Highveld Ridge SPCA, located in Mpumalanga, will officially close its doors today following the resignation of its Management Committee on 29 February 2024.  The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) will oversee the safe relocation of all animals under the care of Highveld Ridge SPCA, which includes 26 dogs and 13 cats, to neighbouring SPCAs to facilitate reclaiming and adoption processes.

Despite the closure, the Trainee Inspector assigned to Highveld Ridge, who has been funded by the NSPCA Inspectorate Support Fund since April 2023, will continue his efforts in the area, ensuring the collection and care of unwanted animals, with the Bethal SPCA taking over responsibility. The Trainee Inspector’s position will remain supported by the NSPCA Inspectorate Support Fund.

The close comes after the Management Committee requested a meeting with the NSPCA on 19 February 2024, “to reach common ground and seek to gain clarity on the way forward”.  In the NSPCA’s view, the meeting was amicable and productive, yet the Management Committee elected to resign 10 days thereafter.

Complicating matters, the property landlord has abruptly terminated the lease, citing construction and development plans, despite the absence of a formal lease agreement or eviction proceedings against Highveld Ridge SPCA.

“The closure of any SPCA in South Africa is a significant setback for animal welfare,” remarks Tercia Woest, Manager of the NSPCA Society Liaison Unit, emphasising the pivotal role SPCAs play as the only organisation mandated to accept any animal in need.

Societies in the Mpumalanga Region have faced increased hardship over the last few years, due to the absence of sustained community support, with neighbouring Standerton and Kriel SPCAs closing in recent years.  It remains to be determined whether the Bethal SPCA, who too requires sustained support, will assume jurisdiction over the Highveld Ridge area.

All animals from Highveld Ridge SPCA will be relocated on 4 March 2024, with the SPCA’s assets being distributed, including to the Bethal SPCA. Community members requiring assistance with neglected, abused, or unwanted animals can contact the Trainee Inspector at 082 869 2350.

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