The SPCA confiscated several animals from the Township Animal Rescue, an organisation that operates from a residential property in Somerset West, on July 1 after discovering the organisation had been severely neglecting animals in their care.
“Our Inspectors had to obtain a court order in order to gain access to the property and were horrified with what they found,” said the SPCA. Animals, including 15 dogs, three of which were adults and 12 were puppies, 3 cats, and 1 rat, were being kept in dirty and unhygienic conditions.
According to the SPCA, the property, which includes the house and a cottage on the premises, were found to be untidy, dirty, covered with rubble and waste, with animal faeces and urine covering most of the surfaces.
“Consequently, there was a very unpleasant and strong ammonia odour hanging in the air. In fact, the smell was so bad that it was noticeable beyond the perimeter of the property. We believe that our video and photographic evidence collected by our Inspectors speaks for itself in this regard,” they said.
SPCA inspectors were prevented from performing their duties due to terms in the Animal Protection Act, and animals were being concealed. However, law enforcement became involved and they were finally granted access to the premises.
“This is not the first time the Cape of Good Hope SPCA visited the premises of Township Animal Rescue and attempted to improve the living conditions of the animals. Several previous warnings have gone unheeded,” said the SPCA.
“This confiscation followed on an inspection conducted by the Cape of Good Hope SPCA on June 8, when our Inspectors also had to obtain a court order to gain access to the premises of Township Animal Rescue. During this inspection, our Inspectors found 18 dogs (14 adult dogs and 4 puppies), 9 cats and 2 rats living in the same deplorable conditions. (One of the rats subsequently died.),” they explained.
“On this occasion, our Inspectors found more animals on the property than there had been during a previous inspection on June 3, 2020, indicating that animals had been hidden from us. During the inspection of June 8 2020, it was agreed between Township Animal Rescue and the SPCA that all the animals would be removed from the property for safekeeping until the property had been cleaned.”
The animals were then taken to separate facilities for safekeeping. The dogs went to Stellenbosch Animal Welfare Society and the cats to the SPCA in Grassy Park. Township Animal Rescue was given 21 days to clean up the property before animals were returned. The organisations involved had also unanimously agreed that Township Animal Rescue would not be allowed to acquire any additional animals until they complied with the agreement.
“Sadly no improvements were made and, if anything, the property was in an even worse condition than we had previously found it. Instead of cleaning the property, Township Animal Rescue had accumulated more animals,” said the SPCA.
“The Cape of Good Hope SPCA will now be proceeding with criminal charges in terms of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962 for animal cruelty and obstructing us from giving effect to our statutory duties.”
The Cape of Good Hope SPCA are urging the public to ensure that they do research and visit welfare organisations before supporting them financially or leaving animals in their care. “You may unknowingly and unwillingly be supporting unethical practices,” they said.
Pictures: Facebook / Cape of Good Hope SPCA