Happy puppies: Animal welfare group in Seychelles gets upgraded facilities
The shelter consists of 27 kennels, three surgery rooms and an office space. (Salifa Karapetyan)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) is now in a better position to serve their mandate with the opening of their new and more spacious animal welfare shelter.
“More strays and unwanted puppies will now be able to be sheltered with the relocation of the society to Zone 20 of the Providence Industrial zone,” said Jimmy Marie, the office manager at society.
Before the opening of their new shelter at Providence - located on the eastern coast of the main island of Mahe - on February 6, the society was operating under the same roof as the veterinary services at Union Vale – on the outskirts of the capital city Victoria.
Marie said that space was a major Issue. Manpower was another problem the society was facing.
“One of our main problems was manpower but the expansion is providing us with the possibility of employing more people so that we can deliver more to the public,” said Marie.
At the moment there are two permanent staffs and a veterinarian working at the shelter while recruitment takes place. Built with the help of donations from local businesses, the shelter consists of 27 kennels, three surgery rooms and an office space.
|The new shelter located at Providence was built with the help of local businesses. (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Created over ten years ago, SSPCA’s primarily focuses on rehoming, education and sterilization. With the opening of the new shelter the society is also venturing in boarding homes for pets when their owners are travelling.
“Right now we rely heavily on donations. Providing a boarding facility will help us generate money as we want to be self-funded,” said Marie.
Thirteen kennels will be set aside especially for this service. Fees are still being discussed as there are various issues to take in to consideration such as length of stay and who will be providing the food.
Continuing with previous services, the society takes in unwanted dogs, where they are given medical attention, and given shelter until they are adopted or taken to other shelters. For the time being, the society is sheltering only dogs, but this will be extended for cats later on as the facility expends.
The group also provide the public with a pet sterilization program with the aim of bringing down the number of unwanted puppies and kittens. Most of the time these unwanted pets end up as stray in the street, which is a problem for locals and visitors.
|For the time being, the society is sheltering only dogs but will extend for cats later on. (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Sterilisation costs SCR350 ($25) and Marie said that soon they will start providing the public with a mobile service, where “we will be going directly to the districts with our sterilisation program as the shelter is far.”
As part of its activities, the SSPCA also goes to public and private schools of Seychelles – a group of islands in the western Indian Ocean - to educate children on how to treat animals.
“There is a tendency among the local children to hurt stray dogs while going home from school. They do not realise the stress and negative impact they are putting on the dogs. We want to change that,” said Marie.
The society has plans to host children at the welfare centre to spend some time with the dogs, walking and playing with them.
Even though the society and the veterinary services are no longer located under one roof, the two organisations will continue working together for the betterment of animals.