SPCA needs water to keep welfare running

Water is important in the surgical unit to sterilise the area and equipment.

While Cape Town residents are doing all they can to prevent Day Zero becoming a reality, staff at the Cape of Good Hope SPCA are already preparing for the possibility of the dreaded day arriving. Last week the facility in Grassy Park conducted a drill to ascertain how they will cope if the water supply is cut off on Day Zero, now projected to be on Monday July 9, by turning
off all taps and using only the
water that had been donated to them.

Belinda Abraham, spokesperson for the SPCA , said simple day-to-day tasks such as the washing of hands, cleaning kennels in order to maintain high levels of hygiene, and the most vital requirement of providing fresh drinking water to animals in their care would be more difficult without an alternative water source.

Ms Abraham said horses and livestock each drink about 40 litres of water a day, and dogs and cats between one and two litres a day.

The facility cares for about 700 domestic, wild and farm animals at any given time.

Ms Abraham said the facility uses about 16.8kl of water a month.

SouthernMailwastaken through the facility and the hospital’s intensive care area where 250 animals are treated daily.

The hospital is one of the areas that would be the most significantly impacted because enclosures and the facility needs to cleaned at least three times to avoid cross contamination and water is also needed for the sterilisation of equipment.

“Having water at the facility at all times is very important. Without sufficient water for cleaning there is a very real concern regarding disease outbreak amongst animals in quarantine and with that the transfer of illness to staff,” said Ms Walker.

The City of Cape Town implemented level 6B water restrictionsin February. Consumption last week averaged 516 million litres a day and dam levels dropped 0.4% to 24%.

The City has over the past month decreased the water pressure across the city and installed water management devices to limit the consumption of high water users.

The SPCA also cares for free-roaming and stray animals outside the facility as far as Mamre and Atlantis.

They have been using water donated to them but the long-term goal is to install a borehole, rainwater storage system and filtration system, which will cost about
R100 000.

“Originally we got a message from the City of Cape Town saying because we are a hospital, we might be exempt and our taps would stay on but last week we received communication that the taps will be turned off. We are still motivating for it to stay on but what happens if the dams do run dry? So we are aiming to be completely self sustainable and won’t be impacted by a crisis of the sort again in future,” said Ms Abraham.

Richard Bosman, the executive director for safety and security, said the SPCA was not exempt from potential water cuts as a result of Day Zero.

He said the City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre held a stakeholder engagement meeting with the Cape Animal Welfare Forum (CAWF), of which the SPCA is a member.

“The SPCA was present in the meeting and gave an indication of some of its initiatives to build
resilience amid the drought crisis. The City welcomes these initiatives and is working closely with the SPCA and the rest of the forum members, as well as other non-governmental organisations on how they can best prepare in the
event that the taps are turned off. The City will have further engagements with the organisation and others as part of our ongoing
disaster planning,” said Mr Bosman.

He said the City will, as far as possible, endeavour to ensure continued supply to all critical infrastructure including hospitals and clinics.

To donate water or help the SPCA raise funds to help with the drought relief visit https://capespca.co.za/help-keep-water-bowls-full-dayzero/

Water donations can be dropped off at the SPCA premises in 1st Avenue in Grassy Park or at the SPCA Vet Shop in Plum-

To report animals in distress call 021 700 4158/9 or after hours on 083 326 1604.