By Mandisa Rasmeni WINDHOEK The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has been rescuing and sheltering neglected and abandoned domestic pets since the Fifties. Dedicated teams of full-time and part-time staff as well as numerous volunteers and fund-raisers have managed to positively impact the lives of countless animals. But they are struggling this festive season because people are now going away for the holidays and abandoning their pets, hence the animals are roaming the streets and being hit by cars. The SPCA is appealing to the public at large this Christmas to help nurture and restore animals that are victims of neglect, abuse or ignorance, by using vaccinations and medicines and hopefully re-homing them. Other than a small grant which the SPCA receives from the Municipality in exchange for acting as their pound, they are dependent on the goodwill of the public, and income from boarding kennels. Erika Hecker, manager of the SPCA, said that at present they have approximately 160 dogs besides the five to six brought in every day. And they also have 130 cats over and above the five to six extras brought to the SPCA each day. “If you are a logically thinking person, you will see from these figures that the number of animals are growing daily, thus placing the SPCA under immense pressure,” said Hecker. The SPCA welcomes any means of help – even just good ideas – from donors and volunteers. Even though they are barely coping, they are very grateful for the support they receive so far from the public because these animals would otherwise have no hope or future without the public’s help. For those who would still like to help and become involved in any way, they can become members, give a donation or adopt an animal, thereby showing they care. There is, however, a criteria to be met before successfully adopting an animal. Before being allowed to take the animal home, one has to fill in the necessary questionnaire. After completion thereof, a house-check will be made before approval of successful adoption can be given. The benefits of adopting an animal from the SPCA are that one gets a healthy, fully-vaccinated, neutered or spayed, dewormed, microchipped animal that has been lovingly looked after by the SPCA’s caring staff members and teams of dedicated volunteers. When a pet goes missing, the SPCA advises the owner to phone them immediately and to thoroughly secure all gates and fences so that the pets can stay at home. Another piece of advice is to get someone responsible enough to look after your pets while you’re away on holiday. If this cannot be arranged, contact the SPCA and enquire about their boarding facilities, or consider taking your pets there. The SPCA’s goals are: a safe haven for all strays; to teach the public to respect their animals and to prevent animals from being abused. Animals are like children, so let them also have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! For further enquires, you can contact the SPCA at (061)ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 23-8654 or 081-124-4520. If you still need encouragement, why not visit the SPCA’s premises at 145 Robert Mugabe Avenue, and see for yourself. .
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