SPCA Swakopmund celebrates half a century

50 years in the service of animals

09 October 2020 | Local News

Swakopmund • Erwin Leuschner

The Swakopmund Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) started out small.

Today the facility located on the outskirts of town, is indispensable. “We owe this all to residents, sponsors and our team,” SPCA chairman Peter Witt said.

The idea of establishing an animal welfare association in Swakopmund was discussed for the first time on 11 June, 1968. However, much had to be done before the initiative could be realised.

In the long run, it was Dr Friedrich Wilhelm von Ludwiger who bought a piece of land from the local municipality on behalf of the SPCA. On 7 October 1970, the first chairman, Theo Bierberg, laid the foundation stone.

“The approximately 10 000 inhabitants of the town at the time actively supported this initiative from the start, and it is thanks to them that it was a success,” said Witt.

In the years that followed, the SPCA adapted to the conditions and needs of the growing population and, as a result, the steadily increasing number of stray and homeless pets.

Since then, the SPCA also established a boarding service. Now residents have been able to go on holiday while their pets are safely housed at the SPCA.

“Today, this is one of our most important sources of income,” Witt said.

Around ten years ago, Witt took over the chairmanship from Klaus Bettendorf. The SPCA has now been officially registered as a welfare organisation and constantly undergoes further development.

One of the highlights is the construction of the so-called four “emergency flaps”, allowing persons to bring animals to the society outside of opening hours or to leave a pet there anonymously. The “flaps” are equipped with warm blankets, food and fresh water.

The SPCA has also significantly increased the number of kennels - there are now 70. The number of pets that end up at the SPCA has doubled in the past ten years, bringing the total number of pets the society cares for every year, to around 800.

In 2016, the SPCA applied for another erf from town council, and this process should be completed this year.

“Without the constant, generous and empathetic support of the community and the team, our efforts would not have been possible,” Witt said, thanking everyone who has lent them a helping hand over the years.

A gala event to mark the anniversary had originally been planned, but was shelved due to Covid-19. “We will make up for this next year,” Witt said.

To look back on the past 50 years, the SPCA is publishing a commemorative book, which will be available from 15 October at the Swakopmund Buchhandlung and at Die Muschel.

“We hope that this organisation will be preserved so that we can continue to give pets the best possible help and find them a new, loving home,” Witt concluded.

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