We Thank You

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As a picture is worth 1000 words, every now and again, we like to let the photographs “do the talking”, so to speak, and thank all the very generous and kind folk that live in our community, who tirelessly think of the animals in our care, and quietly go about their business, raising money, food, blankets and prizes to donate to us. We wish to thank each and every person and company that have heeded the call for pet food and biscuits from us and that have gone out of their way to ensure we keep going and continue to make a difference in all animal’s lives. There are so many people to always thank and we do our very best to thank everyone so these are just a couple of pics from the people in the community that support us and sustain us. We extend our heartfelt thanks to each and every one who donates to us and implore you to please keep the animals in mind when the urge to give hits you. We appreciate it all.

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

Don’t buy, ADOPT!!

loveTo give another homeless pet, a loving, happy home is so important.  Many people feel that buying a pure bred pet is the way to go, but, this has many drawbacks.  After sharing my story of the loss of our beloved dog last week, I got to thinking. Whilst my family and I are not quite ready to welcome a new dog into our home, we certainly will at some stage. The thought of being able to give a happy, healthy and safe home to a homeless dog or cat in which she will grow old, warms my animal loving heart to its core.

Country-wide there are countless animals needing homes, and we are very lucky to have a great SPCA kennel operation right here in Howick. Every day, we see many animals come in that have either been surrendered, rescued, lost or found. Every day, our staff care for these animals with the utmost respect and love. We are blessed to have our very own Veterinarian who goes beyond the call of duty to treat the injured, and check the healthy.

There has been a longstanding debate amongst dog lovers and experts alike on the merits of a mixed-breed versus a purebred puppy. Those who are devoted to mixed breed dogs feel that they are hardier and more inclined to have steady temperaments and make devoted pets. They also believe that a mixed-breed dog – or cat – usually has a reduced chance of inheriting a congenital disease. We like to refer to our pets in waiting not as cross, or mixed, breeds but rather as unique breeds.   Each one is unique and special.

The first place to look for any new pet to be part of your family should always be at the SPCA kennels in Campbell Road, Howick.  The cost of a dog or cat is limited to the modest adoption fee which includes spay/neuter and vaccination.  There is something particularly heart-warming about knowing you have given a second chance to an animal that looked at every passer–by with hope in their eyes.

At the end of the day, how your new pet turns out will depend very much on how you raise him or her.  Puppies will need patient and ongoing training to become a real pleasure to own. Proper health care is essential from the word go.   With the gentle and loving guidance of a committed owner, almost any kind of dog will grow into a reliable and loving companion.

So please don’t shop for a kitten or puppy, adopt from us and enjoy a lifetime of joy with your SPCA special; they will be there for you always. Visit our kennels at 15 Campbell Rd, Howick to view the animals that are waiting for their forever homes.

Until next time, take care,

Tess Fernandez   PRO/Fundraiser for uMngeni SPCA

When it’s time to say goodbye…

Havanna, our beautiful Staffie, who protected and loved us unconditionally.

It’s never easy to say goodbye to a beloved pet, someone who is so part of a family, that when they are no longer there, you experience grief in varying degrees, anger as to why it had to happen and guilt for thinking more could have been done. My family and I have just recently had to make the very gruelling, heart breaking decision to humanely euthanize a very much loved and precious member of the family, when Havanna, our 11 year old Staffie became very ill. She had been failing for a while, battling to walk and she was going blind in her left eye. Then, our poor old girl began vomiting up blood. We rushed her to the vet and he told us she probably had cancer in her stomach. She was extremely nauseous and going downhill very quickly.

My son and his girlfriend were thankfully, home from University for a recess and as Havanna was very much their doggie (she slept in the bed and shadowed them both around day and night), I told them that it was a decision they had to make. To come to terms with either going through a ton of tests and treatments, prolonging her suffering and pain, or to humanely peacefully let her go. By this stage, Havanna was dehydrating from vomiting so much and the vet needed to know whether he must begin trying to find out what exactly was wrong (although he had told us she was very aged and her organs were failing) or whether to put her out of her suffering.

It was decided that the kids go back to the vet to see Havanna and they would make the decision there. The minute they walked into the consulting room, they saw that Havanna had deteriorated even more and as they looked into her beautiful, soft brown eyes, they suddenly knew what to do. They would gently hold and love her whilst she fell asleep, for eternity.

Our loyal, loving, funny Havanna quietly went to sleep just a few minutes later. She left a hole in our lives the minute she took her last breath. We all cried and cried, for what seemed like hours and hours, all huddled together in our grief and pain. When we couldn’t cry another tear, we talked about her, the funny little mannerisms we would miss, her love for roast chicken and cheese, and what a truly special family member she had been, for 11 long, loyal, lovely years. We had been so blessed to have her belong to us and we mourned the loss of our precious furry friend for a long time.

Our sympathetic vet said something very special. He said that animals come to us for such a short period of time because they are such blessings and God wants them back quicker. Yes, they ARE blessings and they deserve only love, a good life and happiness.

RIP our dear Havanna; we will miss you very much.

Remember to cherish the moments you have with your beloved pets, always.

Until next time, take care

Tess Fernandez

PRO/Fundraiser for uMngeni SPCA

A Happy Reunion!

Finn Jenkins is thrilled to have his beloved cat, Max, back home safely.

Whilst the primary mission of all SPCA’s around the country, is to prevent cruelty, neglect and abuse to all animals, we also take on many secondary roles and services. One of these roles is to take care of any animals that have run away from their homes in fear or fright. Many kind folk see lost animals on the road, by a river or in someone else’s home and bring them to us for safe keeping until their owner can either be located or they contact us to check if any strays have been handed in.

Alex and Tamlyn Jenkins recently experienced the horror of their cat, Max, going missing and Finn, their son, was extremely upset.

Alex writes, “We awoke to discover that our son’s cat Max had not been sleeping on his bed.

Panic stations ensued and we searched the neighbourhood to no avail.  Finn by this stage was distraught and while we kept him distracted, his granny went to the local SPCA to see if Max had been handed in.  To her delight, there he was, safe and sound and well looked after.  He had been chased up a thorn tree by some dogs.  Their owner put the dogs inside, got him out of the prickly tree and dropped him at the SPCA for safe keeping as she was not sure who he belonged to.  Granny returned home with a very happy Max and was met by an even happier Finn!  Best friends re-united.

Thank you SPCA for all of your wonderful work.  It is a comfort knowing that you are there, not only for us to adopt new animals (which Max was) but also to keep them safe when they get lost.

We would encourage all pet owners to get to know the good folk at the SPCA and make them your first port of call if ever you lose a pet. We are blessed to have such a great facility in our area.”

We have reunited many owners and their beloved pets over the years and nothing makes us happier than a heart- warming reunion. If your pet ever (and we hope not) wanders away from home, please check with the SPCA in your area to see if your precious animal/s have been brought in, before you put up posters and use social media to put out an APB. We can often help make the whole experience of losing an animal far less traumatic for all involved. Remember, we are here to assist and provide a service to our community. We rely on your support to keep our society flourishing so we can help where we can.

Until next time, take care

Tess Fernandez, PRO/Fundraiser for uMngeni SPCA

Animals that suffer from Pellet Gun shootings

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Hadedas have the right to life and to freedom. Shooting them is illegal and dangerous to them and you!

There is no denying that many people would say that Hadedas in your garden are a nuisance with the noises they make as well as the likeliness that they will leave large bird droppings on your awnings and tiling’s, and many would say there is nothing wrong in taking out a pellet gun and shooting these birds with these guns.

Many people who own and use pellet guns (air 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 is clearly set out that the use of a pellet gun is as strictly controlled as is the use of a firearm. Air rifles 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.

The most recent case of charges being laid against someone using a pellet gun is significant as it confirms the general unacceptability of the use of these weapons.  There has already been a criminal conviction of a person in KwaZulu-Natal for using a pellet gun on an animal. The NSPCA believes that the use of a pellet gun on any animal, including on any wild bird is a violation of the Animals Protection Act No 71 of 1962.

We have had a few cases in Howick recently whereby it has been reported that Hadedas have been shot in gardens with pellet guns. If you witness or know of anyone using a pellet gun on an animal or bird – report it! Charges can then be laid in terms of the Animals Protection Act as well as charging the person(s) with discharging a pellet gun in an urban area, if this is the case.

Swift action may be instrumental in saving an animal or animals a great deal of suffering, which is worthy in itself.

On another note: Our Golf Day planned for the 13th April 2014 at Sakabula Golf Estate has unfortunately been postponed due to time constraints and the Easter Holidays. The raffle is continuing however and for R5 you stand to win some lovely prizes. The draw will take place on the day of the postponed Golf day, the 13th April and winners will be notified by telephone and email.

We would like to sincerely thank everyone in our community who has so generously and kindly popped pet food into our donation trolley at Pick n Pay and for delivering pet food to our kennels! What a difference it has made! Thank you for continuing to support us – we appreciate it.

Until next time, take care

Tess Fernandez, PRO/Fundraiser for uMngeni SPCA

It’s a Miracle!!!

Miracle, the lucky little Jack Russell who escaped certain drowning, safely in the arms of SPCA Operations Manager, Dudu Abraham (centre) and other members of her rescue team, Michael Mkhize (left) and Jabulani Mshengu.

With the heavy rains we have been experiencing in the Midlands in the past week or two, the uMngeni River’s water volume has increased tremendously with the result that our beautiful river has become extremely strong and dangerous.

On a recent Sunday evening someone stopped on the bridge below Midmar Dam Wall to view the river in all its magnificence, and spotted a little dog clinging to a grass covered rock in the fast flowing river.   SPCA Field Officer, Michael Mkhize received the emergency call and immediately contacted the SPCA Operations Manager, Dudu Abraham.  A plan of action was quickly formulated and Dudu rushed to the scene whilst Michael fetched another experienced SPCA Field Officer, Jabulani Mshengu. Upon arrival at the scene, Dudu saw the terrified Jack Russell on the rock about 2 metres from the Bridge. Dudu managed to get the soaking wet dog to look up at her and kept speaking to her.  The dog never took her eyes off Dudu. Emergency Services were called to assist with the rescue. They responded immediately never hesitating even when told it was a dog that needed saving.

In the meantime Michael thought a basket might work so when he returned to the scene with Jabulani they brought a laundry basket and a rope. The basket was thrown as close to the little dog as possible. The first attempt was unsuccessful, the second attempt was a little closer but the angle was wrong and the third attempt was beside the dog but she avoided it. They felt that Emergency Services would be more successful in a rescue but as it was getting dark and raining quite heavily, the SPCA team decided to keep on trying until Emergency Services arrived. On their fourth attempt they manage to scoop the shivering little pooch into the washing basket and as quickly as possible, hauled her up praying that she wouldn’t panic and jump out of the basket. Had she jumped into the river, she would have been washed down stream and drowned.

The relief of having achieved what seemed impossible overwhelmed Dudu, Michael and Jabulani and the three of them just stood for a few moments in a group hug. What an absolutely amazing rescue!   Dudu described how “We popped the soaking wet, petrified little dog into our SPCA van and rushed her back to our Kennels, where she was given food and water and a warm bed.” Emergency Services, who by this time, were at the river were then advised that the dog was now safe in our care.

The next day, the lucky dog was checked by the SPCA vet who estimated her to be eight months old, in good condition and unsterilized. The only injury the vet found was a bruise on the side of her head, probably caused by her fall into the river.   She was henceforth dubbed “Miracle.”

Quick thinking by SPCA staff and a plan cleverly executed saved little Miracle from certain drowning.   Well done to the team.

Until next time, take care

Tess Fernandez   PRO/Fundraiser for uMngeni SPCA

Birthday gift from a caring Birthday girl

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Fierce Animal Warrior Maxine Mare with lucky Macey, who is a rescue cat and now has a very warm and caring home.

How touched we were when Denise Mare came through our doors with an envelope of birthday money on behalf of her dear granddaughter, Maxine Mare. As part of Maxine’s 10th Birthday gift, Denise (Maxine’s Grandmother) and Maxine’s uncle Craig, made a donation to the SPCA.

Maxine was so excited to have done this as she absolutely adores animals of every kind, and has great compassion for those that need rescuing.

Maxine is a Grade 4 pupil at Our Lady of Fatima Girl’s School in Durban North. Denise Mare lives in Howick and donated Maxine’s birthday gift to the uMngeni SPCA.

Denise, Maxine’s granny, says that Maxine was so glad that part of her birthday present would help the SPCA in one way or another, and Denise is hoping that it will encourage Maxine to continue giving back to a cause that helps animals, that are so close to heart, and perhaps also encourage her friends and other children’s parents, grandparents and relatives to share the giving at birthdays with the SPCA. Supporting a charity such as ours allows our Society to continue to assist all animals that are subjected to abuse, neglect and cruelty.

We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Denise, Craig and of course, Maxine who selflessly donated the money she was given by her Grandmother and Uncle Craig to us. We salute you Maxine for you are a true Animal Warrior!

Paying it forward is just so special and indeed, when one pays a gift, be it cash or in another form, forward, one becomes part of an elite group of people who do this without a possible reward or perhaps not even a thank you, merely and solely for the good of a cause, a cause that listens to the animals who cannot speak for themselves.

Let’s learn from Maxine’s “paying it forward” and see if more folk, young and old, will ask for their gifts to be used to help animals in need.

On another note: Calling all magazine lovers! Instead of throwing your magazines away or dumping them in the recycle bin, please kindly consider donating them to us instead. Our Main Street Centre always needs more stock and we would be most grateful for the donations. Thank you.

Until next time, take care

Tess Fernandez, PRO/FUNDRAISER for uMngeni SPCA

 

“Thank you.”

thank youThose two little words (or “thanks” if you want to be quick about it) can mean a lot. Or, depending on how you wield them, they can mean almost nothing. Just like “How are you?” or “I love you,” “Thank you” is a phrase that can hold great weight or have all the heft and permanence of a morning fog.

In our case, Thank You holds great weight. So much weight that our gratitude and appreciation knows no boundaries!

We recently sent out an urgent Appeal for community members and animal lovers to come forward and donate dog food to our kennels in Campbell Road, Howick, Through Facebook and the Village Talk, we humbly asked kind people to donate a bag of biscuits or dog tinned food to assist us in feeding the huge amount of animals in our care, mainly dogs as we had had a lot of Biliary cases in the hot months, coming in needing treatment. These animals need to stay at our clinic for a few days in order to ensure they receive treatment and care. They needed food morning and evening, so our food stock began to run rather low. On average, we have over 500 dogs coming through the clinic monthly as we also have a very active Outreach Sterilization Project.

The response we received was incredible, to say the least! The day after the appeal went out on Facebook; many people came and dropped off food and money for us to buy food. This continued over the next few days and we were overwhelmed by the generous spirit of folk in our communities. After the appeal came out in the Village Talk we then received another huge batch of food from people and companies alike. Wow!!! Thank you to each and every one of you that rushed to our aid and saved us from having to go and buy food with money that we would rather use to actually treat the animals that come in. We remain eternally grateful to all you fierce Animal Warriors for every bag and every tin you so generously donated to us.

If every person in Howick and Hilton would donate just one bag of dog food or a can every month to us at the kennels, we will never be in the situation we recently found ourselves in. Please think about it and please continue to assist us with this food drive.

At this time, more than ever, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our progress for animals possible. And in this spirit we say, simply but sincerely – Thank You.

On another note: Our Golf Day raffle will be out in shops and stores soon. First prize is a sturdy dog house made and donated by Stephen Arpin for the raffle. R5 will buy you a ticket to win this splendid dog house or a bottle of whiskey so look out for the raffle sheets in town and please support it.

Until next time, take care

Tess Fernandez         Public Relations Officer/Fundraiser for uMngeni SPA

YOUR CAR IS AN OVEN!!!

Panting is a dogs way of getting rid of excess heat. This leads to fatigue, exhaustion and acute dehydration.

Panting is a dogs way of getting rid of excess heat. This leads to fatigue, exhaustion and acute dehydration.

I don’t know how you all feel, but these days the heat is so sweltering that it seems almost claustrophobic! When I get into my hot car after a meeting, I have to say there are times when I can feel myself gasping for fresh air almost immediately.

Can you imagine leaving an animal locked in a car that retains so much heat that it is like an oven inside! Sun plus the raging humidity we have been experiencing lately, will cause the animal to get heatstroke. Heatstroke can kill your beloved pet even with emergency treatment. Humidity interferes with an animal’s ability to get rid of excess heat and they perspire through their paws which is not enough to cool them down. They then begin to pant to cool themselves down further. Air moves through the nasal passages, which picks up the excess heat from the body and as it is expelled through the mouth, the extra heat leaves along with it. Although this is very efficient, it is severely limited in areas like ours, where high humidity is prevalent.

I have had a number of animal lovers telling me horror stories on dogs left in boiling hot cars with not even a small gap of a window open for fresh air. One gentleman said he was 5 seconds away from resorting to smashing the car window to save the poor pooch locked inside. Fortunately, the owner arrived in the nick of time and was given a rather long (but deserved) lecture on the dangers of leaving a helpless animal in such a hot, confined space! Good for him!

PLEASE DO NOT take your beloved pet with you “for a ride” in the car and leave him inside the heat trap. It is far too dangerous. Even an open window is not sufficient ventilation for your four legged friend. If you cannot take your pet with you when you leave the car, rather leave him at home in the shade with cool, fresh water.

The same goes for animals on the back of vans and bakkies that do not have correct railing to protect them from being flung out and run the very real risk of getting extremely badly injured, or even worse, being tragically killed. It’s just not worth it. Rather take your pets for a brisk walk or run when you get home in the evening or early in the morning. That way, you and your pets get a healthy dose of fresh air and exercise.

Attention all crafters! The uMngeni SPCA will be hosting a Winter Food and Craft Market on the 31st May 2014. If you would like to book a stand or need more info, please call Bronwyn on 033-3306548. Get in early as there is limited space.

Until next time, take care

Tess Fernandez, PRO/Fundraiser for uMngeni SPCA

Aint Love Grand!

Our “Love” displays in our four local libraries are full on insightful information – Howick, Howick West, Mpophomeni and Hilton.

Pets are great companions of humans. In fact, I would go as far as to say they are the greatest companions ever! They provide love, warmth, friendship, affection, gratitude, comfort and safety to us mere mortals –all of these cannot be obtained from one single fellow human.

Pets teach us many things including how to treat our fellow human beings, and how to live life with an attitude of gratitude and patience too. They are lovable creatures that are satisfied with trivial things in life, they do not have high ambitions and live a contented life, unlike us, who strive for more every day and sometimes, in the fast pace of life, forget to smell the roses and sit on a mountain top.

‘A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself’ said Josh Billings. Pets should be given their due importance and must not be possessed just for the sake of it. A Hebrew proverb says, “The kind man feeds his beast before sitting down to dinner”. It needs a kind heart to have pets and a kinder one to maintain them properly.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day in the month of February and to celebrate “Love your pet day” on the 20th February, we have set up four “LOVE”ly displays on pet care, what foods to give your pet, what to avoid and what you can do to show your love for your precious pet. These displays are in the Howick, Howick West, Mpophomeni and Hilton libraries and have tons of interesting facts and information pertaining to loving your pet. Take part in our competition that is running in three of the four libraries (Mpophomeni’s display is behind a glass case so unfortunately, we could not offer the competition in this library) which asks you to list 3 ways to show your pet love this Valentine’s Day and you will be entered into a draw that will see YOU, not your pet, win a delicious and decadent Chocolate Hamper.

On the 15th February, we are pleased to be hosting our popular Valentine’s Day Tea at our Main Street Centre, 39 Main Street, Howick from 9am to 11am. Pop along for a piping hot cup of tea, coffee or cappuccino and a scrumptious array of cakes, tarts and sandwiches to make your heart beat faster. There will also be our usual gorgeous choice of pretty plants and seedlings on sale at our Gardener’s Corner and our Bookworm book and magazine shop will be open too – what is more perfect than a cuppa, a slice of cake, a delightful plant and an absorbing book to indulge yourself and your partner/friend/child in on Love’s favourite of days?

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

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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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