Belinda Abraham is spokesperson for the SPCA where she also is communications, resource development, and education manager at the Cape of Good Hope SPCA. She inspires, educates and teaches us about her immense love for animals, why we should care and how we can help contain the upcoming influx of stray animals during the festive season.

Gouwa Kassiem: When did your love for animals develop?

Belinda Abraham: I was basically born owning a dog! My parents were avid animal lovers, adopted rescue pets and rehabilitated baby birds whenever they found a hatchling on the ground. I had so many pets growing up – Mitzi was first dog, she was a Pekingese who hardly left my side as a baby and helped me learn to walk. I also had less common pets like guinea pigs and chickens. My parents believed all animals mattered and instilled this principle in me too.

GK: Why did you join the SPCA?

BA: I love animals and I know what a difference they have made to my life. It’s my small way of giving back to them for all the unconditional love I have experienced over the years.

GK: What has been your greatest achievement about your job?

BA: My greatest achievement I think was being invited to speak at an international fundraising conference in the Netherlands which gave me the opportunity to fly our South African flag high.

GK: What has been your greatest challenges about your job?

BA: The challenges are numerous but seeing animal cruelty and suffering affects me on a very personal level. I am proud and privileged to be able to tell the stories of the animals that come into the SPCA as part of my work portfolio but this means I am exposed to a lot of animals who have experienced the worst humanity has to offer. Sometimes nothing can be done to help an animal, aside from to free them from their pain and suffering via humane euthanasia. It’s both beautiful and heartbreaking that an animal who is basically dying on admission will use their last remaining strength to wag their tail at you.

GK: Why are animals important?

BA: Animals are sentient beings able to experience a range of emotions not unlike our own. They feel joy, pain, grief, love just as we do but they are unable to speak for themselves.

GK: Why should we care?

BA: As the superior life form on earth we owe it to the most vulnerable of creatures who share our planet to be kind to them. There is also much evidence to suggest that those who are cruel to animals are more likely to commit violent crimes against people when they reach adulthood. Teaching a child to love an animal is to set their moral compass to true north because that compassion for an animal extends to people at large, and these children are less likely to become bullies or to discriminate against people who look, act or believe differently to them.

GK: How do we contain the stray animal pandemic during the festive season?
BA: Sterilisation is the only answer to humanely curbing pet populations. SPCA admissions of stray animals escalate at this time of year because of the amount of people who leave the province and abandon their pets to an uncertain fate. Some people decide they no longer want their animals for any number of reasons (including cleaning up the yard for visitors) and surrender them into our care. The SPCA will take in approximately 2000 animals between the middle of December and January 2022 alone.

GK: How can we help?

BA: We need people to report pet abandonment (which is a criminal offence) so that we can reach these animals in time. Please also call to report injured or stray animals in distress. This will be a great help to the SPCA as will as donations of dry dog and cat food or cash donations of any amount to cover the costs of veterinary treatments.


We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Belinda and the entire CoGH SPCA team for continuously fighting for the rights of our vulnerable animals. May they continue to be the voice for the voiceless, in a world where the rights and justice of animals are often forgotten. May the lion continue to roar under the empathetic leadership of the CoGH SPCA and inspire the future generations.