Woman Angry Over Dog Put Down

A WOMAN, who had surrendered her dog to the Windhoek Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, is angry that the dog was put down without her knowledge.

Sarika Butler said she gave up her Swiss shepherd dog Akela to the SPCA on 29 March because it did not get along well with other female dogs. She said although she gave up the dog, she clearly asked the SPCA during a meeting, to inform her before making any rehoming decisions.

However, on 18 April when she called to inquire about how the dog was doing, she was told that it had been put down because of “hip” problems.

“The animal welfare consultant who had an agreement with us said she forgot to inform us. Is this what we expect from a society that professes anti-cruelty to animals. The dog was not even there for over a month. I am devastated,” lamented Butler.

She further said they never expected the worst because they informed the SPCA that they would take their dog back if she was not able to be rehomed, adding that putting her down was never an option.

Butler said they did not notice her hip problem and only became aware of it when the SPCA informed her about it.

“She was less than two years, not an old dog that could have tired bones. They didn’t even check whether adopters would have a problem with that,” said Butler who said the SPCA apologised but refused to answer her queries.

“I don’t want this to happen to any other animal again,” Butler said.

Former SPCA general manager Hilary du Plessis admitted that she had promised to inform Butler on the decisions regarding her dog.

Du Plessis, however, said they did not notify her because when one surrenders their animal, they relinquish ownership. She added that she forgot to let Butler know as she had earlier promised. Du Plessis apologised for this.

“It was a mistake on our side that we did not live up to our word and we apologise for it. Putting the dog down was not a mean thing and it pained me to do it but it was a decision by the vet,” du Plessis said.

Du Plessis said that a veterinarian was called in to carry out tests on the dog because it walked in a funny way.

“Photos were taken as per routine and we eventually came to the conclusion that it should be put down. We are trying our best to give every dog a chance, but because of our policy and procedures, we cannot supply any animal that might give problems to future owners,” du Plessis said.

The SPCA surrender form Butler signed reads as follows: “I certify that I own the animal(s) described below and I freely surrender all my interests if any, therein to the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – Windhoek, and I request the animal(s) to be disposed of as deemed aisable in the discretion of the Society. It is expressly agreed that neither the said shelter including the officers and employees of each will incur any obligation to me on an account of such disposition of said animals.”

Source : The Namibian