The Harare Spca has been extremely fortunate to have been chosen to be the beneficiary of the sponsorship of the ZIMBABWE COLOUR RUN. Look this up on Face Book or www.ZimColourRun.co.zw. The Colour Run will take place on 7 December 2013. Our sponsors visited the Harare SPCA and decided that a borehole was at the top of the list of our priorities. Washing and disinfecting kennels that house over 200 animals has been carried out with buckets of donated water .Our old borehole dried up and municipal water supply has been very erratic. Our kennel hands have developed fairly impressive biceps from carrying around all the buckets of water.
The Zim Colour Run sponsors arrived at the kennels last Saturday( well ahead of the fund-raising day) armed with a borehole rig. Drilling began, watched by staff, volunteers ,sponsors and some very curious dogs. By lunch time we were celebrating ! One problem out of the way…. Many more to address and overcome.
Progress in the refurbishment of our surgery is slow but steady and we are enormously grateful to those who have come forward voluntarily ( and those who have had their arms twisted mercilessly) and to those who have assisted in cash or kind. The well being of the animals in our care and the working conditions of our staff are of utmost importance to us. The new, almost complete, convalescence block is going to offer a more spacious and comfortable area for cats and dogs recovering from minor operations and for bitches with puppies. These kennels will also have outside runs where recovering animals can lie in a small yard rather than in cages in a ward. A second block has been built for strays and surrendered dogs who have to spend 10 days under the watchful eyes of our vets and their assistants before they are sent to the re-homing kennels. The internal wards which are in a fairly dilapidated state are also in the process of being refurbished. We hope to complete all of this work before the rains bless us with much needed water. Our theatre is in dire need of modern equipment but this is all very expensive. Many items on our wish list are way beyond our means but essential for the running of a modern veterinary surgery. If you think you can help , even in a small way please contact our Admin Manager Linda on one of the surgery numbers listed below.
Now to the topic most people would prefer not to hear about. THE RESIDENT DOGS AND CATS.
Once again we have reached the overwhelming state of “ full to capacity” . The numbers are simply too high. We do not have the resources to take care of the rapidly increasing numbers. The cages are over filled. The staff are working flat out to clean and disinfect the cages and runs, feed all the animals and try to walk some of the dogs. One of my biggest concerns is the emotional well being of the animals in our care. They live behind bars. This is a prison sentence and for most of them there is no parole .It is life on death row. Yes, I know I will receive e-mails that criticize and object to our policy of euthanasia. Please before pointing a critical finger, put yourself in the place of a cat or a dog. Consider living in a concrete cage. There is food and water and a blanket to sleep on. Your inmates are not your friends but you are thrown in with them whether you like them or not ..You learn to get on with them. Day after day you stare out from behind mangled wire that previous dogs have tried to chew through. The most exciting part of the day is when that bowl of food is placed in front of you .It passes the time to eat. A highlight is when a potential adopter walks past. You bark, chew the wire mesh, jump up and down, wag your tail…your whole being begs to be noticed…” choose me. I promise to love you till the end of my days…”They walk by without even a glance in your direction. “ Haven’t you got any pedigree dogs ?” Your crime ,you are too plain or too small or too noisy. You have no voice , you do have a soul. You feel, you suffer and you long for compassion and kindness. The reality is harsh. The chances of ever leaving the kennels is minimal. The days are endless and they grow into months. The loneliness is too much to bear. You withdraw into your own small, hellish world. You give up on hope .
In an ideal world we would have volunteers willing to walk all the dogs daily. Puppies would learn how to play, to run a long way, to retrieve a ball and then they would be able to sleep off the exhaustion under a shady tree on green grass. They would learn to “sit” and “down” and they wouldn’t shy away from a pat on the head. In an ideal world the cats would have access to a garden full of trees to climb, corners to hide in and they would love to curl up on a lap and feel contented. Well, the sad reality is that for the majority this is not going to happen. Sometimes their last day of living is the best they will ever have. Someone will hold them close, stroke their heads and truly feel compassion and love for them. They will whisper in their ears ” I’m so sorry. It’s not your fault nobody wants you. This won’t hurt. Don’t be afraid.”
One of our managers or council members is present at every euthanasia. We try to make it as calm and gentle as possible for our canine and feline friends but it tears us apart. We never grow used to it. Within the next few days we have no choice but to put to sleep some of the longest stayers, they have been in cages for over 6 months. They have not been chosen. We have to make space for the new arrivals. They too deserve a chance at a better life. I you have a space in your heart and your home please visit the kennels and opt to adopt. Adoption policies apply. We reserve the right to choose the best homes for our cats and dogs. A pet is for life. If you cannot afford one and do not have the time and space required please just pass this message on to someone who may be able to help.
Please help us. Don’t shop adopt. For every animal you buy a shelter pet dies. Spay and neuter your pets. Micro chip them for identification. Donate, volunteer, report cruelty.
“ SOME PEOPLE DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY WE HELP ANIMALS IN NEED,WE DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY THEY WONDER”
If you are able to assist in any way , please do not hesitate to call us.
Harare SPCA Surgery 04 576356/7, 04 581347 Kennels 0712 211 900 Zim National SPCA inspectors 04 497574
Des Hacker ( email@example.com)