Many Cape Town pet-lovers have shown extreme concern for township pets during lockdown. One of the fears expressed was whether pet owners will have sufficient access to pet food supplies. An even greater concern is what will happen if pets get injured.

The Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha says that members of the public have one less thing to worry about during lockdown. They are keeping their doors open for the pets of Khayelitsha.

The most common cause of patients being admitted to the Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha is broken bones, fractures and wounds due to pets being run over by motor vehicles. While one expects fewer cars on the road during lockdown, two dogs were already admitted during the first two days with broken bones.

“A community member had found a young dog lying in the road. According to other community members who had seen the pet in the road, the dog had not been able to walk for three days. The Good Samaritan picked the dog up and brought it straight to the Mdzananda Animal Clinic,” says Marcelle du Plessis, Fundraising and Communications Manager.

“The dog’s hind legs were paralysed. He had pelvic and vertebral fractures,” says Dr Lara Murray. “The damage was severe and we decided that, in this case, it would be kinder to send the dog to heaven, relieving him from his pain. I shudder to think how long this dog would have suffered if we were not open during lockdown.”

The Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha will be run by thirteen experienced staff members including veterinarians. These people will be going into the community, putting themselves at risk, to look after those who cannot look after themselves.

“Unfortunately we are not able to run at full capacity during this time but we are open to any pets from the Khayelitsha community with life-threatening emergencies. We will make sure no animal suffers,” says du Plessis.

Currently, the Clinic’s hospital is full of pre-lockdown patients. These patients will be taken care of until they are healthy and will then be delivered home.

“We expect our hospital to remain full as new emergency cases fill up any gaps that discharged patients leave behind,” says du Plessis. “We also expect pets to be handed over during this time. We will need to keep them in our small shelter facility until we can open our doors to adoptions and fosters again.” On the second day of lockdown three pets had already been handed over.

An essential service in the community is that of Mdzananda’s animal ambulance, which will not be taking a break. The staff going out into the community will be equipped with gloves, masks and sanitiser. At the hospital, the staff are also taking great precautions. Pets are handed over for treatment at the front gate to avoid people entering the property. The receptionist also assisting people at the gate with food sales and inquiries.

During lockdown, the clinic will not be able to generate its own income from adoption fees, consultation fees or their on-site vet shop sales. This usually generates R81 500 per month. They are appealing to members of the public to make a once-off donation or to become a Paw Member and donate R50 or R100 per month.

To sign up as a Paw Member visit

Donations can be made to Mdzananda Animal Clinic, Standard Bank, Account number: 075595710, Branch: Rondebosch, Branch Code: 025009, Savings account, Reference: Covid19 + Your Name. For any further information visit or contact [email protected] / 082 251 0554 / 021 367 6001.

Picture: Supplied

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.