Report animal cruelty

2017-01-10 06:01
Trainee inspector Pamela Zondi (left) and Inspector Petra Abrams with Nonna.PHOTO: supplied

Trainee inspector Pamela Zondi (left) and Inspector Petra Abrams with Nonna.PHOTO: supplied

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IS reporting animal cruelty actually worth it? This is the question that many asked the SPCA recently, and the answer is that it is always worth it.

SPCA’s Lisa Morok said: “It can be most frustrating and disheartening for our inspectors when members of the public feel that animal cruelty is not worth reporting to their local SPCA.

“Inspectors often get accused of being incompetent when animals the public are complaining about are not immediately confiscated.

“Within the parameters of the Animals Protection Act, no 71 of 1962, no animals may be confiscated without a warrant obtained from a magistrate.

“No warrant is granted without sufficient proof that the owner has been given reasonable opportunity to rectify the situation and that by leaving the animal on the premises, suffering would be prolonged.

“The sad reality is that we have a backlog of cruelty cases pending in court. These animals have been maimed, starved or beaten and display the physical evidence of having severely suffered at the hands of man. SPCA inspectors do not rely on the police, but rather compile their own dockets.

“This is done with great care and attention to detail, and both photographic and video evidence are included in the dockets.

“Also included are statements from veterinarians with graphic photographs, as well as affidavits from expert witnesses. We present all of this to the courts and then we wait. Some of our cases have been stagnant for three years. Others have been declined due to minor technicalities,” said Morok.

“This is the reality that every staff member in the inspectorate department has to face. Behind the scenes is a fight for the animals that leave our staff emotionally scarred and often having to face the fact that even with all the evidence in the world, the perpetrator may walk away free.

“We won’t give up the fight. Every living creature has intrinsic value and is a sentient being. The SPCA’s primary and motivating concern is the prevention of cruelty to all living creatures. Our hope is that the public will continue reporting cruelty and animal welfare concerns to us so that we can continue to stand up for those who have no voice.”

- Supplied.

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