The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) sent a request to the COVID Nerve Centre Committee on behalf of all SPCAs and animal welfare organisations around South Africa, asking for their permission to allow adoptions to re-open under the Level 4 restriction. To date, the NSPCA has not received a response. We continue to pursue the matter.
We would like to assure the public that rehoming animals is important to the SPCA Movement, however, we are obligated to adhere to any law or regulation set out by the South African Government. As it stands, it is unclear whether or not adoptions are permitted.
The concerns surrounding adoptions are that access to the SPCAs is strictly restricted – this is for the health and safety of the staff members who are vital for their community’s animals’ welfare, as well as the moral health of society, as well as the health and safety of members of the public.
It is noted that during Level 4 of lockdown, sterilisations by veterinarians are now permitted, however, non-essential travel is still not allowed.
Any person wishing to adopt an animal from an SPCA is required to meet the animal first – this is not only to get to know the prospective adopter, but to also see the way in which the animals react to the prospective adopter. Good, quality homes are a prerequisite for any responsible homing. The travelling to the SPCA to meet the animal, and then to collect the animal after sterilisation, as well as the entry into the SPCA is where the validity of adoption becomes murky.
We implore SPCAs, welfare organisations, and prospective adopters to ensure that all actions taken to adopt an animal are done so legally, cautiously and without prejudice. When laws are broken, the whole of animal welfare stands to suffer.