Recently, we had the pleasure of engaging in a captivating conversation with our esteemed Inspector Jeffrey Mfini, to gain a deeper understanding of his persona and the intricacies of his daily duties.
Mfini, who has endeared himself to our community and is no stranger to the limelight, has been instrumental in many high-profile cases, including the rescue of pit bulls that were brutally killed and set ablaze by a mob in Cape Town, fearlessly navigating a barrage of rocks to save a security dog named Nova from a perilous situation, and saving an abandoned dog named Ruff who was left tied to a pole, among many other remarkable cases.
Inspector Mfini, allow us to share a glimpse into your background?
I hail from a small town called Bizana in the Eastern Cape, and have called Cape Town my home since 2000. My passion for animals was instilled in me by my father, who worked in the mines of the Eastern Cape and would only return home a few times a year. As a result, it was my responsibility to care for his animals, including chickens, dogs, pigs, cattle, and horses, ensuring that they were loved and tended to in his absence.
My father lived by a principle that I still abide by to this day: before we sat down to eat, all our animals needed to be fed first.
Tell us about your history with the SPCA
I was honored to join the Cape of Good Hope SPCA team on September 6th, 2011, as an Orderly in our animal hospital. Soon after, I transitioned to the mobile clinics as a driver and later progressed to the Inspectorate Department as a night shift collections officer. During my tenure as a collections officer, a position for a Cadet Inspector opened up and I seized the opportunity to apply, successfully passing and earning a promotion to Inspector.
I have been a fully-fledged inspector since 2018, and it has been a privilege to serve in this capacity.
Can you tell us about your most memorable case?
As Inspectors, we are confronted with many different types of cases on a daily basis, but there are two incidents in particular that remain etched in my mind.
The first case involved a jealous ex-boyfriend who, in a fit of rage, stabbed his ex-girlfriend’s dog as a form of retribution after the end of a physically abusive relationship. The dog sustained a severe wound on its neck, but thanks to our swift response and prompt medical attention, we were able to save the dog’s life.
Thankfully the dog survived but was a victim of cruelty as a result of this abusive relationship. The perpetrator was arrested and the case remains ongoing.
The second case that stands out for me involved an elderly homeless man and his beloved companion who fell prey to an act of senseless cruelty.
I arrived at the scene to find a couple physically abusing each other, and shortly after, one of them walked over to the dog, who was sitting next to a very elderly man and began mercilessly stabbing it until it couldn’t use its hind legs. As an inspector, we are trained to handle such situations, but the sight of the dog in pain and the elderly homeless man in tears, consoling his best friend, was truly heart-wrenching. Due to the severity of the injuries, we were forced to euthanize the dog. The homeless man wanted to provide a statement. Having very little to his name and having lost his best friend, I was very touched by his bravery to still want to provide me with a statement.
The perpetrator was arrested, found guilty and charged for their heinous actions.
Please tell us about the inspectorate training process and what it entails
Becoming an inspector at the SPCA is a comprehensive journey that takes approximately 12 months to complete.
The process begins with gaining a thorough understanding of the Animal Protection Act, as well as the vision and mission of the SPCA.
Once you have attained this knowledge, you will be required to take an entrance exam after completing six months of hands-on training on the job. If you pass the exam, you will then attend a two-week Inspector Training Course at the NSPCA in Johannesburg.
The course includes an exam that must be passed in order to move on to the final stage of the process. This stage involves completing an assignment that can take up to 2 months to finish and covers a wide range of topics, which will solidify your qualifications as an inspector. This assignment covers aspects such as:
• Pet shop inspection (where exotic animals are sold)
• Sale yard inspection
• Abattoir inspection
• Stable yard (with trail or riding horses)
• Cruelty case investigations (involving different aspects of active cruelty)
• Security company investigation (where animals are used)
• Pro-active days in local townships
• Post-home inspections
Do you have any advice for someone who may wish to become an SPCA Inspector?
Becoming an inspector is not a decision to be made lightly, as it comes with its fair share of challenges. As an inspector, you will encounter many heartbreaking cases and will often find yourself in dangerous situations, and it is crucial to be mentally prepared for this.
As an inspector, you bear a significant responsibility to educate the public on how animals should be treated and to ensure that justice is served for every animal that you rescue through thorough investigations.
The life of an inspector is not a glamorous one and often requires working in dangerous areas and handling risky situations, which may not always be met with public approval.
It is important to remember that as an inspector, you must be able to navigate all kinds of situations with diplomacy and fairness.
If you are up for the challenge, have a passion for animal welfare and are prepared to make a difference, this may be the right path for you.
Wise words from Inspector Jeffrey Mfini:
If you see something, say something.
If you witness animal cruelty and you don’t report it, there is no difference between you and the person abusing their animals.
As a vigilant member of society, it is your moral imperative to speak out against injustice, particularly when it comes to the mistreatment of innocent animals. By remaining silent in the face of atrocities, you become complicit in the very cruelty you wish us to eradicate. But by speaking up, you can be a catalyst for change and ensure that justice is served.
To report animal cruelty, please contact 021 700 4158/9 during office hours or 083 326 1604 after hours or email email@example.com. You can also report cruelty here.
All we need is a brief description of the cruelty and an address where we can find the animal/s. Please also provide your phone number so we can get hold of you if we need further information and also to give you feedback after your report has been investigated.
Inspector Mfini in the News:
During the festive season, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA received many reports of pets being abandoned by their owners. The majority of the reports received were about owners who went away on holiday and left their pets unattended.
“Nothing should have to endure such a hell,” were the words from a Cape of Good Hope SPCA inspector upon seeing a large-breed security dog confined to a tiny metal cage. And then the stones started to fly…
Yesterday evening the Cape of Good Hope SPCA received an emergency call about an emaciated dog tied to a pole and abandoned in Belmont Park. The kind complainant was waiting with the dog until one of our officials arrived to rescue the dog and could investigate the matter further.
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The SPCA receives no funding from the government and relies on donations from the public in order to function
Your continued dedication, ongoing support, and passion for protecting the lives of animals is what makes us successful. Thank you for everything you do to help make this a better world for animals.