Khayelitsha Funda Nenja Sterilisation Rescue Expo Animal Welfare Randburg
Photo Credit: Lum3n from Pexels

It’s not just humans affected by the ongoing taxi strike, the Mdzanada Animal Clinic is facing a rise in violence but the team is committed to protecting the animals.

 

Khayelitsha, South Africa (08 August 2023) – The Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha is based in the heart of the taxi violence but says that they will continue to fight for the animals of the community despite the dangerous circumstances and threats on their lives.

“It has been quite terrifying,” says Sr Heidi May, General Manager. “We’ve had to adapt the way we operate significantly over these past few days to ensure that our staff are safe while still serving our approximately 120 patients, 55 homeless pets and community animals.”

They report that the most important things are to get their staff to the clinic safely, to ensure that their patients are cared for and to be available for emergency cases.

“We will make sure that no animal is left to suffer,” says Sr May.

The first major challenge was getting their staff to the clinic safely. The majority of staff live in Khayelitsha while some live as far as Stellenbosch, making use of public transport. The clinic’s drivers collected staff from all over, however, they were threatened on multiple occasions that they will be killed if seen collecting people or animals. Staff who drive to the clinic themselves had to brave the chaos and road closures through areas that were no longer safe.

“On Saturday one of our vehicles was targeted by angry taxi drivers and were refused access to an emergency ambulance collection of a dog who had been badly bitten,” says Sr May. “We were lucky that our drivers weren’t attacked. We did a virtual consult to advise the client and hoped that we would get access to the patient on Monday.”

Their animal ambulance service is currently restricted to only collecting emergency cases and, if not an emergency, advice is given on how to stabilise the pet at home until collections can be done again. Consulting rooms now close at 2 pm instead of 4 pm (unless an emergency case arrives) so that drivers can get the staff home safely before rush hour protest action.

“Sadly, our satellite sterilisation clinic has had to be closed during this time with no sterilisations performed. Our main clinic is also only doing emergency surgeries. Usually our vehicles go into the community to collect animals needing sterilisation, but with the road closures and violence our drivers haven’t been able to go into most areas. Our mobile clinics and door-to-door education programmes have also temporarily needed to be put on hold,” says Marcelle du Plessis, Fundraising and Communications Executive.

Even though programme capacity has been reduced the organisation representatives say that they are proud of their team for risking their lives in the midst of the violence to ensure that their patients are cared for, that their homeless pets are attended to and that emergency care is provided.

“We are facing the challenges and doing everything we can to be there for our patients and community animals,” says du Plessis.


Sources: Supplied
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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