Report animal cruelty | Western Cape Government

Report animal cruelty

Responsible pet ownershipResponsible pet ownership

Owning a pet is a big responsibility that includes caring for their physical needs (food and shelter), showing them affection and protecting them.

Being a responsible pet owner means that you're financially able to feed your pet and to take it to a vet when necessary.

A responsible pet owner can provide their pet with unconditional love, care and respect. You will be solely responsible for your pet’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Your pet will also need regular deworming, tick and flea treatments as well as annual vaccinations.

Responsible pet ownership begins before a pet enters your home. There are a few things you must consider if you’re thinking about bringing a pet into your home:

  • Will you have enough time during the day to spend with your pet?
  • Are you financially capable of owning a pet?
  • Do you often travel long distances for work?
  • Does anyone in your home have allergies?
  • Are your children capable of taking care of a pet?
  • Is there an adequate amount of green space for your pet?
  • Are you willing to be there for your pet for its entire life? This could be approximately 15 years depending on the pet.

Once you’ve set your mind on getting a pet there are a few things you should do to ensure that your pet has a healthy and happy life.

  • Feed your pet a healthy diet.
    Animals need appropriate food options to prevent disease and to remain healthy. Dietary needs depend on the type of pet you own, the age of your pet, and other factors such as health.
  • Ensure that your pet always has clean drinking water.
    Your pet needs water to survive. Always make sure that your pet has access to clean drinking water.
  • Provide your pet with adequate shelter and a comfortable place to sleep.
    During the night it’s best to keep your cat or small dog indoors. If you have a large dog breed that you’re planning to keep in a fenced-off yard, make sure that it has adequate shelter that can protect it from the sun or rain. Also ensure that your pet has a comfortable bed that's suitable for its size.
  • Give your pet regular exercise.
    Taking your pet for regular walks will ensure that your pet remains mentally and physically fit.
  • Take your pet to the vet regularly
    Taking your pet to the vet regularly will ensure that your pet remains healthy, and doesn’t spread a disease to other animals.

Taking care of your pets

Reporting animal cruelty

Animal welfare organisations play an important role in society. They make sure that vulnerable and high-risk animals are treated humanely. They also offer their services at a fee that’s in line with your income.

Animal welfareTheir work is mainly to:

  • Prevent animal abuse and cruelty.
  • Promote animal care.
  • Offer veterinary services at their welfare hospitals.
  • Offer education on responsible pet ownership.
  • They take care of injured, abandoned, feral (wild, undomesticated, untamed) cats and dogs.
  • They offer safe adoptions of domesticated animals.
  • Make sure that farm animals and wildlife aren't mistreated.
  • Visit disadvantaged areas with mobile clinics.
  • Some animal welfare organisations help with the prosecution of animal cruelty cases.

Most of these organisations are non-profit organisations and depend on donations to keep their doors open. You can donate money, cat and dog food, pet blankets and support their fundraising events. Contact your nearest animal welfare organisation to confirm what donations they are most in need of or to volunteer.

Animal abuse and cruelty


According to the Animals Protection Act declawing of cats and the tail docking (surgically removing parts of or the entire tail of dogs for non-medical reasons) are illegal and a criminal offence. The SA Veterinary Council is opposed to surgically changing the shape of a dog’s ears (ear cropping). These procedures are painful even if it’s done professionally.  


Dogfighting is a very cruel and violent ‘sport’ and mostly forms part of criminal activities. The National Council of SPCAs offers a reward of up to R30,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of dog fighters.

It’s a crime to:

  • Own, train or breed animals for fighting.
  • Buy, sell or import these animals.
  • Encourage animals to fight each other.
  • Allow these dog fights to happen on property that you own, live in or oversee.
  • Promote animal fighting for money or entertainment.
  • Watch a dog fight or being on a property where this takes place.

Dogfighting is illegal in South Africa. A person found guilty for any involvement in dogfighting is liable for a fine of R80 000 and/or imprisonment of up to two years with a criminal record.

Dog in carDogs in hot cars

Never leave a dog alone in a car. If there isn’t proper ventilation, then the car can become extremely hot. Even if your car windows are opened slightly it will not cool your car enough for your dog.

If you see a dog that’s distressed in a locked car, you can follow the advice of the NSPCA:

  • Take down the car make, colour and registration number and attempt to locate the owner. 
  • Contact your local SPCA (see contact details list below) or SA Police Services immediately.
  • Don’t leave the scene until the situation is resolved.


Cats and dogs can hear higher frequencies than humans and sounds are much louder for them than the human ear. Fireworks are distressing to animals. Check with your municipality where the designated fireworks sites are. If there are illegal fireworks in your neighbourhood, you can follow the advice of the NSPCA to help your pets deal with it:

  • Make sure all animals have identification.
  • If possible, stay home with them if you suspect fireworks fiends are about.
  • Give them access to a room that is safe and secure and create a small den for them with blankets and pillows.
  • Attempt to mask any noise by drawing curtains and playing calming music at a reasonable volume.
  • Put familiar and comforting things around them such as toys, baskets etc.
  • Provide them with something to do such as giving your dog a chew bone or lots of catnip or a catnip toy for felines.
  • If your pets react badly to fireworks, then seek professional advice from your veterinarian.
  • Ensure your pets have a hearty and nutritious meal close to their bedtime. This will make them more likely to be sleepy!

Buying pets on the street

Don’t buy puppies or kittens from people walking around with them, trying to sell the animals. Your intention is good as you don’t want them to end up hurt or in the wrong hands. Unfortunately, this creates a market for people, that don't have the animal’s best interest at heart, to sell them. This practice escalated to where these pets are hurt/mutilated to make for an easy sell. Report people that are guilty of these acts to the Police or animal welfare organisations.

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) 


SPCA Karoo: Beaufort West

Meentgronde, c/o Grimbeeck & Jooste Street, Beaufort West, Western Cape 6970

Cell: 072 847 7312


SPCA Cape of Good Hope: Grassy Park

1st Ave & First Road, Grassy Park, Cape Town, 8000

Tel: 021 700 4140

After hours emergency:

Cell: 083 326 1604

SPCA: Franschhoek

La Provence Street, Groendal

Tel: 021 876 4808


Cell: 083 745 5344

SPCA: George

Ossie Urban Road, Tamsui Industrial Area, George

(near the N2)

Tel 044 878 1990

Emergency (after-hours):

Cell: 082 378 7384

SPCA: Mossel Bay

Bill Jeffrey Ave, Kwanonqaba, Mossel Bay

(near the Garden Route Casino)

Tel 044 693 0824 

Emergency after-hours 072 287 1761

SPCA: Paarl

Ben Barnard Estate (Suider-Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa 7620

Tel:  021 863 2720

Fax: 021 863 2720

Emergency number:

Cell: 082 510 6387

SPCA: Swartland

R 315 - Yzerfontein Road (next to the cemetery)


After hours emergency:

Cell: 082 414 7153


Tel: 022 492 2781

SPCA: West Coast

Portion 30, Plaas Eeenzaamheid no.135 (next to the dumpsite)


R45 Main Road Vredenburg (direction Vredenburg)



After hours emergency:

Cell: 082 414 7153


Tel: 022 289 0998

SPCA: Swellendam

51 Bontebok St, Railton

Tel: 028 514 2083


Cell: 084 737 1948

SPCA: Wellington

Interpace Road, Wellington, Western Cape 7654


Tel: 021 864 3726

SPCA: Winelands

  • Robertson
  • McGregor
  • Bonnievale
  • Ashton
  • Montagu
  • Surrounding districts


Tel: 023 615 2241

After hours emergency:

Cell: 071 0257805 


Animal Anti-Cruelty League (AACL)



90 Bofors Circle (corner Carrier Way) EPPING 2

Tel: 021 534 6426/7

Fax: 086 550 0979/021 534 5625


1 Bureau Street, Bellville South

Tel: 021 951 3010

Tel: 021 951 5289


Fabrieks Road, Bredasdorp, 7280


Cell: 082 898 0787


The People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) 


Tarentaal Road


Cape Town

Tel: 021 638 5134

Fax: 086 541 1319

Athlone Clinic

Aden Road


Tel: 021 696 7268

Mitchells Plain Clinic

Bamboo Street


Mitchell’s Plain

Tel: 021 371 2440

George Hospital and Administration

Pienaar Street



Tel: 044 875 8300

Fax: 044 875 8686


The content on this page was last updated on 10 November 2022