Shocking animal cruelty and neglect has been discovered at the Purrpaws for Life shelter in Viljoensdrift in the Free State.
The SPCA from Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark as well as the Animal Anti-Cruelty League (AACL) in Johannesburg began a joint investigation on the shelter after a fire burnt down part of a house on the property belonging to the owner, Lindie van Rooyen last month.
The Citizen reported that when the fire broke out members of the public came to the assistance and the SPCA transported the dogs and cats to temporary foster homes offered by volunteers.
It was during this time that the community realised that the 800 dogs and 300 cats were desperate for help as they lived in dirty, overcrowded enclosures.
The animals were infested with fleas and parasites and many had leukaemia and diarrhoea. They were having to fight for food and unsterilised animals had been breeding. Some animals had severe wounds from fighting.
In a statement given jointly by the SPCA and AACL they stated that it is impossible for a shelter to care for over 1100 animals adequately as each animal should be inspected individually each day to ensure they are in good health. The shelter also requires a full-time resident veterinarian.
After the shelter ignored a warning by the SPCA to seek immediate veterinary care, a warrant was obtained and when the SPCA and AACL returned to the shelter on February 4 to inspect the animals, they removed 114 cats and 7 dogs.
93 Cats were removed from the property prior to the inspection by another animal rescue shelter as they were in desperate need to veterinary treatment.
Many cats and kittens had an upper respiratory infection, called Snuffles. The infection causes nasal discharge and prevents them from breathing properly. Many also suffered from Feline Aids, Leukaemia, Giardia and Cocidia, severe ear mites and infections, ulcers in their mouths and diarrhoea. Most of which are contagious.
Purrpaws have received a warning to have the remaining 50 dogs and 60 cats examined and treated by a veterinarian, however a charge docket of animal cruelty is being compiled against the ‘no kill’ shelter.