SPCA re­sponds af­ter fa­ce­book de­ba­cle

Mossel Bay Advertiser - - News - Lin­da S­parg

A de­ba­cle e­rup­ted on so­ci­al me­dia re­cent­ly af­ter a wo­man put up a post saying she wan­ted to a­dopt a dog from the Mos­sel Bay branch of the Gar­den Rou­te SPCA, but was re­fu­sed.

She had ap­pa­rent­ly res­cu­ed two kit­tens of a fe­ral cat on the farm she li­ved on and she said the SPCA in­sis­ted the cat be ste­ri­li­sed be­fo­re she took on a­not­her pet.

The Mos­sel Bay Ad­ver­ti­ser con­tacted the SPCA to he­ar its si­de of the sto­ry.

SPCA Mos­sel Bay branch ma­na­ger My­nie Myn­hardt said: "Ac­cor­ding to the con­ver­sa­ti­on the la­dy had with our re­cep­ti­o­nist, the­re we­re two kit­tens and a mot­her. The re­cep­ti­o­nist said the kit­tens we­re still suckling and that ste­ri­li­sa­ti­on was not pos­si­ble at this s­ta­ge, the­re­fo­re it was not ad­vi­sed to a­dopt a­not­her pet at this s­ta­ge."

Myn­hardt said that the SPCA had not been told it was a fe­ral cat, nor that the kit­tens had been found in the bush. She said the SPCA had not ex­pected that the kit­tens of four weeks be ste­ri­li­sed, as was said on fa­ce­book.

If it had been cle­ar­ly con­vey­ed that the cat was fe­ral and that the kit­tens had been re­trie­ved from the bus­hes, as was men­ti­o­ned on fa­ce­book, the SPCA would ha­ve had no pro­blem with the wo­man a­dop­ting a dog, Myn­hardt said.

The wo­man la­ter re­mo­ved the pos­ts from fa­ce­book. Myn­hardt said that af­ter the fa­ce­book pos­ts, the SPCA had had a con­ver­sa­ti­on with t­ho­se in­vol­ved.

"We ex­plai­ned that if it is a fe­ral cat and the kit­tens we­re found in the bush, the la­dy would be wel­co­me to a­dopt a dog."

She con­ti­nu­ed: "W­hen an a­ni­mal is found ro­a­ming and lands up in the SPCA ken­nels, the­re is a se­ven-day pe­ri­od w­he­rein the o­w­ner can co­me to claim the a­ni­mal.

"If this se­ven days ex­pi­res, the a­ni­mal be­longs to the SPCA, ac­cor­ding to the law, and the a­ni­mal must be a­dop­ted from the SPCA and it must be ste­ri­li­sed first. If the a­ni­mal is clai­med within the se­ven-day pe­ri­od, the SPCA can­not en­for­ce that it be ste­ri­li­sed."

Myn­hardt said the SPCA was the­re for a­nyo­ne who could not af­ford a vet. "We ha­ve an ap­pli­ca­ti­on form for ste­ri­li­sa­ti­on. Your in­co­me and ex­pen­ses are ta­ken in­to ac­count in terms of the cost we ask for the pro­ce­du­re. We al­so of­fer pay­ment terms for t­ho­se who can­not af­ford to pay the w­ho­le a­mount at on­ce."

Myn­hardt ex­plai­ned that pe­op­le who a­dopt pets from the SPCA must sign a con­tract which sti­pu­la­tes:

• If the per­son a­dop­ting the a­ni­mal can­not keep it a­ny­mo­re, it must be re­tur­ned to the SPCA. It can­not be gi­ven a­way.

• The a­ni­mal must not be kept on a chain.

• The pro­per­ty must be fen­ced to en­su­re the a­ni­mal does not walk a­round in the street.

• The o­w­ner must in­form the SPCA within 48 hours if the a­ni­mal dies or goes mis­sing.

• The o­w­ner must al­low an aut­ho­ri­sed per­son from the SPCA to vi­sit the pro­per­ty to en­su­re the a­ni­mal is being look­ed af­ter well. If the con­tract is not being ad­he­red to the o­w­ner must al­low the SPCA to ta­ke back the a­ni­mal.

• The a­ni­mal should not be u­sed as a wa­tch dog on a com­mer­ci­al or in­dus­tri­al pre­mi­ses.

• The SPCA must be no­ti­fied of a chan­ge of ad­dress within se­ven days.

Myn­hardt said the­se points we­re on­ly a few that for­med part of the con­tract. "Mem­bers of the pu­blic should un­der­stand that the con­tract is the­re for good re­a­sons."

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