The Cape of Good Hope SPCA continues to fight against animal cruelty with unyielding determination, despite the many challenges they face. Recently, the organization expressed disappointment over the lenient sentencing of a man accused of animal cruelty in the Wynberg Magistrates’ Court.
The Case of Johannes Schreinder
Johannes Schreinder, a 70-year-old defendant, faced a fine of R3000 or three months in prison after inspectors found numerous animals suffering from neglect and living in squalid conditions on his property in December 2019. SPCA Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse and Inspector Jeffrey Mfini discovered Josh, a macaw, living in a filthy, feces-ridden cage with no food upon their initial inspection of Schreinder’s Bergvliet home. A follow-up inspection on December 18 revealed even worse conditions, prompting the inspectors to remove all animals from Schreinder’s care on December 24, 2019.
Rescuing the Animals
A total of eight animals were rescued, including two dogs, a cat, a tortoise, three geese, and two ducks. The rescued animals were found to be suffering from various ailments due to neglect, such as flea infestations and untreated fly-strike ears that bled profusely. The SPCA spent three and a half years preparing for the court date, gathering testimony, compiling evidence, and revisiting documents from years past.
The Court Date
On May 3, 2023, the matter finally went before the court. The prosecution team faced intense cross-examination from Schreinder’s private representation but ultimately emerged victorious with a guilty verdict. However, the ensuing sentence of only a R3000 fine or three months in prison left the SPCA team deflated and feeling as though justice had not been served.
Continuing the Fight
While the sentencing in this case may not have been as harsh as the SPCA had hoped, the organization remains undeterred, as a second cruelty case against Schreinder awaits its day in court. In February 2022, Inspector Mfini once again discovered animals living in appalling conditions at Schreinder’s Fish Hoek residence, including another macaw. The Cape of Good Hope SPCA is determined to continue its fight against animal cruelty and bring perpetrators to justice.
The Support of the Community
Throughout their journey for justice, the SPCA has been bolstered by the support of their community. As for the rescued animals, they have found solace in new homes, where they receive the care and love they deserve. For example, Josh the macaw now enjoys a fulfilling life at the Birds of Eden free-flight bird sanctuary in Plettenberg Bay, a testament to the positive impact the Cape of Good Hope SPCA can have on the lives of animals in need.
In conclusion, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA remains committed to battling animal cruelty, despite the setbacks and challenges they may face. Through their determination and the support of their community, they hope to create a brighter future for animals in need and hold those responsible for their suffering accountable.