Mutare SPCA

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St Helens Drive, Mutare, Zimbabwe

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January 2, 2017

The Mutare SPCA is an animal protection charity, desperate to uphold the laws our society in terms

of animal cruelty and welfare. Based on the UK RSPCA model, but modified for local Central African

conditions, we were established at its current headquarters in the mid 1900's, when fundraising was

easier, and Zimbabwe had a well functioning economy and higher employment statistics. The SPCA

in Mutare actually began in the 1930’s but we do not have any written details about this.

Today, it would be almost unethical for us to request or expect any donations from the majority of

the Zimbabwean population, when they can hardly afford more than a single meal per day per

family. The extreme wealth accessed by the political elite does not percolate down, not even to

government establishments like hospitals. We are currently a nation in crisis, and in such a crisis,

animal welfare can become a casualty at the same time as its very incidence is exponentially on the


The prevailing situation sadly does not allow for healthy animal husbandry as perhaps many first

world citizens might reasonably expect, but that doesn’t mean that we should fold up the fine work

that has been done historically and that we are desperately trying to continue. The man on the

street relies on us. Many people will tell us when we are in the field about the SPCA. I was recently

out rescuing a tiny mongrel puppy from a hectically busy road, as it was looking for insects that had

been squashed on the asphalt, when two men came to tell me to call the SPCA to help me out. S its

important to say that this is still a very special country, full of courageous and hardworking people,

who smile readily, at the best of times, at the worst of times. And no matter how poor, they do want

animals in their lives... even if perhaps the reasons are often different from our own. Some of us are

‘pet lovers’ in the traditional sense, whilst most Zimbabweans are very practical about ‘owning’

animals. They must serve a function, be it a source of food, transport (donkeys and oxen), security or

hunting wildlife. These animals are not ‘pets’ and often live on the very fringe. We know that some

of us differ hugely in this way, and it is something that we talk about together, both sides not really

comprehending the modus operandi of the other, even finding it strange to ‘pet’ animals or

alternatively cruel to work them to extremes, be dependent on their work and yet not care for them.

Our role is critical in changing perceptions. Life is hard.

AT present our town is almost overwhelmed with dogs and cats, some feral, some roaming in search

of food not provided at home, and we at the SPCA could be doing so much to help if we had the



Right now its a constant struggle to cover our basic monthly expenses, (salaries, pet food, medicines

and vet bills, utilities, and maintenance costs). We are desperate for one more permanent staff

member who could man the office, handle day to day issues, fundraising, educational outreach etc,

etc...the list is long.

Our volunteers, a small band of 8 people, endeavour to cover these bases, but it is far from ideal. It

means no one person is singularly responsible for admin, fundraising and communications and

helping the permanent staff with their daily problems. The SPCA paid staff consists of three good

men, who work full time and tirelessly at our overflowing kennels. Mr Noel Usore, our Inspector, has

been with us over 40 years, and would like to retire, but we can’t afford to pay his retirement

package. We would be lost without this strong stalwart, who is the perfect representative for us. The

other two men have no formal qualifications that would allow them to fill Mr Usore's Inspector’s

shoes. His years of experience are invaluable. We need to train as inspector another man who has

the appropriate social standing and background to do this difficult job. Apart from the education

project, a real ambition of ours would be to do regular neutering and basic treatment programs for

the people living in our high density areas. We have a neat little clinic on our premises, and we could

be neutering dogs and cats brought to us and nurse them for a few hours safely post-operatively

before releasing them.

Our volunteers mostly work fulltime themselves to survive in Zimbabwe’s harsh economic climate,

and whilst we commit time when we can and energy and enthusiasm, we simply do not have the

resources to donate funds to sustain our SPCA. Much of our time and effort is spent simply fund

raising and whilst we have a wonderful community who are 100% behind us, we are now very

vulnerable to donor fatigue from our ever shrinking section of able and willing contributors.