2019 in Review
Updated: Dec 31, 2019
We take a moment to reflect on all that was done for animals in Windhoek as 2019 is coming to an end. And as we reflect, we are grateful for every way that you helped; be it through being a member, adopting an animal, donating on a monthly or annual basis, volunteering, or simply educating others about the importance of animal welfare for any and all animal species.
A video featuring some of the SPCA highlights in 2019.
By the Numbers
Like every year, the need for the SPCA to provide a safe haven for the less fortunate animals never stops. In fiscal year 2019 the SPCA took in 3,685 animals; an average of 10 new animals per day. Our Inspectors collected a total of 1,445 animals off the streets and surrendered from homes. Throughout the year the SPCA receives more animals during certain seasons; normally April-May and October-November. In November 2019 we received a record of 398 animals in one month. We desperately hope that this is a once-off trend that does not continue and that people realize that adopting an animal from a shelter truly makes a difference, even if just for that one particular animal. The animals in our care received a lot of medical attention: 3,009 vaccines were administered and 554 sterilizations were performed. This year also comes with some great news - our adoption rate increased by 22% from the previous year, and so even more animals found their perfect match in 2019.
Variety of Animals
Many think the SPCA only takes in cats and dogs, and whilst they do make up the vast majority of animals received, the SPCA took in 142 animals of 'other' species in fiscal year 2019. This includes donkeys; horses; cattle; raptors such as hawks, owls, and eagles; small wild birds; bats; dassies; mongooses; meerkats; porcupines; turtles; tortoises; and more. The SPCA works with a foster network for the large animals and with MET and wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centers for wild animals to ensure the best outcome for each individual animal.
We celebrated our 70th Birthday
The SPCA reached a huge milestone this year; we turned 70 years! That is 70 years of fighting for animals, to increase their welfare, to prevent cruelty to animals, and to provide them with a safe haven. We celebrated through a seven initiatives - a Mutt Strutt, a Calendar Contest, a Zumbathon, a Clear the Shelter adoption Drive, a Paw Party, and finally a Staff Appreciation and a Volunteer Appreciation.
One of the exciting initiatives this year was the launch of Dixie's Fund. A fund inspired by an injured puppy in need of veterinary help and surgery. The fund is a restricted account to specifically support necessary and extraordinary medical and veterinary expenses that the SPCA animals need.
A veterinarian was hired to cut costs and to increase the overall health of the animals at the SPCA. The volunteer program has grown and become more formalized both for the safety of our volunteers and our animals. Our Humane Education Program continues to reach hundreds of children each year; at a glance, over 1,170 children were reached through school visits and SPCA visits in six months alone. The donor and sponsor program has been revamped to ensure the SPCA gives back as well. The SPCA has put even more effort into its communications by appearing regularly in radio interviews, sending out bi-weekly notices, newsletters, complete revamp of our website to feature all animals available for adoption, and more.
There have been lots of new events and initiatives and some favorite come-backs as well; Quiz Night, Animals by Night, Zumbathon, calendar contest, dog walk, Shelter Open Day, Clear the Shelter adoption drive, yard sale, and several more. Take a look at the video below to see more about the Zumbathon and how animal welfare and Zumba came together for the animals.
Watch the video created by the talented team at Open Arms Trust featuring SPCA Windhoek and the inspirational Z-Life Studio.
Cases of Neglect and Cruelty
Whilst we try to protect our viewers from the secondary trauma of seeing severely sick, injured, neglected, and abused animals, they come to the SPCA weekly by voluntary measures or through confiscation. Unfortunately, some are so severely diseased or injured by the time they arrive at the SPCA that nothing more can be done for them. That is why we rejoice all the more in the cases where we can help them through veterinary care and through behavioral rehabilitation.
Heartwarming Stories and Transformations
Gummy was a young puppy who was confiscated due to severe abuse. He was kicked and beaten until his hind leg broke by his owner. The SPCA confiscated the puppy and opened up a case against the owner on the basis of animal cruelty. Through surgery and rehabilitation Gummy found joy in life again and recovered well from extensive surgery. Gummy was one of the lucky ones and he did soon find his forever home.
Another dog, a six month old puppy we named Brave was brought to the SPCA due to having been severely attacked by another dog or several other dogs. He had multiple puncture wounds that needed to be flushed regularly and a large open gash which ended up needing several surgeries due to his puppy exuberance. He was also treated for infection due to the severity of his injuries. Today, you would never be able to tell. Brave is a happy puppy who just went home before the new year.
It is not unusual for us to receive cats and dogs in severely neglected conditions. It tends to be ever more evident in dogs due to their size and dependency on people. Take a look at some extraordinary transformations, not only in physical condition, but the trust in people they gained too. We would like to show you before and after photos of two of our dogs, Rusho and Bridge, who since have found their forever homes.
The image on the left show the day Bridge where he was finding shelter after time on the streets, he was alone and scared. The photo on the right show a Bridge in the care of the SPCA after lots of TLC.
The two images to the left show Rusho when he first arrived and the image on the right a happy and healthy Rusho after rehabilitation.
Rusho came to the SPCA in a severely neglected state. He was a walking skeleton and suffered from tick-bite fever and diarrhea – a dangerous combination. He was treated by our veterinarian and slowly started to put on weight. Rusho has now found a happy home of his own.
At this year's AGM we thanked the outgoing committee members for their years of service and warmly welcomed our new committee members. The management committee now comprises of professionals in veterinary medicine, financial management, development, wildlife, event planning, dog training, and construction; all eager to guide the SPCA with their expertise and further animal welfare in Windhoek and Namibia.
Every person who adopts an animal, volunteer for animals, donate toward the animals, educate about animals, and are a member of the SPCA contribute in their own ways, whether as a private individual or a corporate business, to the life of the organization, and its ability to be there for those who have no voice and those animals who have nowhere else to go.
You are the ones who make the SPCA tick and what makes this possible. You save lives through your actions and are all heroes in the eyes of animals. Thank you. We look forward to what the new year has to bring and hope to see you there fighting for animals alongside us.