LAST Tuesday evening , crAzy™ always wins pty ltd, a Port Alfred-based strategic business consulting firm, intent on changing the world, hosted a fundraiser for the SCPA.
Speakers included domestic and wildlife veterinarian Leon de Bruyn, and owner of crAzy™ always wins, Tania Adams, about animal care and paying it forward.
The event took place in the dining room of the Royal Port Alfred Golf Club and was organised by consultant Annamie Robertson. Kennel manager Forbes Coutts thanked everyone for attending and for supporting the SCPA by supporting the event.
Coutts told the guests that the area the SPCA covers includes Hamburg, and from Bloukrans to near Nanaga Farm Stall, a 2 000km2 area.
“There are six of us, [and] one inspector who deals with complaints 24 hours a day,” he said. It is a small, tightknit group that has a lot to get through.
“Our primary goal is animal welfare and protection. People think we only handle dogs and cats. We don’t, [we handle] every single animal out there; wildlife, livestock and domestic. Sometimes it gets exciting when snakes come and visits us,” said Coutts.
He spoke of the financial plight of the SPCA and that they get no funding from government or Ndlambe Municipality and have to rely on goodwill.
The SPCA is near completion of their thrift shop which is set to open June 30. The object of the thrift shop is to get money in from surrounding areas. The public can buy second-hand items, furniture, kitchenware, clothes and so forth.
“Instead of going out there with hand open, we looking for different ways,” Coutts said.
The SPCA has a very successful sterilisation programme with over 1 200 animals sterilised since it started three years ago.
Veterinarian Tafara Mapuvire of PA Vet and volunteers attend the SPCA every Wednesday.
“We try and sterilise as many animal as possible, to cut down unwanted animals. We have a lot to cover,” Coutts said.
De Bruyn picked up from where Coutts left off, and focused his talk on welfare and treatments for animals.
He said the basic tenets of animal welfare that the SPCA functions on is based on “five freedoms”: freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain, injury or disease; freedom to express normal behaviour; and freedom from fear and distress.
He focused his talk on small pets. “I’m not neglecting my equine friends here. The principles are all the same,” said De Bruyn.
“Ownership of animals is not a right, it’s a privilege. We need to inculcate that in communities and education.”
In terms of canine nutrition, make sure there is access to fresh water at all times. Dogs are carnivores; they might eat a bit of grass to balance diet. In terms of dog food, the bag must list its major ingredient, and unfortunately, De Bruyn said it’s usually that most dog food has a huge amount of maize, even the premium brands. He said breeds and weight is important. All have different requirements. Too many supplements can cause dogs to grow too quickly and have problems with digestibility. The quality of the protein is important.
“Is it meat or cartilage? If it has ostrich in it, how much or what parts of the ostrich is in it? Some of the top guys use cartilage and other places feathers,” he said.
In terms of feline nutrition, cats are obligate carnivores and need high fat and protein diets. They don’t need carbs, they must be on banting,” he joked.
Life stages are important; cats can get diabetes, and are sensitive to chemicals in products, De Bruyn warned. Freedom from discomfort, shelter and a resting place are important. Make sure your animals are not stuck in the sun, that it’s not freezing cold, and that they have access to water.
“We are all about pain prevention and control and the humane treatment of animals. If you see what is happening to children and women these days, if we are treating people like that, what is happening to our animals? I see incidents where animals have cigarette burns and stab wounds. We need to work on our society; educate children not to hurt animals, the importance of enclosing yards,” said De Bruyn.
The veterinarian said that about 50% of animals injured by car, was by their owners.
Disease prevention and treatment in parasite control is important, and vaccination is crucial. “There is a big problem in our area. Treatment of animals and education is crucial in handling all these issues,” he said.
Worms are a huge problem, puppies can pick worms up in the womb, and it is trans-placental. If they scrounge or eat lots of rubbish, have lots of fleas (intermediate host of tape worms), they might have worms.
It is important to control, ticks, fees and mites. Nexguard is a very good product, said De Bruyn.
Cats have sensitive livers, are sensitive to chemicals, pesticides and paracetamol. “Don’t ever give kitty a quarter Panado when it’s sick,” he said.
Vaccines cover viral diseases in animals which are very difficult to treat. Many diseases attack them as puppies.
De Bruyn said they were seeing more and more cases of feline Aids and the feline leukemia virus.
Distemper is a problem and puts pressure on vaccinated animals. There is a viral challenge, parvo virus especially, hepatitis and kennel cough. They are nasty diseases, and are incredibly resistant. They can survive externally for almost a year.
De Bruyn also touched on the docking of dogs’ tails, which is now against the law and breeders are unhappy about this.
“We are no longer allowed to do it, except it happens now underground. Even at two to three days, it still causes pain,” he said.
“Dogs and cats have highly developed senses and smell so fireworks are highly irresponsible anywhere near pets and animals. Animals have hung themselves, being tied up, from distress. Try and keep them as far apart as possible. Get safe tranquilisers if you can’t, and be there for them,” he continued.
In terms of feeding dogs off the table, De Bruyn said that pet owners can give meat, but keep it at a small amount with balanced dog food. “Meat and pap doesn’t work so well. Give quality meat, whether cooked or not cooked, but you don’t want it to be overcooked. Most dogs can tolerate a bit, as a treat”.
Following De Bruyn, Adams shared some positive thinking with the guests.
“My talk is dedicated to reminding you, you change the world simply by existing. You cannot go through life without changing the world. If I embrace that concept, and choose how I change the world I can decide how to change the world and make a difference,” Adams said.
“When you go back to your business lives, and to your home, look at what choices you are making, and not making,” she said.
“Well done to Annamie for the event. She has pulled it off great in a short time. Change the world – our tagline at crAzy™ always wins pty ltd, is we change the world”.
SPCA chairman Derek Kleynhans thanked the team for all their interest and contributions in helping the organisation.
“If anyone would like to contribute in any way, outreach, volunteer, raising funds, or by being on the committee, please contact me.”
Kleynhans said the SPCA committee are looking for a treasurer. “Without a committee the SPCA cannot exist. We had a strong committee but we lost one of our strongest members, a great loss, and a great lady. I only realise now how much work she did. We are in dire need of committee members,” he said.