SPAR WC brings Christmas to Homeless Animals

18 December 2013

SPAR in the Western Cape in partnership with Mars Africa, producers of Pedigree and Whiskas petfood in South Africa, cheered up some animal lives recently when they gave a large donation of Whiskas cat food to three pet shelters.

The donation was further boosted when Mars Africa pledged an additional R20 000 worth of Pedigree dog food and Pedigree Dentastix over and above the Whiskas donation to each of the three shelters.
Carla Schoeman, category buyer for SPAR, had identified three pet shelters prior to the hand-over. She, Richard Almendro from SPAR and two representatives from Mars, took time out of busy schedules to visit the animal shelters.
The Animal Welfare Society Memorial Hospital in Philippi, close to the SPAR Distibution Centre, was the first port of call and proved to be a haven for unwanted or ill treated animals in an area that struggles with poverty.
Hilary Henderson and her dedicated work force – the head kennel man, Godfrey Ngcakaza, has been there for 26 years – are doing amazing work with the animals in the area, many of whom are neglected and abused because of societal challenges facing the community.
As many as 15 000 dogs pass through the doors of this shelter annually. They have their own clinic, where they drive a sterilisation programme. Hilary says that they encourage adoption, but enforce strict guidlelines with new ownership. “We encourage adoption, rather than to buy a pet.”
Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre, one of the beneficiaries, cites gum disease as their biggest problem among their over 500 rescued dogs. Here, Lesley van der Watt and her team, work tirelessly to keep the rescued dogs and cats fed and cared for. They also encourage adoption. Lesley and her team also have to make provision for abandoned litters on a regular basis.
The Hermanus Animal Welfare Society, recently struck by flooding, was also a happy recipient of the donation. Without any government subsidy, Ilze Smith and her committee of 6 volunteers run an animal rescue centre and clinic for people who cannot afford veterinary fees for their animals. Since opening their own clinic, they are now able to treat pets on site. Ilze says that they also do field work once a week, and try to educate people on caring for their pets, encouraging them to have their animals sterilised. In extreme cases they will rescue the animals by removing them from the places of neglect or abuse. She says that they have to work really hard at securing funding and sponsorships. They also try to drive their adoption programme outside of Hermanus.
Carla says that through the donation and visits, SPAR and Mars Africa, with the pet food brands, Pedigree and Whiskas, hope to create awareness within communities. “We want to show that our brands really care for the pets.”