GEORGE NEWS - At a lengthy and heated AGM on Saturday 27 July, a motion of no confidence tabled against the current Garden Route SPCA (GRSPCA) committee was withdrawn.
The motion, initiated by a former committee member, was withdrawn after both parties gave their version of events leading to the dismissal of two members of management who were found guilty of gross misconduct earlier this year.
Both the cases of dismissal have been referred to the CCMA for arbitration.
"We do not wish to prejudice the arbitration and therefore have no further comment," said current chairperson, Bruno MacDonald.
Shortly after the members of management were suspended in March, pending investigation, four committee members resigned in April. A total of 15 people, including the four former committee members, signed the motion of no confidence in the GRSPCA managing committee.
After the statements of both parties were read, two signatories withdrew their support for the motion, and six signatories withdrew their candidacy for election to the committee.
Fighting cruelty, finding homes and education
Fighting cruelty, finding homes for animals in need and outreaches are the top priorities of the GRSPCA, according to MacDonald. "This year, staff at the society's branches in George and Mossel Bay have been working as hard as ever," he said. "They have been bolstered by the support of volunteers and local businesses."
At a packed AGM at the George Museum, manager Salomé Bruyns, education head Gerda Reynders and trainee inspector, Andrea Auerbach, detailed the hard work done by the staff.
"Their work ranges from inspectors clambering into drains on rescue missions to educating our community's children on how to prevent neglect and cruelty to animals," said MacDonald.
Reduced adoption fees
"Every animal should be judged on its merits; not on where it came from or what breed it is," said MacDonald. The GRSPCA's re-homing rates have soared since its adoption fees were reduced to R600 per animal and R1 000 if you adopt two animals together. Beginning this week, the George branch will trial adoption days on Sundays. Meanwhile, renewed attention will be paid to community outreaches.
At the meeting, new members were voted onto the committee. Helga Krietsch, Ethné McFarlane and Wendy Thompson join existing members Rita Brock (vice-chairperson), Marius de Waal (treasurer), Michele Gratz (secretary) and MacDonald.
"We thank everyone who attended the AGM on Saturday. We rely on the community's support, and they must be confident that the SPCA is run efficiently and honestly. We will make every effort to make sure we meet that expectation. We especially thank our colleagues from Mossel Bay for making the journey to attend - and of course the George Museum for once again very generously making available its excellent facilities," said MacDonald.
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