"Despite being a nation of animal lovers, animal cruelty and negligence remains a harsh reality in South Africa," says the programme. 

"Organisations such as the NSPCA provide a voice for, and fight for, the battle on behalf of domestic, farm and wild animals on a daily basis. The pandemic and its associated lockdowns have seen reports of negligence and cruelty spiralling, adding significantly to the workload of NSPCA Inspectors who conduct the critical investigations to save these vulnerable animals," adds the programme.

The donation aims to help boost the NSPCA's capacity to train inspectors and field officers who undergo training to prepare them to do their jobs. On the frontline, they are deployed to investigate allegations of deliberate negligence, rescuing animals when necessary and instituting relevant prosecution processes.

"The training is a costly exercise, but critical to the continued fight against animal cruelty in South Africa," says Morgane James, NSPCA training unit manager. "With the motto 'Training for a kinder world', the unit and the officers it trains embody the animal welfare organisation's objective of promoting kindness, preventing cruelty and alleviating the suffering of innocent animals."

"The NSPCA provides training (free of charge) to inspector and field officer trainees at their offices in Johannesburg. This ensures that no person is disadvantaged or unable to attend due to a lack of finances," says James.

The programme says that field officers and inspectors are critical members of SPCA teams around the country, committed to spreading the welfare message and addressing cases of animal neglect, cruelty and disaster situations. Education is a vital component of animal protection, as is law enforcement in cases of malicious cruelty, such as dogfighting.

Pieter Twine, general manager of MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet, says, "Our programme is proof that every single person can make a big difference. Over a million people are swiping their MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet cards every month and the impact of each small gesture is massive. Thanks to the support of cardholders, we can assist organisations such as the NSPCA to continue doing valuable community work."

Individuals who would like to support the NSPCA and their efforts can sign up for a MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card and select the SPCA (The National Fund) as a beneficiary.

Individuals are encouraged to visit the programme's website or visit or download the app. Every time an individual shops at one of their retail partners (including Woolworths, Engen, Loot.co.za, Bidvest Waltons, Builders) a portion of their spend will be given to a school or cause of your choice – at no additional cost to you.

For more information, visit www.myschool.co.za. You can also follow MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram.