NO ACCOUNTABILITY FOR STRAY DOGS
THE question of who is responsible for stray dogs that wander around the area is no closer to being answered, and officials from all local entities seem indifferent and reluctant to address the problem.
Although Ndlambe has been plagued by issues of stray animals for a considerable time, the latest decision made by the Community Protection Services department that no action will be taken to capture stay dogs has left residents furious about the indifference of the municipality.
Last Friday, local resident Sue Horn received inquiries regarding a dog that had been abandoned and left to run without a leash along Lambert Road over the previous two days. The two visitors wanted to know who they could phone regarding the welfare of the dog, but when Horn phoned Ndlambe SPCA she was surprised to learn that kennel manager, Forbes Coutts, said it was not the job of the SPCA to pick up the dog, and that she should phone Ndlambe community protection officer, Willem Nel.
Talk of the Town is aware that the SPCA will not collect stray animals and that it is the municipality’s responsibility.
Nel subsequently informed Horn that, as of July 1, he has received instructions not to pick up stray dogs and deliver them to the SPCA. Given that Ndlambe does not have an operational pound, it has for years been the SPCA’s burden to take and impound stray animals.
Horn however feels frustrated and disappointed in the lack of responsibility shown by the municipality and wanted answers.
“The SPCA says it’s not their problem. As far as I am concerned it is their problem. We all support the SCPA and donate money and our time to the care of animals,” she said.
Horn said eventually a woman had stopped and picked up the dog, but experienced the same problem with the SPCA and Nel, who both seemed complacent about the issue.
“I’m really angry, because there is no one prepared to go and help this dog. What are we supposed to do with stray dogs?
“The municipality has no pound, and now no one to act on their behalf,” Horn said.
Chairman of the Port Alfred SCPA, Derick Kleynhans weighed in on the issue and said he had been trying to solve the problem for over 18 months. He said he has been trying to arrange a meeting with municipal manager Rolly Dumezweni regarding the matter and will hopefully figure out a resolution.
“We are working hard to resolve this matter, but are up against it. Be assured that all sick or hurt animal will always be taken in and cared for,” said Kleynhans.
Municipal bylaws regarding stray animals refers to all animals, including all domestic animals, are “protected under the by-law to provide facilities for the housing and care of animals which are astray, lost or at large, and for procedures, methods and practices to manage the impoundment of such animals.
“Any person upon whose land an abandoned, lost or stray animal is found may deliver such animal to the nearest pound or such other pound designated by the municipality”.
In the case of Ndlambe, where the official municipal pound remains closed and while there is currently no designated pound, the by-law cannot be enacted.
Municipal spokesperson, Cecil Mbolekwa forwarded responses from the community protections office stating that TotT’s enquiries have been noted.
“The municipality will make a statement at the appropriate time,” said Mbolekwa.