Koinonia, founded by Andre Verbiest, rehabilitates and rescues animals. Picture: Henk Kruger

Cape Town – Dog rescuer Andre Verbiest will have to vacate his stand on a Melkbosstrand farm after the Western Cape High Court upheld his eviction order this week.

The owners of the farm sought to evict him after he failed to pay rent. Verbiest has been taking care of at least 200 dogs on the stand.

Attorney for the landlords, Tracey Swanepoel, said Verbiest would have to vacate the premises immediately.

“We tried to assist Mr Verbiest as well; we told him that our client will take care of his dogs in the meantime until he finds a place to stay.”

She said Verbiest was presented with the eviction notice on numerous occasions and he had had ample time to find alternative accommodation.

At the trial on Monday, Verbiest was not present at the hearing.

Swanepoel had tried to get hold of him during the hearing, but it was later discovered after court proceedings that Verbiest, who did not have legal representation, was waiting in the wrong courtroom.

In January, the Cape Argus reported that Verbiest and his 200 four-legged friends lived on the property with no electricity or running water.

However, court papers revealed that Verbiest didn’t adhere to any health and safety regulations upheld by the Department of Health.

One of the property owners, Gail Basson had hoped the matter would not go to court. She offered to care for the animals in the meantime.

“We will provide for them, even if it will put financial strain on us.”

On Tuesday, Verbiest said he understood the ruling on the matter, but wanted a reprieve.

“I know that they want me off the property and I fully understand but all I’m asking for is a opportunity for the judge to give me two months so that I can make arrangements.”

Swanepoel said Verbiest had until Sunday to leave the premises. She said the SPCA would help with the care of the dogs.

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Cape Argus