Written by Carika Roux, Treasurer – SPCA Witbank
Professional photography by Chantal D Photography
Harvey the brindle Staffie came to the SPCA Witbank as a stray in January 2021. A handsome dog, we hoped he’d soon find a home, but he was overlooked every single time.
It didn’t work out
Our hearts leapt when a wonderful family adopted him in April 2021. Sadly, Harvey was returned within the week – his adopters have a special needs dog (deaf) and Harvey tended to be a bit jealous and protective over toys, etc., so it wasn’t working out. We respected their decision and decided to give him another week (because he was so long with us, then returned, and he wasn’t doing well at all in the kennels).
We shared and boosted his post on Facebook without any luck. Our hearts were heavy when the Wednesday arrived that would be his final day. As we were about to load him for his last car ride to the vet, the phone rang: we had an enquiry for Harvey!
Miracle in the making
Mr Chang immediately got in his car and drove all the way from Bedfordview – over an hour-and-a-half drive – to meet Harvey. They fell in love in an instant!
While we did all the necessary paperwork and arranged to get the home check done by Germiston SPCA, Mr Chang waited patiently. Since Harvey was already neutered, microchipped and vaccinated, he was ready to leave with his new owner as soon as the news of the approved home inspection came through.
There were loads of happy tears all round as Harvey headed off to start his new life. A photo taken where he sat, smiling, in the car touched so many hearts!
The rest is history – this was a real miracle in the making.
At SPCA Witbank we care, we put our hearts and souls into each animal, and we try our best until the end. We were overjoyed that Harvey found his forever home. Go well, our handsome Harvey!
James Chang, Harvey’s New Owner, shares…
“All lives are precious” – from our previous experiences, not only humans feel depression and anxiety, pets may experience the same.
We were looking to adopt a Staffie through some organisations already when our friend Lisa Toda also recommended we check SPCA Facebook pages as she happened to have adopted a few dogs from SPCAs in Johannesburg and Vereeniging respectively.
So, when we saw Harvey, this boytjie stole our hearts. From Witbank SPCA’s post, it seemed like Harvey was depressed and needed that love more than other Staffies we’d seen… Looking cute, innocently inviting, and with the touching Facebook write-up, it seemed like he needed the desperate rescue.
This all happened on a Tuesday afternoon when my wife, Mandy, and I were driving back from KZN and I saw Harvey’s post in the group. I took a screen shot, sent it to the family group chat and said, “With one of our yearly winter warming projects coming up, if we can help 100 people, people that we don’t know, on the street with blankets, socks, food and whatever we manage to get hold of, we can surely help this little boytjie with a loving home.” The response I received upon my arrival at home later that night from my youngest son, Evan, was, “Can we adopt him?”
And so, the decision was unanimous: “Let’s bring Harvey home.”
We were unaware that he was scheduled for euthanasia that Wednesday, but the post had hinted at it, so I called early the following morning to notify our intent to adopt Harvey and drove straight through to Witbank SPCA. My heart was set when I saw Harvey. I had no doubt that I wanted to bring him home. With the help of Witbank and Germiston SPCA, four hours later, Harvey finally became our youngest member of the Chang family.
Harvey weighed in at a little less than 14.9kg upon arrival at home and is now about 15.8kg (if my scale serves me correct). He plays tug rugby with my wood stepping-stones and is minimising his tail chase (an anxious behaviour) as the days go by.
Harvey’s settling well at home amongst the buzzing Johannesburg traffic. He’s amused at rabbits during walks in our road, and this morning as I write this update, he’s even attempted on his own to come upstairs twice, whereas yesterday he’d have given me that “ek wil nie” look when I called him upstairs.
So, “Well done, Harvey!”
So yes, this is Harvey Chang’s story, and we send millions of thanks to all the blessings and connecting prayers connecting Harvey with us, and thanks to the complex ex- and current directors acting immediately to assist with approval of Harvey in the complex in this successful attempt to save him.
I believe we can all make a difference in any form promoting love and care in all sectors during this difficult time. Feel free to join us in giving that light at the end of the tunnel with love and support.
Love from Harvey Chang’s “Family-in-Training”!