Help needed for flooded animal shelter

Skyle shivering in cold weather.

A Khayelitsha animal clinic’s shelter flooded in last week’s rainstorm and the organisation says it is in dire need of help.

Dogs had to be moved to the Mdzananda Animal Clinic’s small hospital cages during the flood as there was no other space for them.

“It’s only the start of winter and the pets are already struggling,” says spokeswoman Marcelle du Plessis. “Just last week, we found a 10-year-old dog wandering the streets in the rain. His feet were worn down and his joints painful from arthritis. He had no hair on his back and was covered in fleas. We looked for his owners but couldn’t find them. We named him OG. OG received warm food, a soft bed and medication for his pain. But when the shelter flooded, we had to urgently make space for OG and the other dogs in our hospital unit.”

Ms Du Plessis said they needed to improve the shelter to make it less vulnerable to flooding in future. That was likely to cost just under R100 000.

“We did not expect that we’d need to do such an upgrade. Winter comes with increased expenses too. Our electricity goes up by 50% to keep our patients and facility warm. We also just spent R10 000 on fixing a leak in our operating theatre’s roof.”

Meanwhile, the hospital is full: puppies are arriving in hypothermic states and pets are being knocked over by cars driving badly in rainy weather.

“Our clinic treats up to 1 000 community pets per month,” said Ms Du Plessis. “With the cold weather, pets can take longer to recover, so our hospital stays full. We are just so grateful that we can help so many animals. Without our clinic and one other animal organisation in Khayelitsha, most pet owners would have little to no help for their animals as private veterinary fees are too high for them to afford.”

The clinic is appealing to the public to give an emergency monetary gift. Visit www.mdzananda.co.za or email info@mdzananda.co.za for more details.

Ms Du Plessis said OG was safe and warm at the home of one of the organisation’s staff. He had picked up weight, the hair on his back had grown and he is waiting for the right family to adopt him.