Source: IOL (Extract)
Posted: July 23, 2020

Durban – THE impact of the lockdown is not only felt by human beings but by animals too.

Tanya Fleischer, marketing manager at the Durban and Coast SPCA, said day after day the unwanted, lost or neglected dogs and cats in their care waited and hoped that someone would take them to live in a real home again, with space to run around and a family to love.

But this, she said, was not possible, especially during levels 4 and 5 of the lockdown.

During this period, this branch had to provide 1 368 dogs and cats with a minimum of two meals a day for nine weeks.

She said the number of unwanted animals being dropped off this year was slightly higher compared with last year.

“People are saying they can no longer afford their pets or they are moving (downsizing) and can’t take their animals with them,” said Fleischer.

She said the inspectorate call-outs and complaints remained on par with the previous year.

With the Covid-19 pandemic far from over, Fleischer said the impact on the SPCA would be a lasting one.

“Our pressing need right now is to find loving new homes for dogs and cats which have already spent far too much time living in cages here,” Fleischer said.

She said the cost of rescuing, caring for and preparing the animals for rehoming (vaccinations, deworming and sterilisation) added up to more than the R800 adoption fee they charged for a dog, and R600 for a cat.

The public are allowed into the SPCA to view the animals, while the adoptions are by appointment only.

Staff and trained volunteers, who are dog walkers, are permitted to walk the dogs.

Vet Sanil Singh said that the behaviour of animals remained the same even in lockdown and that the only change was in animal activity.

He said that domestic animals were more likely to miss the close relations formed through human interaction, especially with children, as they were more interactive with pets.

“This would require them to be prepared for an alternative routine, which would be beneficial to them until they returned to their usual routines in normal times.”

To sign up to become a dog walker at the SPCA, log on to www.spcadbn.org.za or email mary@spcadbn.org.za. A prospective dog walker would need to show dedication by volunteering at marketing events for a minimum of a year before being considered as a dog walker.

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