Question posted in the General Law category relating to Western Cape
Question value: R 150.00
I have a follow up question to an earlier query about a pitbull tied to a sidewalk in Woodstock, Cape Town.This time my QUESTION is:If Law Enforcement impounds the animal in question, are they legally obliged to take the animal to the SPCA which is a private, not state-owned, entity? I represent a registered animal rescue organisation (LEAPS, Registration #: NPO Number: 069-863 PBO Number: 930031322) who have authorised me to take possession of the dog on their behalf should it be impounded by law enforcement. The SPCA has a kill policy, but LEAPS will be able to home the dog immediately, and do not wish our action to bring about the dogs death.thanksJeanne
Answer to the Question
I think that the regulations are quite clear that the animal must be taken into custody for the purpose of having it impounded.
Regulation 7(4) also speaks about a private person taking a dog into custody, and then says that the person may, when the pound is closed, keep the dog in his or her custody until the pound re-opens.
Regulation 7(7) then says: "Any person may claim an impounded dog if he or she-
(a) satisfies the pound master that he or she is the owner or is otherwise entitled to the custody of the dog concerned;
(b) satisfies the pound master that releasing the dog into his or her custody will not result in any provision of section 2 or 6 being contravened; and
(c) pays the pound master the prescribed fees and the amount of veterinary expenses, if any, incurred in respect of the dog."
Sub-section 9 says - "A dog impounded in terms of subsection (1), other than a dog so impounded in terms of subsection (1) (b) may be sold or destroyed after it has been detained for not less than ten days and after such destruction has been approved by a veterinarian unless it has been claimed and released in terms of subsection (7) or subsection (8). At least 7 days prior notice of the intended destruction must be given by the pound master to the organisations and other animal welfare organisation recognised by the Council."
While I do not think that law enforcement are able to hand over the dog to you immediately, I do think that there is enough scope in the regulations that you can eventually take control of the dog!
Information provided by client
thanks for the information. Is it the starting point that a dog has to be first be impounded at the SPCA's premises and retrieved from there, or can they be given for example to LEAPS or another registered organisation?
Cape Town SPCA are known to make it very difficult to retrieve animals from them, even by registered, recognized organisations like LEAPS. Once there, the animals are considered as good as euthanased.
Answer to the Question
I think that the regulations are quite clear that it must first be impounded, and only then released.
I don't know why Cape Town SPCA is like that, it is very strange - especially if an organisation like LEAPS is able to re-home an animal.