Written by Zanette Kellerman – Chairperson
Professional photography by NeedOutdoors
Saldanha Animal Care started off with a handful of concerned and kind-hearted residents of Saldanha feeding and caring for the many stray dogs and cats of this region on Cape Town’s West Coast.
This initiative escalated quickly, necessitating Saldanha Animal Care to register as a non-profit organisation (NPO 115-971). Today we have a shelter that’s a safe haven to over 60 dogs. In addition, thanks to the generous contributions of its kind supporters, the shelter built a small but efficient veterinary clinic on the premises. This has allowed us to provide affordable medical care for 589 dogs so far.
Pet overpopulation is a national crisis, with 3-4 million dogs and cats being euthanised all over the country annually due to uncontrolled breeding and insufficient homes. We pray every day that our shelter doesn’t become part of these statistics. Rescuers shed many tears knowing all too well that we’re not able to save all of them. But we get up the next day and continue the fight for those creatures who cannot speak for themselves.
Saldanha Animal Care’s mission statement
Saldanha Animal Care is a non-profit, all-volunteer organisation. Our mission is to treat pets and/or rescue lost, homeless and abandoned cats and dogs from our community and the surrounding area. We care for, protect and provide the animals with medical care, including spay or neuter, until adoption into a loving, permanent home. Unfortunately, the majority of these four-legged souls become inmates of the shelter for the remainder of their lives, although we’ll keep fighting for them.
Help needed to help more animals
As a non-profit organisation with no assistance from the municipality, Saldanha Animal Care is 100% reliant on the assistance and donations from the business community and public to ensure that the shelter remains operational. Sadly, the closure of many of our contributing companies due to the Covid pandemic resulted in a lack of donations and sponsorships. In addition, Saldanha Animal Care is experiencing its most challenging financial period due to the financial crisis in all households and companies on the West Coast. An estimated 60% of people in the Saldanha region fall below the national upper-bound poverty line (higher than the national average), so the need for help is dire.
We are, therefore, very troubled and concerned about the survival and sustainability of the shelter going forward. However, the volunteers of Saldanha Animal Care are dedicated to keep fighting to help these animals.
We’ll continue with fundraising events, but due to the local financial crisis all fundraisers have been seriously compromised. Also, one needs money to arrange a profitable fundraiser, for which contributions from the public and companies are required to avoid running at an absolute loss.
What are the costs?
Saldanha Animal Care can only survive if we manage to obtain the assistance with critical needs of the shelter, which has an annual running cost of around R858,600 annually – an intimidating amount, especially as our largest sponsor that generously settled our vet accounts monthly over the past two years is no longer able to support us.
Our next urgent mission is to purchase a shipping container that can be placed in the rural area permanently to assist the abused and malnourished dogs which inhabit this region. The estimated cost to purchase and transport such a container is R50,000.
In addition, the shelter’s current infrastructure must be upgraded due to extreme weather conditions having caused major damage and deterioration; this is estimated to cost R230,000.
With a large, often rural area to cover, reliable transport is another must. The Saldanha Animal Care’s only mode of transport – an old bakkie (small pick-up truck) – has become extremely unreliable and will have to be replaced. This forces volunteers to use personal vehicles when available for long trips, but this isn’t a sustainable solution.
Our fuel bill for transport of adopted dogs, house inspections, daily run of the Nissan, and generator comes to R48,000 for the year. We’ve requested assistance from local garages, but to no avail.
(Full details of animals helped, funds, and cost breakdowns are available on enquiry.)
You can help!
The number of lives Saldanha Animal Care can save is dictated by the amount of funds we raise, and we’re grateful to all those who’ve supported us in the past and now.
Bank: Standard Bank
Account name: Saldanha Animal Care
Account Number: 282554122
We thank you for the opportunity to introduce our organisation to you in the hope that we as a non-profit organisation outside your direct area of concern is given an opportunity to benefit from your potential assistance.