Jessica Perrins (Head of Fundraising and Communications) and Lorna Hughes (General Manger) at the opening of their puppy block
Written by Jessica Perrins
The Animal Welfare Society Stellenbosch was founded in 1956 with the donation of a van and the support of the Stellenbosch Animal Hospital. Today, AWSS provides help for an area of over 900 square kilometres, 365 days a year.
For 62 years we’ve persistently carried out our mission to recognise animals as living beings with the right to a good-quality life. We’ve achieved this through veterinary care, Inspectorate (enforcing the law), education, running a kennel and cattery, and a successful adoption programme, which every year places hundreds of animals in apt and loving homes.
The Society aims to serve the community of Stellenbosch and surrounds by taking care of the community’s unwanted, mistreated and neglected pets. We also advocate and promote the sterilisation of cats and dogs to curb unwanted breeding in an already overpopulated pet community. In addition we dip, vaccinate, deworm and treat illnesses of animals.
Education of the local communities as a preventative measure is also a main priority for the Society.
The Society’s focus covers five crucial facets:
- The clinic treats sick and injured animals brought to the AWSS either by the public or the Inspectorate. The clinic is led by the vet and a team of dedicated animal welfare assistants. No animal is ever turned away or refused treatment.
- The animal rescue, shelter, rehabilitation and adoption facility cares for stray, surrendered, abandoned and rescued cats and dogs. Our aim is to reunite stray animals through our “Lost and Found” service and to find loving forever homes for the surrendered and rescued animals.
- Every visit by AWSS to one of the many indigent areas serviced by us is also used as an opportunity to educate pet owners about responsible ownership and the benefits of having their pets sterilised.
- The AWSS Inspectorate investigates reports of animal cruelty, abuse and neglect. All reports are attended to within 24 hours of receiving the complaint. AWSS Inspectors rescue abused animals and ensure enforcement of existing animal protection legislation, and advancement of such legislation.
- The Communications and Fundraising Department communicates the AWSS message and ensures our vision and mission are not blurred. We have embedded the value of fundraising across the organisation, ensuring the Society’s sustainability and lifting our organisation’s capacity and expertise to help more animals.
365 days a year
For 365 days a year, the staff at AWSS focus all of their efforts on alleviating the plight of animals in Stellenbosch, particularly the informal settlements, where our services are needed most and the revolving door of cases test our capacity to its maximum.
In addition to our on-site animal clinic, we travel into the informal settlements and support the residents by treating their sick and injured pets which would otherwise be left to suffer without easy access to veterinary care.
Although our services contribute hugely to the alleviation of the plight of the animals of Stellenbosch and surrounds, it’s clear that more needs to be done, and this can only be achieved by growing our donor support and recognition.
The scope of AWSS’s work is enormous. Our staff and facilities provide care for a wide range of animals in Stellenbosch, and we place great emphasis on humane education. Although relatively small, it costs R250,000 each month to keep the wheels of AWSS turning.
You can help Animal Welfare Society Stellenbosch
There are many ways to help the AWSS and be a part of making a difference, from donating to volunteering.
Our most recent initiative, “1000 Life Changers”, challenges 1000 individuals to sign a debit order of R100 per month. This additional R100,000 will enable us to continue serving, protecting and caring for those without a voice.
Let’s together envisage a society where all animals are treated with respect and dignity.
To find out more about the Animal Welfare Society of Stellenbosch, call 021 883 9129, visit www.awss.co.za or follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AnimalwelfareStellenbosch/