SPCA opens doors to new clinic


SPCA Manager Mark Thomas and CCS Vet Dr Ashleigh Lemon along with SPCA staff open the doors to the new clinic. Photo: Kathryn Cleary

On Tuesday 14 August, community members eagerly gathered at the Grahamstown (Makhanda) SPCA in honour of the grand opening of the brand new clinic. In just over four months, through generous donations and support from local businesses and animal welfare organisations, the clinic became a reality. Featuring at-cost services for pet owners, Mark Thomas, SPCA Manager, hopes that the clinic will assist those who cannot afford state veterinary services. 

Dr Ashleigh Lemon, Compulsory Community Service (CCS) vet, has worked with Thomas to make this clinic possible. Fees at the new clinic range from R100 for a male cat to R300 for a large female dog.

“We believe in charging a basic fee because it gives a sense of responsibility for that animal,” said Lemon.

“The clinic is not free, it’s very basic price, but there is a charge. We want to educate people that if you have a pet you need to make sure it’s fed, it’s warm, if it gets sick you can take it to the vet… me!”

The inside of the new SPCA clinic. Photo: Kathryn Cleary

The clinic will host monthly ‘spay days’ for community pet owners, providing affordable sterilisation services for R100.This week was the first spay day with 30 animals scheduled. Last month, in honour of Mandela Day, the SPCA and community partners spayed and neutered nearly 60 animals.

Lemon and Thomas also plan to target outlying areas of the community.

“The clinic is separate from the SPCA. It’s the SPCA Clinic, but the books are kept separately.”, said Lemon.

“We are looking at people who cannot afford private veterinary fees. We would like them to come forward,” said Thomas.

“We couldn’t be here without the community and we appreciate all the support we consistently get.”

“I think this is a great step forward for the community.”

Thomas and Lemon would like to thank the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; the Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform; Medivet; The Wilderness Foundation; BuildIt; Cashbuild; Buco; AJ Builders; PG Glass; Grahamstown Glass; Venture Signs; Ikhala Vet Clinic; Grahamstown Trailer Hire; Skip Go and members of the general public for helping to make the clinic a reality.


Second chance for Fluffy and her family

Fluffy, from Extension 4, is set to return home soon after receiving treatment from the new clinic. Photo: Kathryn Cleary

Last Sunday a dog was hit by a car in Extension 4. Fluffy’s injuries normally would have cost a fortune, but luckily the SPCA’s new clinic was able to help. Thanks to the clinic, Fluffy’s care and rehabilitation has been largely sponsored by the SPCA, with a total bill of under R500. “This is groundbreaking,” said Thomas. Fluffy is set to return home to her family within the next few days.

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