The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (or SPCA) has been a cornerstone in animal rights and protection for nearly 150 years in South Africa. The organisation is heavily dependent on donor funding, but has felt the pinch of a slow-growth economy in recent years as South Africans feel the strain on their wallets.
My Two Oceans Half Marathon entry is a charity run for the Cape of Good Hope SPCA. The goal is to raise as much as possible for the organisation before end of February and I'm looking for any contribution (R10 or R20 would be more than generous). I thought it might help to know what the SPCA needs your funds for, so I did a bit of research.
These statistics apply to the Cape of Good Hope branch.
- The body has various crucial divisions to keep afloat. This includes an Inspectorate that investigates claims of animal abuse across an area of over 11,000 km²; the Animal Care Centre which manages the pound, lost & found and adoption centre; the Animal Hospital (as well as four mobile clinics); a Farm Animal Unit; Horse Care Unit; Wildlife Unit; as well as a Resource & Development department.
- In 2017 this local division investigated 6,059 reports of animal cruelty.
- It also treated 24,072 animals in its hospital and 16,685 at its mobile clinics. It sterilised 4,562 animals.
- It reunited 540 lost animals with their owners and found new homes for 816.
- Last year the branch's expenses outweighed its income. Its greatest expense is running its hospital - which cost a whopping R7,314,059.
- The branch also invested in educating 14,056 children in 2017 on animal rights and compassion. Why is this important? I read one incident in 2016 where a group of boys (some as young as 7 years) filmed themselves torturing and killing a stray dog. It was clear from the footage that the boys felt no compassion - despite the dog's ongoing yelps of agony and terror. Teaching compassion and creating awareness around animal rights can go a long way in preventing these incidents from happening again.
- The Cape of Good Hope division employs about 100 full-time staff members, including 12 inspectors who investigate reports of animal cruelty. I read up on some of these cases and won't go into too much detail (they are atrocious!), but they consist of a seal being discovered at a traditional healer's home (baking in hot sand in direct sunlight and experiencing seizures as a result) and horrendous dog fighting rings. These inspectors carefully build cases against abusers, and do their best to ensure they are charged.
- The new Animal Care Centre in Grassy Park consists of 228 dog kennels and 36 cat rooms, which require an astounding three tons of dog food and 200kgs of cat food each month.