Public Eye (South Africa)

SPCA community outreach in Copesville

- Prashalan Govender

Injured dogs were among many that received free rabies vaccinatio­ns at a SPCA outreach event on Tuesday in Copesville, an area plagued by stray dogs that have been biting people.

“Events like these are so important because we have so many stray dogs in the area that are biting people,” said area councillor Spha Madlala, who attended the event.

“We do not know whether these dogs are vaccinated or not,” he added.

Some of the injuries on the dogs were superficia­l — scars and small wounds on various parts of the body — while other dogs had difficulty walking.

Local residents said they were grateful that Pietermari­tzburg SPCA came to their area for a visit and to share informatio­n on animal care and the importance of sterilisat­ion.

“I came here today because my aunt, who recently got two puppies, sent me,” said Ntobeko Mlitwa. “I think outreach events like these are so important as some people do not have the facilities to take care of their dogs, so things like this really help people.”

Neetha Dookie said she brought her dog for its vaccinatio­n as it was free and convenient.

“It is difficult and costly to get my dog to the SPCA as I do not have my own transport,” she said.

Nirmala Sookhayi brought her dog to receive a general check-up and get dewormed. “My brother and I are so grateful that the SPCA came here as we are pensioners and it would have been difficult for us to travel with our dog to the SPCA,” Sookhayi said.

A tub of water was also on hand for any animals needing a wash. Some of the canines were handed in to the SPCA.

Pietermari­tzburg SPCA manager, Sansha Singh, said the outreach at the Copesville Sports ground was one of many taking place in low-income areas to promote animal welfare. One was held in Kwapata earlier this month. She stressed that poorer areas were often those most in need of help.

“We are also promoting sterilisat­ion as we are trying to curb the number of stray dogs that are in the area,” she said.

Singh added that the turnout at the event was better than expected and that she was happy that more people are becoming aware of the campaign. She and her team listened attentivel­y to residents’ questions and offered informed responses.

Among the advice the SPCA offered through leaflets was informatio­n such as setting up sleeping areas for animals. They also received guidelines on how to report animal cruelty and warnings about the dangers related to dog-fighting.

The next SPCA outreach will be held on February 6 in Bombay Heights at a location still to be determined.

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 ?? ?? Shohan Ramdhani baths his dog during the SPCA PMB’S Copesville outreach event on Tuesday. Photograph: Prashalan Govender
Shohan Ramdhani baths his dog during the SPCA PMB’S Copesville outreach event on Tuesday. Photograph: Prashalan Govender

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