BE it in suits or hard-hats, Nelson Mandela Bay residents from all industries are coming together to raise a quarter of a million rands to transform storage space into an animal surgery at the Animal Anti-Cruelty League’s Cleary Park branch.
Already, more than R130 000 has been raised towards the project in 18 months since Kabega resident Ute Kock, 67, and her son Andre, 42, initially discussed the idea.
While no final date has been set for collecting the R250 000 needed to convert the three garages on the Cleary Park property into a sterile theatre equipped to handle minor surgeries, Kock said: “It will definitely be done before the end of the year.”
Kock, a consultant at Ooba Home Loans, said she was astonished by the eagerness of Bay residents and businesses to assist in the project.
“It is wonderful how well the project has been supported,” she said.
“Initially, I received R1 000 from Ooba, which the head office sends to all the branches to help in our communities, and through two events last year – a golf day and a ‘trailer trash tea’ – we raised R67 000.”
Kock said Ooba’s head office had been so impressed with the turnover that the company had matched the amount at the end of last year.
“My son and I were chatting about how we could help and he suggested animal care because of the northern areas’ serious stray animal situation.
“And people just seem to have a soft spot for animals, which is evident by their willingness to help,” she said.
Kock said she intended to host another golf day in March and an additional trailer trash tea event to raise most of the remaining funds.
So far, she said, she had received help from attorneys, real estate agents, brokers, construction and medical companies, as well as ordinary residents.
“The trailer trash tea was the biggest success.
“We just put a spin on the traditional high tea and asked people to dress trashily.
“But a lot more is needed. It’s not just money that is required.
“The surgery would also need to be equipped with beds, needles, vaccinations and who knows what else.”
Animal Anti-Cruelty League spokeswoman Linda-Louise Swain said the Cleary Park premises had only one theatre room and one doctor.
“It is absolutely fabulous that the Port Elizabeth community is coming together to help us like this,” she said.
The league intends to take on an additional vet when the theatre is completed, as it is hoped to surpass the 2 549 sterilisations carried out last year.