Swellendam SPCA believes that animal welfare, whether for pets, farm animals, animals in transit, or at a place of slaughter should be considered in terms of the 'five freedoms':

  • Freedom from Hunger and Thirst - by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.
  • Freedom from Discomfort - by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area. aliquid
  • Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease - by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  • Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour - by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal's own kind.
  • Freedom from Fear and Distress - by ensuring conditions and treatment to prevent and avoid mental suffering.


Swellendam SPCA was started in 2001 by a small core of community members concerned by the plight of animals in the town and surrounding rural areas. Until that time there had been no animal welfare body active within this huge municipal area where poverty and a high unemployment rate contribute to large numbers of animals being in desperate need of help.

For the first 3 years a few dedicated volunteers held education drives at local schools, went house to house in the township educating owners and identifying animals for sterilisation, and held weekly clinics where animals were dipped and minor ailments treated.

In 2004 Swellendam SPCA negotiated sole use of the old Community Centre in Railton from which to establish a permanent base. A fieldworker was appointed who subsequently undertook Inspector Training and certified as an SPCA Inspector.

Swellendam SPCA successfully lobbied the local municipality to promulgate by-laws regarding animal sterilisation and continues to engage this body on critical issues. We also work cooperatively with local Law Enforcement bodies and other local welfare agencies to promote animal welfare in the region.

The Railton Clinic has been upgraded over time to provide kennels and a cattery where we can safely house stray animals awaiting loving new homes. A local veterinary surgeon donates his time to provide 3 evening clinics a week to care for animals in the community whose owners cannot afford private veterinary care. A weekly dipping service is held at the clinic. Regular sterilisation drives are held in and around our municipal area. On-going education initiatives are undertaken at schools and public events.

Our presence has made a visible difference to the lives of animals in our area. With your help we will continue to build onto our successes and remain committed to improving the lives of animals in our community.


The SPCA is the only Animal Welfare organisation in South Africa regulated by an Act of Parliament (SPCA Act of 1993). This, together with the Animals Protection Act no. 71 of 1962 means that our inspectors are certified to a high standard and hold specific powers under South African law to act on behalf of an abused animal.

SPCA Inspectors play a key role in animal welfare, from educating members of public with regard to correct animal handling and care; proactively inspecting the condition of animals and livestock in any establishment where they may be housed; acting on complaints received from the public; and rescuing animals in need, to investigating and laying criminal charges where necessary against people who have perpetrated deliberate or negligent acts of cruelty.

If you suspect an animal is in need of help, please report it. All reports are treated as anonymous. You will be asked for your name and contact details, but these are kept strictly confidential and will not be divulged to anyone under any circumstances. Every complaint is carefully investigated, advice freely given and feedback provided.

How can I help

The SPCA receives no government funding and exists entirely on the generosity of the public. While donations are the lifeblood of our SPCA, there are many ways in which you could help.




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