No exceptions to the policy of the SPCA

I am writing this letter with sadness.

I have, or had, two puppies – a brother and a sister. About six to eight weeks ago, I took them for their first vaccinations and had to pay close to R800.

They [the SPCA] gave me a date and told me to bring them back for the second vaccination. I took them back on the date I was given, only to be told that they need to first be sterilised and cannot have further vaccinations yet, and I should make a date to sterilise them.

I then asked them how much it would cost just to sterilise them. They said the cost for the female is about R800 and the male about R700, excluding the vaccinations. I told them I didn’t have the money for sterilisations and vaccinations and they said, and I quote, “If you can’t afford it then we can’t help you further”.

I took my dogs home.

Yesterday the male dog died of cat flu, because he hadn’t been vaccinated against it. My problem is that they [try to] force you and if you can’t pay, they send you home, irrespective of whether your dog is sick and dying.

Mandy Cattanach, manager of the Roodepoort SPCA, responded:

All animals which come to the Roodepoort SPCA hospital for assistance are sterilised, there are no exceptions to the policy.

It is pointless we vaccinate animals to ensure they healthy only for them to breed. The Roodepoort SPCA receives hundreds of unwanted litters every year.

A female dog can have her first litter as early as five months of age.

We would never turn an animal that is suffering away, even if they don’t come from our area of operation. The animals would be treated and the owner would be informed that for any future treatment they are to either seek assistance from the SPCA in their area, or if the owner does not qualify under the almoning system [a means test] they would be told to use the services of a private veterinarian.

SPCAs have areas of jurisdiction they work in. We cannot assist everyone, as much as we would like to – we have to stick to our areas. The Roodepoort SPCA has taken over the Krugersdorp area as the SPCA closed down for financial reasons.

We are not government-funded and the Lotto no longer assists us, therefore our resources are limited.

Owning an animal is a big responsibility and a big part of that is financial.

Before taking on the life-long commitment of owning a pet, make sure you are able to provide for all the pet’s needs.

Roelien Vorster

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