Organisation reiterates that stray animals are the municipality’s responsibility
WITH a massive turnaround from a R40 000 loss to a R70 000 profit, the Ndlambe SPCA has had a very successful year, said chairman Derick Kleynhans at the organisation’s AGM at the Port Alfred Ski-boat Club last Thursday evening.
“Most SPCAs in the Eastern Cape are in dire financial troubles and, for the Ndlambe SPCA to be in such a healthy position has taken extremely hard work from my committee, volunteers, Forbes, Anel and the staff,” said a pleased Kleynhans.
However, it was apparent from the presentation made by kennel manager Forbes Coutts that there are still a number of misconceptions regarding the roll of the SPCA, specifically with respect to stray animals.
“We are grateful to those who donated books to the SPCA,” said Coutts in his presentation. “Last year we made a total of R22 000 from reselling second-hand books.”
Coutts also revealed that a total of 335 sterilisations had been performed by the SPCA, and another 320 by Community Veterinary Services SA (CVSSA).
“This means we prevented the birth of around 2 500 animals,” Coutts continued. “At the same time the number of stray animals brought to the SPCA dropped by 7% this year compared to the previous year, but the number of claimed strays dropped by 50%.
“The average cost over the year to cater for the strays was R10 000, and we seriously need some intervention by the municipality, as this is unsustainable,” he said.
A further 5 000 vaccinations by CVSSA helped prevent an outbreak of distemper from reaching the more populated areas of Ndlambe. A total of 200 dogs from the rural areas were euthanised. However, this formed a boundary buffer and distemper never reached the main residential areas. Once contracted, distemper is incurable, and the animal dies a slow and painful death.
In his chairman’s report Kleynhans spoke of the discussions he had had with the municipal manager, Rolly Dumezweni, and how he had indicated that Ndlambe municipality seemed receptive to assisting the SPCA in some way, although he was unsure at this point what form such assistance would take. The Ndlambe SPCA does not currently receive any support from the municipality, province or national government.
“As seen in the Talk of the Town, we were criticised by [some] individuals for not picking up stray animals in town. This is the responsibility of the municipality and not a service organisation like ours that relies [almost entirely] on donations from the public,” said Kleynhans. At present the SPCA employs six staff to look after the entire Ndlambe area.
The SPCA is responsible for the care and well-being of animals that have been abused or injured, and Kleynhans said that the organisation would never turn away any animal that had been mistreated or was in need of care.
“In the last year… we investigated cruelty complaints involving just under 3 000 animals. Mostly, people [just needed to be] educated how to humanely treat their animals and, in some cases, animals [were] removed and relocated. As of this moment we have five cruelty cases pending,” Kleynhans said.
During the year the SPCA handled 16 000 animals on routine inspections and facilitated the vaccination of 7 000 animals for rabies, Parvo, distemper and other diseases.