Update on the Kayamandi Pilot Pet Health Project
"If we can care for our animals, we can care for our neighbours," Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said yesterday in Kayamandi, Stellenbosch.
He congratulated and thanked the team of volunteers from the Kayamandi community who successfully completed the first phase of a Western Cape Government co-funded pilot project which will see to the mass sterilisation of stray animals and pets in Kayamandi.
The volunteers have completed the pet census and community awareness phases of the project. During the pet census, all cats and dogs in Kayamandi were counted and vaccinated against rabies. The sterilisation phase of the programme has recently commenced, and on average 25 pets are sterilised per day. This will continue for the next few months until at least 70% of the population is sterilised and vaccinated against rabies and other important pet diseases.
The Kayamandi pets are collected, bathed, dipped and health-screened for surgery every weekday at the pet care station, situated at the Legacy Centre in Kayamandi. Sterilised pets are brought back to the care station during the afternoon for collection by the owners.
All animals admitted for surgery will also have a microchip implanted to enable future identification. Owners are provided with pet health and care literature to help improve the overall welfare and well-being of their pets.
Premier Helen Zille launched the project in Kayamandi on Monday, 9 July 2012. The province’s R500 000 contribution complements the R400 000 sterilisation subsidy of the Stellenbosch Municipality towards an original Animal Welfare Society (AWS) Stellenbosch campaign.
The collective funds will fund surgical costs, microchips and other essentials. All participants have additionally agreed to contribute towards the success of the project by donating their expertise and resources.
Apart from the social and community benefits, the envisaged outcome of a successful project will be fewer unwanted litters, improved animal health and welfare, a decline in aggressive dog behaviour, significantly fewer strays, fewer unnecessary euthanasias and lower welfare costs enabling the various animal welfare charities to invest their funds into other equally deserving causes and projects.
"This is a co-operative effort between the veterinary profession, the welfare sector, academic institutions, government and the beneficiary community. Together we can create a better, healthier and happier community for people and their pets,” Minister van Rensburg said.
The Western Cape Department of Agriculture has committed itself to a further R1 million in this initiative and the City of Cape Town is planning a similar project for the benefit of thousands of pets in the Cape Metro.