SEAWL – South East SA’s largest animal shelter needs your help

Posted on 14/08/2018 by Natalie Zwar, President SEAWL in Sinclair Wilson in the Community

For more than 40 years, the South East Animal Welfare League Inc (SEAWL) has been caring for the lost, abandoned and unloved dogs and cats of South East South Australia, ensuring that creatures without a voice can be cared for and loved like they deserve.

Now, in its 42nd year of operation, SEAWL is reaching out to the wider community to help secure its survival – and, with it, the survival of the hundreds of animals that pass through its doors every year.

South East Animal Welfare League Inc (SEAWL) became a registered Charity in 1976 and has serviced the South East of South Australia since that time offering the care and rehoming of dogs and cats.

A deep passion for animal welfare has always been at the heart of SEAWL; it exists to ensure animals have a voice. Generous volunteers are the League’s lifeblood; SEAWL was totally volunteer-run until 13 years ago, when the League took the big step of putting on its first employee – a part-time paid staff member to help manage and look after the growing team of volunteers.

Regulations and compliance has led to that number of paid employees growing over the last few years; today, SEAWL employs two part-time staff members and another three casuals, who see to the operation of the premises during its opening hours.

That said, it is still heavily reliant on the generosity of its volunteers – four to five volunteers are on-hand every day to help with all the duties that come with providing this important service.

This is in addition to SEAWL’s Board – another dedicated band of volunteers. Like most organisations driven by passionate volunteers, the demands of these roles are, at times, taxing, and we are always aware of the demands that giving so much over so long places on these kind and generous people.

The League also relies on the generous contribution of money and food to maintain the welfare of, and care for the hundreds of animals that we see every year. The local community offers great support in this regard and we are constantly touched and appreciative of how much people care and contribute to our efforts via the donation of cash and food for the animals.

Yet, even with these generous contributions, SEAWL currently finds itself at a crossroads. The rise in operational costs, such as energy and waste removal is impacting us, like so many other organisations. Assessment of our finances and costs is an ongoing task and, for many on our passionate and committed board, this is a steep learning curve that we continue to ride. Financially, we have found it tough to strike a good balance between servicing the animals correctly and keeping our doors open so that we can continue to care for and rehome the animals that come into our care.

Meanwhile, the SEAWL facility requires upgrading and, in some cases, replacement. The last rebuilding project was the current kennels – way back in 1986! We have plans in place to improve the facilities and are ready to start… but desperately need extra funds to get this project moving.

The League has a separate rebuild fund, in order to fulfil plans to rebuild our facilities in stages.

The SEAWL Board appreciates any financial contribution that can be made to either our building fund or, alternatively, to the day-to-day running costs associated with our centre. Our mission is, as always, to continue to care for the animals of the South East community.

Anyone hoping to contribute to our work and passion can make a donation via their nearest Sinclair Wilson office, or contact SEAWL via our webpage. All help is very much appreciated.

Natalie Zwar

President SEAWL