Woman and SPCA in cat mix-up

2008-06-17 00:00

A misunderstanding between a cat owner and the Newcastle SPCA resulted in the woman unknowingly donating her “best friend” Pietie to them.

On June 11, Susannah Thomson said she took the nine-month-old ginger cat to the SPCA to be spayed.

She says the SPCA told her the cost of spaying was R350, which she could not afford.

“I asked if they could keep her until I could come up with the money,” she explained.

A day later Thomson phoned the Animal Anti Cruelty League (AACL) in Pietermaritzburg, which agreed to spay the cat for free.

When she returned to the SPCA to collect her cat, it refused to release it, saying that she had signed donation forms and must pay the SPCA R250 to “adopt” her cat back.

Thomson says she is desperate to get her cat back, but cannot afford to pay for it.

“I offered to donate cat food to the SPCA for the time that my cat has been there, but they won’t accept it,” she says.

Newcastle SPCA spokeswoman Louise van der Linde said Thomson signed a document stating that she was donating her cat to the SPCA because she could not afford to keep it. She said the SPCA does not spay animals as a public service and it cannot understand how Thomson thought that she was leaving her cat there to be spayed.

“If we did this, the vets would take away the discount that they give us to have our animals spayed,” she said.

Lenie Pretorius of the AACL said it wants to help Thomson with the spaying, but can do so only if the cat is given back to her. “We are urging the public and the Newcastle SPCA to help this woman, who clearly loves her cat.”

NSPCA spokeswoman Chris Kuch said SPCA Newcastle is willing to let the cat be re-adopted by Thomson — provided that the cat is sterilised, which is a legal obligation.

If anyone is able to help they should call the Newcastle SPCA at 034 318 2346 or Lenie Pretorius at 082 656 8010.

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