This is now my 9th year on the committee and I can with all honesty say that this is a very competent and committed committee. We meet every 6 weeks to discuss what action to take and what is priority for this organization. I would like to thank my committee for their hard work, dedication and many hours sacrificed for the organization.
We lost a very passionate and dedicated committee person and friend, Esthe Jordaan, who was our fundraising Portfolio holder. We will miss you dearly may you rest in peace.
To my dedicated staff a big thank you for continuously doing a sterling job and cope with all the daily challenges. Together they make a formidable team.
My excitement and reward is still fieldwork.
The Hermanus Animal Welfare Society, or HAWS as we are more commonly known, is well known in the area of Hermanus and we take our responsibility for, and commitment to Animal Welfare very seriously. In addition, we maintain a strong commitment to partnering with our local communities to improve the lives of both the community and their animals.
We are well respected and within the region, are often called on to assist Kleinmond Animal Welfare Society, Birkenhead Animal Rescue Centre (Gansbaai) and Stanford Animal Welfare Society, through their access to and use of our Community Veterinary Clinic for spayathons, and through our assistance in the field with them on their animal response field calls.
We are frequently asked to handle regional animal related matters by Good Hope SPCA and are also frequently asked for assistance by Theewaterskloof, L’Agulhas and Overstrand Law Enforcement in their animal related matters.
In our partnership with the local Law Enforcement units, we have assisted with setting up the animal handling protocols, the legal documentation for animal related matters, education in the Humane Animal Handling best practices of the officials.
To achieve this, we operate on the basis of ZERO tolerance for abuse, neglect and cruelty, and ZERO tolerance for all back yard, hobby or accidental breeding while supporting and nurturing the concerned human owners through community outreach programmes.
On our own account, we have sterilized over 700 animals. Vaccinated more than 1000, fed approximately 500 needy animals every single month (excluding our own), provided leashes to approximately 300 dogs, kennels to about 32 households and fenced or gated yards for 17 homes.
We have responded to more than 600 animals related medical situations, with emergency/trauma treatment being given to more than 300 animals through our Community Veterinary clinic.
Including such a miracle as the dog Fee (which was abandoned for approx. 3 months in a backyard until a neighbor finally reported her)
Hope the Horse (grossly emaciated pony used to pull a steel cart in Hawston),
Diana Wiggle (sadly neglected & mangey puppy picked up off the streets in Tesslarsdal),
Champagne (horrifically emaciated much over-bred pit-bull bitch removed from her owner in Mount Pleasant),
- Podie (victim of motor car impact with bilateral hind leg fractures, gangrene and more that has survived and thrived) and many many more.
We have been called to assist with over 40 agricultural animal situations, including rescuing and relocating horses, Pigs, Cows and many fowl matters.
We received over 320 animals as stray/unwanted into our pound, of which we have successfully relocated almost 300.
We have increased our community veterinary clinic clients from 100 patients a month to now over 200 and continue to expand each month.
We now offer support & care for emergency, trauma and disease as well as our usual basic animal healthcare and sterilization drives through our employment of our full time vet and vet assistants.
To be able to assist more of the indigent and recently jobless, (as our economy continues to tumble, joblessness is increasing, yet often the newly unemployed animal owner still loves their pets and tries really hard to keep them) community members, we have discounted (and often provided for free) our care and assistance to the community in everything from sterilizations through vaccinating all the way down to community pet food, leashes and such like.
We offer these services through initiatives such as:
- our Recycling Programme, in which indigent community members may “earn” dog and cat food through bringing HAWS their recyclables,
- or our Fences For Freedom drive in which we partner various building businesses in Hermanus with ourselves and genuine caring owners to fence their properties adequately for both their protection and their animals freedom from being chained (since inception, we’ve helped 17 households),
- our On-Leash programmed in which donated leashes are given to those owners who’ve shown dedication and commitment to their animals by bringing them for regular health visits (since inception, leashes have been
- provided to almost 300 owners),
- through our Nibbles for Needy Pets programme in which use the funds donated for food and for the Granny Joyce Legacy to purchase food to add to that which is donated and which we then use to feed the really poor and suffering animals in Zwelihle in combination with and expansion of our continuation of Granny Joyce Rawson’s legacy programme where we’ve carried on with her efforts in feeding specific dogs and cats in Zwelihle (we feed approximately 500 animals in Zwelihle and Mount Pleasant now)
- and finally, our Kennel Drive in which we collect building palets from various business in Hermanus and use these to build and install kennels for the animals in Zwelihle, Mount Pleasant and Hawston in homes where the owners have demonstrated a real effort towards improving their own animals living conditions (since we began, we’ve placed 32 kennels).
Every one of these programmes relies on donations and sponsorships to supplement the limited funding we have for each.
We have hosted schools outreach programmes with every school within the greater Hermanus Area with an average group size per grade of 15 students per month. In these programmes we combine visits to the schools with some of our animals, in which we talk about the basics and let the children interact with the animals in the classroom, with visits by the schools to our shelter in which the groups of children receive more hands on learning through education booklets & pamphlets they must complete, combined with small “chores” to do within the shelter environment.
In the spirit of Community Support, we offer to our young clients (school children who’ve been through our outreach education programme and who have decided to take responsibility for their own animals in the absence of parental contributions) a “work to earn” programme which we call our Young HAWS Heroes, such as has been featured on our Facebook page with Sipho and the Mount Pleasant Boys.
In this programme, these young children are given the opportunity to earn their animals care and upkeep (vaccinations, sterilization, leash, blanket, kennels, food, etc.) by “working” for HAWS after school and on weekends. We know these children don’t have the money to purchase these things for their animals, however desperately they may want or need them, so through their working they earn them, BUT, in addition, we are also able to teach the children about the responsibility of pet ownership and are able to demonstrate better, more humane techniques. A number of these young folks would like one day to work with animals, and this is one way for us to help them follow their dreams.
A corollary to our Young HAWS Heroes programme has been that we have been able to assist two different young boys in distress that have appeared at the shelter with their much loved, but ill animals, seeking help for these. In assisting the young folks with their animals, the household distress of the two young guys was identified by our Kennel Manager and we were able to ask Child Welfare in to offer better human assistance. In both cases, the boys are now able to attend school regularly, their appearance and health is improved and their ability to keep and look after their lovely puppies is also now much improved.
We have also upgraded and expanded our facilities; from the original single structure property to what is now a complex that can house 45 adult dogs, 12 puppies, 30 adult cats and 12 kittens.
We include large open runs for our dogs to play during the day, and a glorious cattery with gardens, climbing boxes and natural texture climbing trees. We have recently been granted additional servitude space for an additional yard for our use in dog training, behavioral rehabilitation and such like.
In all of this, we've not lost sight of our goal - To educate the entire community in a better and more humane way of being with animals. We speak for those who have no voice.
All of this has been achieved through dedication and hard work, combined with fantastic partnerships with some really dedicated Committee, donors and volunteers.
We had several fundraising initiatives but these, while generously supported, serve to fund only some of the costs we must carry.
Among our fundraising initiatives, one of our most recent inadvertent successful efforts has been the Sipho fund that arose from our Facebook post that went viral combine with a lucky series of chances, rather than a specific fundraising plan and has not raised as much money as its resulted in donations of physical terms.
We do, however, have our regular events and programmes, such as our Golf day, which raised almost R80 000 and our long running Copper Coin Collection drive which raised over R100 000 for us. Sadly, these are only able to cover a small portion of our operating costs and we are always striving to find new ways to raise funds.
Last but not least, I would like to thank the following organizations, individuals and companies.
Bergview Veterinary Hospital as well as Hermanus Animal Hospital for assisting HAWS when called upon.
Law Enforcement and the K9 Officers for their valued support during investigations.
Hermanus Times for their continued support in particular the adoptions ad which is printed in colour every second edition.
All the companies and individuals for their generous contributions throughout the year. HAWS cannot exist without your contributions.
To Dr Illza Perold for her continuous donations and the availability to her X-ray facility.
To all our loyal shop, dog and cat volunteers. You are all very important to the well-being of the organization. I sincerely hope that you will continue to support us for many years to come.