SPCA pound faces closure

2017-06-08 06:00
: In less than three months the small animal pound in Humansdorp may close its doors. For Melanie Botha from the SPCA Assisi in Humansdorp, every animal is special and dear.PHoto: SUPPLIED

: In less than three months the small animal pound in Humansdorp may close its doors. For Melanie Botha from the SPCA Assisi in Humansdorp, every animal is special and dear.PHoto: SUPPLIED

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IN less than three months the small animal pound in Humansdorp may close its doors - a move that will potentially leave the fate of over 30 animals in the air.

After running the pound successfully for 36 years, the SPCA Assisi will be withdrawing its management and occupation from the pound situated in St Francis Drive, Humansdorp.

However, the Kouga Municipality is adamant that should the SPCA Assisi withdraw from the small animal pound, work will not come to a standstill.

“Other similar organisations will either take over the existing pound or start their own facility,” says Social Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson. “The municipality already met with these organisations, as well as the SPCA Assisi to ensure that the work continues.”

According to SPCA Assisi Chairman, Arthur Easton, the reason for this drastic and heartfelt decision is the lack of funding from the municipality, as well as the withdrawal of Lotto funds.

With monthly expenses averaging close to R60 000, the SPCA Assisi faces dire financial straits and see no other way forward, says Easton. These expenses include salaries, veterinary services, fuel, dip, disinfectants and cleaning materials.

“No monetary contributions have been received from the municipality since 2009,” says Easton. “We have requested that the grant-in-aid we used to received, be reinstated, but with no success to date.”

In response to this, Benson says, “We are in negotiation with the organisation as there are many factors to consider before Council can make a final decision in this regard. At present the SPCA is housed on Council premises and receives funding for the operations they do jointly with the municipality.”

Easton says, “We trust that whoever takes over the pound, is fully cognisant of the scope of requirements and responsibilities this will entail. The facility has been run by the SPCA Assisi for the past 36 years, 24/7, 365 days of the year offering and rendering help, advice, veterinary care and kennel facilities to all animals. No animal was ever refused entry or assistance from the SPCA Assisi.

“A sad state of affairs indeed for the entire Kouga region to be without an SPCA-run and managed small animal pound for the benefit of the 79 townships, informal settlements and towns we currently cater for.

“The Management Committee will assist with the smooth transfer to the new pound managers before the withdrawal date.”

The SPCA Assisi will continue its work in the Kouga region as per the constitution of the NSPCA. Their main objective will be the prevention of cruelty to animals, and educational outreaches.

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