So, about two months ago (sheesh, time is really flying by this year!) I wrote a post about the Peace Starts initiative, and I said I would post again soon with my pledge for peace. Luckily I know no one has been holding their breath waiting for that post, but at long last, here it is anyway!
There are a lot of causes that I am passionate about, most of them to do with animals or the environment – I will always choose an animal charity over a human one. But I’ve decided that my pledge is to be as involved as possible with the SPCA Randburg.

Many animal lovers take issue with the SPCA in general because of their euthanasia policy. This infuriates me, to put it mildly. The people who work for the SPCA put their lives on the line in many instances to inspect and respond to dangerous situations and are generally a voice for animals that are being abused – is it really possible that people think they wake up every morning and saying “Yes, today I get to kill some animals!”? They are put in that unenviable position by our irresponsibility. Our decisions not to sterilise our animals, to allow them ‘just one litter’, when we have no homes for the babies that result from that litter, or the belief that male dogs and cats don’t need to be sterilised at all. Our choice to buy from breeders or pet shops instead of giving shelter animals a home. Our fickle natures that mean that animals that were once ‘much-loved’ pets are suddenly cast aside when their presence is no longer convenient to us. I wish it would occur to more people that if we opted to support the SPCA instead of denigrating them, they would have more funds to support the work that they do, and to provide food and shelter to the animals that live there. More funds would give them the opportunity to give these animals a better chance, to care for them for longer instead of being financially compelled to end the lives of animals that are perfectly healthy. If we supported the SPCA by adopting our animals from them instead of turning away from their animals because we don’t support the policy, more of these animals would have happy homes, and there would be less need to make the distinction between the SPCA and ‘no-kill shelters’. We need to take responsibility for the horrendous position we put SPCA workers in every day, when they have to make that awful choice. They are animal lovers too after all.

So obviously, I’ve always supported the SPCA. I still make a monthly donation to the Durban & Coast branch, and they are the beneficiary of my My School points. I have seen the amazing work that they do, and it blows me away. But of course I don’t live in Durban anymore, so it seems only fitting that I should do something for my local SPCA. And the Randburg branch needs all the help they can get. They struggle financially and recently were dangerously close to running out of food. When I dropped off some food, the kennel worker who came to collect it from me was so thrilled he was nearly in tears…which of course had me in tears the instant I got into my car. Basically my pledge is to help the SPCA Randburg wherever I can. Sometimes that will just be creating awareness for them, sometimes it will be dropping off food or donating cash. The main thing is that I’ve decided to do voluntary work for them, primarily in terms of their fundraising needs, so helping out if they have events, manning stalls or writing invitations and so on for them. But if they need me to clean kennels, I’ll do that too. I may end up taking all the cats home with me, but maybe the landlady and the Alzheimer’s Cat won’t notice…

If you’d like to help the SPCA out in your area, visit their website and choose the branch closest to you.