Press release: Fisantekraal Animal Welfare vaccinates Klipheuwel animals in need
Friday 29 September 2018 marked World Rabies Day, an international awareness day aimed at educating the public about the need to vaccinate animals against this terrible disease.
To mark the day, on Saturday 30 September a group of volunteers from Fisantekraal Animal Welfare (FAW) and Tygerberg Animal Hospital (TAH), executed a rabies vaccination outreach to the impoverished community of Klipheuwel informal settlement. Unfortunately, although the Western Cape was considered a rabies-free area for decades, there have been cases in recent years, particularly in rural areas. Thus, vaccinating animals in these areas is important.
Due to the canine distemper outbreak currently affecting the Cape (Tygerburger, 19 September 2018), the FAW also vaccinated for this virus. Their goal was to vaccinate at least 70 animals in between 09h00 and 12h00 that morning.
Prior to the outreach, the FAW distributed posters in the community and, when volunteers arrived that morning, they were greeted by a long queue of residents and their pets. 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.
The FAW is a volunteer-run non-profit organisation 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.
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 impoverished area. The successful 2018 rabies outreach formed part of this project and the number of people who brought their animals made it clear that residents are enthusiastic about ensuring their pets are healthy.
The 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.
A mass sterilisation is planned for summer and the FAW is raising funds for this with a ‘Pizza Party’ (Pizza FAW Pets) on 27 October at Panarotti’s in Tygervalley Shopping Centre (prebooking essential through FAW) and by calling for donations from the public. If you’d like to assist the FAW, whether with donations, fundraising activities or volunteering, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 062 258 3547 or visiting their Facebook page.