To report or not to report, that should not be the question. The question you should ask yourself is who do I report it to, and how do I report suspected cruelty to animals?
Investigations of alleged cruelty to animals can only be undertaken by organisations who have qualified inspectors that are authorised by the Magistrate of the area to work within his judicial jurisdiction.
This means that reporting any suspected cruelty to a breed rescue organisation, the local neighbourhood watch or CPF is ineffective as they still must report it to an organisation such as the Animal Anti-Cruelty League or a similar organisation, who will investigate the matter within the parameters of the law and take the appropriate action.
It is often said “… but I have reported it to my local neighbourhood watch and they sorted it out chop-chop after the SPCA couldn’t do anything”. The question is, how did they “sort it out”? Did they trespass by entering the property without permission? Did they “confiscate” the animal without the correct authorisation? In a case last year when a “do-gooder” entered a property and confiscated the dog because it was believed the dog needed immediate veterinary attention. This resulted in the “rescuer” being prosecuted for trespassing and theft. The more that people have access to information the less chance people will have to get away with these types of tactics.
When an email complaint is received and there are numerous of other names in the sent box, frustration sets in, valuable time then needs to be spent ascertaining if anyone else from those other organisations have started investigating the problem. In the past, we have immediately acted on complaints, with our concern always being with the animals, only to find that other organisations who were copied in the same mail are running the same investigation. The duplication is such a waste of time and resources for all of us and ultimately could be to the detriment of the animals concerned.
Further to this, complaining on the incorrect platform may cause an investigation to be missed or skipped as the platforms are not monitored full time. Sending messages on Facebook is probably the most ineffective way of complaining about suspected cruelty. Social media platforms are not generally monitored 24/7 and in some instances only opened once a day with nobody attending to the sites over weekends.
The best way of communicating your concern, is through a telephone call to an inspector, if not possible, an e-mail would be appropriate, if it is directed at one organisation.
At AACL our highly qualified inspectors will always act in the interest and welfare of all animals, we value the positive interaction with the public, who we believe are our “eyes and ears” on the ground.
AACL Contact Details for complaints:
Chief inspector: Rulof Jackson – firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: 011 435 0672
www.aacl.co.za (not monitored 24/7)