If you remain interested in the Bally Vaughn saga, please note that the Putterills have sent a statement on this matter (published earlier) and Sarah Carter has also issued a statement (this time directly)
It has not been our wish to publicise the distressing situation that has been ongoing at bally Vaughan for the last three months but we have been forced to respond to the statement put out by Gordon and Deborah Putterill.
1. On the 1st July 2013 several animals were due to be translocated from Bally Vaughan to the Twala trust with valid NP movement permits, veterinary permits and officials including a senior ZNSPCA inspector and a parks ranger (NP Scout).
2. The animals being moved had been rescued during our tenancy at Bally Vaughan and we hold all the necessary permits for these animals.
3. The movement of the animals had been set for Monday, 1st July 2013 as the vets who were moving the animals would not be available for the next two weeks.
4. It is important to note that the police presence was requested by us and facilitated by the ZNSPCA.
5. Sarah, Vin, members of staff, several vets, members of the public (including foreign tourists) were locked into the sanctuary and the entrance barricaded by Deborah and Gordon Putterill.
6. A ZNSPCA representative was locked out of the sanctuary by the Putterills and ZNSPCA has since put out a statement to this effect.
7. Chief Chikwaka was invited by us to see the lions being moved to their new home. He has been instrumental in coordinating our free mobile veterinary clinics, and supports our conservation work.
8. Deborah Putterill performed a search of two vehicles belonging to members of the public without their permission, the small animals ready for translocation in cages were in these vehicles and traumatised by the ensuing commotion.
9. Deborah Putterill threatened to have both Sarah and a member of the public, Di Fynn, arrested for theft.
10. 3 serval cats had already been tranquilised prior to being moved.
11. The animals were eventually returned to their enclosures after being in translocation cages for several hours while the Putterills vacillated as to whether or not the animals could go.
12. It is necessary to ask the question that if: a) the Putterills only concern is for the welfare of the animals and: b) if the animals being moved were covered by a court order preventing their movement, why did Gordon Putterill then offer to sell four of our rescue lions to us which he said would facilitate immediate translocation of the animals.
13. These lions do not belong to the Putterills and they are certainly not for sale. We consider them to be a part of our animal family and do not regard them as bargaining chips.
14. These four lions were rescued last year in such an appalling state of neglect that it was doubtful that they would survive. With dedicated care and overwhelming public support, these lions have been successfully rehabilitated. It is impossible to comprehend why the Putterills would believe they can lay claim to these lions or to any other animal rescued by ourselves. (For example if you lease a space to store your goods you are not obliged to leave your goods behind when your lease expires and certainly not before your lease expires.)
15. Sadly a marmoset that was waiting for translocation has since died, the body has been taken to the Wildlife Unit for a post mortem.
16. With regard to ownership of the animals we were operating a sanctuary on the land owner’s property not operating their sanctuary (otherwise why would we be paying rent?) and further, no animals being taken to Twala were on the property before we leased it. Nor have the Putterills contributed to the cost of rescues and the Putterills have not been involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of any animal during our tenancy. This makes their claim on Monday that they own all the animals on the property incorrect.
17. Our lease expires in October 2014. We had hoped to remain at BV until then, whilst making the necessary arrangements to move our rescue and rehabilitation project to the Twala Trust. In the meantime we are still paying rent.
18. The Putterills have filed an eviction order against us despite our current lease and the Judgment will be handed out tomorrow, Friday 5th July 2013 in Murehwa court. If the Putterills bid to evict us is successful, we will have 48hrs to evacuate the property without our animals.
19. We are moving because the owner, Kathy McIntosh attempted to double our rent within a 48hour notice, a move that we opposed. We were then informed that our lease would not be renewed again. The owner and her relatives can therefore hardly claim to be surprised that we are relocating.
20. We would like to point out that Mwanga lodge, run by the Putterills has benefitted from our hard work and dedication to the animals that we have rescued. Their clients visit the sanctuary for a nominal fee of $2 per head to view animals rescued, rehabilitated and cared for at our expense, and the children on Mwanga Lodge school outings pay 50c. Even this nominal amount has not been paid to us for several months.
21. It is very sad that our time at BV is ending on this note. We hope that the relevant authorities will allow us to move our animals to the Twala trust so that we can continue our welfare work and continue to give the quality of life to the animals that they so deserve.
22. The rescue and rehabilitation of so many animals over the 8 years that we have been at Bally Vaughan has been made possible by the wonderful support of our friends and sponsors. We would like to thank you all and we look forward to seeing you at Twala.