proposed that the business center “work with animal welfare groups in finding a compassionate solution to this situation.”

Luchie Diaz, a core volunteer of the Cats of Araneta City and CARA Welfare Philippines, said the cats in the area should be up for adoption after being neutered and not transferred to another place since it will scare them.

“It is not helping the cat, not providing them a better place that they came from. If the cat is brought outside Araneta City… matatakot ‘yan, tatakbo ‘yan, magtatago ‘yan. Papaano pa namin sila mapapakain?” she said to ABS-CBN News.

Experts said that cats are incredibly sensitive to their environments and are known to be stressed when changes abruptly happen in their territories.

On Monday, the Cats of Araneta City appealed for the management to “agree to adapt the TNVR protocol” amid the rounding up.

TNVR refers to Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return, a solution that animal groups do to control the stray animal population.

The animal is caught, brought to a clinic to be neutered or spayed, given vaccinations such as anti-rabies or against deadly diseases and then returned to their areas.

“Neutered cats must be offered for adoption not dumped anywhere outside,” the cat volunteer group said.

“Safe areas must be designated where cats that are not adopted can be relocated,” it added.

Early Tuesday, the group updated the public that they were told a cat that was previously caught would be sent to a vet to be neutered.

“Hopefully, this is a sign that cat catching will stop and kapon (TNVR) instituted,” the Cats of Araneta City said.

On the same day, the volunteer group said that “some of the cats that were rounded up found their way back on the [fourth day].”

“Gutom na gutom,” it said.

Meanwhile, Araneta City in its May 6 statement said that it is “mindful of the safety and welfare of all the cats in the area.”

“We have been coordinating with various volunteer groups in implementing cat-friendly initiatives,” it added.

The management also cited some of the activities it had with other volunteer groups.

“We have had 6 [six] separate occasions of cat adoption programs in our malls since 2022 in partnership with City Cats of Cubao. Last year, we invited Cats of Araneta City to give our personnel basic training on proper cat handling and treatment,” it said.

“We will continue to work with these groups to ensure that Araneta City stays true to its commitment to being a safe place — both for our patrons and for animals,” the business center added.

It also shared pictures of the community cats on its Facebook page, adding that it is “committed to keeping the City of Firsts a safe haven for all.”

Diaz said that their volunteer group is willing to cooperate with Araneta City and equip them with the knowledge of the proper handling of cats.