Mdzananda Animal Clinic’s Influx Of Unwanted Pets After Holiday Season

by Gabrielle Ozynski

It costs the non-profit  R2000 per month to take care of one animal, says Marcelle du Plessis of the Mdzananda Animal Clinic, fundraising and communications Manager.  And now they’ve had a huge influx of unwanted pets in a clinic that is not actually built for longterm accomodation. Some animal were handed over, other were abandoned and sadly some even tossed over their wall at night. The usual 20 animals accomodated rose to 25 dogs and 32 cats over this period and continue to come through their doors.

“We always have an influx of surrendered pets during this time but 2018 was the worst we’ve ever experienced,” says du Plessis. “As we are a veterinary clinic we are not specifically geared towards housing homeless pets and adoptions, however, we will never turn a pet in need away and as a result, our initial small adoptions program has needed much more attention. Mdzananda does not have a dedicated person managing adoptions so we share the load of intake, photographing, promoting, looking for fosters, processing adoptions and managing inquiries amongst the three staff in the office.”

The clinic has also had to deal with numerous injured animals. “One was a dog who on New Year’s day was brought to us with a wounded mouth. His owners explained that the dog generally plays ‘fetch’ with the children and when the children threw fire crackers for festivities, the dog chased the crackers, one exploding in his mouth,” says Dr Brian Bergman, senior veterinarian.

“The owners were devastated and very worried about their pet. We were able to treat him in our hospital and he returned home once he had healed. The owners were also educated about the dangers of fireworks for animals and their children.”

The next day a much loved pet was handed in by its owner, as she had no fencing around her property and her dog was terrified by the firecrackers being thrown around the area. She had had to chain him, but decided rather to hand him over.

“She was devastated when I met her, tears pouring down her cheeks. She clearly loved her dog very much but felt she had no choice but to hand him over to protect him,” says Dr Bergman. “This is when I came up with the Fence Project.”

Along with Mdzananda staff he decided to try out a pilot Fence Project, which would see her property fenced off from donated wooden pallets. They will keep the dog until the fence is built.

“She was overjoyed and so grateful. So far we have measured the property and will in due course start putting up the pallet fences. If the pilot project succeeds and, if it assists in preventing some pets from needing to be handed over to us or from getting injured, we will need to employ a casual worker to take this project further. This will mean more expenses on an already very thin budget. We would need to raise extra funds to make this possible,” says Marcelle du Plessis.

About Mdzananda Animal Clinic 

The NPO animal clinic provides veterinary care to Khayelitsha community pets and treats up to 700 animals per month through consultations, hospitalization, surgery (general, orthopaedic and sterilisations), mobile clinics and an animal ambulance.

If you would like to make a donation please email Mdzananda Animal Clinic

Or Phone: 082 251 0554 / (021) 367-6001.

Bank Details: Mdzananda Animal Clinic, Standard Bank, Account number: 075595710, Branch: Rondebosch, Branch Code: 025009, Reference: Pets +Your Name.

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