Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe

by SPCA MUTARE
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Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Survival of Animal Welfare Charity in Zimbabwe
Kim Kourtney Kloe & Kendall. Local Celebs
Kim Kourtney Kloe & Kendall. Local Celebs

DEC 2018. Hello again to our Global Giving community.

What a busy time we have had since we last communicated by way of a report with you all.

We, the volunteers at Mutare SPCA, have made it our purpose to ‘grow’ our staff, giving them more command in their very important role in the community. We have sent two of our Inspectors to Imire Game Park near Harare where they attended a course on Strategy for Captive Elephant Management. We do not condone captive wildlife in any shape or form, BUT captive wildlife is being forced upon us and we felt they should attend so we could understand current thinking in Zimbabwe, and voice our concerns where necessary. More and more we are seeing our beautiful wildlife, for example lions, in small cages for the amusement, even taunting, of the general public, who do not understand the stress those animals and being placed under. Also, we feel extremely strongly that the decimation of herds of elephants, to capture their very young to send to zoos in China is off the charts cruel, and yet it continues to happen as government corruption reaches proportions we could never have imagined.SPCA Mutare sometimes feels like that ‘lone voice in the wilderness’ in these cases.

Then more recently, the same Inspectors attended a Dogs Trust Worldwide Behaviour Course in Harare. They have come back full of wonderful new ideas for how we can better ourselves and the lives of our shelter animals. The first thing they want is for us to design and implement is an enrichment area for play. Global Giving funds could help us with this playground. Keep up the great ideas, Inspectors William Nyawengu and Simba Karumbidza! We are all behind you.

Here I include Inspector William’s report for Global Giving. It’s long, I know, but the last few lines are worth their weight in gold to the volunteers of Mutare SPCA:

We attended the Dogs Trust Workshop on 22nd to 25 November which empowered us with vast knowledge of dealing with dog behaviour, shaping and assessment confidence building on nervous dogs and observational learning, touch acceptance, how to approach new dogs, and aggressive dogs. We learned that best practice at the shelters is about standards. We did a general overview of training, learning theory of training dogs, based on positive reward only, and the effects of negative training and how that results in other issues, which will be difficult to correct. Training helps with matching the dog with new owners and homes, and good organizational reputations. Safety at home promotes welfare since dogs will stay in their homes, since there will grow trust, respect, empathy and communication. It also makes for easy handling at Vet Doctors. For us at Mutare SPCA, shelter enrichment will improve animal behaviour, eg life rooms, elevated areas, sensory gardens, sand boxes, raised areas, interactive toys. We must consider the design from dogs perspective, defensive handling is important to provide safety, and reduce costs and work load. We learned to study dog body language, signs of fear in eyes and tails and high stress triggers. We were taught about types of bites eg snapping, ragging, grabbing and crushing. We need improvements to our shelter but it’s a process which includes long and short term planning, Quality care reduces stress to our dogs. We learned of record keeping, and hygiene, and education of the public is as important. So we have lots of plans to implement here.

In short I salute all our Instructors who travelled all the way from UK to come and anoint us with such vast and rich knowledge. I will never forget the organizers, and everyone who contributed in making the workshop a success. I give a big thank you as it was a great eye-opener. I am prepared to share the knowledge with my fellow workmates and I hope to raise the standard of our dog welfare at Mutare SPCA and the community at large. I feel greatly humbled by your effort at empowering us. Yours Sincerely, Inspector William Nyawengu.

THANK YOU, INSPECTOR WILLIAM. Back to me: Our shelter has been flooded with animals in need. We are thankful that people in our community do inform us all the animals in distress. Now to show these animals that they matter, give them the love and sanctuary they should have known, and above all to find good homes. One cat, no more than a kitten herself was found in a bad state in a nearby factory. We gave her that sanctuary and helped her through her delivery of 5 exquisite kittens, each one shaded with pale heads to dark tails in the loveliest silvery greys. We have never seen this coloration before. Talk about 50 Shades of Grey! Another miniscule tabby kitten was brought in, and (the generosity of stray animals!) a feeding mother cat took her over as if she was her own immediately. We have 5 litters to care for at the moment, including 4 delightful X-Siamese female kittens, little SPCA celebs, so we have called them “The Katashians.”

We have been lucky to find some good homes of late for dogs. Mutare is surrounded by hills and mountains. The Bonda area, known for its superb rural hospital, is particularly interesting. A couple came past to choose two character filled dogs from us, and they kindly adopted a wee kitten at the same time. Celebration day for Mutare SPCA. Two other dogs have been chosen to go and live in Chimanimani Mountains, one of Zimbabwe’s most beautiful locations, second only to Victoria Falls for popularity. Only the best for Mutare SPCA dogs, you know! Four dogs have been homed locally this month.

Our kennels and cattery are filled to bursting, so our next plan is an extension to the cattery that will give each unit access to an outdoor space. If you could, we would be very, very grateful for a helping hand to get this project underway. We have purchased some of the metal ware for the frames, but now need the mesh for the walls and rooves, and labour costs. We will be posting our progress on our facebook page (SPCA-Mutare), but have now discovered our electrical supply box is dangerous. Doesn’t life feel at times like its one step forward and two steps back?

A few months ago we took a leap of faith and allowed a playschool to adopt a puppy. So far it has been a good relationship, and we have taken the opportunity to let little ones have that wondrous experience of ‘owning’ a dog and having to care for it. Inspector William goes regularly to coach the children and the dog at good relationships. Thank you Bongai Shamwari.

This past 6 weeks we have been involved in a case investigating the condition of some horses at a rural school. It may have seemed like a good idea to give children access to horses, but they are expensive to manage and you have to know how to handle horses in your care. We sent 3 Inspectors out, including Ange Wright, who is great with them. The situation was not good. Nutrition was poor and husbandry non-existent. One mare is pregnant, and three youngsters not broken in. This case is going to be an extremely difficult one for us, but it will be a sad day if all rural schools start collecting horses. We try not to be heavy handed in most cases, so Ange met with some school staff to discuss the way forward. Education is so important. On our follow up visit, Ange feels this case will end in intervention. We simply cannot afford to maintain 8 horses, so we have to appeal for help from horse familiar people, for those horses that can be saved. Not all will be in that category sadly. This work can be so tragically sad at times. We will need to transport and medicate them, employ grooms, and find money for quality fodder. Endless worries for us….

On to other subjects, - not all cheerful sadly. Our government, in which most individuals have unlimited access to foreign currency, recently allowed our currency to float against the US Dollar. Here we use an unbacked, unreliable currency called Bond…..look, stay with me here…..it’s weird! know. The immediate effect was that our salaries were divided by the going rate of the day. Shops and businesses reeled at the thought of re-stocking so they put their prices up by said rate. It reached 10:1, that’s right….divide your salary by 10, pay for goods x10!!! Depression set in all round. The rate has settled at 3:1, but tell that to the man in the street, your salary is one third of what it was, and prices have tripled.

This is why this Global Giving Project is worth is weight in gold for us. The value of money our support community gives is stable, and very critical to our survival long term. Please consider having an envelope under your Christmas tree for us. We have almost too much on our plates, but there is no way on this Earth we will stop trying to make a difference in our community.

So thank you all, and have a Happy Festive Season, or treasured family time. I know I say it every time, but in life, if you can make a difference, it matters. And this forum DOES JUST THAT. It makes a difference. For that, we thank you. From the bottom of our hearts….we thank you.

From the Mutare SPCA Team of volunteers.

Horses in need of our intervention 1
Horses in need of our intervention 1
Horses in need of our intervention 2
Horses in need of our intervention 2
Reaching out to children who reach out to us
Reaching out to children who reach out to us
Bongai children meet our little ambassador Bingo
Bongai children meet our little ambassador Bingo
Our rescue Petal Pig gets a mudpack for sunblock
Our rescue Petal Pig gets a mudpack for sunblock
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Please let me keep my Spongey Baby.
Please let me keep my Spongey Baby.

It’s about 3 months since we last wrote a report for this GlobalGiving project. So much happens every week, we could fill a book!.

Our kennels are filled with strays, desperate, discarded or lost animals. We have been hectically busy. A typical case would be that of Spongey and his brave little mum, now known as Mrs Darling. A dead girl walking, this skeletal little dog was seen roaming in search of food.  She needed intervention, but there was a problem. Her bulging teats proved she was feeding a litter of pups somewhere. It took a couple of days to track the frightened and abused mothering bitch to where it seemed she had stashed her precious pups. Then we acted in force. She was returning to a walled garden, a house,  in fact in a good area.  We located her, and  one surviving pup, a velvety brown wriggling  lad who was obviously getting provided for by his heroic mother. The home resident vigorously denied ownership of the two waifs, although we had observed her going back and forth under the gate. Our informant and others had seen it too, but we had no proof (apparently)  so we decided to get them to the SPCA quickly to begin their joint recovery.

From there, Mrs Darling slowly gained weight and confidence, and has  become one of our favourites. Her puppy, Spongey is going to be a tall fellow, while his mum is petite.  He is fun to be around, and she is becoming more affectionate daily.  Now to get them both a home.

It has not all been positive.  We will not include some awful photographs, but in one case our Inspectors responded to a call about a sheep with all her legs broken. The story goes that the pregnant sheep, had been stolen. When she was eventually located, the two claimants had a vile dispute, and the victim again, became the animal. The accused thief broke all four of her legs when she was fetched. Our Inspectors had the awful task of ending her life, as she was in a pitiful state. The case in in the hands of the Police.

We are often left with various farm animals. Our Precious Piggy Petal has a somewhat sedentary life at the SPCA. We have not been able to find her a safe home, so she ambles plumply from her hay to her pond and back, most often followed by the Pretty Goat.  However  our new goat who is far more interested in the daily activities of the SPCA staff and volunteers.  She is a noisy lass, and seems to want to stare me out whenever we are doing a walkaround.  She was also stolen, found, and then never claimed. Maybe we can send her off to the rocky slopes that Sam the Irish farmer offered to our last herd. Miss Pretty has to stay, because she is rather convinced she is Porcine. Shush! Don’t tell her it isn’t so!  Her favourite place is lying on top of Petal’s substantial tummy. We have also taken on some rabbits for the first time, also a police theft case. Lets hope they don’t multiply!

We have had a good week so far regarding homes. Two soft floppy cuddle-pups were taken to a home. The new owner arrived with baskets and blankets and the right food…..which for Zimbabwe is unusual. We are content that they will be very loved. We also might be getting a home for another tiny lively and alert little girl pup who is to move to a local orphanage, so that the wonderful children therein will be able to learn how to love and be loved by a dog. A blessing for us all, so naturally, we have called the little pup Bless!. Her smaller brother is also hoping to be taken to the orphanage, as it’s a wonderful thing for the two pups to sleep together on cold nights. Hold thumbs for him. His name is Praise. He is half the size of his older tougher sister. They were brought in by a man who found them at an industrial property nearby, and we are grateful to him for not just looking the other way.  We adore these cats and dogs, but so few get a home. As you read this, if you are fence-sitting about getting a pet, please go soon to your local rescue centre and choose someone to love you in our name.

If you saw our last report, you will see that Mutare SPCA organized and held the  recent SPCA BLUE CROSS 500km ULTRA DISTANCE EVENT. 16 people walked for Mutare, and 52 cyclists and walkers took part.

There are no prizes, no cash given, but instead participants collect sponsorship for all the SPCAs of Zimbabwe. We do have awards like for example the person most representing the spirit of the event. This year we (The Blue Cross convenors, all Mutare SPCA volunteers,)  finally accepted a small group of young boys to cycle in a relay. It’s rather a risk taking children on such a long and remote and unsupported event. BUT these lads had the backing of formidable parents and other contestants urging them on. They belong to a group called Learning Knights, from Ruzawi (Junior) School, and they are asked to combine a sporting event with social responsibility.  They did themselves, their parents, their school and us proud. They raised over $19,000 (Zimbond.)  Unheard of!  For an idea of just how difficult this event was, you can read the extremely witty blog of Eric De Jong who had a JustGiving (through GlobalGiving) project raising funds. Google 4 Legs for SPCA. Thank you GlobalGiving. However the donations arrive, we are grateful to you.

This country, this little ZIMBABWE, is so beautiful, so quiet, and so peaceful.  We are privileged to be able to hold this event here in our Province Manicaland. We hope to put this event firmly on the map for anyone who loves cycling and long distance walking. 

So.....thank you for taking time to read this report. We would not be here, telling you of our daily happenings for animals if you gave up on us. We are so grateful to you all.

Spongey, saved by a mum who gave it all for him
Spongey, saved by a mum who gave it all for him
Mrs Darling
Mrs Darling
Answer, teaching Bless! how to have an attitude.
Answer, teaching Bless! how to have an attitude.
Praise and Bless, will they be chosen?
Praise and Bless, will they be chosen?
One glimpse of a PHENOMENAL walk for the SPCA
One glimpse of a PHENOMENAL walk for the SPCA
Arriving after one vast journey at Sunset BX 2018
Arriving after one vast journey at Sunset BX 2018

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A wounded Donkey gets treated
A wounded Donkey gets treated

When the Going gets Tough, The Tough Get Going……

It’s probably true of every genuinely 3rd World Charity, driven and run on location, (as opposed to overseas based NGO’s, with corporate or governmental backing) that month end is dreaded.  I have said it before, but it bears a second mention that when we first wrote to GlobalGiving, we had $43 in the bank. We had 3 men in full time employ, and 50-60 or so dogs and cats to feed, medicate and care for, not including the day to day community work.  We were in despair. So before this report even begins, THANK YOU ALL. Our GG Appeal is just over one year old, and it has been an exciting and worthy experience for us in many ways. In a small country, it’s hard to think beyond the borders, but through some coaching and coaxing, we are Just Doing It, Nike-style!

We have come through some hard times, but between this forum and our own efforts, we have survived, and we even have a very small nest egg in GlobalGiving  for when things get even tougher in Zimbabwe. This will cover us for just 3 months of absolutely no income. A breathing space as it were, if we do need to shut our doors.

Mutare SPCA has had a busy time of late. African Summers bring a positive flood of pups with struggling mother-strays, and roving lads.  GlobalGiving helps us with our costs, but a neutering programme would be the ultimate sub project, I think. We are delighted and excited to have a Volunteer Vet Mark, who has joined us, and fills us with ideas and hope, humour and faith in what we can achieve.

Our GlobalGiving 2nd Rabies Vaccination programme went very well, and we did 2 further outreaches, one to Chishakwe, one to Rowa, south of Mutare.  A further 630 dogs have been vaccinated FOR FREE (thank you GlobalGiving!). We treated all the dogs for parasites, injuries, and skin conditions too.  2 dogs were neutered in a makeshift theatre under a shady tree, and one was driven home, up the mountain on a stony and rigorous 4 wheel drive track, in style, when it was deemed too ill to walk home. Sadly a puppy that we took back to the SPCA for further treatment did not survive. These exhausting outreaches are worth EVERY CENT THAT YOU HAVE GIVEN US. For the rest, we did A LOT of counselling, and sent off many happy owners and relieved dogs.

In our last report, we wrote of the Donkey Sanctuary, and that our Roving Inspectors travelled there to participate and learn. Inspector William Nyawengu has sent in a report, which I include here, exactly as submitted: (We are proud of his report, very slightly edited, and hope you will be too.)

From 12 to 16 March, 2018, we were posted to Bulawayo Donkey Sanctuary owned by Mrs Claire Einhorn. My Mutare SPCA management. We learned quite a lot as from paddock management, stable management, which includes feeding, hove (hoof) pick, wound cleaning using water and betadine, fly protection using fog fidge, flymask, dipping by means of spraying with triatix dip, brushing, grooming, checking of ticks lumps and wounds. Also horse equipment, eg reins and halters, I also learned that horses use body language as a means of communication. We further joined the donkey outreach programme sponsored by Bulawayo community. They offered vaccines, vehicle, and one of the most experienced staff among others. He (Mr Phiri) kindly showed us how to inject donkeys and give oral medication and handling. We covered Siganda area in Bubi District, Bulawayo North. We de-wormed a total of 200 Donkeys in 3 days. However, the training was an eye opener to me and I am well equipped to help sick and rescue stranded animals both urban and rural. Education is the backbone of every sector. I thank EVERYBODY on financing of this course. I FEEL GREATLY HONOURED. Insp William Nyawengu.

Back to me:

With the men having attended this programme, we feel our charity is better equipped to educate in our own Province.

Our next aim is to send the two Roving Inspectors to Harare for a course on domestic animal care to be given by Dogs Trust Worldwide. We are very privileged to be included in the invited guests, and we believe that one of the most important things we can do for our wonderful staff is to equip them well with education and confidence. They are good men, and are well respected, even loved, in our community.

So what do we do for ourselves?  From Fairs to Fetes, Lawn Bowls, or Travel, business or scientific talks for the public, to High Teas and Open Garden Days, we are always busy.  BUT - our biggest fundraiser is on the horizon. The SPCA team LOVE this country, with its radical highs and lows. We were all born here, we have no other roots. We must make this charity work. Right now, we are doing the ground work for our annual and biggest Fundraiser. The SPCA Blue Cross Ultra Distance Event. Early August sees several teams walking solo or in a relay, Cycling or for the first time ever Enduro Biking 500kms from the lowest to the highest points in the country. The heavy rains have washed away some of the rural roads so the entire track has to be revisited and repaired by ourselves. The Mutare SPCA team will do the relay and will walk for 9 days, self-supported, sleeping some nights roughing it under the stars, some with a bed and shower. This extreme effort not only helps Mutare SPCA, but ALL the SPCAs in the country, as we forward disbursements to them too. Visit us, Sponsor us on GlobalGiving,  and JOIN US??  The website explains it all. Watch as this extreme event is put more and more on the worldwide map.

http://www.spca-bluecross.com

Re-homing is still our biggest difficulty. If I could trade, I would give it all for good and loving homes. But Thank YOU The Global Giving Community, thank you ALL for considering us for donations, which take the OTHER difficulties away. Every cent is treated as the Lottery Won by THIS team of volunteers!

An Old African Proverb says it all:

If you think you are too small to make a difference, you have never spent the night with a mosquito

Insp William counselling
Insp William counselling
THANK YOU GG AND MUTARE SPCA
THANK YOU GG AND MUTARE SPCA
Vaccinate, Treat, Educate and a treat for later!
Vaccinate, Treat, Educate and a treat for later!
Everything's going to be alright!
Everything's going to be alright!
The queue starts at dawn
The queue starts at dawn

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ABUSED, RESCUED FROM A DEEP HOLE, HOMED!
ABUSED, RESCUED FROM A DEEP HOLE, HOMED!

March 2018

The "rains", our annual wet season, is a meaningful time for Zimbabweans, as workers try to get home, Kumusha, to their rural family and fields, to hoe and cherish the crops planted earlier. 

For us though, the Summer rains is a season that we see many stray dogs getting pregnant, and these brave little souls  have no access to regular food, just when they need it most. Rubbish bins are raided and litter distributed to the wind. Luckily we have had good rains, but things can be doubly tough if these strays have no water. Our Inspectors are constantly travelling to pick up these little rangy dogs, but only if they are still pregnant or we can locate their litter. So often, we get them to the SPCA just in time, and the pups are born almost on arrival. One little dog arrived due to a confiscation, with 8 pups that were obviously from large males, twice her size, and almost all had their tails cut off (I cannot use the word docked) and whoever performed this butchery needs to be charged for cruelty. Added to this, the little mum had a broken leg, and she is being kept confined and quiet to help her to heal.Her pups are spirited and have loads of fun playtime, and our man Answer has his time cut out running up and down with them, even with his bad knee. 

Today as we walked around the premises (with the GlobalGiving agents) a courageous young mum had just delivered 9, yes nine, little struggling, wriggling babies, and she was single-minded in her attentive care.  I cannot speak highly enough of our mongrels.  

We have also received many cats and kittens. Its now up to us to find as many good homes as we can. Wish us luck!

We were absolutely delighted when we found a home for our herd of 18 goats on a smallholding where they will be taken care of. The scene as we tackled and rucked, jousted and feinted the frisky nervous Billys and Nannys. We never gave up, and the pretty maids and their kids were loaded and immediately settled into the soft cushioned Toyota Venture that was to transport them to their new stony and interesting hillsides. The lads, all bravado and bristle had to make do with the SPCA van, and they fell upon all the mulberry leaves we had layered into the rickety cab. They arrived on the plot, all lying down, except for our nosey domineering Magic, King of the Pack. According to the farmer who has helped us so much, they settled quickly,  and we think that because they were relocated in a team, they gave each other confidence. For our part, to not have to find fodder for all these goats makes our lives a lot easier.

Anyone watching our sub project against Rabies will know that our objective was achieved, but we had some difficulty accessing vaccine. We are ready to go now, just waiting for the pretty much relentless rains to abate, and we head South to Chishakwe Village  and Rowa Village to vaccinate another 600 dogs. We love heading off to the rural regions to very poor but grateful communities that walk miles to get their dogs vaccinated or treated for trauma or illnesses. More pictures to follow on our next report.

Recenty we have sent 2 Inspectors to the West of Zimbabwe, to Bulawayo, to learn and assist on a Donkey Sanctuary Project. We are so very proud of our guys. They head off to a place they have likely never visited, with a blanket to sleep on and a tight budget to spend, and they send us amazing and cheery reports on all their new experiences.  There was/is a big move to create a donkey abbatoir in Bulawayo, but with public pressure, it has been halted for the meantime. Mutare SPCA threw their weight behind this effort. The move was all made by the China’s desire for the skin and fatty layer below the skin to be harvested for medicine. We have never had donkey abattoirs in the past, so it feels so wrong to us all. We would have loved to have gone with our 2 roving Inspectors, but the SPCA Mutare has several functions to keep the home fire burning.

Last week. we served teas at a produce market, and the community supported us well.  Our volunteer Keara baked glorious cakes which had people lining up to have a slice with their coffee. We sold a healthy number of our stunning stone birdbaths too, and we have two talks by guest speakers to help our fundraising efforts.

Tomorrow will be a precious day as we have a local school of 60 children coming to see the SPCA, and we hope to impress upon them how wonderful it is to have a dog or a cat in their lives.

Animal rescue centres always have a hard time surviving here, but one tragedy that runs in any African’s very soul is the demand, from China, for our baby elephants.  These babies are stolen from wild elephants, from the matriarchal families, (mostly in Hwange National Park,) and there must exist a collective mourning in the elephant herds. It’s generally accepted elephants do indeed grieve in their own way.  To us, it seems as if many of the historical and diverse rules, laws and ‘gentlemens agreements’ for relocation of wild animals for commercial reasons have been ignored. But it seems to me that translocation of African wildlife to zoos in China in this day and age, feels particularly tragic.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/06/secret-footage-obtained-of-the-wild-elephants-sold-into-captivity-in-chinese-zoos

https://qz.com/1142567/pangolin-trafficking-china-seized-record-haul-of-the-worlds-most-trafficked-mammal/

https://www.pri.org/stories/2012-04-12/chinese-eat-zimbabwe-s-endangered-wildlife

So is the situation hopeless? Absolutely not. We have a new President in Mr Emerson Mnangagwa.  We have renewed hope.  And we wait and see. Will the people be heard?

Animal Welfare Charities should have no interest or need for involvement in politics. But when lives and economies are destroyed, it’s in your face.  Let’s see how we do. What is sure, is that we will be active and vocal for ALL animals in our country. No more elephants to the Far East. No more Tortoises and Pangolins (the most traded animal in the World) , to China. AND when the countrymen of China come to harvest opportunities in our Zimbabwe, we expect them to respect the zeitgeist, the status quo, the spirit of our traditions, and our laws especially. And they may not eat our dogs and cats.   We would love them to visit our SPCA and see what we expect of dog and cat adoption.

THANK YOU.

The Volunteers of Mutare SPCA.

A GOAT ADVENTURE IN A TOYOTA VENTURE
A GOAT ADVENTURE IN A TOYOTA VENTURE
A HOME, A PLACE WHERE I BELONG
A HOME, A PLACE WHERE I BELONG
WHO IS EXERCISING WHO?
WHO IS EXERCISING WHO?

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A peaceful coup d'etat, as tanks rolls into Harare
A peaceful coup d'etat, as tanks rolls into Harare

DECEMBER 2017

Lots has happened since our last report. It’s a good thing GG limits the number of posts we are allowed to make, folks! 

Unbelievable news from Zimbabwe: We have had a change of governance, a peaceful coup d’etat. You cannot begin to imagine what this means to us all.  The people, the workforce, who have lost so much and been so patient, now wait with unquantifiable expectation for positive change, which in turn may create work opportunities and a better life. Living here, watching strong men and resilient women hunched and hopeless, trying daily to make a little money, has been very soul destroying. This gentle nation waits.  They wait for change in decision making, for no police and political brutality, and zero corruption from our new leaders. They wait for change in their circumstances.  We at animal rescue centres are hard hit, when people cannot afford to feed or neuter their animals.  This, from a country with enormous, widespread natural resources. How on earth do 15 Billion US dollars simply disappear from the government coffers. 

AT Mutare SPCA, one of the things that affect us directly, apart from grinding poverty and a non-existent economy, was the widespread outbreaks of rabies. You may have seen our sub project. Zimbabwe by law insists that every dog has to be vaccinated against Rabies. To this end, the government Vet Department vaccinated at a very affordable price. But lately, no funding is supplied to them. With the tragic increase of rabid animals, including Jackals and even a cow, we motivated a program to give the poor access to free rabies vaccinations. A very rewarding project to be involved in, and the GG community has been good to us. Hats off to you all! On the first weekend we trekked into the rural lands to vaccinate dogs free and as a service to the underprivileged, we treated 629 dogs. We also fed, counselled, medicated for parasites, skin lesions and trauma wounds. Those good people walked their dogs for long distances to benefit from this work, and we are truly loving running this project.

Recently we were to court again, when a man and his complicit father killed a dog violently, with a spade, in the presence of the neighbour’s little boy.  We went in support of the boy’s family, and Inspector Noel was a very strong witness in the dock. The case went in our favour, and the dog killer is serving time.  We have decided that to not to take a strong stance will have repercussions in the future, as we protect animal rights. We need a reputation of taking swift and determined taking action.

Our little SPCA has taken a huge step forward with the appointment of Inspector Simba Karumbidza, and also with regular input from volunteer Ange Wright, who is also a qualified Inspector.  It must be a relief for Noel Usore to have back up, when they go out into the community to fight the good fight. Simba was for a time in the Police force, and is very firm with aggressive offenders.  He has also done much maintenance work, repairing breaking walls, drains and fencing. Another gem in our staff.

We continue to have far too many strays brought in, and we are working to have the by-laws changed in Mutare.  Just this week we have had an addition of 15 kittens and 6 cats. Each one is absolutely beautiful. We have found two handsome and solid German Shepherds, two delightful and loving Labradors, and a multitude of “special breeds” as we like to call our mongrels.  All have been surrendered.  It’s going to be a very busy Christmas.  Also this week, Magic our goat is in delirium at the arrival of 15 goats, and as if that wasn’t enough, he fathered the tiniest little replica of himself with Miss Pretty, who was never collected by her owner.  What a little delight. Already the baby can be seen pronking vigorously at the sight of Petal Pig.

Our Annual Dog Walk was well supported, and we were able to reward the children who came. Each child received a book, some sweets, two packets of tea, (for those who don’t know, Zimbabwe is a great tea growing country), and jotter books and pens. This golden opportunity was not wasted as our judge talked on animal care and welfare. We hand out flyers at every outreach we do: The 5 Freedoms, and How to Care for your Dog, or Donkey.  We have actively backed the petition to prevent the Chinese immigrant community from building a Donkey Abbatoir.  This is one fight that is ongoing, but we are desperate to win.  We participated in the Xmas Fair at the town Club to raise funds. Warm nights in Africa on the full moon, under luminous Fever trees,  is something all who leave their homeland must dream of. It was one of those nights….

For all the sad or difficult issues we deal with, we are rewarded with loving and appreciative rescued dogs and cats, and this helps us keep going.  Just today, I was dropping off some fresh grass for the herd of goats, and the two Labradors that we have been forced to intervene and remove, made sure I noticed them through hypnotic eye contact. I went over to have a little one on one time with them. They have entrusted us to find them, and their little mongrel friend, a home.  Please wish us luck. Homes are now our biggest challenge. All our rescues deserve them.

So, the work continues, and we will do our best. Thank you for all you have done for us. We are grateful beyond belief.  Please visit us if you pass through our country. It’s a soul abundant, beautiful land, and the people are warm and friendly. Contact us if you need to know more about Mutare, the jewel in the East.

They came in all shapes and sizes, humans too
They came in all shapes and sizes, humans too
Big Smiles on Vaccinations Day
Big Smiles on Vaccinations Day
Over 600 vaccinated on the first out reach alone
Over 600 vaccinated on the first out reach alone
We never give up. Two hourly feeds all night too
We never give up. Two hourly feeds all night too
If we can reach children, our work is done
If we can reach children, our work is done
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Organization Information

SPCA MUTARE

Location: Mutare - Zimbabwe
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @NIL
SPCA MUTARE
Jane CLEGG
Project Leader:
Jane CLEGG
Mutare, Manicaland Zimbabwe

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