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Find puppy love in Khayelitsha as world remembers homeless animals

16 August 2019 - 16:19 By KHANYISA TYELELA and Georgia Carter
One of the puppies looking for a home at Mdzananda Animal Clinic's open day on August 17 2019.
One of the puppies looking for a home at Mdzananda Animal Clinic's open day on August 17 2019.
Image: Georgia Carter

If you're looking for a four-legged friend, Saturday is the right time to find one.

International Homeless Animal Day — celebrated worldwide on the third Saturday in August — is a highlight of the year at Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha, outside Cape Town.

The non-profit organisation is hosting an open day for adoptions on Saturday, hoping to find homes for the dozens of animals it is caring for.

Every pet the clinic sends to a new home is sterilised.

A wounded stray dog being assessed in Mdzananda Animal Clinic's hospital ward.
A wounded stray dog being assessed in Mdzananda Animal Clinic's hospital ward.
Image: Georgia Carter

“Pet overpopulation is an enormous problem. It is absolutely essential to sterilise as many animals as possible. On average, we sterilise 2,500 pets per year,” said communications manager Marcelle du Plessis.

A R600 adoption fee is charged for each pet’s sterilisation, vaccinations, deworming and flea and tick treatment, but the money doesn't come close to meeting the clinic's needs.

“To run the Mdzananda Animal Clinic costs approximately R6.5m per year. We treat between 700 and 1,000 animals at our hospital each month,” said Du Plessis. “We were very fortunate to have an international funding organisation which covers close to half of this expense yearly.

“But unfortunately, due to international budget cuts, this funding organisation had to withdraw their funding.”

To try to fill the financial gap, Mdzananda has launched a #PawMember campaign, aiming to sign up 3,000 supporters who pledge R100 monthly.

If people are interested in any of the pets available for adoption on Saturday, they will be asked to fill in an adoption form. From there a house check is done to make sure their home is suitable for the pet.


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