GEORGE NEWS - From court cases to cuddly pups, 2019 has been a rollercoaster ride for the Garden Route SPCA (GRSPCA).
Since taking over in June, the new management committee has seen enough drama to last them well into next year. However, GRSPCA manager Salomé Bruyns is positive.
"This year has been about rebuilding," says Bruyns. "Rebuilding our relationships with the community and other local animal welfare organisations, and thanks to a very generous donation from the Garden Route Casino we are able to rebuild our kennels in Mossel Bay."
Onwards and upwards
Not only has the rehoming rates soared since adoption fees were reduced in August, but the George branch's clinic, which ran at a loss, has been saved from closure by the staff's money-saving measures.
"From January until now, 405 animals have been rehomed compared to last year, when 359 animals were rehomed the entire year," says Bruyns.
New playpens have also been built so the dogs can spend more time outside, and according to Bruyns, the education officers are spending more time at schools and in the communities to try and stop cruelty before it begins.
The dark side
However, life as an SPCA inspector is not all puppy breath and candy floss. "You don't want to see what our inspectors have to deal with daily. The cases of cruelty and neglect are sickening. We work with the police to try to prosecute the offenders, but getting those cases to court and convicted is very difficult," Bruyns says.
According to her, one of their biggest challenges this year has been the significant increase in horse theft and bush racing.
"Horses are being ridden into the ground. Rescuing, transporting, treating, and especially feeding horses is expensive and time-consuming."
Behind the scenes
"We have the best volunteers! From our stalwarts in the charity shops, our admin staff and the animal carers, to our volunteers who walk the dogs week after week - and we can't omit the George and Mossel Bay municipalities, whose pounds we run," says Bruyns.
How you can help the SPCA
- Food donations are always needed.
- Adopting a pet is also a great way to make a difference and easier than you think.
- Support fundraising events.
Join the SPCA for their last event of the year, their Christmas Bingo, at the George Bowling Club on Friday 6 December.
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