FROM GANG VIOLENCE TO ‘TIN CAN TOWNS’ – the ARO Wheels Keep Turning…

With the recent spate of gang violence in and around Cape Town, one cannot help but think of how fearful life must be for those affected by the violence. Not only do residents live in constant fear for their lives, children are being deprived of an education (as schools cannot open their doors), but the animals are suffering too.

Having worked in many gang stricken communities and hearing first hand from staff members who reside in these areas, the situation is dire, and the services of animal welfare are crucial to the well-being of the animals living in these areas.

As much as the community has had to come to a standstill, so have the services of our mobile clinics. We simply cannot risk the lives of our staff. The sad reality is that we are providing a service to these communities to benefit them; however, our mobile clinic staffs are threatened weekly and on occasions this has resulted in robberies at knife point.

One only has to read my blog about ARO servicing the Manenberg community to understand how vital our role within the many unfortunate and indigent communities is. The clinics in Manenberg were a great success – until now and by working with the Manenberg Pets Project, we ensured that community members got involved and in return were remunerated with the opportunity to learn compassion and various career enhancing skills.

Unfortunately, our clinics have not been able to return to the Manenberg area as yet, but as soon as the situation resolves itself, our services will be continued.

On a positive note, we have joined forces with the Animal Rescue Team, Tin Can Town and the Dancers Love Dogs project to complete a sterilisation drive in Blikkiesdorp, a relocation camp made-up of corrugated iron shacks in the Delft area.

The Tin Can Town ladies have been doing a wonderful job coordinating animals to be collected for sterilisation, our van then goes into Blikkiesdorp on a Monday and Tuesday to collect the animals for sterilisation. Each of the animals that come in for sterilisation are given a full vet check, and then returned to their owners on Thursday.

To date we have sterilised 42 animals from Blikkiesdorp. In addition to this, our hospital team continues with sterilisations that are brought in daily from our fleet of mobile clinics.

So all in all a big ‘paws up’ to our locum veterinarian, Dr Pickard and her hospital team.

Let’s hope and pray that we can soon once again take ARO to the communities that need us most.

Until next time,

Jess

ARO staff members teaching the children of Blikkiesdorp responsible pet ownership

ARO staff members teaching the children of Blikkiesdorp responsible pet ownership

Manenberg residents wait patiently to have their pets seen to by the ARO Mobile Clinic

Manenberg residents wait patiently to have their pets seen to by the ARO Mobile Clinic

Blikkiesdorp

Blikkiesdorp

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Taking ARO to Manenberg

Manenberg, one of the many areas where gangs and violence is rife.  Along with these social challenges, there are an ever increasing number of pets and animals in the area.  In order to address the health of these animals, the Animal Rescue Organisation has assigned one mobile clinic every second Tuesday of the month. Here our mobile clinics will provide basic primary veterinary services such as:

  • Dipping against Mange and other skin diseases
  • Deworming
  • Diagnosis of wounds and diseases requiring hospital treatments eg: Parvo Virus, Biliary (Tick Fever)
  • Nutritional Advice
  • Vaccination
  • The clinics also manage the bookings and collections of animals for sterilisation which is done at our hospital.

Yesterday, I was very fortunate to be a part of the opening for these clinics that will be taking place at the Manenberg People’s Centre. Joined by the Manenberg Pets Project, AWS Phillipi and CoGH SPCA the opening was a great success.

Over 60 dogs were treated, 13 brought in for sterilisation and 9 animals surrendered / unwanted. The support and participation of the community was fantastic, and very well received. Among the many pets treated, it was apparent that Pitbulls are the preferred breed within Manenberg.

Despite a couple of serious cases of neglect, the overall condition of the pets in the area was satisfactory. Education is key in ensuring the continued care for all animals in the area. The support of the Manenberg People’s Centre is greatly appreciated and will ensure that education is continued after our clinics have left.

Our mobile clinic will return to the Manenberg People’s Centre on Tuesday 14 May 2013 from 10 – 12, and we hope it is as well received as yesterdays clinic.

Keep reading our blog for the latest updates.

Until next time,

Jess

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