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 for more information about volunteering and the Cape of Good Hope SPCA.


  1. Well done you! I'm sure you'll make a difference. The fact is that unfortunately animals are going to be hurt/abandoned and some at the SPCA are going to be put down, but this will happen whether you're there or not. And by being there you can help an amazing organisation and make some animals'lives a bit better.

  2. I am so proud of you - it is not easy working with animals, but if everyone helps out in some small way, the world will be a far better place.

  3. Thanks everyone! I've had my shot (and I didn't faint!), am sending in the paperwork today, and will have my first day of volunteering this weekend. I'll keep you posted on how it goes!