Zimbabwe is facing serious economic difficulties and animal shelters have not been spared.
There are two animal shelters in Harare – the Harare Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Harare SPCA) and The Friend Animal Foundation. Both shelters are facing severe challenges to keep running with The Friend Animal Foundation facing closure this year due to a lack of funds.
Harare SPCA is a charitable organisation offering veterinary services that include vaccinations, treating diseases and sterilising animals. They also have a mobile clinic that goes out to high density suburbs to assist those who cannot afford to visit the vet. Harare News spoke to Mark Beru, General Manager at Harare SPCA, about their current problems. Beru said, “We are seriously affected by a scarcity of resources. We would like do more for the community, like campaigns to spay and neuter pets, but due to scarce resources we are unable to do so. We have noted that many animals suffer because people fail to vaccinate pets on time or take them to the vet as soon as they fall ill.”
As Harare’s official pound, the Harare SPCA are mandated by City of Harare to hold all strays for ten days to allow owners time to come and claim their pets. If the animals are unclaimed, the SPCA tries to re-home the animals or failing that, humanely euthanize depending on their condition. At present, Harare SPCA have approximately two hundred dogs and one hundred cats in their care.
City of Harare annually appoints one day in which Harare SPCA can collect donations from the public. Known as SPCA Flag Day, this year it will take place in October. They also have an SPCA dog show once a month at Mukuvisi Woodlands and as well as golf day fundraising events where participants donate in cash or kind.
The Friend Animal Foundation cares for a large variety of domestic animals. It is a “no-kill” shelter, meaning that they do not euthanise healthy or treatable animals even when the shelter is full. The Friend Animal Foundation currently houses over two hundred dogs and one hundred and twenty four cats and kittens.
Harare News spoke to Leigh Appel, General Manager’s Assistant at The Friend Animal Foundation, who said, “Our biggest challenge is money. We need money to pay for the food and medical care for the animals. We also have to pay our staff to clean kennels, care for the animals, and we have ZESA and water bills. The Trust which has funded us for 18 years is sadly running our money and we are desperately attempting to secure additional funding.”
The Friend Animal Foundation has a programme whereby individuals and organisations can sponsor a kennel. During the month of September they will host a Family Fun Day, a quiz night and they also welcome school visits to the shelter.
As we are approaching World Animal Day on October 4, Harare SPCA appealed to the public to get involved in their education programme so that they can teach people the basics of animal welfare. World Animal Day is an international day of action for animal rights and welfare.
To donate in cash or kind to Harare SPCA visit their website or Facebook page or call (04) 576355/6. Without support Friend Animal Foundation is set to close in December. Visit them on Facebook to find out how to donate, or call Marylu on 0772 225 845.