The logic behind holding these orientation sessions is so that volunteers have a good idea of what they're signing up for before they commit, and I found out some really interesting facts about the Cape of Good Hope SPCA:
- It's the founding society of the SPCA movement in South Africa and is the oldest animal welfare organisation in the country (established in 1872).
- It's HUGE and has an area of land that covers about 11 000km2.
- The COGH SPCA doesn't only cater for domestic animals: it also has sections for farm animals, horses, and wild animals.
- It receives absolutely no funding from the government and relies solely on donations and support from the public.
- It costs about R1.7million a month to keep the COGH SPCA fully operational.
- No animal is ever turned away and there are staff members on hand 24/7 to assist with emergencies and rescues.
The more I listened to Juan August (the COGH SPCA's event co-ordinator) talk, the more I realised that this is something that I really want to do. He admits that you won't really know if you can cope with volunteering until after your first day, but I really do want to try. I feel as though I could make a difference to these animals, no matter how small.
So what now? Today I was sent all of the necessary paperwork and the next step is that I have to go for an icky - but totally essential - tetanus shot (sad face). The fact that I'm willingly looking for a clinic to stab me with a needle means that I must be serious and hopefully I'll get it over and done with soon. I'll keep you posted with further developments, but in the meantime check out www.spca-ct.co.za for more information about volunteering and the Cape of Good Hope SPCA.