Extreme cases such as this one where this dog was completely covered in mange and had a strip tied so tightly around his neck that it had buried itself centimetres into his flesh confront the local SPCA almost daily. To enable them to help these dogs, support the SPCA heroes. Photo: Louis Trichardt SPCA.
Date: 07 October 2018 By: Jo Robinson
Last week’s news of the death of Sharkie the Bull Terrier in a poacher’s snare has residents calling for action to be taken to prevent this from happening again.
Alicia Thomas and Lesley Gaigher of the Louis Trichardt SPCA hope to take steps with the help of the community to do just that. They will try to do this together with Lawrence Khodobo, senior inspector at the town’s SPCA, fellow committee members and local volunteers.
At present, the SPCA conducts weekly outreach programmes to help animals and their owners both in and around Louis Trichardt and in villages further afield. Their outreach activities include the obvious spaying, deworming and medical assistance, but the SPCA concentrates very much on education as well. Alicia says that a lack of understanding of what an animal needs rather than malicious and wilful mistreatment sometimes leads to the neglect of animals. Some cases of actual abuse obviously also occur, and these outreach activities can pinpoint them. Then, if necessary, Lawrence will institute proceedings to help such animals and prosecute abusers.
The SPCA wants to join with the community of Louis Trichardt to help animals as much as they can and are calling on residents to come forward and offer whatever assistance, funding, animal feed or equipment that they feel they are able and willing to give. Several programmes exist to get involved with.
At present, the SPCA team drives around looking for cases that need action. “We have to find cruelty,” says Lesley, “It’s not going to come to us.” Apart from investigating and helping with cases of abuse, the local SPCA team arranges for animals to be sterilised, dewormed, treated for mange, and vaccinated, especially for rabies. Alicia says that she has personally witnessed 10 cases of rabies in three years, which, she says, is a number that can be classified as an epidemic, given the nature of this particular virus.
One of the SPCA’s current drives is also their Break the Chains programme. While chaining an animal, other than with a running chain of at least five metres and a further one metre from the collar to the running chain is illegal, many people are still tying animals to too short chains. Not only this, but they are putting actual chains and padlocks around dogs’ necks, resulting in severe discomfort, pain and injury. Donations of old or new collars and leads of all sizes are desperately needed and residents are asked to contact the SPCA if they have any that can be collected.
Alicia and Lesley will be meeting with Lawrence and local SPCA committee members to discuss the planned new outreach programme, called Sharkie’s Snare Search Project, named in memory of Sharkie. They are calling on members of the community to help with this in any way they can. A specific need is for people willing to join them one weekend morning whenever they can, to search for and collect snares around the trails in the forestry area. Dates and times will be announced in the very near future. They hope to conduct these searches on a regular basis and are hoping that Louis Trichardt’s “muscles” will come forward to help them and to help any animals that could possibly get killed or maimed in these horrific death traps.
Contact details for help and donations of any kind, or to take part in any outreach programme, are: Lesley Gaigher 071 545 5194 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Jo joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in 2018 pursuing a career in journalism after many years of writing fiction and non-fiction for other sectors.
Help the SPCA to replace the chains and padlocks that are being used on dogs, as seen in this photo, by donating old or new collars and leads of any size. Photo: Louis Trichardt SPCA.
Outreach programmes run by the Louis Trichardt SPCA staff and volunteers happen every weekend. Their tireless work for animals ensures that cases of extreme neglect are found and that these suffering dogs are helped. Photo: Louis Trichardt SPCA.
Education on the care of animals, and help with sterilisation, vaccination and food make for happy puppies and owners. This pictures was taken during one of the Louis Trichardt SPCA's many outreach programmes. Photo: Louis Trichardt SPCA.