CSI a­chie­ves ma­jor mi­les­to­ne

Graaff-Reinet Advertiser - - Voorblad -

GRAAFF-REINET — “From hum­ble be­gin­nings in 2012 w­hen suf­fi­cient funds we­re rai­sed to ste­ri­li­se 17 dogs and cats, we are ex­tre­me­ly proud, but al­so hum­bled and gra­te­ful to our He­a­ven­ly Fat­her, to share the fan­tas­tic news with our sup­por­ters that to­day marks the 1000th ste­ri­li­sa­ti­on to be do­ne by CSI for un­der­pri­vi­le­ged dogs and cats in our com­mu­ni­ty!”

This was the ex­ci­ting news con­vey­ed to sup­por­ters of the Cam­de­boo Ste­ri­li­sa­ti­on I­ni­ti­a­ti­ve in their re­cent new­slet­ter by foun­der Er­ma Voigt.

Graaff-reinet re­si­dent Voigt has al­ways been pas­si­o­na­te a­bout the plig­ht of un­wan­ted a­ni­mals and has been in­vol­ved, with her hus­band Pie­tie, in ta­king neg­lected a­ni­mals for ste­ri­li­sa­ti­on in her pri­va­te ca­pa­ci­ty sin­ce 1999. This ho­we­ver pro­ved to be an ex­pen­si­ve exe­r­ci­se, paying full ra­tes with the vet.

A few y­e­ars ago, lo­cal vet Dr Mackie Hob­son sug­ge­sted that Er­ma should get to­get­her with Jen­ny M­cf­a­dy­en, who was al­so doing si­mi­lar work. The CSI was born from this col­la­bo­ra­ti­on, and the or­ga­ni­sa­ti­on has go­ne from strength to strength. Jen­ny then mo­ved a­way from Graaff-reinet, but Er­ma and her te­am ha­ve con­ti­nu­ed with the ste­ri­li­sa­ti­on cam­paigns and ma­de a tre­men­dous im­pact on the wel­fa­re of lo­cal cats and dogs. Alt­hough not a re­gis­te­red NPO, CSI is af­fi­li­a­ted to A­ni­mal Outre­a­ches in Port E­li­za­beth and thus can get the be­ne­fits of NPO sta­tus.

CSI works mos­t­ly with a­ni­mals from poor­er hou­se­holds in Graaff-reinet, Nieu-bethesda, and Nou­poort. “We cho­se to work in the­se ot­her towns as they ha­ve no ve­te­ri­na­ry ser­vi­ces of their own, and we re­a­li­sed that the­re is a tre­men­dous need,” said Er­ma. Alt­hough A­ber­deen al­so has no vet, they are well sup­por­ted by the K­lein Ka­roo- ba­sed KAPS.

Fun­ding for ste­ri­li­sa­ti­ons co­mes pu­re­ly from do­na­ti­ons. So­me of the­se co­me in by re­gu­lar monthly de­bit or­der, and Er­ma and her te­am are very gra­te­ful to tho­se who ha­ve ma­de this com­mit­ment. Funds are al­so ge­ne­ra­ted by sa­les of se­cond­hand books at mar­kets, and on an on­going ba­sis at M­cnaug­h­ton’s Book­s­hop, which is gre­at­ly ap­pre­ci­a­ted. The lo­cal vets at Cam­de­boo Vet C­li­nic and Dr Ro­land Lar­son are al­so very sup­por­ti­ve.

Ma­ny pe­op­le do not re­a­li­ze that most of the pe­op­le in­vol­ved with CSI al­so ha­ve full-ti­me jobs, in­clu­ding Er­ma her­self. The 30 mi­nu­te “win­dow” be­t­ween fi­nis­hing work at 17:00 and the vets clo­sing at 5.30pm is of­ten spent in a whir­l­wind of acti­vi­ty, col­lecting dogs from the towns­hips and drop­ping them off at the vets. Er­ma emp­ha­si­ses that the work of CSI is tru­ly a te­am ef­fort and that she could not co­pe wit­hout the in­va­lu­a­ble as­sis­tan­ce of G­reg Kap­pers, San­di Will, Hi­la­ry C­hap­lin, Tess Er­lank and her hus­band Pie­tie. Vic­to­ria Nan­ce and Gra­ce Nel pro­vi­de sup­port in Nieu-bethesda, and Court­ney S­tas­sen in Nou­poort.

“So­meti­mes the dif­fi­cul­ties can seem o­ver­w­hel­ming, but kno­wing that e­very ste­ri­li­sa­ti­on is po­ten­ti­al­ly sa­ving ma­ny thou­sands of li­ves do­wn the li­ne from being born in­to a li­fe of mi­se­ry, keeps us going,” said Voigt. The CSI te­am.

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