Covid-19 has taken its toll on township pets and their owners, according to the Khayelitsha Mdzananda Animal Clinic.
“Many people have lost their jobs. Many have no income. But despite this, people are still caring for their animals and they need our services more than ever,” says Marcelle du Plessis, the clinic’s fund-raising and communications manager.
The non-profit serves up to a thousand pets a month through consultations, hospitalisation, general and orthopaedic surgeries, continuous sterilisations, mobile clinics, an animal ambulance and abandoned-pet adoptions.
The organisation, which emphasises community empowerment and education to promote responsible pet ownership, has also been hit hard by the pandemic.
“We lost significant funding during hard lockdown, around R200 000 every three weeks,” Ms Du Plessis said. “Apart from that, we had an armed robbery, were burgled and our drivers were held up.”
The organisation had received generous donations at the start of lockdown, but support had waned since then, she said. “The really scary part is the impact it’s had on our individual donors. People have started cancelling their monthly debit orders and many bounced due to difficult times. This income is our organisation’s blood flow.”
The drop in contributions has reduced the organisation’s monthly income. The clinic’s general manager, Susan Wishart, said they were concerned about the long-term impact of the economic downturn. “Apart from individuals cancelling debit orders, we are also concerned that corporates who are hard hit by the pandemic may not be able to donate in the future,” she said. “The pandemic’s effects are going to last for at least two years.”
The clinic has launched a Paw Member campaign to sign up 1000 people, each donating R100 a month, to help it through the difficult time. The campaign consists of a series of videos showing the animal clinic’s work and testimonials from Paw Members. A new video will appear every two weeks on www.mdzananda.co.za as well as the organisation’s Facebook, Instagram and YouTube accounts.
Visit www.mdzanandasecure.co.za or email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up as a Paw Member.