By Sibabalwe Tame
Makhandans stepped up to support the SPCA for 67 minutes of Mandela Day this week, with many donations and funds raised. As an organisation that gets no support from the Municipality, fundraising is what keeps the SPCA going.
“Most of our income comes from the SPCA charity shop in town,” says Benita Tarr, a member of the SPCA fundraising committee. The organisation hopes to raise R300 000 for a bakkie and is getting closer to its target, thanks to the community. “And without volunteers, we cannot continue to make this happen,” she added.
Tarr said that the SPCA has received several donations from the community. These include blankets, toys and about ten bags of dog food. “I think the support from the community is always amazing,” Tarr added.
She added that even shredded newspaper donations are welcome as they are a cheap alternative to cat litter.
According to Tarr, they try to socialise the animals so that they are comfortable around people. This is because the animals were neglected and abused and may struggle to adapt to people they are not familiar with.
For safety and health precautions, visitors’ hands and shoes are sprayed with sanitiser before they enter the kennels. The dogs are also washed regularly so that they are clean for visitors.
The adoption process
During Mandela Week visits, 2 animals were adopted at the SPCA; this is after following the adoption process. “For people who want to adopt, they first have to choose the dog or cat they like, and after that, there is a pre-home check. If everything goes well, there is a fee that needs to be paid for an animal to get sterilised, be vaccinated, microchipped and dewormed,” said SPCA inspector Monwabisi Dingana. The fees for this process are R900 for dogs and R500 for cats.
After adoption, the SPCA will conduct a post-home check three months later. “We have a strict policy where we need animals to get homes whereby they will be looked after very well,” he added.
Before a person adopts, they are also taught how to look after the animal. Dingana says that more dogs than cats need homes.
Cruelty complaint cases
Dingana added that some of the animals are taken by the SPCA because of abuse and cruelty. He says that they often rely on the public to report animal cruelty. “We also do pro-active work whereby we go house to house to check the living condition of the animals,” said Dingana. “If we meet someone in the street who is abusing an animal, we first issue a warning, we do enforce the law, we open cases, and people get arrested,” he added.
People who wish to visit or volunteer at the SPCA can do so any day. On weekdays it opens at 9:00 am and closes at 16:00 pm. On Saturdays, it opens from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and on Sundays from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.