Monday, 13 May 2013

Volunteering at the SPCA


Here's a proactivity update for you: When I first began thinking about what I could do to make the world a better place, I decided to look into volunteering at the SPCA. Being an avid animal lover, I've been wanting to do this for a while now, but have always been afraid that I wouldn't have the emotional strength to actually follow through. But after much deliberation (as well as a pep talk from the amazing Lynne Avis) I decided to do some research and discovered that the Cape of Good Hope SPCA has a volunteer orientation once a month: and that's what Lynne and I attended on Saturday. 

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.