GEORGE NEWS - Following the resignation of senior inspector Salomé Bruyns and the recent suspension of three members of the Garden Route SPCA (GRSPCA), three more committee members resigned from the board this week.
According to Heather Church, one of the members who resigned, the resignations came after a disagreement with the majority of the committee members. "No one was fired. We resigned," Church said.
In a reply to an enquiry as to the sudden resignation of Church, GRSPCA chair- and spokesperson Wendy Jones, as well as Chantel van den Heever, new spokesperson Bruno MacDonald told George Herald that staff turnover is inevitable in any organisation. "In the case of the SPCA, for staff to experience how animals are abused by humans on a daily basis creates additional stress.
The independent investigator [who was appointed after the suspension of three other staff members] has been requested to identify any weaknesses in our operations so that any matters can be addressed. The management committee is committed to good governance and transparency in all the operations of the GRSPCA," he said.
Neither Bruyns, who is currently working at another animal welfare organsisation, nor Jones, Church or Van den Heever want to comment at this stage.
Rumour has it
MacDonald dispelled rumours that the GRSPCA is closing down. "Approximately 55 people work for the Garden Route SPCA (George and Mossel Bay). It is business as usual for our kennel workers, office staff and inspectors. There is no truth to the suggestion that the GRSPCA is closing down," he said. On a question about rumours that all puppies from squatter camps are euthanised, MacDonald ensured the George Herald that although they do euthanise in some cases, euthanising all puppies from squatter camps is not part of their policy.
"We are combating the rising numbers of neglected animals in the community. Sterilisation is a key part of that policy. Euthanasia is unavoidable. Simply put, there are more animals than there are people able to adopt them. Euthanasia is vital to contain diseases - including ones that can be transmitted to humans, to livestock, and other domestic animals - and to ensure that animals do not suffer. The GRSPCA's euthanasia policies are intended to ensure the well-being of both the community and its animals," he said.
Animals taken care of
MacDonald ensured the George Herald that their dedicated staff members make sure the animals on their premises are very well taken care of every day and thanked the community for their ongoing support.
"These staff work long hours - and at nights, at weekends, and on public holidays. We are currently reorganising operations to ensure that trust in the SPCA is restored. People who visit us will see animals in need, and staff dedicated to helping them. We thank everyone for their tireless support and generosity."
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