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Hoax - SPCA South Africa is Closing Down

Outline
Email forward claims that the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in South Africa is about to close down.



Brief Analysis
The SPCA in South Africa is NOT about to close down. The message is a long running hoax that has circulated for more than a decade. The SPCA has repeatedly denied the claims in the email. Please do not forward or repost this hoax.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

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Last updated: 22nd October 2011
First published: 22nd October 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Subject: SPCA CLOSING - PLEASE FORWARD

Dear ALL,

SPCA CLOSING

"Do not cry if the Sun sets at the end of the day, because the tears will not let you enjoy the beauty of the Stars"

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in South Africa is closing down.

PLEASE TAKE JUST ONE MINUTE TO ADD YOUR NAME TO TRY AND SAVE THE LIVES OF THE MANY DESPERATE ANIMALS OUT THERE.
THANK YOU.

THE SPCA IS IN DESPERATE NEED OF FUNDS WHILE SA SPORTS GET ONE THIRD OF THE LOTTO EARNINGS! Please sign and forward on if you agree with this cause - just for your info, the SPCA is facing the reality of closing down several of their branches, which would be a catastrophe for animal rescue because they solely rely on private funding. As you can imagine, this will have a devastating effect, not to mention the thousands of unwanted, starving and desperate animals that are rescued each day due to negligence or ignorance.

You may not be aware that animal welfare organizations have been excluded from the LOTTO payouts. Upon requesting aid they were told that "animal welfare is not a charity". To add insult to injury, sport clubs who already have access to state funding, membership fees, gate fees and corporate sponsorships have been allocated a third of the LOTTO proceeds.

Chanel Rowan would like to send a petition to the department of Trade and Industry (who allocate the funds) to protest this and would appreciate it if you would add your name to the list below and circulate it to as many people as possible.

Please send it to me at the following email address at every 500:
[Address removed]

(500, 1000, 1500, etc.)

Thank you for your support.

P.S. Remember to Cut this text and Paste it into a new email to keep it Tidy. Editing and forwarding will mess up the list.

List of several hundred names removed



Detailed Analysis
Dog on beach
According to this widely circulated email forward, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in South Africa is set to close down. The email asks that recipients "sign" and forward the information in the hope that this impending closure can be avoided. Supposedly, the names added to the message will be collected and sent as a protest petition to the Department of Trade and Industry. The message also circulates via social media and has spawned several Facebook protest groups.

However, the claims in the message are false. The SPCA in South Africa is not closing down. In fact, the message is nothing more than a silly hoax that has circulated continually for a decade or more. The SPCA in South Africa has repeatedly denied the closure claims. In a statement about the hoax on its website, the SPCA notes:
We get emails everyday from people querying information they receive in their inboxes. Another of the infamous chain emails that`s doing the rounds again is the one that says the SPCA is closing down.

It`s simply untrue. We`ve gone to the National SPCA`s Christine Kuch for clarity. She says the email is about 10 years old and is headlined "SPCA closing down."

Kuch has explained the email is entirely inaccurate and is downright defamatory.
The SPCA says even if the e-mail arrives in your mailbox on any official company letterhead - it is still a hoax.

This is also a good reason for checking facts before signing or believing everything that comes your way via e-mail.

It is usually titled SPCA SHUTTING DOWN or SPCA CLOSING DOWN. It was sent out some years ago, and it costs two employees approximately four to five valuable hours each every month to set the record straight.

This society says the unauthorised (albeit well-intended but misinformed) e-mail has been circulating the internet for some years and has caused enormous headaches for the NSPCA and its member SPCAs, particularly with potential supporters. After all, who wants to support an organisation that they perceive as closing.

There are 92 SPCAs in South Africa and although some of the smaller societies do struggle for survival due to their locations, there is no way that the movement itself would close down. The SPCA as a whole undertakes over 90% of all animal welfare investigations and prosecutions.

The SPCA movement is also controlled by its own statutory Act of Parliament even though no funds are received from government.

People who are concerned enough to care, can make a difference by getting the name and contact telephone number of their nearest SPCA off this website or out of their local telephone directory and either make a donation towards the SPCA`s work or volunteer their services, dedicated volunteers always being welcome.

The SPCA has asked that you update the person who e-mailed the hoax mail to you with this information.
Thus sending on this false information will achieve nothing other than waste the precious time of SPCA staff. Please do not forward or repost it and please let the sender know the message is a hoax.

Another equally spurious petition against the supposed closure of South Africa's Child Protection Unit has also been pointlessly circulating for several years. As with the SPCA, the Child Protection Unit did not close nor is it about to close. It simply changed its name some years ago. But, even if the claims in these messages did happen to be true, email based petitions are virtually useless in any case.

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References
SPCA South Africa
SPCA closing down - hoax e-mail
Email Petition Against the Closure of South African Child Protection Unit
Are Email Petitions Useful?



Last updated: 22nd October 2011
First published: 22nd October 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer