Community panics as kennel rumours spread

2015-10-20 06:00
The confiscated cats. 
Photo: supplied

The confiscated cats. Photo: supplied

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THE Upper Highway community were up in arms last Tuesday after messages on social media circulated that the Kloof and Highway SPCA has shut down a popular NPO, Mazarat Rescue Kennels, and that all animals were to be euthanised.

However, the SPCA has denied such messages and deemed them to be rumours spread by community members before investigating the truth.

Lisa Gadd, SPCA’s outreach officer, said inspectors from the Kloof and Highway SPCA responded to a complaint about a number of cats being hidden on the premises of Mazarat Kennels on 12 October.

“On arrival the inspectors asked the manager of Mazarat Kennels, Roy Fox, if there were any cats hidden on the property, he replied ‘no’, but our inspectors never expected to find a stable housing 24 cats in the most unhygienic, cramped, dark and overcrowded conditions with little ventilation. The smell of faeces and ammonia from the overflowing litter trays was overwhelming. Some cats are diseased and were being housed with the healthy cats,” she said.

“The inspectors phoned their manager, Cheri Cooke, immediately and management and staff assist with the investigation. On arrival we were advised that the cats had been housed in this facility for more than a week. It has since been confirmed that those cats had been in this stable for about a month.”

Gadd said that a local veterinarian was phoned and asked to inspect the health of these cats, in his or her capacity as an unaffiliated veterinarian.

The veterinarian’s findings are documented and are in the possession of the Kloof and Highway SPCA.

“The owner of the cats, Adelle Jood, arrived and advised that the cats were being moved on 13 October to a suitable ‘sanctuary’, which she had built. Barbara Patrick followed Adelle onto this property hoping that the cats could immediately be moved from the stable to their new facility. The proposed facility was only about 25% complete,” said Gadd.

“There was no option, but to remove the cats from this squalor to the Kloof and Highway SPCA. While the staff from the Kloof and Highway SPCA, the veterinarian, and a committee member from Mazarat Kennels were inspecting the kennels, a staff member from Mazarat opened the doors to the cat enclosure in the stables and released all 24 cats.

“The staff managed to confine and remove 19 cats which were signed into the care of the Kloof and Highway SPCA by their owner,” said Gadd.

“The cats were transported back to the Kloof and Highway SPCA and the staff prepared sleeping facilities with fresh food, water, blankets and clean litter trays for the night. The cats were starving and almost all their food was eaten within minutes.”

Mazarat Rescue Kennels’s Anne Carkeek was disappointed about the messages spread on social media and agreed it is merely rumours. She said the SPCA has not shut down the facility and that these rumors need to stop.

“Please be aware that all the press and social media releases have nothing to do with Petand#039;s Country Club which was established in 1950.

“Our delay in responding to the barrage of misinformation is due to our priorities being with the animals in question, which is where our time and energy has been focused.”

She said that Mazarat was recently opened to assist with rescue animals and will continue to support animals in need when necessary.

“An employee assisted someone in desperate need by offering a temporary 48-hour shelter for her cats. This was an error in judgment, compounded by the fact that the lady in question did not adhere to the time frame agreed.

“We are working with Barbara Patrick at Kloof SPCA and value their support in getting this matter rectified. Changes in management are in process to ensure that the correct standards are upheld, going forward,” she added

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