There has been a global surge in pet ownership since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic with several animal shelters reporting an increase in the number of “foster fails” and adoptions.
“But there are two sides to this coin!”, says the Animal Welfare Society of SA. Sterilisation, vaccination and outreach campaigns were put on hold due to lockdown restrictions that left many animals to breed uncontrollably and spread disease with disastrous consequences for far too many animals.
“Since the start of spring, we have noticed an increase in the number of puppies being surrendered as unwanted,” AWS SA adds.
Many animals arrived emaciated and riddled with disease and parasites with little to no social skills. Getting them forever homes is time-consuming and extremely costly, and it can take months to find them new homes.
“Just yesterday (Tuesday, September 14), we admitted a grossly neglected lactating bitch and 9 critically ill puppies from nearby Sweet Home Farm informal settlement where animal cruelty and neglect is rampant,” AWS SA explains.
The puppies arrived in a rusty wire crate and disused cooler box and sadly all tested positive for the Parvo Virus. They were too weak to be saved.
AWS SA goes on to say that: “This tragic situation which is now playing itself out daily at the huge emotional cost to our team can easily be prevented if the City of Cape Town enforces their newly adopted Animal Keeping By-Law that makes sterilisation of companion animals mandatory.”
Unregulated and uncontrolled breeding of animals is at the heart of so many animal welfare concerns and the sooner this happens the better.