Cats Rescued – Filthy, Flea-infested Home

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The Cape of Good Hope SPCA rescued nine (9) cats from a filthy, flea-infested home in Tygerdal. One (1) cat was found busy dying when the Inspectors executed the court order. A locksmith had to be called in as the owner pretended not to be home.
The complaint

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA received a complaint from a caring member of the public that reported a house full of cats in poor condition. It was also reported that the house was extremely dirty inside and that cats could be seen sitting in the windows, scratching themselves.  

The investigation

On the same day the complaint was lodged, Inspectors of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA responded to the Tygerdal property to investigate. The inspectors could not gain access to the property as no one was at home. A warning was left for the owner to contact the SPCA within 24 hours.

The owner responded to the warning, and Inspector Werner Taljaard and Cadet Inspector Rowan Davids returned to the property to conduct an inspection. Upon their arrival, the two Inspectors were met by a very hostile owner and her husband, who initially refused them access to the house. After the owner’s husband was advised that a court order would be obtained if he did not cooperate and grant our Inspectors access, he then proceeded to allow Werner and Rowan into the house.

As Werner and Rowan walked into the house, their nostrils were attacked by a strong, overwhelming smell of filth and urine. The Inspectors found the cats living in filth, and they were infested with fleas. Some of the cats required veterinary care. The living conditions were far from ideal for both the cats and the humans inhabiting the house. Adding to the poor conditions, all the windows and curtains were closed, with no light or fresh air being allowed into the house. A written warning was issued to the owner to provide the cats with veterinary care, treat the cats for external parasites and clean the living conditions.

Sadly, the owner did not comply with the warning that was issued. This resulted in Werner having to obtain a court order to enter the property and seize all nine (9) cats.

The confiscation

With a court order in hand, Werner returned to the property to rescue the cats. At the property, Werner knocked on the front door, and there was no response. Very determined, Werner called the office to arrange for a locksmith to come to the property and assist him in gaining access to the house. Werner waited for over 45 minutes at the property before the locksmith arrived.

When the locksmith tried to open the front door, the owner appeared at the window demanding to know what they wanted. Werner presented the owner with a copy of the court order and requested her to open the front door. The owner claimed that she did not have a key as her husband left with the key. The locksmith then pointed out that this was not possible as the key was in the door. Werner instructed the owner to unlock the door and allow them inside, alternatively she will be charged and arrested for obstruction. The owner complied and opened the door to allow Werner inside.

It is a criminal offence in terms of Section 8(4) of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962 to obstruct any Inspector of the SPCA in the execution of their statutory powers. 

There was absolutely no change in the living conditions. All the windows and curtains were still closed, the house still had an overwhelming smell, it was extremely dirty, and the cats were still infested with fleas. This time, Werner found a dying cat inside the house.

Werner quickly confiscated the nine (9) cats and safely loaded them into his vehicle. The owner was issued with a seizure notice.

When Werner arrived at the SPCA, the dying cat sadly passed away. This cat was in extremely poor condition. Upon examination by our resident veterinarians, a further four (4) of the cats had to be humanely euthanised due to their poor condition.

Dr Rivona Ramnanan, Cape of Good Hope SPCA Head Veterinarian, described some of the cats as being in very poor condition. One of the cats was unable to walk and dragged its hind legs. All of the cats had a flea bite allergy, and the presence of fleas was excessive throughout their bodies.

“The house was extremely dirty. The smell inside the house was very bad. Urine and faeces were seen on the floor and furniture. I cannot understand how any person can live in such filth.” said Inspector Werner Taljaard

Criminal Charges

The owner will now be facing charges of animal cruelty in terms of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962.

Any person found guilty of animal cruelty could face a fine of up to R40,000 and/or 12 months imprisonment with a criminal record.

Report Cruelty

We urge the public to please report any cruelty directly to our Inspectorate by calling our 24/7 call centre on 021 700 4158/9 or by sending an email to

Tygerdal cats Rescued from filthy flea-infested home.

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