Caring for your pets this festive season

Caring for your pets this festive season

The South African summer signals beach holidays, quality time with family and delicious Christmas celebrations. Sadly this time of year also sees many animals being abandoned and forgotten.

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA asks you to please remember that it is extremely important to not forget your companion animals and to keep them safe and stress-fee these holidays. Here are a few helpful hints to ensure your pets are loved and properly taken care of.


  • Decorations: Be careful with decorations as exposed wiring can electrocute a curious animal who chews on it. Discard wrapping paper, ribbons, bows and empty boxes as animals can easily become entangled. Mount your Christmas tree safely in a flat, wide-based container that cannot easily be pulled over. Tinsel strands can be deadly to pets and glass balls can shatter in an animal’s mouth.


  • Holiday entertaining: If you plan to entertain remember that noise and strangers can frighten animals. Keep them in a safe, peaceful environment instead. An animal’s hearing is far more acute and sensitive than a human’s. Therefore please be mindful when pulling Christmas crackers and popping champagne and balloons.


  • Dressing up pets: Animals deserve the right to natural freedom and being dressed up often causes unnecessary stress and discomfort to them. By all means include them in your family photos but let’s leave the costumes to Santa and his elves.


  • Responsible feeding: Do not feed your pets Christmas lunch left overs like bones, that can splinter and cause blockages. Also remember that chocolates are poisonous for animals as well as onions, grapes and citrus fruits in large quantities.


  • Holiday planning for animals: If you are going away for the holidays, try and choose a pet friendly destination. However, if you are leaving your pets behind, please arrange for a professional pet sitting service or a reliable family member or friend to look after them.  Reputable boarding kennels are also a good option. Abandoning your animals is a crime in terms of the Animals Protection Act and offenders could find themselves facing charges if they fail to ensure that their pets are well cared for in their absence.  If you have reason to believe that an animal has been abandoned, please call 0217004158/9 during office hours or 0833261604 after hours to report your suspicions.  You may remain anonymous.
  • Fireworks: Whilst humans may enjoy the spectacle of fireworks, they result in thousands of animals being injured and terrified every year.  Stay at home and keep your pets inside with you, your presence will comfort them.  If you know that your animals react badly to fireworks, please see your vet who can prescribe something to make the night less stressful for them. Choose kindness this New Year and don’t purchase or take part in firework activities.


  • Identification: 1 in 3 animals will go missing at some time in their life so ensure that your pets have a means of identification so should they stray, they can be quickly reunited with you. A microchip is the best form of identification and provides for undeniable proof of ownership.


  • Lost and Found: should your animal go missing over the festive period please make contact with your nearest SPCA to locate your animal. If you have found a stray please bring to the SPCA lost and found so we can assist in reuniting them with their owners. Call Lost and Found on 021 700 4166


  • Travelling: If you are travelling for long distances in a car, ensure adequate ventilation and always take a bowl and a few litres of water along. If you plan to stop for a leg stretch, ensure that you have a proper collar and lead to walk the dog. Never leave an animal in the car during warm weather, even with the window open. On warm sunny days cars heat up quickly and become like ovens. If you come across an animal left in a locked car please immediately try to alert the owner or for example, alert shopping centre management, security personnel or report it, quoting the car registration, to the local police or the SPCA on 021 700 4158/9 or after hours telephone number 083 326 1604.


  • Giving a pet as a gift: Our pets bring us untold joy and provide wonderful companionship but they are a huge responsibility. The gift of an animal means a long-term commitment of time, money and energy that may exceed the recipient’s abilities. Additionally, some pets suffer loneliness and neglect when their novelty has worn off and many of them end up The SPCA less than half way through the New Year.


The Cape of Good Hope SPCA operates throughout the festive season. It is the time of year when resources are stretched. Staff continue to undertake routine duties of response to information involving alleged cruelty, neglect or abuse of animals: – matters which escalate at this time. There is also the ongoing monitoring of animals in “captive facilities” and an additional response to emergencies.


Please carry our number 0217004158/9 with you on your cell phone so that you can reach us easily during office hours and our number 083 3261604 for after-hours contact purposes. Above all, please report concerns regarding abused, neglected or cruelly treated animals by phone. E-mails and Facebook cannot be monitored around the clock and time lost in terms of response means that an animal has suffered. The identity of an informant is always kept confidential.

Wildlife at Risk- know what to do

Stranded seals

Sub Antarctic fur seal Aug 09







It is absolutely normal for
seals to rest on the rocks or beach
after being out at sea for days
foraging for food. They may rest
for 24 hours and even longer,
basking in the sun. Unlike whales
or dolphins on the beach, seals do
not need to be kept wet. Please
don’t pour water over them! In
fact, it’s best not to interfere
with them in any way – unless
there are obvious signs of injury
(bleeding from a wound or
If you believe that the seal
needs help, call our Wildlife Unit
on 021 700 4220. Do not try to
catch the seal yourself – not only
could you suffer a severe bite,
but you could cause the animal
further stress, and stress kills
wild animals.

Fledgling owls on
the ground
Young owls that are ready
to fly often land on the ground.
If you can see the parent birds
(normally high up in a tree
keeping watch over their baby),
it’s best to leave the fledgling
alone. The parents will feed and
protect it until it finds its wings.
If the bird is very young (very
fluffy white or grey with no
patterning on the feathers) or you
have dogs or cats that might harm
the bird, please contact our Wildlife
Unit who will remove it and care
for it until it is ready to fly.

Over 1000 animals sterilised in Atlantis

As of the end of May
2016, more than 1 000
dogs and cats have been
sterilised in our Mass Animal
Sterilisation Programme (MASP),
which kicked off in Atlantis on
23 February 2016. This
intervention is a huge step
forward in controlling pet overpopulation
– and the resulting
cruelty and neglect of unwanted
animals in this area.

Every pair of cats sterilised
now could mean up to 420 000
fewer kittens being born over the
next 7 years; although they don’t
breed as quickly, just one pair of
unsterilised dogs could result in
67 000 puppies being born over
the next 6 years.
Making the local people aware
of these facts – especially school
children who see our Anipals
Puppet Show – has a definite
impact in promoting
responsible pet ownership, as
well as addressing the evils of
dog fighting. By the end of the
project, over 4 000 children will
have been reached.
Once the MASP campaign
ends, the SPCA, together with
Peoples Dispensary for Sick
Animals (PDSA), will continue
to provide a service to the
community. In this way, we hope
to ensure a greatly improved life
for pets in disadvantaged areas.
City’s co-funding and Nussbaum
Foundation’s magnanimous
contributions made this possible

Zero Tolerance

cowsheepSincere thanks to all
compassionate members
of the public who call the
SPCA when they witness acts of
animal cruelty. Be assured that
our Inspectors will respond to
cases such as this recent horrific
incident in which a cow and
five sheep were spotted being
transported in the back of a

The Inspectors’ first priority is
to try and alleviate the suffering of
the animals. In this case, there was
nothing they could do for the cow,
which died where it lay in the
hot metal bakkie bin. One of the
sheep was so badly injured that it
had to be euthanised on site.
Too often, the offenders in
cases like this display absolutely
no remorse. It’s up to us to send
a clear message that cruelty to
animals is against the law and
will not be tolerated.

If you see or suspect that an
animal is being ill treated, abused
or neglected, please call our
Inspectorate on 021 700 4158/9.
Animal lovers like you are the
eyes and ears of the SPCA and
we need your help to enforce
the rights of all animals to be
treated with compassion and

Surgery Saves Caracal’s Life

After successfully capturing this beautiful member of the wild cat
family, we discovered that the
caracal had a broken leg,
possibly as a result of having
been hit by a car.
Our resident vet, Dr Stephanie
Chatry, performed surgery to
pin the broken bone together.
Two months later, after a lot of
TLC (from a safe distance) and a
couple of x-rays, the surgery was
declared a success and the caracal
was released at Tygerberg Nature

Before his release, Tyger (as
we named him) was fitted with a
radio collar by the Urban Caracal
Project, allowing us to monitor
his movements. Although it’s a
rather chunky looking piece of
equipment, the collar weighs less
than 200 grams and is designed
to fall off after three months.
This is the first time we’ve
been able to see how an animal
has fared after an intervention
by the SPCA. We were amazed
to see the massive distance he
covered, from the Tygerberg
Nature Reserve deep into the
west coast. Best of all was
the knowledge that Tyger had
suffered no lasting damage and
was able to cope perfectly in the
wild, where he belongs.

Forgotten Ponies

Apart from their shaggy coats and overgrown hooves, the old mare and her two foals which arrived at our premises were covered in burrs and thorns. All three had jagged scars and cuts – some of them infected – that showed how desperately they had tried to escape their barbwire-fenced prison . . . a small barren field on the Cape Flats.

They had only a leaky old tin shed for protection from the baking sun or driving rain, and some scanty grass to keep them alive.

Until the day they miraculously found a gap in the fence and escaped. Someone told us about three ponies loose on the road and our Horse Care Unit sped to the rescue.
At first the ponies showed absolutely no interest in the human hands that stroked them and guided them into the horsebox.

Bitter experience had taught them not to expect anything from humans. Not kindness or empathy. Not relief from discomfort. Not even food.
But all that was about to change, thanks to our dedicated staff and the special support a group of our most loyal supporters – I call them our Best Friends (who are people just like you!) have given us in past years!

Here at the SPCA, the ponies were led into a warm, dry stable . . . fed, watered and dewormed. Then began the painstaking task of removing all the burrs and thorns and applying salve to the wounds.
It took time and patience, but eventually Twinkles and O’Grady (as we named the foals) learned that not all humans are cruel and uncaring. They learned how good it feels to be groomed . . . to get plenty of good food (and sniff out a carrot in Anne’s pocket!) . . . to canter around on clean, trimmed hooves.
Sadly their mom was not as lucky. Years of hunger and neglect had taken their toll and she literally gave up on life once she knew that her two foals were safe.
But when we look at the ‘after’ picture of Twinkles, we feel so proud of our Horse Care Unit staff and their incredible dedication.

We’re also keenly aware of those special members of our Best Friends group, whose contributions make happy stories like this possible.
In the months ahead, we’ll rescue more than 100 starving and suffering horses. Each one will need horse cubes, oats and bales of hay . . . soft warm bedding and horse blankets . . . attention from the farrier or specialist equine dentistry . . . antibiotics and deworming tablets . . . and to geld stallions.

And we depend entirely on caring people like you to help us meet the high cost of providing these.
Our Best Friends are vital partners in our work to save suffering horses in Atlantis and on the Cape Flats. That’s why we hope you’ll make your extra, special membership gift of R600 or more now.

Donations can be made into the bank account below:
Bank: Standard
Branch: Constantia
Branch Code: 051001
Account no: 063 002 167
Account name: Cape of Good Hope SPCA
Ref: Best Friends

In return for your gift of R600 or more, we’ll recognise your exceptional support by sending you an elegant pen. When you use it to jot down items on your shopping list, you’ll be reminded of the supplies you’re helping to provide for another rescued horse or pony at the SPCA.
If you can’t commit to a R600 donation, please send whatever you can towards the cost of saving horses like Twinkles and O’Grady. Together we can restore their faith in human kindness and give them a second chance at the life they deserve.

This video comes with a warning ­– and a wake-up call

Be warned: this video depicts one of the worst cases of sadistic cruelty we’ve seen, and involves children. If you’d rather not see it – or read any further – before you go, please donate here to help us keep up our humane education efforts – to help prevent more cases like this.


Here’s a brief version of this case:

A group of children ­dragged a stray dog (let’s call him ‘Sam’) to a secluded spot in Mannenberg and set their pit bull onto him. They intended to see Sam killed: ‘You are going to die,’ they said repeatedly.

While their pit bull attacked Sam, the children also kicked her … but since Sam was still clinging to life, they hung him from a tree.  Then, as if that wasn’t enough, they took Sam down from the tree and threw rocks at him. The last image in the video shows Sam lying motionless on the ground.

If you’re sickened and shocked by this story, it will be small consolation to say we know how you feel.

But as obscene as it is, it’s a stark reminder – a real wake-up call – of how critical our humane education programme truly is. You can support this here.

But the truth is, it’s what you DON’T see in the clip that really speaks volumes …

You see, kids are not born loving animals. There’s no miraculous point in their lives – without parental or external guidance – at which compassion for pets becomes important. Like reading and writing, caring for animals is taught. 

For many children here in Cape Town, the only lesson in love for animals they’ll ever hear is from the SPCA’s education programme. And far more children need to hear it – because they’re not being taught about it anywhere else.


It’s heart-breaking to know that it’s too late for Sam. But it’s not too late to reach more children with educational content that not only spells out pet care, but the consequences of cruelty.

There is a well-documented link between childhood cruelty to animals and later criminality and violence. To  learn more about studies that reveal “the link” between animal abuse and violence download  The Link Between Animal Cruelty and Human Violence

This video shows how important our education programme is, in order to not only protect our animals but our children as well. Humane education can break this cycle of violence and replace it with one of compassion, empathy and personal responsibility. It is for this reason that our Education team works tirelessly to change the way that children view animals. During the last financial year, we worked extremely hard at preventing exactly this type of incident. 11 299 children were exposed to our education programme in 125 schools in the areas of Nyanga, Cross Roads, Delft, Mitchell’s Plain, Gugulethu, Phillipi, Atlantis and Pelican Park.

Please support the SPCA’s continuing efforts in humane education. For Sam’s sake – and for the sake of our children – please act now. To learn more about the SPCA Humane Education programme please click here

Note: The children involved in the video were all identified by the SPCA’s Inspectors and it is likely that a criminal proceedings will follow.  We will also be liaising with social workers from the Department of Social Development. It is still early days as far as this case is concerned, but we assume that the children were possibly exposed to dog fighting and other forms of animal abuse and re-enacted what they saw. ‘Children live what they learn.’ We are awaiting the post-mortem results on Sam’s body – which our Inspectors retrieved. Your donation here will be greatly appreciated.

Autopsy Update:
We have just received the official State Veterinarian post-mortem report for the innocent dog tortured and stoned to death in Manenberg.
The findings show that the dog in question suffered numerous fractures to its body before death.
Injuries present in the skin of the head indicate puncture wounds caused by a large dog bite.
The front rostral section of the skull was crushed, with hemorrhaging into the sinus and naval cavities.
The liver was damaged due to blunt force injuries i.e. kicking or blows with an object.
Excess fluid on the lungs indicates that the dog was still alive when thrown into the water.

These results serve to amplify the horrific nature of this crime and vicious intent to torture and kill the animal.

The autopsy also confirms that “Sophie” is in fact “Sam” – a male crossbreed who will never be forgotten.
Further updates will be given on the court dates for anyone interested in following the case.

To date our inspectors are still awaiting word on when they can safely enter the area to retrieve the second dog in the video
Please support our Humane Education programme so that we can continue to teach compassion towards animals and prevent cruelty towards animals.

A Horse is Worth More Than Riches


The SPCA has taken ownership of a severely neglected and abused mare.

The truly despicable side to this case is that the owner is someone who has a long standing history in the horse community and claims to know how to care for these magnificent creatures. Its owner has shown a blatant disregard for the animal’s physical and mental well-being leaving it to essentially fend for itself with no access to food.

Her condition is one of the worst we have encountered including malnutrition, dehydration, hoof and dental damage. Standing at +-15.5 hands she weighs 350 kg which is staggeringly underweight.

Our goal is to rehabilitate this horse and work with the equine community to find this soul a loving home for the future.
She will have to undergo extensive veterinary and dental checks to assess the full extent of her health before she can be re-homed, however we will share her progress with you over the next few weeks.

If you are interested in adoption or assisting with her care please email or call 021 700 4141 for more information.

Help Rehome the Rescued Chinese Fishing Dogs


The recent confiscation of four dogs from an illegal fishing trawler has seen them being placed into a state quarantine facility.

We are very pleased to disclose these four dogs will be handed over to the COGH SPCA this week into our ownership and care.

R15 000 – R20 000 is needed to pay for the various blood tests required to allow them to be put up for adoption.

In terms of quarantine protocols, tests for the following diseases must be conducted: Brucella canis, Leishmania, Trypanosoma evansi or Babesia gibsoni and Dirofilaria immitis.  The tests are conducted using imported test kits which are expensive but it is in the best interests of our resident pet population’s  welfare, that we test for and eliminate, the risks associated with foreign diseases.

If you would like to adopt please contact us to help move this process along on 021 700 4141 or email
Thank you

Real animal lovers would never put profit above a dog’s well-being

‘Backyard breeding’ … even the term sounds sordid. And it is: this is an industry that sees puppies as products; and more ‘product’ means more money. That’s why we call them puppy mills.

If you’ve already heard enough and don’t want to read any further, we understand – but before you leave, please help us do something about it by making your donation today.

Truth is, puppy factories see dogs as machines to produce litter after litter – as if that’s all they’re good for. We’ve found mother dogs riddled with cancer, others old and weak, still being used for breeding. It’s brutal and we want to put a stop to it.


It’s also a cruel game of deceit and greed, of unsavoury characters who won’t take their sick ‘stock’ to the vet – but will sell them anyway. As long as the puppies fetch a price. These people literally breed for greed! And we’ve lost count of the people who were duped and paid dearly for their puppies, in heartbreak and in financial loss.

Puppies are sold through adverts and pet shops, spruced up to look their best. Or they’re peddled on the streets. Only recently we intercepted someone hawking puppies in the city – and all of them were sick.

Sometimes well-meaning folk buy animals off the streets out of pity. Others simply want a puppy and are misled by phrases like ‘registered’, ‘responsible’ or ‘love for the breed’. Love does not put profit above a dog’s well-being.

If you agree, please donate now

Work with us to shut them down. Generous gifts from friends like you are the reason we’re able to keep tracking down puppy mills and ensure that we can cover the cost of rescues, investigations, legalities and veterinary treatment.

Show your support now to help us keep up the pressure on backyard breeders – until there are none.

In memory of Artist’s Son

Don’t tell me not to cry – for artist’s son

I thought you were lost when you were found
Lying on that filthy ground
You moved you’re head and looked at me
Your eyes told a story
Depicting no glory
Please don’t cry for me i was told

Your body so thin
Legs so weak
Young but way past your peak
You walk alongside us meek and mild
Once we had lifted you like a child
Please don’t tell me not to cry

Your wounds are raw, the pain you endure
still you greet with a soft mutter
My heart began to flutter
Please do not tell me not to cry
Your spirit was rare
You showed such flair
Making it clear
You would not be messed about
Greeted new friends
Lowered your head to be fed
the lush, green lucerne
Please do not tell me not to cry

I found you lying as before
My heart strings they tore
As you lifted your head
This you said
The final chapter is nearly read
I only wish to lie on my bed
The straw is soft and i feel well fed
Please do not tell me not to cry

I held your head in my arms
Beads of sweat on my palms
I told you humans are very bad
You blinked your eyes and said that’s so sad
But that you were really glad
You had this time with me
Please do not tell me not to cry

With a soft, mournful sound you had your final say
My only wish is to get to play
If i may, for one more day
I wiped cool water over your dusty nose
This is not what you chose
Please do not tell me not to cry.

You have touched my soul
You have played your role
My heart is broken
But you have spoken
Please do not tell me not to cry
Over the pale cool moon you run
A ray of light marking where the sun
Abandoned the earth off on a different run
Your muscles ripple and your legs are strong.
You shake your head and sing this song
Please do not cry!

Twelve reasons not to miss the FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN

cape town 12

Hit the New Year running in preparation for the second annual FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN that will take the city by storm on Sunday, 15 May 2016.

According to Sue Ullyett, event manager for the FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN, the event is all about having as much fun as possible before, during and after the run.  “Starting at Woodbridge Island in Milnerton, the route hugs the coastline, through the harbour and continues up Adderley Street through the heart of the Mother City, before finishing in Bree Street outside the FNB offices at Portside.  The vibe, fresh sea breeze, on route activations and finish line celebrations make for an exciting experience that will leave runners wanting more.  Runners, walkers, family and friends absolutely have to be part of this iconic event.”

12 reasons to enter the FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN:

  1. It’s a fun event that offers you a unique experience of a point-to-point 12km route with a convenient MyCiti bus trip to the start at Woodbridge Island in Milnerton, passing historic city landmarks and finishing outside Portside.
  1. Get your PUMA event T-shirt for free if you are one of the first 3 000 FNB clients to enter online and pay using your FNB credit or debit card.
  1. Come and join us for a fun, party, fancy dress vibe and enjoy on route entertainment from bands, DJs and various artists at the 24 encouragement points along the route.
  1. It’s a fast, flat 12km route with no cut off time and walkers are welcome.
  1. Guaranteed to run a personal best if it’s the first 12km you’ve ever run!
  1. Get a chance to run with some of the best athletes from around the world.
  1. Run with South Africa’s top athletes and interact with them and the international athletes during a Q&A session at the Registration.
  1. Run with Deon Bing and Sibongile Mafu from the KFM Breakfast Team – if they can keep up with you!
  1. It starts at the decent hour of 9am – giving you time to enjoy a coffee.
  1. It finishes downhill along vibey, interesting Bree Street that offers a look at the funky side of Cape Town, with great restaurants and interesting things on offer.
  1. Treat yourself to a luxury race experience and take advantage of the Gold Package that offers participants a premier race experience.
  1. Be a part of the funky Friday 5k runs starting and finishing from Portside at Bree Street every Friday morning at 06h30 – the perfect way to start your weekend.

The FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN was named “Race of the Year” at the Western Province Athletics Annual Awards function held at the end of 2015.

Charity SupportWhen entering online, runners can choose to support either or both of the FNB Cape Town ONERUN Charities:  The Cape Of Good Hope SPCA and Die Burger Kersfonds.

For more information on:  Die Burger Kersfonds email, Cape Of Good Hope SPCA visit, FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN visit


About the FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN sponsorship:

The FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN race is sponsored by FNB Business.  The sponsorship forms part of the Bank’s ongoing strategy to support national and community events that have the potential to grow and inspire.  The FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN affirms our dedication to providing an experience that is beyond expectation, through sporting disciplines that advance our commitment to building, enduring and rewarding relationships across communities in which we operate.



ISSUED BY: Newsport Media

ON BEHALF OF: FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN a Stillwater Sports Event

For further information contact Jacky McClean on 083 291 9283 or email