Let’s go! It’s “Walkies” time!!

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Bridget Ringdahl and Liberty Bell, our sole remaining dog walkers braving the cold to take our doggies for a walk on Saturday mornings.

Roll up! Roll up! This is your chance to get THREE wonderful benefits, all at the same time and absolutely FREE. All it requires is 1½ to 2 hours of your time on a Saturday morning!

Benefit 1: Giving something back to your community
Benefit 2: Exercising your legs and strengthening your arm muscles
Benefit 3: Having fun and meeting a wide range of delightful four-legged friends

The SPCA kennels are full of dogs of all shapes and sizes, waiting to be adopted. They get very bored, cooped up in their cages and runs, day after day. They really need some enthusiastic and dedicated helpers to come and take them out for walks…

The walks take place from the SPCA kennels in Campbell Road at 8am to 10.00 am every Saturday. Volunteers need to be reasonably fit and should bring their own leads: the rope “noose”-types are best, as the dogs do not have collars, and the leads have to fit a wide range of sizes– at present from a Jack Russell to a Great Dane! You will need to sign an Indemnity formthe first time you come, volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult on the walks, so younger volunteers should bring their parents with them. Wear old clothes, as the dogs often jump up and have muddy paws! If you don’t actually want to walk, there are always lots of puppies that need to be introduced to the idea of being on a lead within the SPCA grounds. Puppies, just as any human baby, also really need interaction and affection to develop normally, so simply playing and loving them is another wonderful option.

Many animal lovers say they could not bear to interact with the homeless dogs and would get too attached to them and be devastated if they did not get homes and had to be put down. In actual fact, the uMngeni SPCA has an exceptionally high success rate with adoptions and very few of the animals are euthanized. Walkers do get attached to the dogs, and there is great rejoicing when the volunteers arrive on a Saturday and hear that certain of the dogs have been adopted and are “going home”. It is also very rewarding to watch how nervous animals, who are at first too scared to do more than crawl on their stomachs or roll over, gradually develop confidence and become happy walkers.

At present there are only 2 or 3 volunteers who walk every Saturday. The kennels can accommodate a large number of dogs (not counting the puppies). This means that we often cannot walk all the dogs every week. Please come and help us, and give these dear dogs some affection and exercise and be instantly rewarded with lots of wags and licks!
(article courtesy of Liberty Bell)
If you would like to volunteer, please give Tess a call on 076 301 4827.

On another note: We have launched our 100 Club Piggy Bank and Kitty-Cat Shareholdings projects and we would love it if you would join one of these projects and help us help more animals in our care! All you need to do is go into one our local shop outlets or kennels, grab a brochure of your choice and fill out the debit order form attached. Hand it in and we will do the rest! Prizes up for grabs for everyone that signs up in September and October!

uMngeni SPCA Main Street Centre Renovation

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Extensive renovations are currently underway at our Main Street Centre at 39 Main Street in Howick. These renovations have been necessitated due to the roof being condemned because of rotten timbers and rusted corrugated iron sheets.,and are very much needed to restore this very well –loved, well used centre that houses our library, plant nursery and all other activities such as events and fundraisers. Of course, it is also where our staff sews, repairs, cleans and restores all sorts of goods for selling in our retail shops. Our finance department is also housed here.

This beautiful old building, and the one beside it, was bequeathed to us many years ago and it was for us a dream come true. It gave us the means to be able to expand our organization to incorporate a retail division that provides much of the funds that we need to support our kennels and clinic.

Following frequent rather bad leaks and resulting ceiling and wall paint damage during the summer months, a thorough inspection was done by a roofing specialist of the roof – structure to Eastwood House.

The subsequent report contained evidence of a serious state of disrepair, to the extent that it posed a safety risk to our staff, volunteers and customers.

As such, a decision was taken to ‘dip’ into our cash reserves and replace the centre roof structure. This has necessitated the installation of new ceilings and in turn, the re-wiring of the entire electrical installation which was found, much to our dismay, to be totally unacceptable.

In addition, the timber flooring of our much- used Boardroom, which has long since needed attention due to white-ant infestation, is to be replaced with new basic strip-flooring and skirtings.

Owing to the very poor condition of the existing carpeting, coupled with the problem of protecting same during the demolition and erection of a new roof, new carpeting will have to be fitted throughout.

Of course, we were aware that this revamp would cost us a considerable amount of money, but we were caught off guard as to just how badly the problem was, and just how much it was all going to cost!!

We are appealing to the public and to any companies and trusts to please assist us with the costs of this major restoration effort. Some might say it has nothing to do with the animals and therefore might not feel the need to assist us, but, without this uMngeni SPCA ‘home’ of ours, we cannot do what we do – that is, preparing and storing goods to sell in our shops which in turn raises money to look after the animals in our care. We cannot hold functions and fundraising events that also boost our coffers, we cannot sell plants and books and we could not run an efficient organization without the “base” of the centre.

If anyone would like to donate to our costs or find out more about the restoration, please kindly contact us 076 301 4827 or email Tess at pro@howickspca.org.za

We would so appreciate your support.
Thank you.
Tess Fernandez
Pro/Fundraiser for uMngeni SPCA

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Renovations begin at uMngeni SPCA Main Street Centre – August 2015

photos courtesy of Paul Hamberger – 084 883 8880

BUMPER 1000 PAWS WALK FOR SPCA

The main annual fundraising event for the three Midlands branches of the SPCA (Pietermaritzburg, Mooi River and uMngeni-Howick) was held last weekend at Hilton College on a mild and spring-like day that attracted an unprecedented number of supporters and their dogs. Every year there has been an increase in the number of people and dogs coming to enjoy this fun day in scenic surroundings, and this year was a bumper one, with 819 dogs (up from last year’s 631 dogs), making it an astounding 3276 paws coming to support the protectors of animals less fortunate than themselves.

The Hills Agility Course proved a great hit for the doggies - Photo Paul Hamberger

The Hills Agility Course proved a great hit for the doggies – Photo Paul Hamberger

Wendy and family with Milo and Lady - photo from  Paul Hamberger

Wendy and family with Milo and Lady – photo from Paul Hamberger

“We were very lucky to have the support of The Sunday Tribune, which gave us incredible media coverage and spread the news about this event” says Tess Fernandez, chairman of the 2015 organising committee. The Tribune also sponsored the 2014 1000 Paws Walk. Money raised by the 1000 Paws event will be utilised in outreach projects, helping hundreds of animals, including domestic pets, livestock and wildlife, in rural and under-privileged areas covered by the three participating SPCA branches.

Deren with his beloved pooch, Kwezi - Photo from Samantha Southgate

Deren with his beloved pooch, Kwezi – Photo from Samantha Southgate

Supporters came from far and wide to enjoy the day with us - photo from Samantha Southgate

Supporters came from far and wide to enjoy the day with us – photo from Samantha Southgate

The 1000 Paws Walk is now heading towards its 7th successful year. Families and their canine pets love this day in the sun, even if they don’t choose to try the 2km stroll around the college sports grounds or the 4km walk overlooking the Umngeni Valley and Albert Falls Dam. Non-walkers and non-pet owners also come along to enjoy the stalls, doggy-themed entertainment (including the 1000 Paws Challenge obstacle course for owners and pets) and the wide variety of eats available. It’s simply a great day of fun in the sun…and for a worthy cause. Hope to see you at the 2016 1000 Paws Walk…the date to be announced soon!

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The significance of our uMngeni SPCA Emergency Number

Please help us ensure we keep our emergency number available for urgent emergencies only.

Please help us ensure we keep our emergency number available for urgent emergencies only.

Many people ask what constitutes an emergency. We, as an Animal Welfare organisation receive many, many emergency calls within any given month. While we are more than happy to provide immediate and important response to any animal in dire need of our assistance, we do not operate at full capacity 24/7.

Many calls we do receive after hours are not necessary and sometimes, don’t even pertain to an animal in need; it merely is a convenience to an owner who might just be unaware of our actual office hours. No administrative duties are performed after hours.

The meaning of the word Emergency is a situation that poses immediate risk to health, life, property and environment. This involves animal welfare too. Most emergencies require urgent intervention to prevent a worsening of the situation.

Our SPCA organisation in South Africa requires all SPCA’s to have an after-hours emergency number.

As this number is an after-hours emergency number, it must be remembered that the staff member that answers this phone has worked a full day at the SPCA and they are on stand-by for EMERGENCIES ONLY.

Please note that the following situations are not constituted as an animal emergency and should therefore, be dealt with during office hours on our kennel number which is 033 -3304557.

  • To make a booking for Boarding of animals.
  • To cancel a Boarding booking, especially not at 1:00 in the morning.
  • To ascertain what we charge for sterilisations.
  • For strays running on the road – if the animal is not contained or being monitored by the time we arrive, it would have disappeared.
  • For request for medical treatment when the animal has been ill the whole day – we are often contacted after office hours for assistance. We do not have a Vet on stand-by and you will need to contact your private Vet for assistance.

We appeal to the public to use this number with discretion; we are here to assist animals in need and we do this willingly, but at the same time the usage of our emergency number needs to be reasonable and fair to all involved.

We are always available for animals in need of urgent attention.

Until next time, take care

Tess Fernandez, Public Relations Officer/Fundraiser for the uMngeni SPCA

 

Alternatives bring Hope

During the past years the NSPCA has made significant inroads in introducing the concept of alternatives to the use of animals in research and testing in South Africa.

The NSPCA actively promotes the 3Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement) in research and testing, with a focus on replacement.

The NSPCA/International Network for Humane Education (InterNICHE) Alternatives Loan System, a South African library of learning tools, has also been established. This has been significant for introducing the concept of alternatives into South Africa, and contributing to NSPCA guidance work within schools, universities and animal ethics committees. Alternatives in research and testing are increasingly being considered. Replacement of dissections and animal experiments with alternatives is ongoing, and most universities have now replaced the majority of the animals that each would use annually for comparative anatomy classes.

Last year saw NSPCA Inspectors from the Animal Ethics Unit interact with learners visiting exhibits at the National Science Week event held in Pretoria. This was an ideal opportunity to show learners what alternatives are available and for demonstrating the realistic manikins, models and 3-D graphics.

It was encouraging to see the keen interest from learners to the humane approach to anatomy classes.

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The ultimate aim of the NSPCA is the replacement of animal experiments with humane alternatives. (Article courtesy of the NSPCA)

Remember the one cosmetic company’s promise to never harm animals in research projects?

Well, I will end with their motto: ‘First, do no harm”

Until next time, take care

Tess Fernandez

PRO/Fundraiser for uMngeni SPCA

Don’t Delay, Always Spay!

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Many people ask us why we are such avid advocates of sterilisation and the simple answer is because it’s a lifesaver.

It’s no myth that there is an overpopulation of unwanted pets nationwide. Every year thousands of cats and dogs end up homeless and sadly, there are just not enough people to adopt all these unwanted pets.

There are many reasons that pets end up homeless, ranging from the sad fact that people simply cannot afford to keep animals and many animals are abused, neglected and subjected to horrifying acts of cruelty.

Spaying and neutering pets prevents animals from being born accidentally, and is the most effective and humane way to save animals lives.

The benefits far outweigh any negative connotations to sterilisation as your pet will live a longer, healthier life preventing many diseases and discomfort to your animal. It reduces and eliminates breast cancer and dangerous uterine infections in females and prostate problems and testicular cancer in males. The urge to mate will be taken away as well, making your pet less distracted and more contented.

The fear of losing your furry friend due to them wanting to roam to search for a mate is decreased and your loved pet will not get into fights with other animals or get hit by a car.

Aggression is different to protectiveness and an aggressive pet is very difficult to handle and may result in it becoming homeless once again. This is drastically reduced with sterilisation.

Remember, sterilisation must and should be done only by a skilled, professional Vet, who will perform the surgery under general anaesthetic so your pets do not feel any pain. There might be a period of discomfort after the operation, but this is minimal and for a short period of time.

A happy pet is a loved pet, and you are doing the right thing, ensuring your pets are healthy members of your family for many years to come.

Until next time, take care

Tess Fernandez

PRO/Fundraiser for uMngeni SPCA

12 Ways to help raise money for uMngeni SPCA

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Not everyone knows that fundraising comes in many different shapes and forms. Every charity organization has various methods of raising much needed money to ensure that their organization keeps the cause they are affiliated to, running and maintained.

This is often, not an easy task, especially as economic times get tougher and everyone is tightening their belts more than ever before. The ironic thing is that even though this is the case, the amount of animals needing our assistance never ceases and in fact, because there has been an increase of animal welfare due to Outreach Programmes, there are more animals needing treatment, nourishment and care than ever before.

As you know, we are a NGO (Non-Government Organization) and we rely largely on donations, bequests, sponsorships, and support from our community (individual and corporate enterprises) to attend fundraising events and to buy from our retail shops.

I thought it would be a good idea to list a few ways you, our supporters, new and old, could assist our cause through various avenues of fundraising. It allows you to choose what project you would like to be a part of.

  1. Simply donate an amount of your choice to uMngeni SPCA through Debit Order every month.
  2. Support our Fundraising events such as the SPCA 1000 Paws Walk on the 12th July
  3. Support our other events such as the Spring Fling, Street Collection, Tree of Love and the Valentine’s Day Tea.
  4. Take a “share” in our Kitty-Cat Shareholdings project – pamphlets are in every SPCA outlet
  5. Become a member of the 100 Club. For a debit order of R100 (or more) you will become a member of this Club and be privy to a yearly monetary prize.
  6. Become part of the Litres for Education project and by filling up at a dedicated SPCA garage, we will receive 10 cents on every litre you pay for at that garage. Details to follow.
  7. Donate pet food to our kennels to help us feed all the animals that come our way throughout every year.
  8. If you need us to serve teas and coffee, and sometimes eats, at your various events, our catering committee will be able to assist you for a small fee.
  9. Buy a beaded SPCA bracelet at any of our outlets from the end of April. R20 a bracelet.
  10. Schools can get involved by asking for collection tins and fill them throughout a term. Corporate companies can donate money to the uMngeni SPCA and receive a Section 18A for tax purposes.
  11. Please don’t forget to pop a few coins into the collection tins in and around shops in the area. Every little bit helps.
  12. Take a raffle ticket. When we hold raffles, please take a ticket or two, you stand to win lovely prizes and you are helping us help animals in need.

Urgently needed: fabric; lace; ribbon; embroidery silks; threads; fabric paints; craft stamps; stencils. Please contact Tess on 076 301 4827 or Val on 071 385 4520 if you have any of these items to donate. Thank you.

Until next time, take care and thank you.

Tess Fernandez, PRO/Fundraiser for uMngeni SPCA

A hive of activity at uMngeni SPCA Kennels

LogoUmngeniSPCA

It’s been a very busy time at our kennels lately and I thought it a good idea to fill you all in on the going’s on there.

If you have passed by or popped in to the kennels recently, you will have seen that our little place is glinting in the sun with newly painted gates and lovely fresh dog kennels. We are also busy with floor resurfacing and a much needed general upliftment.

As you know, we use all our resources to assist all the many animals in need and much needed repairs are always put on the back burner so as to ensure that every animal that crosses our path gets the deserved attention that we are here to provide.

There are true angels in our midst though and we have been incredibly fortunate to receive very kind and generous donations specifically geared towards repairs and maintenance and without these donations we would continue (and we would) to work under less than ideal conditions.

There are no words to express our appreciation and gratitude to our benefactors.

We recently held an appeal for pet food as our stocks were very low and boy! did our community band together and donate the much needed food we appealed for. You, the public, brought us bagful’s of nourishing animal food and dropped food into our trolley at Pick n Pay. Thank you so much to everyone that assisted us, your continued donations are a Godsend. We are utterly dependant on these donations to feed our four-legged kids twice a day. Puppies, kittens and severely compromised animals are fed three times a day. It also allows us to send puppies and kittens home with food for a few days.

Every furry friend in our care are given a treat at the end of the day when we do our final kennel and cattery check so treat donations are also very much appreciated.

We are very proud of our kennels and take great care to ensure we look after everything we are either donated or have bought with your hard earned donations, so next time you are in the area, please do have a peek at our pride and joy! You may even find a new pet to give a “fur”ever home to.

Until next time, take care.

Tess Fernandez, PRO/Fundraiser for uMngeni SPCA
Ps – Don’t forget that we have a charity box at Greendale Spar that allows you to drop your till slips into, of which we receive 1% monthly for consumables that keep our SPCA ticking over. Please support us. Thank you.

Meet the team

Rita Sosibo

Rita SosiboRita is our kennel cleaner and has been with the organization for 9 months. Her role in maintaining the kennels, and keeping a high level of hygiene in these areas, is very important.

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Lots of people talk to animals.... Not very many listen, though.... That's the problem. ~Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

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We support ONLY the circuses that DO NOT use animals of any kind to entertain the crowds. The use of wild animals in Circus acts is inhumane

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did you know ~ Elephants weigh about 5000kg, cows can weigh around 4000 to 5000kg! Like humans, Ellies tend to be right handed.Clever Ellie!

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It's raining, it's pouring...keep your pets cosy and warm with a blanket or two and give them lots of cuddles! <3

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"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."

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