Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
NSPCA is the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. You can find an SPCA branch near you on their website www.nspca.co.za
What does the SPCA do?
The main function of the SPCA is to prevent, or put a stop to cruelty. This might mean taking animals away from owners who abuse them. For example, a dog that is being used for dog-fighting might be rescued by the SPCA (after an investigation). Owners who abuse or ill-treat animals can be prosecuted by law.
Nowadays the SPCA is used as a place to send strays and unwanted pets. If you see a stray in the street, don't call the SPCA to fetch it - they are understaffed - rather take it in yourself, or ask the Parks Department to collect it.
Because of the large number of people emmigrating, or moving to a smaller home, or being murdered on farms, the SPCA is innundated with pets. They do not have the funds to feed them, so after a period of time the pets are euthanased.
You can help by volunteering at the SPCA, by giving donations, or by adopting a pet.
What people say about the SPCA
Below are comments from readers. The opinions expressed on this page may not necessarily reflect the opinion of the webmaster.
My husband and I often visit the SPCA just to play with the dogs and give them treats, and we make a point of donating food to them as often as possible.
ST says, “The SPCA gets hundreds of unwanted and stray dogs daily. They give them a chance for a certain time. You cannot expect them to keep them forever. If people here in SA wouldn't be so selfish, the pets wouldn't end up in the SPCA in the first place. Do not get a dog if you can't care for it. Which means, pay for medical bills, food, etc. Don't get a dog if you work the whole day. Don't get a dog if you don't have time for it or for nice walks. A bored dog will eventually start doing "silly things". It will call for it's pack and bark and annoy neighbors. Most of these unfortunate dogs end up in the SPCA.
I adopted a dog from the SPCA last year. She is the best thing that could happen to me...a beautiful, faithful creature. The SPCA was absolutely wonderful. They were helpful, had all the information about the dog (as far as they knew as she was found abandoned) and managed to check my property the same day, so I could pick her up the next day. The dogs I saw there were wonderfully cared for, medically looked after and the staff I met knew every single dog by name. This is a bunch of dedicated people that try to make a difference. They are trying hard to find them homes, but if it doesn't happen, well they have to put them down. What else can they do? How many people move homes or countries and try to get rid of their dogs? How many dogs do you think end up in the vet office being put down, because it is inconvenient and expensive to relocate a dog?
Things won't change, dogs or pets in general will always have to suffer from incompetent owners. But I pull my hat for the people in the SPCA or other places like that, who really try hard to give those dogs a chance.”
M & G say, "We have a lovely inspector at
our local SPCA. She really tries to home the animals she goes to areas to give general inspections to animal owners cannot afford the vet. I agree that maybe they put the animals down too quickly but when you see what they bring in from the townships and the lack of funds, you would understand.
JS says, "Here is a happy story about the SPCA. We had a Maltese cross Toy-Pom. She was lovely. Unfortunately, one day she got lost when our gate was open. We honestly believe that someone picked her up as she wouldn't run away. We searched and searched
AF says, "We adopted a young Ridgeback from the SPCA. So we went through the processes and our property was approved by the IDC inspectors. Our property is in fact very small and I knew that it was probably unsuitable for a dog like a Ridgie - knowing how they love to run and run and run and.... okay you get the picture, but I had to save him and help him. Not unexpectedly, Rocky soon began to fill out, grow confident and play like a normal dog. Unfortunately he also developed the annoying habit of a) eating all the small trees and shrubs in my garden, b) climbing on our chairs, c) stealing food if he could reach it (he had fended for himself on the streets for some time before SPCA took him). Anyway, to cut a long story short, I felt we were being unfair keeping this lolloping, long-legged dog in a small front garden (even though we could walk him - it wasn't enough). He
was concussing himself daily on our fence trying to get up a good run across the grass. I first phoned the SPCA and the first thing I was told was, "For goodness sake don't bring him back here - we'll have to put him down". At least they were immediately honest and she was decent enough to give me a number of someone who was involved in re-homing dogs and I'm happy to tell you that Rocky now lives on a 3 acre small-holding with 2 other dogs, two active little boys and license to sleep on the couch if he likes and lots and lots of running space!
But yes, the SPCA does have a rather drastic "no return" policy which in their defence, I think is a really good idea. To adopt an animal, you need to pay a fee (also a good filtration measure) and it's a good deterrent to potential abusers. SPCA doesn't have enough funds (in general) to keep feeding and looking after the pets they take in on a daily basis to take back pets that are suddenly "unsuitable", for whatever reason. With a bit of effort, should one need to re-home a pet, it's always better to advertise, or contact different breed clubs and ask around people you know… it’s worth the effort."
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