Following the announcement by City Health of their funding of the SPCA to run a mass sterilisation programme in the next 6 months in Site B in Khayelitsha, the South African Mass Animal Sterilisation Trust (SA.MAST) have moved their focus from Site B to Site C in order to complement the campaign and transform a large part of the Khayelitsha area.
Says, Tamsin Nel, Founder and Director of SA.MAST: “We have been working in the Khayelitsha area, including Site B, for the last five years and are gratified that there is now a City funded project sustaining mass sterilisation in Site B."
"To date, we have sterilised over 7000 cat and dog patients in Khayelitsha’s 28 recognised areas and their fifty-three subsections, with 1 651 patients in 2013 alone."
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"As we are donor funded, we are charged welfare rates for all of our veterinary needs, so the cost for these patients came to R521 414 with a further R80 000 for medical treatments."
"The R527 999 from the City Health Directorate to the SPCA for one site will therefore make a long-term impact if animal welfare organisations work together to make a sustainable and complementary impact”.
Large animal migration
Site C is directly adjacent to Site B and has 11 sub-sections with several thousand people living in each section. There is large animal migration between the two sites and surviving kittens and puppies are constantly being re-homed in neighbouring areas before there is a chance to sterilise them.
Historically it has been impossible to have these kittens and puppies stay at their birth place until they are twelve weeks old, an age that SA.MAST would be willing to have them undergo the sterilisation procedure.
Instead, they end up being re-homed before they can be sterilised and often go on to produce at least one unwanted litter, continuing the breeding cycle and further contributing to the over-population epidemic.
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Plan of action
To reduce this “cross pollination”, SA.MAST have re-directed a substantial amount of their planned funding for a hospital to working in Site C, with the aim of ensuring that at least 80% of all cats and dogs over 3 months old are sterilised, vaccinated and treated for parasites within the next six months.
Says Nel: “It does stretch us financially, but we see the bigger picture of what can be achieved if both sites are focused on over the same six-month period. We will refer all Site B sterilisation requests to the SPCA (which to date has cost SA.MAST in the region of R150 000), but continue to offer emergency medical care to Site B pet guardians and respond to all other incoming sterilisation requests from pet guardians throughout Khayelitsha while running our focused programme in Site C.”
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Nel concludes: “So far we have allocated R250 000 to the 2014 Site C programme. The procedure we are following is to undertake not only the sterilisation, but also a pet health audit for each animal and to work with their pet guardians to ensure that the sterilised animals are also healthy and happy animals.
Our census begins today where we will be dividing Site C into sections, visiting each home and applying stickers to those homes so that we don’t count animals twice. We will work section by section as experience tells us that the 'actionables’ that need to take place at each home should happen as soon as possible from time of first visit and not after all of Site C has been counted and recorded first.”
Sterilising your pet
Sterilisation only clinic for pets