Honouring special pets

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By Mark Thomas

Welcome to the Fifth Monthly installment of Life at the SPCA. It has been another busy month and has seen many animals come into our care. We have lots of lovely animals up for adoption and encourage anyone interested in adoption to look at our weekly column in the Grocott’s Mail and keep up to date with all the happenings at the SPCA centre and new additions of animals on our Facebook Page.

This continued influx of animals demands a significant quantity of food. We’re constantly looking for food donations and are extremely grateful for any we receive.

This month we have been successful in prosecuting a second  individual for animal cruelty. In this instance a man shot goats with a pellet gun for no apparent reason. We are very pleased with this prosecution, as it continues to send the very clear message that any form of animal cruelty will not be tolerated.

Our thanks also go out to Frontier Vets and Grahamstown Vets, without whom we would not be able to obtain the crucial evidential reports and assessments of the injured animals, which when presented in court lead to successful prosecutions such as this.

We have also received an extremely generous donation of bricks from Makana Brick, which will now help us to start the much-needed kennel and cattery refurbishments. This building work will allow us to improve the facilities at the SPCA Centre for the benefit of all the animals and the wider community that we help and support.

We have some very ambitious plans which will professionalise and enhance the facilities and bring them up to leading first-world kennel and cattery standards. This will ultimately benefit all the animals, allow us to help more animals, make the kennels and cattery easier to clean and disinfect, energy efficient, warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

These plans will require significant investment and we are looking for any donations of materials, building skills, financial support etc. to make this all possible. We are pleased that we have been supported so far in making these plans a reality through the services of a professional local architect and surveyor and through the support of other businesses who share our vision to make this happen.

If you would like to help with this project or any of the other fundraising initiatives, please contact us directly at the SPCA Centre for more information.

Towards the end of this last month, we found ourselves called out to rescue an injured donkey who was struggling to walk. Our Toyota Hilux bakkie has no towing ability and we have no trailer or horsebox to effect this type of rescue, which posed a problem. Thankfully, Grahamstown Riding Club came to our assistance and loaned us a horsebox, which I towed with my personal vehicle and in doing so was able to rescue the donkey and transport it safely to the SPCA. Members of the general public assisted us in loading the donkey. We are extremely grateful to them for their help. All in all, it was a great success and showed people working together with a successful outcome.  This rescue is typical of the type of work we are needed for within the community and has further highlighted our need to source a horsebox and to increase, enhance and improve the bakkie fleet that we have to allow us to tow and be able to rescue larger animals in need. We desperately need to source another one-ton diesel bakkie, with four-wheel drive and towing capacity to support our existing bakkie which is wearing out fast due to the volume of work it is required to do and our expanding catchment area, which covers over 90 000 properties (residential, business and farms).

Our education work within the community has continued this month and in addition to schools visiting us, has seen us carry out an assembly style presentation and talk at St Andrew’s Prep, which was well received and which proved very informative for all who attended.

We are very grateful to have the opportunity to engage with pupils in this manner and thank St Andrew’s Prep for giving us this opportunity. We are passionate about education and, with our multilingual staff, can accommodate all your school needs. We also have some great new educational resources which we are keen to share within the wider community.

New developments at the SPCA centre continue to be a common theme, and as well as our Thrift and Coffee Shop, our Memorial Garden is under development and we are actively looking for any donations of plants to enhance it. This gives us the ability to allow you to remember your pets with a plaque on our memorial wall. Recently we have commissioned a plaque to remember our inspector’s dogs who were sadly poisoned earlier this year.

We are so humbled and grateful for all the continued support of our community with the blankets, food, money, books and other items for our shop and the support of local businesses who help to keep your SPCA centre maintained, our bakkie running and provide much needed assistance with grounds maintenance, cat litter, building materials and all manner of other services and products, without which we would not be able to carry out the much needed work that we do.

Our volunteers are key to our success and we are so grateful to those who continually give their time to help out at the SPCA centre. On behalf of all the animals and the staff, we really appreciate your help and assistance.  Thank you so much for everyone’s continued support for your SPCA.

We continue to encourage people to get involved with your SPCA and give the greatest gift you can by volunteering. We are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help out at the Grahamstown SPCA, with fundraising and many, many other roles. For more information please come in and chat to one of our enthusiastic staff.

Please like and follow us on Facebook and have a look at our adoption photo albums. This is where you will find write-ups and pictures of all the animals we have up for adoption.

For all queries including emergencies, please contact us on 046 622 3233. For general enquiries, please email us: spcaght@gmail.com. Opening hours 9-4 weekdays; 9-12 Saturdays and 9-11 Sundays.

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