A bleeding basset hound. A labrador unable to stand. A boerboel with deformed legs.
This is what the SPCA discovered at a house serving as a “shelter” to more than 100 dogs, many of them neglected and ill, at Odendaalsrus in Welkom.
Free State SPCA inspector Thea Smit said the organisation had received an anonymous tip-off about a large number of dogs being kept at the house operating as a non-profit organisation.
They were “met with dogs fighting for attention” and biting each other in excitement upon their arrival on Tuesday.
She said the dogs, kept in an outside building, had mange and appeared to be neglected.
Inspectors from Virginia and Bloemfontein found a bleeding basset hound which they suspected had not been treated for weeks.
“He was unable to move due to the severity of abscesses that must have caused unbearable pain and discomfort.”
An old labrador lay in a corner on cement, unable to stand due to what appeared to be arthritis.
“He attempted to get up, but kept falling down,” she said. “Dogs were scratching from a skin condition and most of them had visible ear problems, with swollen and infected ears,” she added.
A big boerboel had deformed legs and growths on his body.
Smit said they found more animals in different sections of the property.
“A pig, with no enrichment or proper hygienic conditions, was fighting off dogs that attempted to eat his faeces as he defecated.
“It was disturbing and upsetting to witness this scene,” she said.
Smit said the owner informed them she had received funds from the public to run an non-profit organisation.
“Some of the animals were in a terrible state, with external parasites and others aggressive and not socialised,” she said.
Many of the dogs had to be put down due to severe illness.
Social workers were also brought in to speak to the owner.
A case of animal cruelty was opened.
“We cannot allow people to let animals suffer to ease their own conscience. We urge the public to make informed decisions when they spend their generous, hard-earned money on private shelters that promote a so-called ‘no kill’ policy,” said Smit.