Q: How is KAPS organised?
A: KAPS is a non-profit organisation with a constitution and a management committee which meets monthly. It is a mobile service which spends no money on office premises or full-time employees. KAPS is run and managed entirely by volunteers using additional part-time paid inspectors, and with veterinary work carried out by local practices or by dedicated welfare vets who come from far away to help in the impoverished communities (ad hoc casual helpers are recruited from within the communities and receive a token payment).
Rescued donkey foalQ: How does KAPS carry out its work?
A: Our volunteers are based in different centres in the Little Karoo. They organise regular dipping and other assistance in their own area, and some travel to farther locations. KAPS Chairperson, Colette Teale, regularly tours the entire catchment area to carry out inspections and identify where sterilisation clinics are needed. People seek help from KAPS when they see our vehicles, or get word to us through neighbours in an emergency.
Two rescued calves live happily at Klipfontein FarmQ: Does KAPS receive any income?
A: No, we rely entirely on donations. And because we serve the deprived communities, our policy is to give our services free. KAPS applies to municipalities for contributions towards our work, but with the noble exception of Baviaans in the Eastern Cape, if we receive anything it is just a token payment. Adoptions bring in donations, or we might get a contribution towards medical costs, but such sums never cover the actual outlay. We have a loyal membership who pay membership fees – to join, visit Contact Us – and some supporters contribute monthly sums by stop order – visit Donations . We also have two charity stalls run by enthusiasts in Cape Town, each mounted once a month, selling clothing and bric-a-brac, for which donated goods are always appreciated.
Proud owner at a KAPS mass clinicQ: What is KAPS’s greatest expense?
A: Our greatest expense is veterinary bills, averaging over R20,000 p.m., and mass sterilisation clinics, which can cost R8,000-R14,000 per day, mounted on average 25 days per year. (These figures reflect only the costs of veterinarians and medications, and do not take account of the Society’s own organisational and labour costs.) Vehicle fuel and maintenance are high at around R16,000 p.m., because all our services are taken by road into the rural communities, including the remotest farms. Vehicle maintenance is particularly costly because we mostly travel on un-made-up roads and tracks.
Judy – rescued after being brought in for euthanasiaQ: What help does KAPS need?
A: We are always grateful for local volunteers willing to assist in our catchment area, but what we really need are donations to enable us to keep up our work. Regular monthly bank payments are particularly valuable, as they enable us to budget in advance. If you know of a possible source of funding, please tell us by e-mail (see Contact Us) and we will be happy to follow up your ideas. Overseas visitors to our website please remember that because of South Africa’s weak currency, an amount that seems small to you is an enormous amount to us. Donations
Fostered dogs learn to be cat-friendlyQ: What animals does KAPS cover?
A: Any and all animals that need our help. Dogs take up most of our resources as the population is so huge and problematical, but cats and kittens are equally important to KAPS. There is much work to be done with horses and donkeys, and we do all we can to improve their treatment and conditions, mount healthcare clinics, and replace cruel and unacceptable equipment that causes injuries. KAPS’s sanctuary looks after numbers of rescued donkeys – between 15 and 20 or more at any given time – and our rescues have included horses, goats, pigs and baby male calves unwanted by dairy farmers. We also assist and advise small/emerging farmers with livestock problems.
Q: What happens to rescued/confiscated animals?
A: Companion animals are fostered in the homes of our members and live as part of the family. They receive all the medical attention they need and are nursed back to health. They are sterilised, vaccinated, socialised and house-trained. We then advertise for a home, which is often found in Cape Town – very rarely is a suitable home found in our impoverished catchment areas. Potential adopters and their homes are scrutinised very carefully, and we insist on our animals coming back if at any time the adopter cannot continue to keep them. The majority of our rescues are fostered at the farm belonging to our Chairperson, and they remain in their foster-homes if adopters cannot be found.
Q: What is KAPS’s policy on euthanasia?
A: Because of the extreme poverty in our area, large numbers of dogs handled by KAPS are very sick or badly injured. Distemper, biliary and TVT are widespread, and often tumours are discovered in animals brought to be sterilised. For these the only hope is to spare them further suffering. Owners also hand in unwanted animals to be put to sleep. In the case of abandoned or stray animals, we do not favour euthanasia if suitable placement can be found. However, some dogs with aggression problems simply cannot be fostered or rehomed, and we believe long-term housing in cages or kennels, without proper social activities, is not an acceptable life. In all cases the well-being of the animal is our first concern, so sometimes putting to sleep is the last and only resort.
A backyard breeder keeps dogs locked in a cageQ: What is KAPS’s view on dog licensing?
A: We strongly favour dog licensing as a means of ensuring responsible ownership. Combined with an ID system it can reunite lost dogs with their homes, and make owners accountable for letting their dogs create nuisance. We favour the lowest possible licence fee for neutered dogs, and a high loading for unspayed females. Licensing provides employment and is self-financing when operated on a commission basis. At the same time it ensures that someone is regularly aware of the health of the dog population in any given area.
Q: What is KAPS’s view on breeding?
A: With South Africa’s exploding population of dogs and cats, and its euthanasia rate of many thousands every day, KAPS feels that breeding must be strongly discouraged. As long as it cannot be prevented, breeding should be carried out only by registered breeders, whose credentials and premises should be subject to stringent scrutiny. In particular, unauthorised backyard breeding should be outlawed and offenders given heavy financial penalties.