EVANDER – Two days after commemorating the worst day of the Highveld SPCA’s 42 years existence, tears again flowed over the cheeks from the few helpers who remain.
It was a sad sight on Thursday, 2 August when the SPCAs from neighbouring towns came to collect the animals at the Evander kennels and take them away for possible adoptions in Middelburg and eMalahleni (Witbank).
Just two days prior, marked the two year anniversary of a devastating fire that ripped through the SPCA premises and claimed the lives of Mr Bonga Sibiya and four animals.
The financial situation of the SPCA went downhill from there, especially also when the national lottery no longer supplied funds, and support from local organisations dwindled.
The already throttled taps dried up over the past few months to the point where the staff lost their jobs and some rescued animals that could not be re-homed due to the extend of the trauma they had suffered before being removed from their original owners, had to be euthanized.
The few volunteers left at the centre opted to put out the animals because their food supplies were depleted, there were no more staff to care for the animals and no money was coming in.
The neighbouring SPCAs offered to alleviate the burden by relocating the animals and livestock to their shelters in the hope that they might be considered for adoption in those towns.
This gesture was not done as an order from the NSPCA to close down the local service as implied by rumours on social media, but to assist the only remaining four workers who are now merely working as unpaid volunteers.
The animals moved to the other SPCAs include 17 dogs that included a mom and her puppies, four cats five goats, five geese and three pigs.
Most of the livestock were hand-reared at the Highveld SPCA and each one is known by name.
Fiona the donkey and her two horse friends, Shrek and Thomas, have already been adopted and will be collected on 11 August. Two kid goats were taken to the Johannesburg SPCA.
The “office” animals have all been rescued by the personnel and became the office pets. Most of them also now need new homes.
In the meantime, it is business as usual at the SPCA with new strays dumped at the kennels at the weekend.
The neighbouring SPCAs have vowed to collect the newcomers on a regular basis.