Volunteers from Fisantekraal Animal Welfare (FAW) and Tygerberg Animal Hospital (TAH) held a rabies vaccination outreach in Klipheuwel informal settlement on Saturday September 30, in commemoration of World Rabies Day.
Friday September 29, marked World Rabies Day, an international awareness day aimed at educating the public about the need to vaccinate animals against this terrible disease. FAW coordinator Jenni Davies said while the province was considered a rabies-free area for decades, there had been cases in recent years, particularly in rural areas. “Thus, vaccinating animals in these areas is important,” she said. Ms Davies said their goal was to vaccinate about 70 animals during the outreach from 9am to noon, and were pleased to be greeted by a long queue of residents on their arrival.
“Within three hours, 77 dogs and cats had been vaccinated, stopping only when vaccinations, which were sponsored by the state vet and TAH, ran out. The FAW also aims to educate pet owners, particularly children, about the importance of sterilisation (spay/neuter) and primary healthcare. The outreach provided an excellent opportunity to do so and dozens were signed up for sterilisation,” she said.
FAW is an NPO which has been operating in Fisantekraal since 2005. They also assist animals in nearby Klipheuwel, particularly the growing informal settlement.
“The area is severely impoverished and most residents do not have access to transport or veterinary care. Breeding of dogs and cats is out of control, leading to increased neglect and abuse, increasing the likelihood of diseases and parasites spreading, and contributing to dog bites and nuisance behaviour related to territory and mating,” said Ms Davies.
In 2017, the FAW and Ward 101, having become increasingly concerned about the plight of companion animals in this area, launched Project Klipheuwel Animals. In September 2017, over 117 animals were vaccinated in a rabies outreach and, to date, three sterilisation outreaches have seen over 100 animals spayed/neutered in this area. Ms Davies said the rabies outreach formed part of this project and the number of people who brought their animals made it clear that residents were enthusiastic about ensuring their pets are healthy.
“FAW believes that healthy animals are an important part of a healthy community and is committed to continuing to help people to help their dogs and cats,” she said.
A mass sterilisation is planned for summer and the FAW is raising funds for this with a Pizza Party (Pizza FAW Pets) on Saturday October 27 at Panarotti’s in Tygervalley Shopping Centre (prebooking essential through FAW). To assist the FAW, whether with donations, fundraising activities or volunteering, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or by call 062 258 3547 or visit their Facebook page.