The Harare SPCA will be unable to keep its doors open to the animals in need after December 2016. Everything in the power of the Volunteers, Council members and Management has been done to try and save the Society.
Established in 1911, the Harare SPCA is the oldest animal welfare organisation in the country.
The SPCA is a registered non -profit organisation (PVO 83/67) and receives no government or municipal funding. The SPCA relies entirely on the support of concerned individuals and corporates for funds to keep the Association running. Their role is to provide care for all animals in and around Harare and at the same time to prevent ill treatment and cruelty to animals.
They cover the whole of the Greater Harare area which includes Chitungwiza, all high density areas and Ruwa under sometimes rather difficult circumstances but never refuse any call for help. The SPCA inspector carries out investigations and deals with any cruelty cases, road traffic accidents and lost or stray animals.
The harsh economic climate has taken its toll on this non-profit making, Private Voluntary Organization. The Harare SPCA is overseen by a small group of people who have tried their utmost to keep offering succour to the hundreds of abused, neglected and abandoned cats and dogs that have, through no fault of their own, suffered physically and emotionally but have survived. Without the HSPCA there is no plan B.
A day in the life at HSPCA
In order to give you an idea of the challenges faced on a daily basis by the HSPCA, I will give you a brief description of a normal day for those dedicating their time and heart and soul for the welfare of animals in desperate need of help.
Opening time for the Harare SPCA is 0730. Before that, as early as 0600, one of the managers of the Hospital is already doing rounds, checking on the condition of the animals in the hospital wards, convalescence kennel blocks, quarantine kennels and Parvo wards. At the Kennels the supervisor is doubling up, stepping in for staff on their day off. The whining, crying and barking of caged dogs and the desperate mewing of cats is the greeting the staff receives. The day begins with checks on all the animals followed by cleaning of cages, preparation of food and filling of water bowls. Most animals beg for a pat, a stroke and the slightest acknowledgement that they exist.
At the Hospital sick in-patients are attended to by Vets and out patients begin to arrive … the surgery waiting room fills up. Most owners cannot afford treatment for their pets. The HSPCA never turns an animal away. The smallest donations are accepted for the treatment of sick and injured animals. Spays and neuters are often carried out free of charge to try and staunch the endless litters of unwanted puppies and kittens. Kennel hands endeavour to give as many animals as possible some exercise, a brush and some enriching games – especially with the kittens and pups .
The phones ring incessantly, reports of cruelty abound. Which call needs the most urgent attention? Do we attend to the hit and run survivor dragging itself to hide away in fear and pain, do we collect the abandoned dog tethered with wire literally starving to death or rush to catch an animal which is behaving strangely and which could be rabid and a huge risk to the public? Strays and surrenders to collect, orphaned pups and kittens found in ditches and storm drains to retrieve. Feral cats are breeding out of control and humane traps need to be set in the evenings and checked in the mornings. One vehicle, one driver! And so the day continues.
There is no electricity at the Kennels as the bills are un-affordable. There is no municipal water at the Kennels and there are at least 200 animals that need their cages washed down 3 times a day. Bulk water is bought as the borehole water is dwindling. Some days there are no visitors, not one animal is booked for re-homing – yet animals are admitted on a daily basis and decisions have to be made.
Many animal shelters around the world only keep animals for 7 days – the HSPCA tries to re-home its residents within 6 months.
Then of course we have to speak about humane euthanasia. There is no nice way of putting this. It is beyond the imagination of any person that hasn’t worked in a shelter. It is gut-wrenchingly sad to make the decision of which animals have to be put to sleep. The very sick, very old, the aggressive, the broken down and the injured beyond repair are the first to go. In some ways releasing them from pain and fear is a blessing to them but what about the ones we have nurtured, loved, played with…the plain dogs with the most incredible characters – ignored because they just aren’t quite what people are looking for. Nobody wants them.
They spend months waiting, looking out for owners who never come, hoping to go out for a run – and then we take them, apologise for a lousy world and we hold them close as they take their last breath, hopefully feeling the love we have for them, probably more love than they have ever known in their short meaningless existence.
The day continues into afternoon. Phones ring, meals are fed, cages are cleaned, finances are juggled. What is needed the most at the end of this day – Food? Drugs? Fuel? Wages? Uniforms? There are phone bills , water and electricity bills to pay. Repairs and maintenance cannot be ignored.
THERE IS NO MONEY LEFT
Without significant and URGENT sponsorship and support there is no light at the end of the tunnel. There is nowhere else to send the animals and by the end of the year the HSPCA will not be able to accept any more animals for treatment or kennelling.
Their newly formed Fundraising Committee is endeavouring to raise funds for the ever increasing number of animals coming through the HSPCA doors. Please help them as much as you can. We simply cannot give up hope.
The following are the Harare SPCA Bank details:
BARCLAYS BANK, CRIPPS ROAD BRANCH, HARARE
Deposits : Branch number 2199 Account number 1012419
Internet Banking: Account number 099 101 2419
E mail : firstname.lastname@example.org or SMS 0712211900 giving your name and transaction reference for our records.
It may be worth emailing to confirm the bank details etc to prevent any chance of fraud.
HSPCA would like to sincerely thank their supports and donors who contribute and offer assistance in terms of cash or kind and assist on a voluntary basis.
WHAT WOULD THESE BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS DO WITHOUT YOU ALL!