SPCA: lucerne needed for small game

2017-06-22 06:01
=Deirdre Swift and Christelle Erasmus from the Uitenhage & District SPCA with one of the litter of piglets whose little hooves were burnt during the raging wildfires.  Photo:HEILIE COMBRINCK

=Deirdre Swift and Christelle Erasmus from the Uitenhage & District SPCA with one of the litter of piglets whose little hooves were burnt during the raging wildfires. Photo:HEILIE COMBRINCK

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Disastrous fires struck hard and wide in the Uitenhage district, but ‘beauty’ also revealed itself amidst the ashes - the caring side of humans.

Thís after people became aware of the plight of animals and reacted in a way never seen before at the Uitenhage & District SPCA.

“It is sad that it took a disaster like this to prove to us that we are privileged, blessed and fortunate to have a community who supports us unconditionally,” said Deirdre Swift, manager of the Uitenhage & District SPCA.

The local SPCA fulfilled a key role in the rescuing of trapped animals, domestic as well as livestock, during the recent wild fires which caused havoc. A plea message for donations and assistance to help the SPCA was sent via social media and the response was overwhelming.

“The public’s response has been phenomenal. It is a very emotional thing. When we drove in here at the kennels on the Saturday after the raging fires started to cause havoc, we were overwhelmed by the sight that met our eyes,” said Swift.

“The assistance was fantastic! Alpha Parm donated much-needed medical supplies and Mount Croix veterinarians gave us pro bono services and are currently treating animals which were fire victims.

“Ikhala Wild Life veterinarian services from Grahamstown were absolutely amazing. Emily and her team drove all the way here and assisted us free of charge by treating pigs and cattle with burnt hooves as well as cats and dogs injured by the fire,” said Swift.

Wild

animals also affected

Whilst domestic animals and live- stock could be rescued, this was not the situation with wild animals.

“What people do not realize it that buck and small game in the affected areas are left without food. Grazing is a pro-blem and we urgently need donations of bales of lucerne or teff to place in those areas, especially at the Longmore plantation,” said Swift.

Animals in foster care

An estimated 130 animals, which include cats, dogs and livestock were rescued by the Uitenhage SPCA in co-operation with the Humansdorp SPCA and Animal Anti Cruelty League from Port Elizabeth.

“We could home only a limited number of dogs as the Uitenhage kennels were full, so the balance of the animals were sent out to foster. Generally this is something that we are not allowed to do, but it was a crisis situation and the animals had to be homed,” said Swift.

As people come to claim their animals, the SPCA obviously recalled the fosters so that they could be accommodated at the kennels. Unfortunately they still have quite a few in foster care and at the kennels.

Thank you to volunteers

Christelle Erasmus said another heart-warming aspect was that whilst she, Swift and some SPCA members were trapped by the fire at Woodridge, the rest of the SPCA members and all the volunteers flocked to the kennels and took full control of matters.

The public also not only donated goods for the animals, but also brought in cooked meals, food and drinks for all the volunteers in the field. “It was just something I have never seen,” said Swift.

Current need

“What is needed now is financial assistance. We had to commandeer every single vehicle we could possibly get to rescue the animals. Thus the SPCA fuel bill is very high and financial help will be welcome,” said Swift.

Financial contributions will be welcomed. SPCA Uitenhage banking details:

Nedbank, Uitenhage, account 1277004544, brand code: 127716, reference: surname. Enquiries: 041 922 4523.

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