SPCA’s sad rescue and recovery after floods

2008-06-24 00:00

Dead cats stuck in drain pipes, drowned chickens and livestock washed up on several south coast beaches.

These were scenes that greeted the SPCA team that helped rescue animals affected by the floods last week.

Besides rescuing those animals that were barely alive, the team, including staff from the Pietermaritzburg, Lower South Coast and Amanzimtoti SPCA branches, had to remove hundreds of dead dogs, cats and livestock.

Dozens of puppies, kittens, birds and hamsters died in a Port Shepstone pet shop when it was flooded during the heavy rain.

Pietermaritzburg senior inspector Daniel Stewart said many animals were swept away in flood waters. “We encountered lots of problems during the rescue operation. We heard of many cases where animals were trapped or needed medical attention, but we could not get to them in time.”

He described how the team found dogs chained to their kennels while the entire yard had been submerged in water.

“We managed to reunite many of the dogs with their owners, sadly some had died before we could reach them,” he said.

Stewart said the team built kennels for the animals and fed them while their owners were located.

Staff combed the area, searching for trapped animals.

“We found dead animals in small rivers and on the beach. It was horrific to see how many animals perished in the floods,” Stewart said.

The majority of animals that were killed were chickens and cats. “These animals are very small and can easily be covered in thick mud. I know that far more died in the flood, we just can’t find their bodies,” he said.

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