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History Timeline: 1872-2012

Founding member, Mr Beebers (left), the first horse-drawn ambulance imported from England in 1900 and our first motorised ambulance in 1923

1872 The Cape of Good Hope SPCA is founded on 20 May, becoming the founder society of the SPCA movement and animal welfare in South Africa.

1897 The first Cruelty to Animals Act is passed in Parliament, giving the SPCA the necessary powers to curb cruelty to animals. This Act is initiated by this SPCA.

1898 The SPCA holds its first Annual Horse Parade in central Cape Town.

1900 The first horse-drawn ambulance is imported to South Africa from England. In the same year Mr Anthony Bell represents the Cape of Good Hope SPCA at the International Congress of SPCAs in Paris. The acquisition of the first motor ambulance.

1906 Two bicycles are added to our transport fleet. Secretary receives £5 horse allowance.

1908 Office moves to Greenmarket Square.

1910 Simons Town erects the first modern abattoir as a result of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA’s campaigning.

1913 Office moves to Parliament Street.

1919 The first SPCA hospital and Home

1934 An animal clinic is opened in Cape Town.

1945 Land is purchased for the present SPCA centre in Grassy Park.

1956 The animal hospital in Grassy Park is completed - the first of its kind in Southern Africa. The Cape of Good Hope SPCA becomes a Founder Member of the Federation of SPCAs of South Africa, which subsequently in the 1980s becomes known as the National Council of SPCAs.

1976 Focused support to the disadvantaged communities is initiated

1983 Our policies on wide-ranging animal problems are defined and adopted by the National Council of SPCAs. A policy of sterilising all animals that are placed in new homes is adopted by the SPCA.

1984 Increased education and support to disadvantaged areas become a greater focus for the society. Two new mobile clinics are introduced to service the townships. A shift in attitude comes about as the SPCA does not want to be seen as ‘a policeman’ and goes into the townships to educate. Prosecution becomes the final resort. Two new mobile clinics are introduced to service the townships. A play is taken to all Xhosa-speaking schools to support the education drive.

1985 A new sterilisation clinic is built. A new wildlife unit is established and treats 500 wild birds, animals and reptiles in its first year.

1989 SPCA welcomes the founding of the National Thoroughbred Trust, a trust fund initiated by the racing industry to address the neglect and abuse of retired racehorses.

1992 The SPCA develops its first formal strategic plan and vision for the future. It defines its mission statement as ‘We Speak for, Protect and Care for Animals’.

1993 Footprints, our official magazine, is launched as part of a new fundraising focus. A new reception area, clinics and consulting rooms for our hospital are built. 31 boarding kennels and 122 kennels for strays are rebuilt. Grassed exercise areas are constructed in front of each row of kennels. Animal Week promotion is introduced at the Waterfront.

1994 First Wiggle Waggle Walkathon is held. Puppy home is built.

1995 More kennels are refurbished. A dedicated Horse Care Unit is established in Grassy Park, receiving financial support from the National Thoroughbred Trust. LDV and horse box are donated to the Horse Care Unit.

1996 Bequest Society is formed. The kennel reception area is substantially improved. A new mobile clinic becomes operational, bringing the total to three. Hospital walls and floors are tiled. New hospital isolation ward is built from a single donation.

1997 A new cattery is built, one of the most modem in the country. Outside hospital wards are heated and the hospital cat ward is modernised.

2003 Lotto funding enables the Ani-pals education programme to be launched. The aim of the programme is to increase awareness of basic animal care amongst young school children. It is primarily targeted at underprivileged schools and includes a free sterilisation service.

2006 Hospital undergoes major renovation and alterations with newly-equipped theatre and three clinic rooms, substantially increasing the number of animals helped. New feed room for horse care unit is constructed.

2007 Dedicated Inspectorate building is opened with a 24-hour animal call centre to receive cruelty reports. Dedicated Xhosa-speaking educator is employed.

2009-2010 Animal Cops South Africa launches internationally.  
Lottery funding approved for the development of a new temporary Wildlife Care Facility.
Biggest SPCA Wiggle Waggle Walkathon, Woefie Wandel and Horse Show to date.
Horse Care Unit commissions new stable block.
Fourth mobile clinic commissioned.
Opening of first SPCA Vet Shop in Plumstead.

2010-2011 Construction of new Farmyard facility in Grassy Park completed.
Received funding for Short Term Wildlife Care Facility from National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.
New Ani-Pal Education Programme finalised and delivered.
Recipient of the prestigious Mayor’s Medal for Community Affairs.

2011-2012 Finalisation of new Animal Control by-law.
Construction of new Wildlife Care Facility completed.
95% of equines permanently admitted to HCU were adopted to new homes.
ncreased the number of pet sterilisations by 16.5%.
Four mobile clinics, serving impoverished communities, treated 49058 dogs and cats and admitted 19681 for sterilisation or treatment.
Lost and Found service reunited 582 dogs and cats with their owners and a further 686 were adopted to new, loving homes.
2251 people took part in the 17th annual SPCA Royal Canin Wiggle Waggle Walkathon and 1524 people took part in the 3rd annual SPCA Purina Woefie Wandel Walkathon, making it the biggest turnout ever for both events.
The Cape of Good Hope SPCA turns 140 years old in May 2012.


Help us continue
to protect animals for the next 135 years ...

Our Mission
  • The Cape of Good Hope SPCA’s mission, enshrined in its constitution, is:
  • To prevent cruelty and the ill treatment of animals by promoting their good treatment by man;
  • To prevent the wanton and improper treatment of animals;
  • To encourage kindness and consideration towards animals, including the establishment and promotion of junior movements;
  • To maintain and protect animal and bird life in their natural habitats;
  • To educate the entire community with regard to the humane treatment of animals and compassion for them.

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