125 years of service to animals

Posted on 2022-01-11 08:02:26


Few people who visit our modern, spotless premises in Springfield Park would guess that our SPCA has been around for 125 years. We are really proud of our long history of providing welfare services to animals in Durban.

Back in 1897, Durban was a very different place. Ships in the harbour had sails rather than turbine engines, and people travelled in horse-drawn carriages. It would be over 30 years before the first traffic light was installed at the intersection of Pine and Field Streets!

At the time, the idea that animals are sentient beings (able to experience feelings such as boredom, frustration, fear and contentment) was scoffed at, and veterinary services were practically non-existent. When the Anglo-Boer War broke out in 1899, over 300 veterinarians came to South Africa with the British army. Some of them stayed on after the war to form the core of state veterinary departments and the first private practices.

Under these conditions, the actions of our SPCA founders in their determination to ‘speak for animals’ is truly remarkable. The same commitment and dedication has driven our organisation for the past 125 years, enabling us to weather some very difficult and challenging times and emerge as a dynamic body, recognised as the foremost authority on animal welfare.

Our SPCA is so much more than just an animal shelter and adoption facility. We play a vital role in educating people – especially children – about the rights of all living creatures. We also strive for more severe penalties for perpetrators of cruelty.

Thank you for partnering with us on this journey. In celebration of this milestone year – and to ensure our SPCA remains at the forefront of animal welfare in Durban – you might like to consider signing up for a monthly debit order of R125 this year. We also have some celebratory events lined up for you – please keep an eye on social media for details.

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