Abandoned dogs have been pouring through the doors of the Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha as the festive season quickly approaches. The clinic is an NPO veterinary clinic and not specifically a shelter.
They have a very small shelter programme which can cater for 15 dogs. Currently, they have 24 dogs and 10 puppies at the shelter along with many more dogs in foster care.
“The Festive Season is happy for most but for us, it is the hardest time of the year,” says Marcelle du Plessis, Fundraising and Communications Manager of Mdzananda Animal Clinic. “We’re already over capacity and we’ve had to start showing people away.”
The clinic has reported that between November to February, community members go to the Eastern Cape. Without any solution for their pets, the pets end up abandoned at the clinic.
“Some have even been thrown over our walls at night. Rather with us than in the streets but since we do not have capacity to be a large shelter, it places extreme pressure on our staff, space and resources,” says du Plessis.
Heidi May, the General Manager at Mdzananda says that the dogs at their shelter are often not what people find “attractive.”
“There are many Afrikanis, brown, short haired dogs but not the cute and fluffy small breeds that get homes quickly. Just last week we had a rare case of a Boston Terrier puppy up for adoption. Within a few hours, we had hundreds of phone calls, emails and social media messages of people wanting to adopt this puppy because of his breed. We wish we had that type of response for our other dogs as so many sit in our shelter with no homes,” says Mrs May.
Kim, a black, medium sized cross breed, was skin and bones and very scared when she arrived at the clinic. Today she is the pack leader but no one has come to adopt her. “Sadly, black-furred dogs are slow to be adopted,” says du Plessis.
Bonny and Clyde, two Pitbull siblings, have been at the shelter for months. “They are special needs cases and that’s why no one wants them. Even though they come with some complications, they are the sweetest dogs and also deserve a home,” says du Plessis.
About three years in age, both have cancerous growths that keep returning. “There is not much that can be done for cancer, but they still have long lives ahead of them. Clyde runs on three legs due to an old hind leg injury and would be best as an only dog while Bonnie doesn’t mind other dogs.
It costs the clinic around R1500 to care for an abandoned pet in its first month with them. This is just to cover their sterilisation, vaccinations, dewormers, flea and tick treatment and food. This excludes all other costs such as staff, electricity and water.
The animal clinic is calling on the public to adopt or foster during this time. They are also asking for financial support. If you are able to help, please make a donation to Mdzananda Animal Clinic, Standard Bank, Account number: 075595710, Branch: Rondebosch, Branch Code: 025009, Savings account, Reference: pets +Your Name.