Horrific scenes at cat death house

Rubbish bags in which dead kittens and cats were found dumped outside Samies Kittens NPC. Picture: Supplied

Rubbish bags in which dead kittens and cats were found dumped outside Samies Kittens NPC. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 29, 2024


Durban — It was meant to be a safe haven for cats and kittens, but turned into an indescribable scene of cruelty and death with too many decomposing bodies to count.

Some had died still locked in rescue cages. Black rubbish bins were filled with bodies. Others lay around the home, trapped by locked doors and closed windows.

Just seven cats lived, freed from the horror by neighbours investigating the foul smell coming from the house.

The owner, who ran animal rescue organisation Samies Kittens, had not been seen at the home for a week and the neighbours knew animals had been kept in the Glen Park, Pinetown, house.

Kloof and Highway SPCA and Marshall Security were called.

Barbara Patrick, who has been the manager of Kloof and Highway SPCA for 16 years, said she had never seen anything like it.

“There were dead, decomposed bodies everywhere, the smell was unbearable even with a mask on and there were old animal faeces everywhere. It was one of the most devastating and traumatic things I have ever seen,” said Patrick.

They were able to count more than 20 bodies in various stages of decomposition, but could not clearly identify other remains because of the state they were in.

The owner of the animal rescue organisation was nowhere to be found.

The SPCA has no information about Samies Kittens non-profit company (2022/721693/08), how or when the cats were acquired or how much financial support they received.

“The cats that were alive, seven of them, had been let out by a concerned neighbour who opened a window. There were no cats alive when we entered the property. Outside the property, we found black bags of dead cats and kittens: we did not count how many cats and kittens were in there.

“We did not tamper with the scene as it is part of a SAPS case and there may be further investigations. The Health Department also inspected the property and dealt with the owner of the property,” said Patrick.

She said on Friday that they had no contact with the owner of the property but had opened a case of animal cruelty at the Pinetown SAPS.

“Sadly, the SPCA does not ‘govern’ animal rescue organisations. There are so many and we all need to be more responsible and check where animals are being kept and how they are being cared for.

“I would appeal to all members of the public who have unwanted or stray animals to check the organisation and living conditions of all animal rescue organisations before handing animals over. It is also important for donors and supporters to be aware of and in touch with how ‘pets’ are being cared for and if they suspect animal cruelty to contact the SPCA immediately.

“The smell coming from this home would have been a problem for a long time, and could have been reported earlier. Sadly these cats and kittens had died months or many weeks ago and had suffered the most horrific death, some locked in cages unable to escape and with no access to food or water.”

Tyron Powell, from Marshall Security, said the incident was shocking.

“It is crucial to ensure that donations of food, money, or other resources are directed to reputable and trustworthy entities genuinely dedicated to animal welfare,” he said.

The Pinetown SAPS are investigating a case of confining animals without adequate ventilation.

Independent on Saturday