By MARK THOMAS
Welcome to the latest instalment of Life at the SPCA. It has been a very busy month with the SPCA Centre having to cope with many challenges.
As I type this report we are entering our second consecutive week of having no water. This has been despite contacting the municipality on a daily basis. Local organisations have come to our aid delivering water to keep us going, but once again we find ourselves running out.
We have also received notification of impending cut off of electricity and water due to our outstanding municipal bill and a legal dispute ensuing on the back of this. The community, however, has come together to support us in an unbelievable way showing real generosity to our cause and helping us get through this. We have also been humbled by the offers of support from businesses in helping us by drilling a borehole, wanting to help with solar solutions, donating building materials, the use of trailers from GHT Trailer Hire whenever we needed them and in getting our much needed building work under way.
The borehole has now been completed and should on initial estimates, be able to support our centre’s water usage. We now need to source the correct pumping and tank system, alter our plumbing and source a solar solution to operate the pumps and to supply the whole SPCA Centre’s electrical needs, allowing us to become completely self-sufficient and to be able to use all the monies donated going forward to help the animals as opposed to paying utility bills.
We need to raise as much additional funding as possible to finish this project and will be updating the community as we go regarding progress and additional funding that is required. We are interested in engaging with any and all businesses or individuals interested in helping us with this work and to find the most cost-effective solution.
The past month has also seen us successfully prosecute an individual for cruelty to pigs. He left the animals without food and water for a significant period of time, causing the death of a number of them through starvation and dehydration. This case had undergone numerous postponements since the beginning of the year and it was great to see the case come to conclusion and in a positive manner.
This continues to show the community that we will not stand for animal cruelty of any type and will bring those responsible to justice. We are very grateful to the testimonies from the vets of the Grahamstown Vet Practice and Frontier and for their support and the support of Joza SAPS in this case. In addition to this successful prosecution we are pursuing two further cases of animal cruelty against dogs and are hopeful for justice in both cases.
As part of helping the communities affected by the recent terrible felt fires in the Knysna area and, closer to home, outside Uitenhage and Port Elizabeth, we dispatched from the Grahamstown SPCA a food and supply convoy with the help of GHT Trailer Hire. We also managed to coordinate veterinary assistance in the fires’ immediate aftermath which was generously donated by Ikhala Wildlife Vets. In addition to this we were asked for assistance with large animal feed for the farm animals displaced and injured by the fires in Uitenhage and PE and again we responded with the extremely generous donation of 60 round bales from the local Grahamstown farming community and Muir Transport. I am pleased to report that we have been successful in dispatching almost all the bales onto the affected farmers, which has helped them greatly.
We continue to welcome youngsters to visit the SPCA, over the past month and in particular around Mandela Day and as part of Trading Live have seen exceptionally large numbers of pupils from across the Grahamstown area, visit the SPCA Centre. Education is fundamental in the work we do within our community and we actively encourage school groups. We provided interactive activities, including animal welfare knowledge sharing, dog and cat socialising, and quiz and activity booklets for the kids who visit to complete and take with them.
In addition to all this, we have seen another significant influx of animals and we are constantly looking for food donations and are extremely grateful for any we receive. Adoptions have also been steady and it has been great to see some of our animals heading to there forever homes.
There have been lots of new developments at the SPCA and in addition to revamping our shop, we are continuing with our much needed building work and are moving forward with the donations already received from the community of bricks, sand, cement, stone, water piping, external taps and fittings, and promises of other materials as the work to enhance the SPCA Centre facilities continues. We are so grateful for all the continued support from businesses and individuals alike, which is allowing this work to take place.
The golf day at Belmont valley was a huge success for the SPCA and thank you to Belmont Valley Golf Club and all those who supported the event on the day and the auction that followed. Through the event and personal donations on the day we raised significant funding towards our borehole project and the green energy solution for the SPCA Centre. Thank you so much to all our sponsors and prize donors (Carara, BUCO, GBS, McCullum Brokers, Casa De Loco, BuildIt, Grahamstown Glass, St Andrew’s Prep, Blu Robin, Goldrush, Auto Inc, Wessons, Imaginet, The Fitness Box, Noom, Bermuda, Kwandwe and Kwantu). The event would also not have been the success it was without the help of all the volunteers on the day from ROAR and other students and members of the public. Thank you so much for all your help and assistance. We plan to make this an annual event and look forward to seeing you again at the next golf day.
Other businesses continue to tirelessly support the SPCA with fundraising, including Casa De Loco who recently held a dinner event and raised funds towards our borehole project, Evolve Fitness, who hold a Friday fitness event each Friday to support the SPCA and recently donated to the borehole project and Madhatters Coffee Shop and Noom, where you can by books for R20 to support the SPCA. There are other businesses who help by acting as collection points for food donations, including Blu Robin and Madhatters.
Our next major fundraising event will be the Lumo Dog Walk in October, and we hope to see you there. We have also been chosen as the recipient for Santa Paws for this calendar year, for which we are extremely grateful and encourage all to support their events over the coming months.
We are humbled by and grateful for all the continued support of our community with the money, food, blankets, books, items for our shop and the support of local businesses who help to keep our bakkie running and provide much needed assistance with veterinary help, grounds maintenance, cat litter, building work and building materials, trailer hire 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.
Thank you so much for your continued support for your SPCA.
We continue to encourage people to get involved with your SPCA Centre and give the greatest gift you can by volunteering. We are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help with fundraising and many, many other roles. For more information please come in and chat to one of our enthusiastic staff.
Please follow us on Facebook and have a look at our adoption photo albums. This is where you will find write-ups and photos of all the animals we have up for adoption. bit.ly/GrocSPCA
For all queries including emergencies, please contact us on 046 622 3233. For general enquiries, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org. Opening hours 9am-4pm weekdays; 9am-12pm Saturdays and 9am-11am Sundays.
- Mark Thomas is the Manager of the Grahamstown SPCA.