A network of volunteers and a management committee run KAPS
KAPS is run by a management committee and a network of volunteers. Volunteers are based in Calitzdorp, Ladismith, Van Wyksdorp and Barrydale. But our work is seldom done in towns. KAPS is out on the road on a daily basis taking services into the rural communities, farms and deprived townships such as Amalienstein, Zoar, Nissenville and Smitsville, of which many can’t be found on a map.
Since our main characteristic as a mobile service is that we have no borders, KAPS gets called upon to assist in distant areas as far away as the Eastern Cape. We have helped animal-lovers to set up welfare for animals in the poor areas around the small town of Aberdeen, where we subsidise the local volunteers, and at regular intervals we arrive to deliver mass sterilising clinics, all at our expense.
In 2008 KAPS undertook its most ambitious project – taking animal welfare services to the entire municipality of Baviaans in the Eastern Cape, where the conditions were indescribably horrific. Since then we have had to cope with the closure of Outshoorn SPCA, the largest SPCA adjacent to KAPS. This resulted in the abandonment of animal welfare from a huge local area and an upsurge in backyard breeding and epidemics of distemper and TVT.
KAPS transforms the living conditions of all sorts of animals
In the area in which KAPS works, we have now sterilised many thousands of bitches in intensive mass clinics and have galvanised willing volunteers in the local community who just needed an organisation that knew how to tackle what seemed on the face of it an insurmountable problem.
Huge distances are involved in the rural areas we cover, and KAPS vehicles travel thousands of km per month, so fuel and maintenance are a major expense.
It is difficult to say how many people receive our services, but they certainly run into many tens of thousands. It would be fair to estimate an average of at least one pet per household in the poor communities. Owners who spend anything on their care or feeding are rare exceptions.
Also, because farming is the local way of life, we get involved in care of livestock as well as companion animals. Small and emerging farmers often have insufficient knowledge of animal husbandry, and there is little care given to traction animals such as horses, or the donkeys that pull the famous Little Karoo donkey-carts.