SPCA closes pound

2019-07-15 15:00
Tiger, one of the clinic’s three pitbulls, is still waiting to be adopted after three weeks in the clinic.

Tiger, one of the clinic’s three pitbulls, is still waiting to be adopted after three weeks in the clinic.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The uMngeni SPCA is closing its small animal pound and suspending some services, including removing stray dogs that wander into properties, because of a year-long payment impasse with the uMngeni Municipality.

Attempts to resolve the dispute have been unsuccessful, the SPCA has said, and from next Monday the SPCA will not be available to fetch stray dogs on the streets or in private property, intervene when animals escape their properties and attack people, or remove and dispose of animal carcasses.

The SPCA is now directing the public to contact the uMngeni Municipality’s traffic department, which is legally mandated to deal with stray or unruly animals.

The SPCA will, however, still accept strays brought in by members of the public, but it will not take in any strays brought to it by the uMngeni Municipality.

The payment dispute has to do with uMngeni allegedly not having signed off on a renewed contract proposal for these services after the previous contract expired last June, forcing the SPCA to use its donor money to carry out these services.

The SPCA alleges uMngeni has not even budgeted for these services in its 2019/2020 budget even though it has an obligation to do so.

uMngeni’s failure to continue payment to the SPCA is a contravention of the KZN Pound Act, which says a municipality has a legal obligation to operate a pound to service its area of jurisdiction, uMgeni SPCA’s Dudu Abrahams said.

The municipality did not respond to a number of requests for comment sent to it by The Witness on Friday.

According to a service delivery agreement between uMngeni and the SPCA in 2008, uMngeni should pay the SPCA about R80 000 to collect, feed and provide accommodation for small stray animals.

The municipality undertook to pay for the daily costs associated with caring for small animals at the pound, staff costs and also euthanisation costs or disposing of carcasses.

The last contract was signed in October 2015 for a period of 36 months, ending in June last year. The SPCA says it has not been paid a cent since.

Abraham said the SPCA had held a meeting with uMngeni in July last year, where both parties agreed their relationship was “mutually beneficial” and any issues relating to costing were resolved.

But despite that, and a great deal of other correspondence, payment has still not been forthcoming, she said.

Abraham told The Witness that caring for a dog in their pound can cost about R100 a day, and they can have as many as 16 dogs at the pound at any one time.

“We can’t continue using the public’s [donations] to provide services which are the municipality’s responsibility.”

She said the latest agreement asks uMngeni for R60 000 a month.

“We will not accept strays or carcasses from the municipality. They must take animals to private boarding kennels or to private vets. That will cost an arm and a leg.”

Animals taken to the pound are fed at least twice a day, and are kept there between seven to 10 days. Other costs include cleaning kennels and providing medical treatment like vaccinations and deworming.

• kerushun.pillay@witness.co.za
Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  spca

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.