It’s the Law! Relief for Cape Town’s Animals

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The Cape of Good Hope SPCA welcomes the changes to the recently gazetted Animal Keeping By-Law 2021.   

We are especially encouraged by the changes regarding the regulation of breeding (Section 3.1) as well as the changes regarding the displaying or exhibiting of animals for show or financial gain (Section 12.1) and Section 13.17a-d which addresses the sale of animals both on and offline. 

 The enforcement of these by-laws will see an alleviation of common cruelty complaints the Society faces on a daily basis. 

Regulation of Breeding (Section 3.1)

All dogs and cats (male and female) over six months of age must be sterilised, unless the owner obtains a permit from the City to keep the animal unsterilised.
Animal Population Growth

The SPCA has been and remains under significant pressure resulting from the increasing numbers of stray and unwanted animals coming into our facility daily.  We expect a minimum of 2000 animals per month. 

The conditions of the animals coming into our facility is heart-breaking, some are already dying while others are emaciated, injured or suffering from one of the many diseases that result from neglect.

For us, pet sterilisation translates directly into the prevention of cruelty to animals before it can occur, and remains one of only two proactive tools we have at our disposal in the fight against animal cruelty (the second tool being human education).

Reducing pet populations humanely will reduce the current burden on the animal welfare sector. 

Benefits of Sterilisation

Sterilisation also has numerous benefits for animals and can help pets live longer, happier lives.

It prevents many of the diseases that unsterilised animals suffer from like uterine infections and mammary tumours, testicular cancers and anal tumours – all conditions that require emergency surgery or are expensive to treat.  

We will always be strong advocates for sterilisation and we are thankful to Cape Town’s leadership for helping drive change via the newly gazetted Animal Keeping By-law. 

We are hopeful that the City of Cape Town will deploy sufficient reinforcement into the Animal Control Unit to enable tangible Animals Bylaw enforcement and compliance.

We stand ready to assist qualifying welfare clients with pet sterilisation and enquiries with regards to pet sterilisation can be made by calling 0217004145 or emailing

Sponsor a Spay or Neuter For As Little as R350

The cost can be out-of-reach for many pet owners, even at welfare rates. If you would like to assist with the spay or neuter of a dog or cat from a high deprivation area, please make your contribution safely below. 

Price: R350.00
Your donation will ensure that unnecessary litters of unwanted animals are prevented, which in turn will prevent animal cruelty, neglect and suffering. You can choose to sponsor one or more sterilisations.
Thank you for making a difference!

Displaying or Exhibiting of an Animal for Show or Financial Gain (Section 12.1)

No person shall display or exhibit an animal for show or financial gain in a public space or public road, unless such person is the holder of a permit issued by the City or Cape Nature. This includes the use of an animal for begging or fundraising purposes. In the event that the City receives an application from a person for the displaying or exhibiting of an animal for show or financial gain they shall consult an animal welfare Inspector authorised in terms of Section 8(1) of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962 for comment and input.
Begging with Animals Outlawed

This new by-law will prevent the exploitation of animals for the purposes of financial gain from many different avenues, including putting a stop to those who use animals for the sole purpose of begging.

Using animals to beg is not responsible pet ownership – something that the SPCA will always advocate for.  While many people living on the streets have pets as their only companions, some are exploiting dogs and cats to make more money.

The by-law is not about preventing the homeless from having pets as companions but rather, to prevent people from taking advantage of this.

Sale of Animals (Section 13.17)

No person may sell or offer to sell an animal without the City’s authorisation –
(a) in a street or public place;
(b) in or from a movable structure or vehicle;
(c) at public markets; and
(d) online or through social media platforms or outlets.
Online and Offline Sale of Animals Stopped

Puppy Hawkers have little or no regard for the welfare of animals, who to them are merely commodities of trade.

These individuals rely heavily on animal-loving communities that will do anything to rescue a puppy regardless of the cost.

Do not be emotionally blackmailed! 

In spite of your best intentions, buying a puppy from a hawker perpetuates a cycle of abuse and cruelty and now, because of the changes to our Animal Keeping By-laws 2021, you will be supporting backyard breeding which is against the law

Aside from this, puppies purchased from these individuals are often removed from their mothers extremely young, are often unhealthy and in some instances genetically defective.

You could also be unwittingly introducing diseases and parasites into your home that could affect the health of your pets and your family!

Mange is a zoonotic disease and is transferred to humans as scabies.

Worms and fleas can also be passed on to your family members and the chances are that the puppy you have just bought is unvaccinated and potentially ill with Canine Distemper or Parvo Virus. Both are deadly and extremely contagious canine diseases.

Please report puppy hawkers by calling (021)596-1999 or the SPCA on (021)700-4158/9 or 0833261604 (after hours)

Sterilisation is mandatory, it's now illegal to sell animals without the city's authorisation, and you can no longer exploit animals for your own financial gain.

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Thank you for everything you do to help make this a better world for all animals.


Keep our Field Officers on the road to help eradicate ignorance which is a top cause of cruelty to animals.

Your continued dedication, ongoing support and passion for preventing cruelty to animals is what makes us successful.

Contact Our Inspectorate

The SPCA is the only organisation that offers a 24-hour Inspectorate service.

Contact our Inspectorate by calling us on
(021) 700-4158/9
083 326 1604 (after hours)

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