Animals Sold at Road Intersections and Other Informal Venues

Animals Sold at Road Intersections and Other Informal Venues

This is a very worrisome situation, not only for the fact that the animals are sold under unsuitable conditions - it goes much further. Somewhere there is a poor unsterilized bitch, probably either tied up or at the very least underfed pumping out litter after litter each season at an alarming rate, with no concern for her welfare, the welfare of the other pups from the litter, the male dogs coming to visit and being hit by cars on their way to cover the bitch, nor for the welfare of the pups being sold at the intersections without water, shelter, food, protection from the noise and exhaust fumes, or any concern over who buys them.

Many people think they are helping by buying these puppies and yes, they are probably assisting that one individual animal which in all likelihood may die of Parvo Virus or Distemper due to not having been vaccinated.

However, by buying the puppies all we are really doing is confirming to the sellers that there is a market, and so they will continue allowing the poor mother to breed, removing her often underage progeny causing stress to both mother and offspring, and compounding the problem. 

Street vendors, irrespective of what their product might be (cell phone chargers, cooldrinks, fireworks, puppies or any other items) are contravening the law, and you might even have witnessed them being evicted from larger intersections by the Metro Police.

This is the avenue to follow. Should you see people selling puppies at the side of the road or at Intersections, DO NOT BUY THE PUPPIES, and also DO NOT approach the person to try and take the animals - there have been instances when Animal Welfare Inspectors have been violently attacked trying to do this.

First telephone the Metro Police (NOT the SAPS - this is more of a By- Law contravention than a Criminal offence,) then contact an Animal Shelter who would be willing to take in the animals.

Do not leave the scene- wait there until the Metro Police arrive and explain to them the situation - all too often the policeman himself will not understand that there is a problem in selling puppies or might want the matter referred to an Animal Welfare organisation rather than deal with it from a By-Law perspective yet, if there is water, food, and shelter available, and no obvious intentional cruelty involved THERE MIGHT NOT BE SUFFICIENT LEGAL GROUNDS FOR A WELFARE OFFICER TO REMOVE THEM, and all too often the Welfare Officer would be a lone female who would have no chance of forcibly removing the puppies or apprehending the vendor, and would therefore need assistance from the Metro Police anyway. Stick to the known and provable offence of them vending illegally, and have Metro Police handle the matter. 

Ensure the Metro Police confiscate all of the animals, then hand them over into the care of the Animal Shelter you contacted.

Where possible, also have the Metro Police establish the address of the vendor, and give this over to the representative from the Animal Shelter in order that they can investigate the conditions under which the mother of the puppies is being held, and where possible either remove her or have her sterilised.

I hope this will help should you ever encounter puppies being sold in this manner in the future.

Never ignore the situation; ALWAYS help the voiceless.

Best regards,

Phillip Roberts
Cruelty Inspector
Barking Mad/ Dogtown S A