The forced closure of Kitty and Puppy Haven in Alexandra, Johannesburg, could see up to 200 cats and dogs being euthanised in the next two months. Acting as a rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing centre for injured, neglected, traumatised and mistreated cats and dogs, the haven has helped 3,000 animals annually.
After six years of applications regarding the re-zoning of their property in Kew, they were recently provided with permission to run the community clinic. However, due to technicalities with the zoning application, Kitty and Puppy Haven has been ordered to remove the animals from the property within the next two months - or have all the animals euthanised.
Samantha Berger, founder of the centre, is devastated by the news and calls on the Johannesburg public to save as many animals as possible. "It is that time of the year when we look to celebrate with our families and family pets. To know that if we do not find alternative arrangements in the next two months, we will have to put down all these innocent animals is heart-breaking. I can only ask that all pet-loving South Africans come through to the centre to consider taking on a new pet," says Berger.Far-reaching consequences
The impact of this ruling affects far more than just the animals at the sanctuary. All Alex residents who make use of the community clinic will no longer have access to the services of the Kitty and Puppy Haven vet. Furthermore, Kitty and Puppy Haven will be unable to continue running whilst they make alternative arrangements, the result being that the thousands of animals who are dumped or abandoned during this festive season, will no longer be able to come to the sanctuary.
Over the past 12 years approximately 11 000 animals have been helped by Kitty and Puppy Haven with numbers growing steadily every year. If alternative arrangements cannot be made, not only will many animals suffer, but 16 staff members that have dedicated their lives to animal welfare, will be unemployed.
The deadline for possible adoptions is mid-January 2013 and the cost for adoption is minimal, which goes to vaccinations, sterilisation and medication. Despite the terrible news, Berger remains optimistic. "Although two months does not leave us with huge amounts of time to find good homes for almost 200 animals, we hope the public will rally behind us."