The Star Late Edition - - INSIDE - KARISHMA DIPA

THE Jo­han­nes­burg SPCA has taken to the streets in a bid to aid needy an­i­mals in un­der­priv­i­leged com­mu­ni­ties.

Spokes­woman for the or­gan­i­sa­tion, Jo­lene Beyleveld, said that from the be­gin­ning of the year, they had em­barked on an out­reach pro­gramme to help an­i­mals in ar­eas where treat­ment was not read­ily avail­able.

This is be­cause own­ers did not al­ways have fi­nan­cial re­sources to help their pets or they might live far from a vet, she said.

Now, those in iso­lated ar­eas who aren’t able to bring their an­i­mals to the SPCA Vet­eri­nary Hos­pi­tal in Booy­sens, can still get their pets treated.

The Out­reach Pro­gramme team in­clude in­spec­tors and vet­eri­nar­i­ans who travel to com­mu­ni­ties in need, es­pe­cially those around Krugers­dorp and in the south of Joburg.

“The JSPCA’s Out­reach Pro­gramme pro­vides ba­sic vet­eri­nary care for an­i­mals in re­source-poor ar­eas,” she said.

“A fully equipped mo­bile clinic trav­els be­tween these ar­eas on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, and pro­vides vac­ci­na­tions, de­worm­ing and treat­ment for mi­nor wounds out in the field.”

Beyleveld said those an­i­mals who re­quired fur­ther treat­ment or ster­il­i­sa­tion would be taken to the Vet­eri­nary Hos­pi­tal.

In its first week, the Out­reach Pro­gramme dealt with seven med­i­cal cases, vac­ci­nated 49 an­i­mals and ster­ilised 15 cats and dogs.

Beyleveld said the main ob­jec­tive of the ini­tia­tive was to care for ne­glected an­i­mals in im­pov­er­ished ar­eas.

“The ul­ti­mate goal of the Out­reach depart­ment is to re­duce the amount of po­ten­tially un­wanted, aban­doned and abused an­i­mals in re­source-poor ar­eas, as well as the high risk of the trans­mis­sion of diseases such as ra­bies be­tween in­fected an­i­mals and hu­mans.”

The Out­reach Pro­gramme also as­sisted own­ers with in­for­ma­tion on how to care for their an­i­mals prop­erly, with the em­pha­sises on the need for ster­il­i­sa­tion.

Beyleveld, how­ever, said that the best way to care for needy an­i­mals was for the JSPCA of­fi­cials to work in con­junc­tion with the com­mu­ni­ties they vis­ited.

“We need to de­velop a re­la­tion­ship with the com­mu­nity so that they be­gin to trust us and don’t just see us as re­mov­ing an­i­mals.

“The pro­gramme is run in con­junc­tion with un­der­priv­i­leged com­mu­ni­ties, and the long-term trust re­la­tion­ship built up in this way en­sures its sus­tain­abil­ity.”

She said that al­though an­i­mals in the ar­eas that the Out­reach Pro­gramme vis­ited were in need of treat­ment, their own­ers loved and cared for them, but did not al­ways have the re­sources and funds to help them.

“De­spite iso­lated cases of se­vere ne­glect and abuse, most of the res­i­dents our in­spec­tors en­counter love their an­i­mals dearly, and are al­ways happy to re­ceive in­for­ma­tion about how to care them.”

This Out­reach Pro­gramme started on Jan­uary 1 and was ex­pected go on in­def­i­nitely.

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