Through The Eyes of a Child We See Again

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On the 21st of April 2023, we received a short and to the point email from Gemma Newton.  She simply asked “We allowed to come for visits?🐈🐕”.  We responded with an invitation but in the email to and fro that followed, it suddenly dawned on us – we were engaging with a child.  We requested a phone number for a parent and picked up the conversation with Gemma’s Mom, Carmelita.  

She explained “Gemma is always on the SPCA’s Website, she even has pictures she’s downloaded from the website, stuck up in her room”.  Gemma’s great love for animals and her fascination with our rescue work was made clear when Carmelita said, “It would be a dream come true for her to visit the SPCA”.

On the 26th of April 2023, Gemma, accompanied by her Mom and siblings came to visit us. At just nine years old, she demonstrated a heart full of compassion and a passion for animals that belied her age. It’s been said that  “The eyes of a child see what adults have forgotten” and watching Gemma, we saw just how true this saying can be.  

Gemma’s enthusiasm for the SPCA was palpable as she toured our facilities. She met “Animal Cop” (Inspector) Rudolph Philander, was shown how to properly feed a horse a carrot and because she loves watching shows on animal surgeries, she even witnessed a pet being sterilised.  

Animal rescue is heartbreaking work and sometimes our tired eyes that see nothing but animal suffering, forget to see things the way Gemma did! Her eyes were full of wonder and it was clear that she saw things in a very different, new and exciting light. 

It took a  visit from a child to remind us to never stop dreaming of a world in which animal cruelty ceases to exist. It took Gemma, a sweet and spirited little girl to put the stars back in our eyes and hope back in our hearts.  

Thank you Gemma,

We have renewed  hope  because Gemma showed kindness and compassion in what we experience daily as a very unkind world for animals.  We have renewed hope because we have no doubt that Gemma will carry the torch of compassion for the next generation of animal welfarists and she’ll pass it on to the generations to come. Our burden is lighter, the future of animal welfare is brighter because a child named Gemma came to see us!  

Vet performing surgery background theatre children look on
Gemma and her younger brother watch a surgery in process from a distance

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