The suburban saga of the two stray Beacon Bay dogs nicknamed the gypsies continued to rage on social media this week, with the East London SPCA saying it had received threats that the duo would be dog-napped from the welfare organisation.
The male and female, which were always side by side and struck a chord with members of the public who dewormed them and put out regular meals in the vicinity of the Engen garage on Beaconhurst Drive, are now both at the SPCA, which said it had a home lined up for them.
However, this has not stopped frenzied social debates on the Pets Lost and Found East London Facebook site, with some members accusing the welfare organisation of lying to the public about the status and fate of the dogs.
They claimed the photograph of the female dog, requested by the Daily Dispatch and published in Wednesday’s edition, was not one of the gypsies, but another dog rescued from a reservoir, and demanded to know what had happened to her.
But SPCA East London manager Allen Westerberg insisted yesterday the photograph was the female gypsy. He said the male gypsy, which had reportedly been pining and howling for his mate, had been captured on Tuesday evening and sterilised the following day.
“He went into a yard and people managed to contain him,” said Westerberg.
Westerberg reiterated that the duo had an adoptive home in Beacon Bay awaiting them, a statement which has also been repeatedly disputed by some members of the Facebook page.
Asked if the Daily Dispatch could photograph the gypsies which are being held in the hospital section of the facility, Westerberg said he would be out of the office today.
“I have never had people with an attitude of threatening to steal dogs so they will be kept in the hospital. The dogs will be reunited but there is no set date yet,” he said.
He said a Facebook proposal that the gypsies be housed at Pet Pals animal sanctuary until they became accustomed to humans was not possible.
“The SPCA has an adoption policy and we abide by it. This policy does not include that animals go to another cage.”
He said he had made a connection with the gypsies and been upset by social media accusations.
Pets Lost and Found East London administrator Jewel de Klerk was emphatic yesterday that the photograph supplied to the Dispatch was “not the same dog”. “Even people who fed the dogs say it is not her.”
She said she continued to doubt that there was a family waiting to adopt the pair. “They ([the SPCA] say the female is still in the hospital section and no-one is allowed there, but why would a healthy dog be kept there? We are waiting for photos of the two dogs.”
Pet Pals founder Sue Kriel said she had been approached by five people since Monday to provide the gypsies with an enclosure.
“I could rehabilitate them quite easily because I’m sure they had a home before, but it is not the SPCA’s policy.” — email@example.com