Source: IOL (Extract)
Posted: December 19, 2022

As part of the launch, HSI/Africa and partners conducted the program’s first sterilisation marathon or “sterithon” at Struisbaai North Primary School, and the Bredasdorp East Sports Grounds, sterilising 142 animals (111 dogs and 31 cats) and providing vaccinations, deworming, and treatment for 100 other animals.

The programme provides local pet owners with the knowledge to help families maintain a healthy and humane lifestyle for their pets.

Cape Agulhas Municipality executive mayor, Paul Swart, said: “Roaming dogs are a real challenge in our communities. To change this situation, we need to better inform our communities and I want to commit myself to doing so… Cape Agulhas is the most Southern point in South Africa, and we want to become an example for the rest of the country.

“We want to be a humane society that cares for one another – not only for us as humans, but especially for our pets. Through the ’Healthy Pets, Healthier Community’ programme we wish to change the mindsets of our people to help them become better parents to their pets. Healthy and happy pets can improve our personal health and bring happiness to our homes.”

Audrey Delsink, wildlife director and acting campaign manager for HSI/Africa’s companion animal and engagement programme, said: “(We are) very proud to launch our very first Healthy Pets, Healthier Community pilot program in Cape Agulhas. The program aims to improve the health and welfare of companion animals in these communities through enhancing the family and pet bond.

“This is being achieved through high sterilisation and vaccination rates. Meaningful and effective community engagement and humane education will be central to the success of our program. We encourage the communities of Struisbaai North and Bredasdorp East to participate and help us implement locally humane solutions for their dogs and cats through affordable veterinary services.”

Additionally, two local schools were also visited to teach students the importance of responsible pet care, and to encourage them to bring their pets to the “sterithon” and clinic days in the areas.

The talks were focused on more than 400 children, who received educational colouring books to help them learn about caring for their pets at home.