The Nelly Story – Inspector Jeffrey

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Inspector Jeffrey grew up in the Eastern Cape in a town called Bizana, located 150km outside Port Shepstone.  As a young man, Jeffrey was tasked to look after his father’s animals.  His father only returned home twice a year, as he was working in Johannesburg.  “I looked after cattle, sheep and dogs, back then I didn’t know I would be working for an organisation like the SPCA.  I am still learning each and every day,  and I come across new cases all the time”.
Interview with Jeffrey 

How did you feel when you saw Nelly the first time in Khayelitsha? “Yoh, I was so sad, it was bad”. His head falls into his hands, covering his face. He looks up shaking his head, and then you see it, a fierce flash in his eyes. “It makes me angry, this owner failed this dog,” said Jeffrey. A chilling tone in his voice a mixture of disappointment, sadness and then rage.  



Something triggered there, a follow-up question to divert back to more loving memories was needed. Inspectors face severe challenges, they enter dangerous areas and in many instances go where angels fear to tread. Inspectors are sworn at, shot at and often have to collaborate with the South African Police Service to execute their duties. More often than not bearing witness to some of the most horrific scenes imaginable to man. The traumatic experiences often have a long-lasting impact on inspectors, and secondary trauma is triggered easily. Cape of Good Hope SPCA has all staff membered to ICAS ( for confidential debriefing and referral to professional help when needed.

The man behind the uniform 

Jeffrey moved to Cape Town in 2000. He is one of 7 siblings and describes himself as the middleman. He is currently looking after a brother and two sisters. “I started working at the SPCA in September 2011, on weekends I assisted the hospital with cleaning cages. I was appointed as a full-time nightshift driver thereafter. I applied for a trainee inspector and was successful” said Jeffrey. He qualified as a fully accredited inspector in November 2018. True love never dies, his passion and love for animals are evident in his career progression.

Jeffrey refused to give up!

Nelly’s docket stated “Jeffrey to sort out Bravecto” In his interview, we asked about this. He replied in a shy, but humble voice “I know the Bravecto works if Nelly was given Bravecto she would be ok”. ( Intensive care is expensive and not all animals in Nelly’s condition are ideally placed for treatment. Cape of Good Hope SPCA sees on average 45 000 cases per year of which more than 60% present as moderate to severe cases where the cost of treatment can quickly escalate over R850 per animal per day.


How often do you get cases like Nelly? “A lot, A lot, a lot, what I notice is owners like dogs when they are still young puppies, but when that dog grows up, I’m not sure what happens, but they start to neglect those animals”.


Dogs are family

“Dogs are part and parcel of the family” – says Jeffrey. He continued to visit Nelly as often as he could, but nothing could dispute the relationship between Nelly and Jeffrey at their first reunion. Even though he doesn’t really want to speak about his contribution to her recovery, Nelly made a deep impact on Jeffrey. One that will last a lifetime. “I couldn’t believe this was the same scared, shy little dog I helped” – said Jeffrey

Inspectors on the road

Jeffrey’s dedication and love for animals have him handling between 8 to 15 cases per day.  “People, in general, don’t want to comply with inspectors,” he says – “cooperating with inspectors is your best option.  If you are served with a notice, comply.  “We can not allow an owner who will not listen or who does not want to take advice from an inspector to result in an animal suffering”.

The real question is, can we afford not to have inspectors like Jeffrey on the road?  

Follow #TheNellyStory – In Episode 3 next week we look at the SPCA’s very own Meredith Grey for the Greys Anatomy lovers.  Meet Dr Stephanie who oversaw Nelly’s clinical treatment.

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