When Christine van Wyk from Wellington saw a heart-wrenching article on Health24, reporting on the dire circumstances at her local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) branch, she decided to take action.
A full-time broker, she started to invest her time, money, energy – and even convinced husband Francois to get involved – in upgrading the facilities at the SPCA.
Thanks to their efforts and those of others involved in "Projek Snorbaard", the Wellington SPCA has now been transformed (see pictures below).
Previously, the branch was trying its best to create a comfortable home for stray and castaway animals, but was struggling to make ends meet owing to a lack of funds. Cages were dilapidated, animals were exposed to extreme heat in summer, and the dogs had to cope with flooded cages in winter. An insufficient drainage system also led to the spread of diseases.
A new home for the animalsThese donations were channelled towards renovating the cages of the dogs and cats, building a camp in which the dogs can roam freely, and improving the drainage system. The communal cat cage was equipped with bunk beds, mattresses, fleece blankets and scratch posts, and was given a fresh coat of paint.
However, thanks to the generous contributions of local businessmen and private donors the situation has been reversed – all in less than 12 months. "Projek Snorbaard" managed to raise R44 000 in cash as well as more than R35 000's worth of building equipment during this time.
The animals that live at this SPCA branch now have a much cleaner, neater environment in which to live. The dogs have more space in which to run around and the cats have a cosy room in which they can play and sleep.
"We've received tremendous support from companies as well as from the local community," Van Wyk says.
But the work is far from finished. According to Van Wyk, the dog camp still needs wooden dog houses for winter and there is always a need for more food, blankets and toys.
And then, of course, there is always a need for volunteers who can help to clean the cages and play with the animals. – (Carine van Rooyen, January 2007)
Make a contribution by depositing an amount into the following account: FNB Wellington, account number: 62103241999, branch code: 200-710, or sign up as a volunteer by contacting the Wellington SPCA on (021) 864 3726.
These animals are desperate