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TEARS Announces Rescue Intake Capacity, Urging Local Government and Corporate Social Investment Donors To Mobilise Funding and Resources To Implement Solutions

By TEARS Animal Rescue

TEARS Animal Rescue has announced that it can no longer accept rescue intakes as the organisation has 363 pets in its care at its Kennel and Cattery and in foster care. Of those, 75% are considered adoptable while the remaining 25% are in its rehabilitation programme either convalescing from illness, injury, and/or abuse; or are too young to be adopted and are still with their mothers or being bottle-fed via its Puppy Foster Programme.

Says TEARS Operations Manager, Mandy Store, “This is a last resort but TEARS can’t admit any more rescued and/or surrendered animals to its Kennel or Cattery unless our adoption rates increase substantially to allow for new admissions. Even our stray runs, which hold a maximum of 16 animals, are full.”

This comes five months after TEARS announced in December 2023 that it was no longer able to accept admissions to its Kennel due to decreasing adoption numbers not keeping pace with the number of homeless pets needing homes.

“It’s heart-breaking what’s happening within the companion animal welfare sector at present, “says TEARS Head of Fundraising, Lara Van Rensburg. “Cape Town is reflecting the same trend that national and international shelters are experiencing. Adoptions simply aren’t keeping pace with the number of homeless pets needing homes. It’s a harsh reality that over-burdened shelters and veterinary clinics are dealing with as the non-profit sector has to face and fund the full brunt of the pet homelessness crisis.

We call on local government and corporate social investment donors to mobilise funding and resources to implement a mass sterilisation solution that includes better policing of pet ownership by-laws. Without this dual approach, irresponsible and non-compliant pet owners will continue to perpetuate the endless cycle of illegal breeding, pet over-population, illness and suffering that companion animals experience.”

TEARS acknowledges that the Cape of Good Hope Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is shouldering the bulk of the surrender and euthanasia burden as dozens of animal welfare organisations send homeless pets to the organisation as the official ‘pound’ for the Cape Town Metropole. SPCA spokesperson, Belinda Abraham confirmed in an Independent Online interview last month that the SPCA is “extremely overburdened”.

Abraham was quoted as saying, “Based on current trends the SPCA will admit around 20,350 surrendered and stray animals to its facilities this year alone. Approximately 2,300 of these animals will come from other animal welfare organisations including those who call themselves no-kill. And while no-kill is certainly attractive to animal lovers, it creates a very misleading narrative about animal welfare realities.”

TEARS, as a pro-life animal rescue and veterinary treatment charity, is committed to the humane treatment of companion animals to include all life-stages, including end-of-life care.

Says TEARS Head Veterinarian, Dr TanIa Heuer, “TEARS is opposed to euthanising healthy animals and doesn’t euthanise any of the animals that have been admitted to its Kennels or Cattery unless for inoperable or extreme medical reasons, or in the case where an animal has proven to be a danger to people and pets. However TEARS has had to adjust its euthanasia policy to adapt to the changing landscape that its operating within as the euthanasia burden being born by the SPCA isn’t equitable or in the best interest of animal welfare.

TEARS is committed to making a difference to vulnerable pets in the face of the current animal welfare crisis and acknowledges, with sadness, that humane euthanasia is a compassionate and ethical option for animals that have no other options. Where the TEARS Kennel and Cattery are full, and all options to rehome or transfer a stray to an alternative animal welfare organisation for admission have been exhausted, we consider humanely euthanising the animal to be the most responsible option under the circumstances.”

TEARS has rehomed 22,522 vulnerable pets since its launch in 1999 and works hard to ensure that its adoption rates remain as high as possible as each adoption creates room for another pet in need. But based on year-on-year averages adoption rates are down by nearly 40% and surrenders are increasing exponentially as pet owners aren’t able to feed their pets.

TEARS Kennel Manager, Katie Butler comments,“ While we’re pushing for more people to adopt, we don’t want to encourage adoption if it’s not something that will be sustained. The Mars Pet Homelessness Report of 2022 estimated that 15% of dog owners and 13% of cat owners consider giving up their pets in their second year. TEARS has recorded a massive increase in the number of pets being surrendered because of affordability or due to the limited pet-friendly rentals available to families with pets.

Our Feed Hungry Pets campaign contributes to supporting responsible pet owners in our welfare communities by providing critical pet food support in the interests of keeping pets in loving homes. And for those who can adopt we encourage adopting a shelter pet as not only do they have lots of love to give, but it means pet adopters are saving two animals because a space becomes available for another deserving and needy pet.”

The TEARS adoption process includes three simple steps: completing the online Adoption Application; visiting TEARS for a meet-your-match, and passing the home check so you become the official pet parent to your new four-legged best friend!

To help support the life-saving work that TEARS does, the public can consider adopting a shelter pet, donating financially to TEARS, or donating any pre-owned items for re-sale via the four TEARS Charity Shops which contributes 100% of proceeds to fund 30% of what it costs to keep the TEARS Veterinary Hospital and Mobile Clinics, Kennel and Cattery in operation.

Those who are interested in donating to TEARS can do via the TEARS bank account:

Acc Name: TEARS

Bank: Standard Bank

Current Bank Account: 072062886 / Branch No: 051001

Donations to TEARS are tax deductible, with donors receiving a Section 18A tax receipt.

For more information:

TEARS website:

Alternatively the public can call TEARS Reception Tel: 021 785 4482 or email


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