By AMY JACKSON-MOSS
When it comes to rescuing and saving animals, no one wants to think about the costs involved. However, our SPCA’s financial situation at present is dire and unless something drastically changes soon, the SPCA will likely be facing bankruptcy within the next year and may be forced to close.
The SPCA receives no funding from the government and relies on the generous donations from the public in order to function. Other avenues of income include fundraising events and initiatives, boarding kennel facilities, interest on capital investments, etc.
Running a centre such as ours costs a great deal and our income at present is only covering less than 50% of the monthly running expenses. The average monthly running expenses amount to more than R60 000 or R70 000 with an average income of between R20 000-R30 000.
For a number of years, the SPCA has not been able to break even on a monthly basis and this has meant that significant amounts of money have been continuously withdrawn from the SPCA’s capital investments. These investments were accrued as a result of bequests in the form of monetary donations or property left to the SPCA in people’s wills going back decades.
The remaining amount of capital will likely last the SPCA for only the next few months and to put it simply, the SPCA is desperate for the public’s financial support or we will be forced to close.
Major monthly expenses at our SPCA include staff salaries, petrol, insurance, kennel disinfectants, dog food and veterinary supplies for our clinic. Our SPCA has a small number of staff compared to many other SPCA’s and downscaling at this stage is simply not an option. We currently employ one centre manager, one qualified inspector and four kennel hands who cannot keep up with the current work load and demand.
Our SPCA is extremely understaffed and there would be enough work to employ a number of additional staff members if funds allowed. There is a such a shortage of jobs available in this town and by supporting the SPCA our donors could be creating jobs as well as helping animals in need.
Many people don’t realise that our SPCA does not only service the Makana Municipal area but is also often required to visit neighbouring towns. Our area of operation extends as far as Somerset East and includes Riebeeck East, Fort Beaufort, Bedford, Adelaide, Paterson, Salem, Alicedale and all of the farm areas in between. Driving to these areas is costly and puts an immense amount of wear and tear on our only vehicle. The animals in these towns need us and we are simply not able to reach them often enough due to the lack of both financial and staff resources.
This town would not survive well without an SPCA and if funds allowed, the SPCA would be able to do a lot more towards helping in this town. Considering we are admitting on average 70 animals per month, the town would be overrun with stray and unwanted animals. Not to mention the more than 500 animals that have been sterilised by us over the course of this year alone and the animals that can be sterilised in the future.
As the SPCA staff and committee, we are making a desperate effort to bring our financial woes to the public’s attention in an effort to save the SPCA before it is too late.
How can you help?
We are aware of the fact that our town is struggling as a whole and many people are facing their own financial troubles, but if a lot of people committed to donating small amounts regularly the SPCA could be saved.
To put it into perspective, we regularly use the following example: Our Facebook Page is particularly successful and our following has grown a lot recently. We currently have over 3500 people who “like” or follow our page receiving our regular updates. If these 3500 people each committed to making a monthly donation of R20, the SPCA would have a monthly income of over R70 000.
This would change the running of our SPCA and we would be able to put money aside to do some much needed renovations and upgrades on our kennel facilities and potentially employ more people adding to our staff.
How can people donate?
- By making a monthly EFT payment to our SPCA’s FNB Account:
-Account Name: SPCA Grahamstown
-Account Number: 52324242793
-Branch Code: 210717
-Reference: Donation and Name
- By pledging a monthly donation to be deducted from your salary if you are a Rhodes
University staff member.
- By making a payment at one of our suppliers to help us pay off our accounts:
-Grahamstown Vet Clinic or Ikhala Veterinary Clinic – to be used for veterinary services such as X-rays of injured patients
-VetServ Port Elizabeth – to be used for all of our veterinary drugs and equipment of our clinic.
- By placing money into one of our collection tins at various shops and businesses across town.
- By offering a service or goods that will be useful to the SPCA from your business.
For more information please feel free to contact the Grahamstown SPCA office on 046 622 3233 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We are continuously grateful for all of the support that we receive from those who donate. Without you our doors would not be able to stay open.