Tuesday, 29 March 2011 14:55

Hidden reality of "no-kill" shelter exposed

The SPCA Vereeniging was accompanied by inspectors from the SPCAs Alberton, Brakpan and the National Council of SPCAs when they entered the property of the Irwin Animal Rescue Centre on 23 March 2011 with a warrant issued by the Vereeniging Magistrates Court.
What they found shocked them to the core. Emergency intervention was required to assist animals, 21 being euthanased by a veterinarian to whom the animals had been taken. The animals were considered to be suffering to such extent from untreated terminal illness, disease and injury.  
Inspector Jaco Pieterse of the NSPCA stated: - “It was confirmed by a veterinarian that dogs had cancerous tumours that had burst open. The dogs were untreated. A St Bernard was unable to stand due to the number of tumours on his body. There were live maggots in his open cancerous tumours.”
The veterinarian confirmed that three dogs had scarcoptic mange, yet Anne Cronje who runs the centre stated that the dogs had been treated for flea allergy. However her veterinarian denied that any medication had been dispensed to the centre and confirmed to the NSPCA that none of the animals were under treatment.
Criminal charges in terms of the Animals Protection Act will be laid.
The Irwin Animal Rescue Centre is a known “no-kill” animal shelter which builds its reputation on the fact that animals taken there are not euthanased. The NSPCA estimates that there are around 1 500 animals on the property, exact numbers to be confirmed when the listing has been completed.
Shock, horror and alarm are the reactions of the personnel who witnessed the state of neglect and suffering of the animals at the Irwin Animal Rescue Centre. There is a magnitude to the situation given that there are well over 1 000 animals there. The matter is ongoing in terms of monitoring and assisting those animals.