SPCA: Govt support needed for dogs

2011-07-20 20:22

Johannesburg - More support is needed from local government to combat problems associated with feral dogs, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA said on Wednesday.

"We need greater commitment from authorities to help us with the problem of pet over-population," said spokesperson Sarah Scarth.

The dangers of the dog over-population problem became national news when a 2-year-old boy was mauled to death by dogs in Sweet Home Farm, in Philippi, Cape Town last month.

Scarth said members of the community had threatened to kill all the dogs in the informal settlement after the incident and a number of animal cruelty cases had been reported.

Most dogs euthanised

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA responded by asking residents to sign over their unwanted dogs for euthanasia.

Ninety percent of the 200 dogs rounded up were euthanised, as only a few were healthy enough to rehabilitate.

"Our primary role was to prevent further animal cruelty by removing the dogs from these circumstances," Scarth said.

"Sweet Home Farm is a very poor area. Many of the dogs suffered from malnutrition, mange and other diseases," she said.

Many residents could not afford to have their dogs sterilised, and the resulting uncontrolled breeding had led many dogs to be reliant on scavenging.

Chief executive Allan Perrins said: "This is when their instincts as predators manifest themselves.

Unsupervised children are most vulnerable and prone to being attacked due to their naiveté and inquisitiveness."

A much bigger issue

Shortly after the toddler was killed, two more children were bitten by a female dog, sending fresh waves of panic through the community.

Scarth said it appeared that the dog had been protecting her puppies through natural maternal instincts.

"Animal and human welfare are inextricably linked... This is part of a much bigger issue. Sweet Home Farm is not the only community in the Cape with these problems."

She said a more holistic approach was needed to combat the problems associated with over-population of dogs.

The SPCA had been educating communities to make them aware of their responsibilities to pets and their children.

Scarth said animal welfare groups were appealing to the City of Cape Town for increased funding to expand existing mobile veterinarian services, including sterilisation.

By-laws limiting the number of dogs allowed per household also needed to be finalised.

  • cgtours - 2011-07-20 23:15

    Sterilization is not going to feed the blooming dogs! They have to be fed and looked after. The people themselves there breed like rabbits and are not sterilized themselves and cannot even feed the children they keep on giving birth to. Sterilize the residents ! If they already have 2 or more children and get grants- NO FURTHER grants and sterilization. For goodness sake it is free - how can they be so cruel to keep on bearing children they cannot afford! No wonder babies are being murdered, thrown in rubbish dumps/toilets etc. SHocking! Run a sterilization and vasectomy campaign and put the dogs out of their misery permanently and solve the problem of starving children just for grants permanently as well! When are people going to start taking responsibility for their actions.

      Green Finger - 2011-08-17 14:55

      cgtours, although your opinion seems isnt. how would you like to be sterilised? I agree about the animals but can't see people as objects dear...

  • NZdreamer - 2011-07-21 05:01

    RESPECT and LOVE to our furry friends!!! They deserve all our love and care, considering they never judge us. The Government needs to do all it can.....and not just in SA, but globally!!! What was it that Mahatma Gandhi said ~ 'A Nation is judged by how it treats it's animals'SO, SO TRUE! It really makes one think, should!! AMEN!!

  • NZdreamer - 2011-07-21 05:10 that photo not just the cutest!!

  • noitall - 2011-07-21 06:31

    where is the lottery money -oh yes ANCYL youth conference and pop concerts for cadres = dogs can suffer - Frikkin useless animals we have running this place

  • Newsferret - 2011-07-21 06:40

    Where is the Lotto? They could sponsor political issues like the Youth Development trash and COSATU that is now causing damage to the economy through strikes and unreasonable wage increases. Why not organisations such as the SPACA?

  • - 2011-07-21 09:03

    The root of the problem is that the government does not recognize animals as sentient beings. They view them as object that are owned. You can not be jailed for abusing your animal as it has no rights. This is the first thing that needs to be fixed, only then can the government justify funding any animal related NGO. For the last 10 years there have been numerous petitions asking government to recognize animals as sentient beings. Come on DA, make a change in the Western Cape that will show the ANC how it is done. Use this link to add your name to the petition

  • Tamsin - 2011-07-21 09:22

    SA MASS ANIMAL STERILISATION TRUST. Facts: We're in Khayelitsha and have sterilised nearly 4000 patients for FREE. We collect our patients and educate pet guardians at their homes on responsible pet care - food, shelter. We're now seeing a visable reduction of neglected pets in the area because of our FREE sterilisation & primary treatment programme. 1 unsterilised bitch can lead to the birth of up to 474 puppies over a 2 yr period. The cost to collect, sterilise, treat and return the patient is R420. The cost to euthanaise 474 puppies /dogs exceeds R250 000. The tax payer is paying for carcass removal. Our FREE services has infuriated, many, many other animal welfare orgs who's preferred method of population controll is euthanasia. We firmly believe that: Mass euthanasia only perpetuates the idea that life is cheap.But this doesn't solve the problem. If it did we wouldn't have an over population epidemic.ABC (Animal Birth Control) only really started happening in this country in any meaningful way about 4 years ago. Mass euthanasia has been the standard practice in SA for decades... SA.MAST has been asking the W.C gov for funding for almost 4 yrs. Eventually we handed over a Letter of Demand to the Premier. She has refused to give us ANY funding, saying it's not the responsibility of the W.C gov . The Office of the Public Protector is investigating our complaint. The Premier is a PATRON of the SPCA and has suddenly asked THEM to give her a funding proposal!

      Green Finger - 2011-08-17 14:57

      Well done to a person using an actual living brain on here!

  • Loon-Toon - 2011-07-21 13:35

    Sterilise your animals! Don't give "unwanted animals" to your garden maintenance "person" or the help. I wish I could pound this into people's heads!!!!

  • Sandy - 2011-08-08 14:13

    Come on WC Premier - this is in our own back yard - it is our problem - help those organisations who already are doing the good work there - like SA Mast - they sterilise animals for FREE and educate the animal owners on how to take care of their animals.

      Tamsin - 2011-08-08 14:32

      Just heard from a senior gov source that Province and the City are now engaing in serious talks and plans to run a mass animal sterilisation campaign due to all the pressure they have received - mostly from SA.MAST. But they said that SA.MAST will be deliberately excluded because we have made too many enemies by demanding that they be accountable.

  • hvklein - 2011-08-17 20:31

    SPCA aka GOSAKO (government sponsored animal killing organisation) isbegging again. Since when is the SPCA worried about the well-being of animals? They are only interested in killing off as many as possible (after the mandatory waiting period - of course!), so they can get paid by the repective local governments. I would like to know from their top management how much each of the top people earn, what cars they drive and who pays for those vehicles and the maintenance and petrol! INTERESTED Is it not

  • Faith - 2012-01-12 11:27

    I love animals but I'm really concerned about vicious dogs in communities because someone always will be attacked, TOUGHER LAWS I SAY1

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