George Eliot once said, “Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.”
As animals express unwavering love towards their human counterparts, who stands up for their rights? Who acts as the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves?
The SPCA is a beacon of light for animals, waging war against animal abuse and cruelty. The SPCA is a registered non-profit organisation, which receives no government funding. Its volunteers are all unpaid and sacrifice their time willingly for the well-being of animals within the community.
The first SPCA in South Africa started approximately 125 years ago. Through the years, the society has grown to such an extent that there are now 89 individual SPCAs throughout South Africa, plus the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA).
Everyone knows who the SPCA is, but what are the society’s actual objectives?
The objectives of the Newcastle SPCA are:
- To prevent cruelty and the ill-treatment of animals by promoting their good treatment by mankind
- Preventing wanton abuse and improper treatment of animals
- Encouraging kindness and consideration towards animals
- To maintain and protect animal and bird life in their natural habitat
- Educating the community with regards to the humane treatment and compassion towards animals
- To encourage and promote membership of the society
Putting animals needs at the forefront, there are basic expectations of the community from the SPCA. These include:
- Clean facilities and vehicles
- To respond immediately to an emergency
- To respond within 24 hours to a cruelty complaint
As the SPCA dedicates itself to eradicating abuse, it also offers an array of other services. These include:
- Cruelty prevention and investigations relating to animals
- School education programmes
- Animal boarding facilities
- Pet adoptions
Why is supporting the SPCA so important?
Heather Gero of Newcastle SPCA explains: “As we receive no financial support from anyone except the public, it is important for the community to be involved; both the man on the street and the corporate world.”
According to Heather, one does not necessarily have to give financial assistance to assist the organisation.
One can volunteer to assist the SPCA in its daily duties or by joining the SPCA committee. By doing this, Heather says that a person can ensure that the SPCA will make a positive contribution to the welfare of the animals within our community.
Promoting animal adoption also plays a large role in the SPCA’s duties.
While many are sceptical about animal adoption, Heather assures us that all animals which are put up for adoption have a good temperament.
“We will not put an animal up for adoption if it is not safe for people”, says Heather. “There are times when an animal might act up a bit, but people must realise that the animal is in a new environment and surrounded by new people, so it will need attention and care for the animal to feel more relaxed and behave well”.
In order for the SPCA to continue their vital role in the caring of animals in our community, why not consider supporting them in whatever way you can.