The SPCA was almost burnt to the ground on Wednesday afternoon when a fire in the area jumped across the Agatha Road and soon reached their premises. With the area being as dry as it is, the grass and tress surrounding the property was soon engulfed in flames.
The Chief Inspector of the SPCA, Ellie Potgieter rushed to the scene from a hippo rescue outside of town and was seen running in and out of the building to secure the frightened animals and move the cats to safety as the thick smoke from the fire had swallowed the entire cattery. Jillian, the popular talking donkey, was in a state of panic and had to be escourted away from the blaze to prevent her from panicking and injuring herself in the event she tried to escape the flames.
According to Tracey van den Dool who was enroute back to Tzaneen from a trip to Jo’burg it could have been a much sadder tale, but thankfully the Mopani District Fire trucks were on scene along with a number of volunteers from the area. The ground upon which the Letaba SPCA’s offices and kennels are situated, is the property of the Greater Tzaneen Municipality. By all accounts it appears as though no fire breaks were made ahead of the fire prohibition period which is now already a month into effect.
As is usually the case, complaints to the municipality regarding the maintenance of this property have fallen on deaf ears. It is not clear when last the municipality had a team of grass cutters in the area but Bulletin was on the scene and we could see no visible indication that any maintenance in this respect had been done.
“Thankfully no animals were killed or injured in the blaze and we thank all the volunteers and the hard working men of the fire department who kept the fire from reaching our kennels or our offices,” Van den Dool concluded.