The Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha has seen the effect of COVID-19 on township pets and pet owners.
“Many people have lost their jobs. Many have no income. But despite this, people are still caring for their animals and they need our services more than ever,” says Marcelle du Plessis, Fundraising and Communications Manager.
The NPO animal clinic serves up to 1000 community pets per month through consultations, hospitalization, general and orthopedic surgeries, continuous sterilizations, mobile clinics, an animal ambulance, and abandoned pet adoptions. The organisation has a strong focus on community empowerment and education to ensure responsible pet ownership in the future.
They work in the heart of the community and pride themselves on gaining the community’s respect and trust so that they can work together on improving the lives of pets in the township. As pets stream in through their doors for assistance, the Clinic has also suffered under the Coronavirus impact.
“We lost significant funding during the hard lockdown, around R200 000 every three weeks. Apart from that we had an armed robbery, were burgled and our drivers were held up,” says du Plessis.
Even though the organization received generous donations at the start of lockdown, helping them to continue serving the pets of the community during that time, their main concern is the long-term effect.
“The really scary part is the impact it’s had on our individual donors. People have started canceling their monthly debit orders and many bounced due to difficult times. This income is our organization’s blood flow,” says du Plessis.
The cancellations have already reduced their monthly income and they are concerned about the lasting impact and knock-on effect in the next six months to two years due to the economic impact.
“Apart from individuals canceling debit orders, we are also concerned that corporates who are hard hit by the pandemic may not be able to donate into the future. The pandemic effects are going to last for at least two years,” says Susan Wishart, General Manager.
The Clinic has launched a Paw Member campaign with the aim of signing up 1000 people, each donating R100 per month to help them through a difficult time.
This will help to replace already canceled debit orders and support them with the knock-on effect. The campaign consists of a series of videos showing the animal clinic’s work as well as testimonials from current Paw Members. The first video launched on October 10, which will be followed by a new video every two weeks.