There are approximately 300 000 companion animals living in Khayelitsha, according to the estimations of the Mdzananda Animal Clinic. Many of these animals are unsterilised which has led to a skyrocketing pet population in the township. To curb the rising number of pets in the area, the Mdzananda Animal Clinic has launched a successful programme to sterilise animals and educate the community on the importance of sterilisation.
“Backyard breeding is rife as puppy and kitten sales are income generators. There is also a massive increase in the township’s size and population as people move to Cape Town from other provinces, bringing their animals with them,” said Marcelle du Plessis, Fundraising and Communications Executive, in a press release as she shone some light on possible causes of the increasing pet population. “There are many superstitions around female dogs needing to produce at least one litter and that males will lose their ‘manliness’ and stop protecting homes if sterilised,” she further explained.
She also mentioned that “the increasing population means insufficient homes or overcrowded homes which can lead to intentional and unintentional neglect”.
Mdzananda Animal Clinic has tried to solve the problem of pet overpopulation by leading extensive education programmes teaching about the importance of sterilisation. They also sterilise around 1 500 pets every year. But this is not enough according to Sr Heidi May, General Manager at the clinic.
“But due to our capacity at our facility, providing medical treatment to over 1000 animals per month, we are not able to do more. We have limited space in our operating theatre and limited veterinarians who also need to care for all patients in our hospital and shelter,” said May in the press release.
In an attempt to make a larger impact in the community, the clinic created a Satellite Sterilisation Partnership Clinic with Dr Rightwell Munyuki, the owner and veterinarian of Blue Downs Animal Clinic in Tuscany Glen.
“We believe in partnerships and that, through standing together, we can do even more good,” sayd Sr May.
Blue Downs Animal Clinic in Tuscany Glen is serving as a satellite sterilisation clinic for this newly launched programme. And they are already making a difference: since January this year, they have already sterilised 353 extra animals. This might not sound like much, but that is an extra 353 animals that could have potentially reproduced freely for five months, meaning this programme has prevented countless unnecessary births taking place.
The launch of this programme was made possible by the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in the United Kingdom, who sponsored one year’s running costs and sterilisation costs for 720 animals in 2022. And the programme has been so successful that they are already reaching more animals and are currently in need of funds to finance the programme further.
The public has, therefore, been asked to become #SteriSuppawters so that the programme can reach more animals.
“We would like to reach more animals than the targeted 720 for this year. We can do it but we need to source more funding to make that a reality,” says Sr May. “We want to encourage the public to sign up as #SteriSuppawters and sponsor a sterilisation.”
How can you help?
To become a #SteriSuppawter, sign up for a monthly debit order of R100 to sterilise two pets per year or R50 to sterilise one pet per year at www.mdzanandasecure.co.za. Or you can donate a once-off amount of R650 to sterilise one animal.
- Mdzananda Animal Clinic
- Standard Bank
- Account number: 075595710
- Branch: Rondebosch
- Code: 025009
- Savings account
- Reference: Steri +Your Name.