Despite offers from rescue clubs and “pro-life” animal groups to take dogs from the Irwins Animal Rescue Centre for care and re-homing, Ann Cronje decided that she would rather have them killed.
The National Council of SPCAs and the SPCA Brakpan assisted the SPCA Vereeniging at the “no-kill” Irwins Animal Rescue Centre on 15 February 2012, the second visit in two weeks. On 08 February, the condition of the animals at the shelter was of concern, especially as no veterinary treatment had been sought or was being given.
Gaining entry through a warrant and acting in terms of it, SPCA and NSPCA personnel removed 147 cats. Veterinary examination indicated that they were all suffering from feline AIDS, leukaemia or both.
In light of the above and given the severe compromising of their quality of life, all the cats were euthanased. 19 dogs were also removed and have been euthanased. They too were suffering to the extent that keeping them alive was deemed cruel.
The Irwin Animal Rescue Centre does not home or adopt out animals. Once there, they are incarcerated until they die.
Letting animals suffer when veterinary assistance is available or homes had been offered is unacceptable and irresponsible. It is a violation of the Animals Protection Act not to provide medical treatment for a suffering animal and criminal charges in this regard have been laid against Ann Cronje.
Rescue clubs and pro-life animal welfare groups stood firmly alongside the SPCA movement on this issue. Appreciation is expressed in this regard.
Saddest of all is that individuals set up operations taking in animals with the boast that they do not kill and are allowed to accumulate hundreds of dogs and cats, yet the animals are being neglected and they suffer. The SPCA investigates and acts with regard to any acts of cruelty, neglect or abuse of animals. This is our role and mandate – no matter who is involved – and we are not afraid to step in.
Costs have been incurred over a considerable period with regard to monitoring and intervention at the Irwins Animal Rescue Centre. If the public would like to assist by making donations to recover these costs, we ask that deposits are made into the account below: -
Account name: SPCA Vereeniging
ABSA current account
Account number: 4070425751
Branch Code: 630137