Local Khayelitsha community hero opts to save pet lives

Amanda Khalo with her son Chulumanco and her furry friend Pepper.

Khayelitsha resident Amanda Khalo, and her furry friend Pepper are the stars of a video produced to encourage people to support the Mdzananda Animal Clinic.

Ms Khalo has been using the Mdzananda Animal Clinic’s veterinary services for many years to treat Pepper, who has been to the clinic for vaccinations, dewormers and intensive treatment when he had a large injury on his head.

Ms Khalo says he was “hacked on his head” by someone or something when she wasn’t home.

“He spent three days at Mdzananda for treatment and he came back home with medication. I was so happy and grateful for all their help.”

Unaware of the affect that Covid-19 had had on the clinic, Ms Khalo was shocked to find out via Facebook that it had lost significant funding, had been robbed three times and was losing monthly donors due to hard times.

“Between April and October, we’ve lost R136 000 from monthly donors cancelling their debit orders and from debit orders bouncing due to hard times.

“This is excluding the approximately R1.1 million in increased expenses and lack of income-generation activities since lockdown started,” said Marcelle du Plessis, the clinic’s fundraising and communications manager.

The clinic expects the effects of Covid-19 to have knock-on effects for another three years and has launched a #PawMember campaign for survival.

The campaign aims to sign up 1000 Paw Members, each donating R100 a month.

Ms Khalo signed up as a Paw Member and committed to donating R50 a month to support the NPO.

“I know how much of a help this clinic has been to many dogs, mine included. You see dogs on the streets every day and you see they’re sick.

There’s not much you can do for them, so knowing that there’s at least one place in the township that you can go to for help is such a relief. I don’t know what I would have done with mine at the time when he was hurt. Imagine if this clinic was closed. What would have happened to my Pepper?” she said.

A heartwarming and inspiring video was compiled featuring Ms Khalo, her 4-year-old son, Chulumanco, and Pepper. She speaks about her experience of being a client of Mdzananda, how the organisation has helped her pet and how much the organisation does for the community.

“I hope that my video will inspire more people to sign up as Paw Members so that the clinic can help more community pets,” said Ms Khalo.

The campaign was launched on October 6 and has so far signed up 250 Paw Members.

“We have tried to make the sign-up process as easy as possible for people. All they need to do is visit www.mdzanandasecure.co.za and fill in the debit order form,” said Ms Du Plessis.

“We will then post them a Paw Member certificate and one of our pets will send them a birthday card on their birthday. These are small things we can do to show our appreciation.”

Ms Khalo’s video can be seen on the Mdzananda Animal Clinic’s YouTube channel and was launched on Facebook and Instagram on Thursday November 5.

For more information, send an email to info@mdzananda.co.za