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Letter: Charnay Haarhoff – Centurion SPCA

| December 30, 2011

I rescued Snowy from a man that hit her from one side of a room to the other side when she was just 6 weeks old. I heard the knock on my side of the wall which in turn had caused her to become completely deaf, I know that she was able to hear before the incident as I used to call her and she would come to me.

I took her to the vet which confirmed that the smack from the guy and the wall had caused her deafness. I took her home with me and I showered her with love and affection and she became my “baby” so to speak, 4 years later she got sick with Snuffles and was hospitalised for two weeks which I spent everyday for an hour or more with her until the vet told me I could take her home with the advise that she would have chronic snuffles for the rest of her life, with all the medication that she was on it rotted her teeth on the right side of her mouth so a month after her being in hospital I had to have her teeth removed, unfortunately with the operation the infection from her teeth moved into her right eye the vet and specialist did everything to save her eye but 2 weeks later they had to remove her eye. 2 years later as she was still on chronic medication her teeth on the left rotted and I had to have them removed.

Going a little back when she was in hospital for the Snuffles I was told after 2 days that there was no hope, after 2 weeks when the vet told me to take her home, her words to me where “you can leave her here and she will die or you can take her home and see what happens” in the hospital she was being force fed with a pipe through her nose into her stomach, when I took her home I moved my whole house into my bedroom, I had her wrapped in a blanket in my bed with the electric blanket on and my blankets over her while she lay sleeping in my arms, the next morning I thought I would wake up to a dead cat, she was not dead she was very much alive and started eating on her own.

Snowy who fought to survive and was treated like a queen, she was on a special diet of Hills A/D and doxydog 50mg tablets which she got on a daily basis all in all with her deafness, one eye and only her four front canines she was a very happy cat.

On the 11th November 2009 Snowy went missing, my kids did not see her go into a room where the window was open. I did not allow her outside unless I was there because if she got into the street she would not hear a car coming so she was only allowed outside when I was with her. I went looking for her but could not find her as I live in Centurion and work in Bryanston I only got home after 7pm when I had settled down from getting home I realised Snowy was missing and immediately went looking for her. I could not find her anywhere, not in the house or the garden or the street.

On Thursday 12th November I contacted the SPCA to enquire if she was there it is not difficult to describe Snowy, white cat one blue eye totally deaf and sick, I was told by the Centurion SPCA that they had no cat like that on their books I gave them a proper description of Snowy there is no way they could have missed her, on the 14th November 2009 I went to the Centurion SPCA to look for myself if she was there, they allowed me to walk around the cattery but she was not there, I went to the reception and gave them the “lost poster” I had made and they told me they had no cat like that on their books. I told them that she was sick and that she needed her medication and her food or she would loose weight quickly and become very ill.

They took my information down on paper as their computer was not working while I was there. Feeling very lost and worried I went home without knowing where Snowy was or if she was alright. I put up my “lost” posters and Sunday evening a lady called me to inform me that on Wednesday 11th November Snowy was sitting outside her gate around the corner from where I stay, she told me that she has four big dogs so she could not bring her inside her house and it seemed that Snowy needed a vet so she called the SPCA and she told me that the SPCA DEFINITELY did collect Snowy on Wednesday evening around 8pm.

I got excited but also concerned as I know that Snowy was sick. I contacted the SPCA after hours number and I spoke to the lady that answered and she advised me that even if Snowy is sick they have a 7 day waiting period it is LAW that unless the animal is dying only then will they immediately euthanize the animal. This lady advised me that they had to keep Snowy in quarantine for 7 days to give her the chance to be found even if they thought she was abandoned or deserted, by law they had to abide by the 7 day rule.

I was really excited and arranged with my boss to come into the office late so I could go fetch my Snowy. I walked into the Centurion SPCA on Monday 16th November and told them that I was there to collect Snowy who was definitely picked up on Wednesday 11th November. They checked in their books they went looking through the kennels and they looked in isolation but each time they came out it was empty handed, I started shaking as I immediately went ice cold, the one girl that works there brought out a green covered book and I knew what they had done.

My heart shattered into a billion pieces when they told me that Snowy was brought in on Wednesday 11th November, the vet checked her out on the 12th November saw that she was what they call “suffering from a viral disease of Chlamydia (a bacterial infection of the eye and nose)” WHICH IS TREATABLE! This vet with the knowledge of the Centurion SPCA did not even give Snowy 24 hours to find her home they murdered her just like that.

They killed her without a thought that someone was looking for her. The excuse that I was given was because she was “viral” they had her in isolation, that is what isolation is for! You put animals that are sick in isolation! When I called on Thursday 12th November I was told that they had no cat with the description I gave on their books but then they produce a book not even 7 days later to tell me that they killed her while I was looking for her. I was devastated, they advised me that they had already destroyed her body so I did not have anything just these people telling me they had killed her.

I lodged a complaint on and this is the response I received from the NSPCA:

The Centurion SPCA replies as follows: The cat was collected as a stray on Wednesday 11 November 2009. It was examined by a veterinarian on the following day and was found to be very thin, looked very old, had only one eye and was suffering from a viral disease of Chlamydia (a bacterial infection of the eyes and nose. Due to the condition of the animal, the decision was made to euthanase. All sick animals that come into the SPCA are held in isolation for obvious reasons and this would account for her not being in the kennels on Saturday 14/11 when you visited. There was a power failure at the time and the Society’s systems were down. No record can be traced of any report of this cat being lost. We believe the SPCA acted in the best interest of the animal, considering the circumstances. The Society further advises that they have been unable to reach you telephonically as they wish to enquires at what time and to whom did you report the cat as lost on 12/11.
Society Liaison Unit

They say that “all sick animals that come into the SPCA are held in isolation for obvious reasons and this would account for her not being in the kennels on Saturday 14/11” but she was not in isolation either as they had already murdered her on the 12th November.

Then they claim that they had a power failure and that their systems were down and that no record can be traced of any report of my baby being lost, I completed a form on Saturday 14th November and attached my lost poster with two pictures of Snowy on the poster.

They say that she looked very thin (this is why she was eating Hills A/D) she looked old, she was 8 years old had been through hell and back and survived and they just took it all away from her without even giving her a chance, then they want to say they murdered her because she only had one eye? Oh my gosh, how many pets are out there with only one limb or one eye, how many pets are out there that are basically blind but they are still alive and well, should we murder them all because of this? How can they say that she would not have been in the kennels on the 14th if on the 12th they had already murdered her?

I cannot say they euthanized her because they did not humanly euthanize her they murdered her then threw her body away. On their last paragraph they say that they have been unable to reach me telephonically, they have not even tried to contact me as on my form that I completed at the Centurion SPCA I had both my cell phone number and my office number where I could be reached.

I do not have any voicemail from them on my cell phone if they tried contacting me on my cell and there is definitely no record of them trying to contact me on my office phone. How is it possible that they tried to contact me if they are saying that they have no record of any report of my baby being lost? They contradict themselves too many times in their response to me to try and cover the murder that they committed.

I know this letter will not bring my baby back to me, but I am hoping that it will give me some peace, she was not a cat, she was my baby, my angel, she slept in my arms at night like your first born does as your too afraid something will happen to your baby, she gave me kisses when I was sad, she lifted my spirits when I was down, when I looked at my angel and remembered everything that she went through and she was still there surviving everything that I was going through seemed less important.

Snowy gave me hope, she gave me life. They took all of that away from me when they murdered her, how do I let go when they did not give her a chance to say goodbye? I am hoping with this letter that the SPCA abide to their rules and give the animals what they deserve, give them at least their 7 days before “humanly euthanizing” them even if they are sick, there are vets at the SPCA to administer medication this is why the SPCA have an isolation ward for the sick animals or do the sick not have the same respect towards them as the healthy animals?

How many people have lost their beloved pet because it got out by accident and the SPCA picked it up without the knowledge that the animal was on medication and the amount of vet bills being paid for that animal and they just take the life of that pet and leave the owner broken hearted? I have attached the poster I gave through to the SPCA and put up all over my neighbourhood.

Below is the Animal rights law regarding the 7 day LAW. The SPCA broke that law when they murdered my baby!!!

On the SPCA website it clearly states “stray animals are kept for 7 days in order to try and trace the owner.”


NO. R. 468 14 March 1986


The Minister of Justice has, by virtue of the powers vested in him by section 10 (1) (b) and (c) of the Animals Protection Act, 1962 (Act 71 of 1962), made the regulations contained in the Schedule hereto.

(b) if the name and address of the owner of the animal are not known to the society and the animal has not been released, within seven days of the seizure, advertise the fact that the animal has been taken into the society’s custody by publication of a notice thereof in Afrikaans in an Afrikaans language newspaper and in English in an English language newspaper circulating in the district concerned: Provided that, if a bilingual newspaper circulates, a notice in both official languages shall be published therein.

(2) The society referred to in regulation 2 (1) shall within the period mentioned in regulation 3 (1) (b) cause a copy of the notice intended in the last-mentioned regulation to be:

(a) sent to a police station, police office or police post intended in regulation 2(2);

(b) sent to every other society for the prevention of cruelty to animals in the same district as the society concerned; and

(c) affixed to a notice board at the office of the society.


4. Whenever an animal that was taken into the custody of the society has not been claimed within seven days of the advertisement or notice to the owner, the society shall deal with the animal in its discretion: Provided that the society may destroy the animal, irrespective of the condition of the animal, if the animal cannot be disposed of otherwise.

Charnay Haarhoff

Category: Feline Resources

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