SPCA responds after facebook debacle
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."