These pictures are hard to look at if you love animals – but what happened next will make your heart sing

It was Christmas Day last year ...

While most of us were celebrating with plenty to eat and drink, this poor dog was abandoned and left to starve. Apparently, her owners had gone off on holiday, leaving their dog locked in the yard without any food or water.

We don’t know how many lonely, hungry and thirsty days she endured. But anyone can see that she was little more than skin and bone, and covered in ticks.

Thank goodness someone took the trouble to call our after-hours number on Christmas Day. They must have wondered if anyone would answer. But when we say our SPCA is on call 24/7, that’s exactly what we mean.

As soon as he heard that a dog was in trouble, our inspector rushed to the rescue. But there was no one home and he couldn't get into the property. He left food and water for the dog and went off to get a warrant authorising the SPCA to seize her.

Unfortunately, not everyone else is on call over the festive season! We had to wait until 29 December for the warrant. But our inspectors went back every day to reassure Hope (as we named her) that she hadn’t been abandoned again, and to bring her food and water.

Four days later, we brought Hope to our SPCA, where she was examined by our vet and found to be severely malnourished, tick infested and suffering from a bad skin condition. But despite everything she’s been through, and the reputation pitbulls have for being aggressive, Hope was nothing but gentle, friendly and forgiving.

She’s been with us now for over two months, and is a firm favourite with the staff. She’s picked up weight, her skin is almost back to normal, and she walks well on a lead.

It just goes to show what love and care can do. Looking at Hope now, you can hardly believe it’s the same dog! All that’s left for us to do is find the right home for her.

And to ask you, please, to help ensure that we are always ‘there’ for animals in need.

Compassion costs nothing. But petrol and vehicle maintenance for the inspectors' vans does. So does expert veterinary care and food. But when a dog’s life is at stake, we can’t stop to think about the cost. We have to act to save them from further suffering, and show them that not all humans are cruel, callous and thoughtless.

And we can only do that if other animal lovers … people like you … support our vital work. Please will you make a donation today of any amount – R200, R350, R500 or even more if you can – to help your SPCA rescue, rehabilitate and rehome animals like Hope. Because they deserve nothing but kindness and a second chance to live a happy life.

Together we can create a world where every animal is treated with kindness and compassion.

Amanzimtoti: 031 904 2424/5

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SPCA Inspector

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