A Johannesburg homeowner could face criminal charges for the dreadful conditions she made animals live under in her home.
After a tip-off, the Randburg SPCA rescued about 150 animals, including some exotic species, at a house in Greenside, north of Johannesburg over the weekend.
The animal welfare organisation said it was pressing criminal charges against the homeowner.
During the visit to the home, the SPCA’s Randburg branch said its inspectors were “tormented” by the horrific conditions the animals were living under.
“Dozens of chinchillas were seen stacked on top of each other, in utter darkness, and the stench of ammonia nearly knocked both inspectors off their feet,” it said.
The two inspectors were unable to cope alone with rescuing the animals and had to call in the help of police and volunteers to assist with the removal of the animals.
“The premises was opened and searched and a new horror was discovered around every corner. The animals were suffering. Among the chinchillas, hamsters, rats, mice, parrots, gerbils, guinea pigs, rabbits, a red-eared slider, and a boa were seized by the Randburg SPCA inspectorate.”
The SPCA said having and owning pets comes with great responsibility.
“The moment you disregard and dismiss the needs of the animals in your possession on the basis that those needs are contrary to and inconvenience your wishes, you have failed at pet ownership. What you want, and what the animals require, may be irreconcilable,” it said, urging people not to keep animals just for the sake of having them.
The animals are currently being housed at the Randburg SPCA, and the animal welfare organisation has asked for donations to assist with the upkeep of the animals.