Loneliness after parting with beloved pets


There are thousands of people now living in Howick who have chosen the comfortable, secure lifestyle offered by the various mushrooming complexes. Often after the passing of a spouse concerned children and friends persuade their bereaved parent/friend to move from what was their family home to a neat little unit in a retirement village. It is a huge adjustment for many as so much has to be pared from their lives. They have, in the main, had to jettison much of their bulky furniture and many treasured mementos of lives lived in much bigger homes and gardens.

One of the hardest things for many of them is to decide what to do with the latest in a series of dogs and cats that have shared their lives. As loneliness is surely one of the contributing factors to depression in people adjusting to life in a complex it is particularly traumatic to also have to part with their beloved pets.

With this sad situation in mind the uMngeni SPCA has launched an initiative whereby anyone and particularly those who may be battling to come to terms with the loss of their beloved pets may share ownership of SPCA owned cats.

The uMngeni SPCA has nine and a half cats; three at the Fundraising Centre at 39 Main Street (opposite Giovision) and six at the kennels in Campbell Road. These cats are not up for adoption and are not kept in cages. They grace the reception desks and offices and each one has its own individual personality and attributes. Some consider themselves invaluable workers while others merely deign to accept the food on offer. Each one is a character. …oh, and the half cat? That’s Jack, will-o-the-wisp, newly arrived off the street, knows a good thing when he sees it.

Anyone who would like to have a share in any of these cats can become a Kitty-cat Shareholder. They can visit ‘their’ cat, taking in little cat treats, perhaps some cat-nip they may have grown in their garden or little cat toys. If they are lucky their cat may spend some time curled up on their lap but if not they will still have the bragging rights amongst their friends when they recount ‘their’ cat’s qualities. A small monthly contribution will go towards the upkeep of ‘their’ special cat as well as towards all the other animals the SPCA helps.

To find out more, pop into any of our outlets and ask for the Kitty-cat Shareholding package. Study the colour brochure, choose ‘your’ cat and complete the form to become a Kitty-cat Shareholder. This is surely a win-win offer for everyone.

Heather Somerville for Tess Fernandez, PRO/Fundraiser, uMngeni SPCA



When Valentine’s Day comes round every year, there always seems to be a general vibe of excitement and there is nothing quite like been able to celebrate the day of LOVE with your loved ones, whether, it is with your beloved spouse, brother, sister, children or your parents and grandparents and even your dear friends.

True to form, we at uMngeni SPCA love to celebrate as well. We are thankful for the love of all animals, the love of all life and the love for our supporters/staff and volunteers who do so much to care and maintain the welfare of all animals.

On Saturday, the 14th February (Yes!! The date fell on a Saturday this year, which is perfect), we would love for you all to join us for our special Valentine’s Day Tea at our SPCA Centre,39 Main Street for a wonderful array of cakes and sandwiches, tea and coffee (and cappuccino) and juices. Buy whatever you would like from our Tea Room and enjoy your spread on the verandah whilst sharing good company and delicious eats.

The Tea garden will be open from 9am to 11am on the Saturday morning so come along early so as to not miss out on your favourite treat.

There will also still be plants to purchase and books to buy at the event too.

“The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.” – Charles Darwin.

Hope to see you all there for a ‘LOVE’ly morning.

Until next time, take care

Tess Fernandez




A poorly dog diagnosed with Parvo, sits forlornly in his cage attached to a drip.

We are currently experiencing an outbreak of parvo and distemper.

These are viruses which are highly contagious.


Parvo virus attacks young dogs from as early as 8 weeks. Those puppies born from unvaccinated mothers and those puppies who have not themselves been vaccinated are at high risk.

The virus attacks the lining of the intestines, causing it to be stripped away and hence the puppy vomits and has a bloody, foul smelling diarrhea. The prognosis is very poor, early treatment by a Veterinarian does not even guarantee success in saving the puppy.


This virus affects both puppies and adult dogs. The virus attacks the gastro intestinal tract, respiratory and nervous systems.

The early signs are loss of apetite, raised temperature and a bloody diarrhea, which looks similar to the parvo virus.

Puppies and adults can recover from this phase or it may be followed by respiratory symptoms such as coughing and thick mucus discharge from the eyes and nose.

Once again the dog can recover from this phase with aggressive treatment by a Veterinarian. However, the virus may already have entered the nervous system and 2 weeks to 2 months post “successful treatment” the dog will present with nervous symptoms, such a twitching and generalised weakness which progresses to complete paralysis, coma and death.

Once the nervous symptoms are present there is no cure.

The importance of vaccinations to control these diseases cannot be over emphasised. Puppies receive their primary vaccination at 6 to 8 weeks, followed by a booster vaccination at 12 weeks; they will also be given a rabies vaccination at 12 weeks.

Then they need their full set of vaccinations including rabies annually.

It is important to remember that distemper can be a catastrophic disease even for an adult dog, thus it is imperative to keep up these annual vaccinations.

Dr Tanya Hughes

Veterinarian for uMngeni SPCA

Looking forward to a BUMPER year at uMngeni SPCA!

Our festive Tree of Love stands out and about in December.

Our festive Tree of Love stands out and about in December.

Happy New Year to all our valued supporters and friends! May you all have renewed energy and an abundance of love, joy, compassion and gentle care for all those who share this planet. It is after all, the only planet we know and together we need to ensure that it is well taken care of and all creatures are blessed with a good life.

I am thrilled to report that our annual Tree of Love, held in December last year, generated record takings for us! Thanks to all our incredibly generous, kind and caring community in Howick, Merrivale and Hilton, we raised a whopping R 16 144.50 for the animals in our care! Thank you to all who bought a card (or more) to honour your beloved pets, the messages that hung on the Christmas Trees were just beautiful and so heart-warming and I wish I could print them all so you can see the utter love and dedication so many of you have for your animals. I find this fundraiser so much more than “just” a fundraising initiative. It’s a touching reminder of how all animals affect us in so many special ways, how they can lift our spirits and love us unconditionally.

Our very dear volunteers, Katie McCullum and Brenda Wake, very kindly organised a Christmas raffle during the festive season as well and a very healthy R 1 500.00 was raised. Congratulations to our winners! First prize of a beautiful handmade Christmas cake was Wendy Tarr, second prize of a lovely hamper went to Emma Guthrie and Shirley Benniwith won a delectable bottle of red wine as third prize winner. Well done to you all and thank you, once again, for the amazing support you, as a community, give to us.

We have a very exciting project that has been launched called “Kitty-Cat Shareholdings” and we would love for everyone to become involved. Many people cannot have cats in the complexes and retirement villages they live in so this initiative allows for you to become an SPCA Kitty-Cat Shareholder! We are offering shares in any of our precious cats, either our friendly and lovable office cats at the kennels or the rehabilitated feral cats at our Main Street Centre.

Choose the cat you would like to invest in from our brochure that is now available at our SPCA outlets, and on our website at www.umngenispca.org.za , fill in the form and Walla!!

Your returns on your investment will be:-

* Opportunities to spend quality time bonding with your cat.
* The joy of spoiling your cat with special treats, toys or catnip.
* The special feeling of having a sleepy cat relaxing on your lap.
* Updates on all our cats’ doings including photographs.
* Bragging rights about your cat – how sweet/clever/pretty/loving he or she is.

What would your investment be? You choose to invest R50/R100/or any amount per month to secure your share in one of our Kitty-cats. It’s as easy as that!

We are looking forward to a fabulous year of events and new projects and we hope that as always, you will join in the journey with us, as we strive to stamp out cruelty, neglect and abuse to all animals, great and small.

Until next time, take care
Tess Fernandez, PRO/Fundraiser for uMngeni SPCA


Festive Volunteers Christmas Party held recently

Volunteers from the uMngeni SPCA enjoyed their afternoon of entertainment, good food, lovely décor and good company.

Volunteers from the uMngeni SPCA enjoyed their afternoon of entertainment, good food, lovely décor and good company.

Saturday, the 15th November dawned chilly and overcast. Despite the weather, the uMngeni SPCA Events Committee arrived to set up the Volunteers Christmas Party with a step in their toes and enthusiastic smiles on their faces, whilst they set up tables and chairs and gleefully decorated their tables with gorgeously wrapped boxes (mind you!), ivy, tinsel, and other Christmas goodies. The end result looked like Father Christmas had already done his rounds as the tables were laden with pretty Christmas décor!

About 75 volunteers joined us to enjoy an afternoon of musical entertainment, made possible by Joan Lang, who teaches piano to many students, of all ages. 8 of her students performed a recital for us and we must say, the boys and girls are one very talented group! We also had a student play and sing to her guitar, with which she is incredibly good. Thank you to Joan and all those that played for us. It really made for a delightful afternoon of entertainment.

Volunteers also enjoyed a “bring and share” finger lunch which went down very well. The food was delicious proving that our volunteers are also great cooks and bakers! A refreshing non-alcoholic punch was served throughout the event. Mince Pies by Catherine Van Rooyen were very popular and our guests thoroughly enjoyed the divine homemade mince pies!

Our new project was launched at the luncheon as well. Called Kitty-Cat Shareholdings, we are delighted to now be able to offer you, the public to invest in a share of one of kitty-cats at our centre or at the kennels. You can go onto our website www.umngenispca.org.za and read up all about it. You can also collect a brochure from any one of our shop outlets, kennels or centre. I will write about the project in the next edition so keep your eyes open for the article, or go to the outlets mentioned above, or read about it on our website. It’s an exciting project that will not cost much but will reap rewards for you and for the cat or cats you invest in.

After lunch was served and the mince pies and coffee had been eaten and drunk, we wished all our special volunteers a fond farewell and a thank you from our Chairman, Anton Hofman.

Another year end is upon us and we will take this opportunity to thank all the supporters of uMngeni SPCA for your continued support and your pride in your SPCA. We promise to continue to prevent cruelty to all animals, as well as neglect and abuse.

Until next time, take care
Tess Lutman, PRO/Fundraiser for uMngeni SPCA

Ps – Please don’t forget to pop your till slips at Greendale Spar into the uMngeni SPCA charity box inside Greendale Spar. We receive 10% of the total on each slip which goes a long way in buying pet food. Thank you kindly.

More Public Shooting of animals with pellet guns

An example of the harm and damage pellet gun shooting can do to a bird. This is in fact, cruel and abusive too.

An example of the harm and damage pellet gun shooting can do to a bird. This is in fact, cruel and abusive too.

The issue of members of the public shooting animals with pellet guns has once again come to the attention of the uMngeni SPCA.

Many people who own and use pellet guns are ignorant of the fact that they are committing a crime in terms of the Firearms Control Act, Act 60 of 2000, in which it clearly states that the use of a pellet gun is as strictly controlled as is the use of a firearm. Air rifles (pellet guns) no longer need to be licensed as firearms but they can still not be discharged in a built-up area. The Firearms Control Act clearly stipulates that pellet guns may not be discharged in an urban area “without good reason”. Any reasonable person(as stated in most laws)would understand that discharging a pellet gun in an urban area to shoot a bird, to harm an animal or simply for fun can hardly be considered good reason.

Charges have been laid in the past, against people who, using a pellet gun, have harmed, injured or killed birds in a built up area, this is significant as it proves the unacceptability of the use of these weapons and a violation of the Animal Protections Act no 71 of 1962.

We have had a few cases in Howick recently. Lesley Robinson’s cat had a pellet removed from its shoulder on the evening of Saturday the 18th October. Dr Doug Hathorn who removed the pellet has kept it as evidence. Lesley has also seen hadedas who have been shot with a pellet gun; sadly these birds did not survive. These incidents are taking place in Plane Crescent and surroundings.

Both the SPCA and Lesley have reported these incidents to the SAPS.

If you witness anyone firing pellets from a pellet gun in a built up area, please kindly report these cases to us on 033 – 3304557. Charges can then be laid in terms of the Animal Protection Act as well as charging the person/s with discharging a pellet gun in an urban area, if this is the case.



Whilst I know that special occasions come with celebrations and a lot of the time with fireworks too, these loud, bright displays that are shot into the night sky can be extremely harmful to all animals. Fireworks can cause animals’ emotional, psychological and physical harm.

Their terror is not a choice – keep them safe and out of harm’s way. If you hear fireworks going off, you can be sure that your animals can hear them too, only they hear them louder and are therefore terrified by them. Please ensure that you keep your animals in a dark room, put the TV on to dim the noise of the fireworks, cover them with a blanket and give them a treat such as a chew or safe toy to play with. Give them plenty of cuddles to reassure them that they are safe. Cats are renowned for scuttling away when the fireworks bang in the sky, they run away from their homes, across roads that can cause injury or even worse, death. Ensure your cats are safely inside and put them in a dark room with a warm blanket and love them to ensure they are safe.

Sadly, Fireworks injure not only animals, but people too. They also cause damage to property and they destroy the environment as well.
Most birds fly away in fright of fireworks and nesting mothers’ endanger the wellbeing of their nestlings when they sometimes cannot find their own nest upon return.

Horses are also flight animals and will do anything to get away from things that frighten them, like fireworks. If stabled, horses are likely to hurt themselves and others while trying to escape.

In support of the campaign “Say No to Fireworks” that the SPCA has initiated, uMngeni SPCA will be holding an Anti-Fireworks display outside Pick n Pay on the 1st November 2014. Please support this initiative if you are in or around the area. Thank you.

Remember, your box of “tricks” (fireworks) is animals’ worst nightmare!

Until next time, take care

Tess Lutman, PRO/Fundraiser for uMngeni SPCA

Did you know?

Please support our pet food cage outside Pick n Pay – at this time of the year, we get in a huge amount of animals and this food from the trolley is used up very quickly, thank you.

Please support our pet food cage outside Pick n Pay – at this time of the year, we get in a huge amount of animals and this food from the trolley is used up very quickly, thank you.

1) The uMngeni SPCA holds many responsibilities, the most important being to continue caring for the welfare of all animals, great or small. We are always available to assist other SPCAs with disasters in their area. One example, the chicken truck which overturned was in PMB SPCA’S area of operation.

2) We have a very active Outreach Programme. Apart from the sterilisation of dogs and cats, we also improve the living conditions of animals by educating owners on responsible pet care. We average 120 sterilisations per month, we have had to drastically reduce the number of animals sterilised due to a lack of funding. The OKZN sterilisation project has ended, therefore we no longer have access to funds. We are desperate for funds to continue with this vital aspect of preventing cruelty and neglect of animals.

3) Every bit of fundraising we plan and execute is arranged by an Events Committee made up of 12 volunteers that are passionate about animals and believe that through various fundraising events being brought to fruition, raises much needed funds to assist in keeping our doors open to animals in need.

4) We have two talented seamstresses that can take a piece of donated material and make up all sorts of things with the pieces, such as, cushion covers, curtains, bags, quilts, aprons etc. These two ladies donate their time and skills to make these creative pieces for us to sell in our retail shops.

5) We have volunteers that make cards for us, and volunteers that count hundreds of coins for us from our tins that are situated in and around Howick. Not an easy job but one that we are grateful is done by such efficient people who happily volunteer to do this for us whenever needed.

6) Other volunteers walk our dogs that are in our kennels on Saturday mornings and Kitty Cuddlers visit the cats on a Tuesday afternoon, to socialize them and of course, to give them a good scratch and cuddle.

7) At Greendale Spar, on the left hand side as you walk in, there are letter boxes marked with various charities’ names, one being uMngeni SPCA. You can pop your till slip into the box and Spar will donate 1% of your amount on your till slip to us.

8) There are collection tins marked with our label on them, all over town and surrounding areas – even on the Midlands Meander, so if you see one of these tins anywhere, please pop your coins into them, they really go a long way to buying pet food and anything else that animals in our care might need.

9) Fireworks season is coming up and we will be erecting a display thereof outside Pick n Pay on the 1st November. Loud fireworks do affect animals so receiving knowledge on this helps spread the word. It’s unacceptable to let off loud fireworks but bright fireworks without the noise are acceptable.

10) Lastly, we hold an annual street collection in October every year in support of International Animal Week and this year, we raised R7270 from you, the community!

In conclusion, volunteers are truly the backbone of a Society like ours, without them, we are unable to cope with all that needs doing, they are our support network, and when all the wheels are turning, it makes for a fine working team. In saying this, we always need supporters, whether its financially or to assist in various tasks, so if you have a few hours to spare, please let me know. You can email me, Tess, pro@howickspca.org.za and I will happily slot you in where you would be of most help. Support in terms of financial could be to take out a raffle ticket, or attend an event, or join us as a member of our Society for a small fee and you can then receive an annual newsletter, attend AGM’s and offer to assist us in raising funds, which is an ongoing project.

Until next time, take care
Tess Lutman
PRO/Fundraiser for uMngeni SPCA


Helen Watkinson, a valuable uMngeni  SPCA Volunteer , collecting money for our International Animal Week Street Collection.

Helen Watkinson, a valuable uMngeni SPCA Volunteer , collecting money for our International Animal Week Street Collection.

“We can all make a difference. Everyone in our country can contribute in some way to the welfare of the animals in South Africa.”

This is the message from the National Council of SPCAs as International Animal Week approaches. It begins on 04 October which is World Animal Day and extends until 10 October.

The aim of the week is to recognise and celebrate the role that animals play in our lives. The NSPCA wishes to take this a step further and to encourage everyone to use the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution and a lasting difference.

Making conscious decisions that will have long-term beneficial effects for animals can easily be undertaken. In every instance, it is a demonstration of compassion and a gesture of support for the welfare of every living creature with whom we share our country and our planet.

It may be choosing to adopt from an SPCA rather than buying a companion animal from a pet shop or breeder. It may be inviting the local SPCA to speak at a school or community meeting especially if issues such as fireworks can be addressed.

An appeal is made to everyone to recognise “the bigger picture” regarding activities, especially those which involve interaction with wild animals. What may be called or promoted as a rehabilitation centre, sanctuary or welfare organisation with wild animals that can be petted or fed by hand is misleading and unethical.

Looking on the positive side, supporting circuses and forms of entertainment with no wild animal acts is a worthy step. Insisting on free range produce, noting and reporting cruelty and speaking out: – each of these can have a huge beneficial ripple effect.

We, at uMngeni SPCA will be holding our annual Street Collection on the 11th October in aid of this very important week. So, if you see one of our volunteers shaking a tin outside your local supermarket, please be so kind as to drop in a few coins in support of the animals in our care. You have no idea how a few coins can go a long way in helping us help animals. After all, every single cent counts! We have also been to visit schools recently to talk to the pupils on the role our SPCA plays in the lives of all animals and to teach them on the welfare of animals. Educating the youth of today ensures that the fight against cruelty to ALL animals will continue way into the future.

So, save your coins and pop them into an SPCA tin on the 11th October! We will be most appreciative.

Until next time, take care.

Tess Lutman, PRO/FUNDRAISER for uMngeni SPCA

Illegal hunting with dogs


The domestication of the dog led to a mutual relationship. Apart from being a companion, they were used to find, chase and retrieve hunted animals and sometimes to kill. Hunting dogs allowed man to pursue and kill prey that would otherwise have been very difficult or dangerous to hunt. The hunting of animals became a significant contribution to the human food supply, even after agriculture was developed. The materials and meat supplemented by hunting animals included protein, bone for implements, fur, feathers and leather for clothing.

The traditional ways have slowly been replaced by the Western habits and bush skills are gradually eroding away with the younger generation of South Africans, also due to the materialistic economy, and allowing the old, accepted traditional hunt to develop into the illegal wildlife poaching it has become today.

This type of hunting is not because of hunger, but mainly for sport, recreation and gambling. This is a corruption of traditional hunting and cannot be regarded as a tradition in African culture. During these hunts, hunters and hounds, normally well trained, pedigree greyhounds, lurchers or “long bodied” dogs and sometimes whippets are normally transported by taxis, hence the name “taxi hunts”, to a certain area and participants place bets on anything from which dog will be first to bring down an animal, the length of time it takes to hunt it as well as which species of animal will be caught. The gambling is well organised with poachers betting thousand of rands. Each person would place an amount on a specific dog or in the kitty and the winner takes all. Some of these organised hunts can have numbers of up to 50 dogs, with hunters sometimes having 2 to 5 dogs in a hunt. These hunts have increased considerably and are illegal and subject to the full extent of the law.
The poachers travel from far to join these hunts, trespasses on private property, without land owners permission, permits or licences in order to hunt game illegally just for money. Hunts are normally conducted early mornings during the cooler times, for up to 3 hours at a time. The hunts are un-selective in the species, gender and age of the prey.

During a hunt like these the prey species is often ripped apart and pieces of flesh will be pulled out while the victim is still alive as dogs are not efficient killers.

People on both side of the debate regarding hunting using dogs agree that the issue of cruelty is a central question in hunting. Those in favour of hunting with dogs argue that it is as humane as other methods of culling, and more humane than alternative methods like poison, snares and gin traps.

Those against hunting using dogs, the argument against states that hunting is more inhumane than other methods since it involves inflicting unnecessary cruelty. The quarry also suffers unnecessary distress during the chase and the animals are not killed quickly and cleanly as is often claimed.

Using only the Animals Protection Act is not enough to stop hunting and killing of wildlife using dogs? In all the cases across the provinces the convictions were obtained under the following offences:

• Hunting without the permission of landowner /Trespassing on private property
• Illegal hunting
• Possession of unlawfully hunted game
• Prohibited methods of hunting game

This calls for collaboration between the SPCAs, Provincial Nature Conservation Officers and the South African Police Services.

Any dog not under control of its owner or lawful custodian which is found destroying or in pursuit of game may be destroyed by the landowner, occupier of such land, a member of the SAPS or a Nature Conservation Officer or upon order of an officer.

However, shooting a dog while under the control or in the vicinity of the owner or custodian can be seen as an attempt of murder on the life of the owner.

(Information courtesy of the NSPCA)

Until next time, take care,
Tess Fernandez, PRO/Fundraiser for uMngeni SPCA

Meet the team

Njabula Hlongwane

Njabula HlongwaneNjabula is a Receptionist and a Trainee Inspector. He helps out at the front desk with general office work and assists Jean and Linda when needed. He has been with the uMngeni SPCA for 18 months and is our friendly man who always has a smile on his face when you meet him.

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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

by uMngeni SPCA

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

by uMngeni SPCA

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

by uMngeni SPCA

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

by uMngeni SPCA

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

by uMngeni SPCA