SPCA stands firm on policy

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA (CoGH SPCA) has reiterated its policy on animal euthanasia and has issued a plea to the public to be responsible when undertaking the ownership of an animal.

“We dream of the day when the SPCA can close their doors for good because that would mean that only responsible individuals own animals, that all companion animals are sterilised and can’t breed indiscriminately, that everyone has adopted a pet as opposed to supporting a breeder and that there have been enough good homes to go around, that all puppy mills have been shut down, that all our efforts to educate and to influence animal welfare policy, and all our mass animal sterilisation campaigns, have paid off,” says the CoGH SPCA’s Tara McGovern.

She adds that the SPCA is often publicly criticised for its euthanasia policy, and that they have been unfairly labelled as a “kill shelter” when they are a pro-quality of life facility. The organisation also says they take responsibility for the decisions that must be made in the best interest of an animal’s welfare, even when those decisions are heart-breaking for them.

“We never turn any animal away and we never have the luxury of being able to say ‘we’re full’. Our admissions policy is non-discriminatory and accepting of all animals in need, even those too sick, old or aggressive to find homes. We don’t charge a ‘surrender fee’. We don’t have long waiting lists and we don’t limit our intake hours. We do this because we know what happens to the animals who are turned away and it is a much worse fate than compassionate euthanasia,” states McGovern.

Animals who do not find their way to a shelter are often dumped along the side of the road – left at the mercy of others, left to starve slowly, left to breed indiscriminately, left to be run over by cars, or their lives are cruelly ended by their owners themselves.

“For many individuals ‘pro-life’ sounds good and feels good but we choose to do what is right. Animals are recognised by the SPCA as sentient beings. Our policies are founded on the five animal freedoms that are embraced internationally and accepted by reputable animal welfare bodies. In recognising sentience, one cannot ignore the psychological suffering experienced by companion animals living out their lives in confinement. Kennel stress manifests physically, but it is a result of psychological stressors and it is unavoidable. We will not allow suffering, we will always do right by an animal that has no quality of life even if humane euthanasia is all we can offer. The choice between what is good and what is right is the hardest choice of all. It’s paid for with pain and heartache and tears and rewarded with healthy, well-adjusted animals of even temperament who bring joy to the families that they share their lives with,” McGovern adds.V Contact the Cape of Good Hope SPCA on 021 700 4140 or email info@capespca.co.za.