On Wednesday evening, July 14, the Animal Welfare Society of SA received a message from one of their supporters on the Ottery Neighbourhood Watch group who was on patrol at the time.
The message stated that there was a possible outbreak of looting on the Cape Flats.
“Given that we are surrounded by several of the largest retail warehouses in the Cape Metro, and more importantly, have resident staff and are accountable for the health and safety of a number of hospital in-patients, as well as over 30 dogs and puppies in our Animal Care Centre.”
“The catastrophic consequences of an attack on our facility (that is a lifeline to thousands of indigent pet owners pets and sanctuary to many homeless animals) were too terrible to contemplate,” says the Animal Welfare Society of SA.
The shelter was not sure how accurate the warning was at the time, but remained vigilant throughout the evening and upped their level of preparedness.
The Animal Welfare Society of SA is based in a crime hot-spot and over the past 18 months, have invested in improved security measures including a 2.4 meter high “bullet proof” perimeter wall topped with eight strands of electric fencing that is connected to the shelter’s armed response service provider.
“These formidable defence measures have helped ensure the safety and security of everyone who makes use of our facility, but despite this, we still felt a degree of vulnerability fuelled by a bombardment of facts and fiction on social media.”
Thankfully, there were no incidents, but early on Thursday morning, July 15, the Animal Welfare Society of SA received the devastating news that the Montclair Animal Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal had been trashed and looted.
“Why anyone would choose to plunder and ransack an animal hospital when all animals do is shower us with unconditional love is deeply aggrieving,” the welfare said.
Fortunately, no animals suffered any physical harm and the Animal Welfare Society of SA hopes that the animals were not left psychologically scarred by the terrifying incident that took place.
Not that long ago, a Blue Cross (the international symbol for animal welfare) was something to be respected. It afforded those in the animal welfare sector a degree of immunity from acts of atrocity as they went about their business in areas where “Angels fear to tread”. Sadly it appears to have lost its value amongst an indifferent minority hell-bent on wreaking havoc.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims of this senseless crime spree especially our colleagues in the veterinary profession. Goodness always triumphs evil and this madness will end,” concludes the Animal Welfare Society of SA.
Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa will undertake an oversight visit to Ethekwini, KwaZulu-Natal on Friday, 16 July, to assess the impact of recent public violence and the deployment of security forces.
Ramaphosa’s visit follows the government’s engagement throughout the week with different sectors of society, including organised businesses, interfaith leaders and political parties represented in Parliament.