80 dogs, cats put down as SPCA runs out of cage space

By admin
01 June 2016

Overcrowded cages and piles of debt have resulted in the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Mpumalanga's capital city having to put down 80 animals.

Overcrowded cages and piles of debt have resulted in the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Mpumalanga's capital city having to put down 80 animals.

Chairperson of the Barberton branch, Marcelle Hoffmann, conducted an investigation at the Mbombela branch after receiving numerous complaints from the public.

"It was shocking to say the least. There are four times more animals in a cage than what is allowed. There is space for 60 cats, but currently there are more than 220 cats, 44 of which have snuffles. We have facilities for only 50 dogs, but there are currently more than 150 dogs. This can cause serious charity and health problems," said Hoffmann.

As a result, 80 animals had to be put down on April 28.

SPCA chairperson in Mbombela, Louie Amorim, consequently resigned.

With the help of the SPCA branches in Barberton and White River, a new committee would have to be appointed for the Mbombela branch.

Hoffman said that, in the current economic climate, charitable organisations were receiving fewer donations and this had put the SPCA under enormous pressure.

"I haven't received a salary in 18 months. The Nelspruit SPCA has R300 000 in outstanding bills," she said.

In his response, Amorim said the reason for the overcrowded cages was due to the veterinarian being on leave from April 18 to April 23.

"The White River and Nelspruit branch used to operate as one, but was separated at the beginning of April. I pleaded with head office to reconsider this arrangement, but they ignored me. The fundraiser we hosted was unsuccessful, since no one has money," said Amorim.

Jaco Pieterse, from the Society Liaison Unit of the National SPCA, said each SPCA was autonomous, so should the Nelspruit SPCA close down, the normal procedure would be followed in terms of legislation whereby the organisation would be wound up and the assets sold to pay some of the debt.

"The NSPCA is not and will not be responsible for the debt."

Christo Nortje, the veterinarian who assists the branch with putting animals down, said the root of the problem lay with people who did not sterilise their animals.

"I think pet owners should be forced to register and get a licence for their animals. Injudicious breeding is the reason for the overcrowded cages and not the fact that no animals were put down for a week," said Nortje.

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