The Newcastle community is still reeling from the recent announcement by ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) to scale down operations at its Newcastle and Vereeniging branches.
With around 1,400 employees and 880 contractors facing job losses resulting from the down sizing, the repercussions are rippling across numerous sectors.
In the wake of this unsettling development, the Newcastle SPCA is anticipating the adverse effects on the local animal community. Newcastle SPCA Trainee Inspector Jenavieve Tinkler stated, “With the ArcelorMittal news, we are expecting a lot of animals to be surrendered, as people will not be able to afford caring for them.”
Several animals are also expected to be abandoned and Tinkler stressed that the SPCA will now truly need the community to rally together to support the animal welfare organisation as the holiday season approaches and several Newcastle animals face an uncertain future.
The looming crisis is exacerbated by a series of burglaries targeting the Newcastle SPCA over the past month.
Newcastle SPCA’s Heather Gero expressed concern, revealing, “We have spent a fortune on security, but these individuals keep getting into the premises. They have stolen food and blankets.”
The thieves not only pilfered supplies meant for the animals but also took bowls intended for their meals and equipment used by the Newcastle SPCA staff. Faced with these challenges, the Newcastle SPCA has officially reported the incidents to the police and is urgently seeking community support.
This will entail assisting the SPCA to upgrade its alarm system, obtain extra lighting (preferably solar powered), to use for when the Newcastle SPCA staff need to come into the property at night for emergencies.
“It is extremely dark and frightening not knowing who is sitting a few feet in front of you in the dark when you’re alone here in the middle of nowhere,” said Tinkler, who stressed that these measures would also ensure the animals were more secure.
As the holiday season approaches, the Newcastle SPCA is appealing for financial assistance to address these pressing concerns. Donations can be made to the following account:
- SPCA Fundraising Account
- ABSA BANK
- Account Number: 1055870701
- Reference: Alarms and lights
For those wanting to show their support in person, the Newcastle SPCA is open to visits at 1 Samson Drive, Barry Hertzog Park. “We rely 100% on you the community to keep our doors open, as we do not receive any support from anywhere else but you,” concluded Tinkler and Gero.
With the challenges mounting, the Newcastle SPCA extended its gratitude for the support received thus far. In these trying times, community solidarity becomes crucial in safeguarding the welfare of both people and animals.
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