Retired Rugby legends lend their support to help raise funds for animals in need

Retired Rugby legends lend their support to help raise funds for animals in need

Danie Gerber

Cape Town ~ South Africa’s most famous retired Springbok Centre and International Hall of Fame member, Danie Gerber is one of several ‘old school’ national rugby greats who will be playing in TEARS Animal Rescue’s upcoming  “Putts For Rescue Mutts” Golf Tournament at the prestigious Westlake Golf Course on Thursday 30 September to raise much-needed funds and awareness for vulnerable pets.

Gerber (63), who is flying in from Port Elizabeth for the occasion is excited about lending his support for a cause that is close to his heart. Says Gerber, “ When TEARS invited me to be part of their 4Ball Fundraising Tournament it was an easy ‘yes’. I’ve always had a soft spot for animals and am thrilled to be able to combine my love of golf with a good cause like this one. I’m looking forward to a great day at Westlake Golf Course meeting up with old friends and making new ones. If you haven’t already bought your 4Ball, don’t miss out!.” 

Ex Springboks Nico Wegner (Lock) and Chris Rossouw (Hooker), together with Dick Muir (Centre) from Kwa-Zulu Natal and John Allan (Hooker) from Gauteng are also lending their support to the event, which includes a limited rugby memorabilia Auction after the dinner and before the Prize Giving. There are several special autographed items up for grabs – including a signed SA Rugby Legends rugby ball that was donated for the cause by the South African Rugby Legends Association after hosting the annual SA Rugby Legends vs Drakensberg Rugby Club match in Winterton last month. 

All proceeds from the event will go towards the support pf vulnerable pets, which will enable TEARS to increase its rescue and treatment impact, which currently totals approximately 1050 animals every month. Says TEARS Fundraising Manager, Lara Van Rensburg,  “The amazing support we’ve received from Danie Gerber and so many of our country’s retired rugby heroes, together with the positive take up of 4 Ball tickets and Hole sponsorships promises to make this a day to remember.  Historically TEARS has relied heavily on fundraising events as a significant revenue generator for the Charity, but since the start of the COVID19 Lockdown last year, we’ve been forced to cancel 99% of our events. We’re thrilled that the current Level 2 Lockdown restrictions allow us to host this important flagship fundraiser for TEARS.”

In addition to a field of 100 players (25 x 4-Balls) there are 18 Hole Sponsorships available too, which so far includes SA Rugby Magazine, Vasco da Gama Taverna, Dot Sure, Hills Pet Nutrition, Haval, General Motors, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Peugeot, Citroen, STBB, Tyre Mart, and Deus Cafe amongst others. Flagstone Wines is generously sponsoring wine for the evening’s dinner.

Retired Rugby legends lend their support to help raise funds for animals in need

It’s not too late to book a 4 Ball for R3 500 and/or sponsor a Hole for R3 000.

For more information or to book please email or visit

Source: TEARS

Vaccinating 1000 dogs for World Rabies Day after Khayelitsha rabies outbreak

 Vaccinating 1000 dogs for World Rabies Day after Khayelitsha rabies outbreak

Community children who brought their pets for Rabies Day in 2018

International World Rabies Day is on the 28th of September and the Mdzananda Animal Clinic, Khayelitsha, aims to vaccinate 1000 dogs in one day. This is after the recent identification of rabies infected dogs in the area, the first since 1994 in the Western Cape.

Rabies is a deadly virus which can spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite but it can also transmit through saliva coming into contact with lips, eyes or any exposed cuts on the body. The virus can be transmitted to other animals and humans. 99% of human cases result from dog bites and are fatal once symptoms occur. Apart from setting humans in danger the virus causes extreme pain, discomfort and leads to the death of the infected animal.

The clinic will be hosting a mass vaccination day on Saturday the 2nd of October where pets of the community can receive free vaccinations. Mobile vaccination stations will be set up in Mfuleni’s Extension 6, Bardale, Burundi and Green Park.

The Clinic is asking members of the public to sponsor a dog for R50. This will cover the costs of the vaccination, needles, syringes and gloves. Each pet will also receive a vaccination against deadly diseases including Parvo Virus, Distemper, Parainfluenza and Adenovirus.

“It is essential to vaccinate your dogs against rabies and now even more so as we’ve had cases presented in Khayelitsha,” says Sr Heidi May, General Manager. “Symptoms include fever, difficulty swallowing, excessive drooling, staggering, seizures and aggression. There is no specific treatment for rabies. Once symptoms appear it’s nearly always fatal. A vaccine can prevent infection.”

To sponsor a dog you can make a donation to Mdzananda Animal Clinic, Standard Bank, Account number: 075595710, Rondebosch, Branch Code: 025009, Reference: Rabies+YourName or contact

Source: Mdzananda

Spreading the truth about rabies – No more fear – Just the facts


This year’s 15th annual #WorldRabiesDay on the 28th of September will focus on eradicating the many fears and myths surrounding this disease and replacing them with concrete facts. Only through spreading the truth and helping each other to understand the reality of the issue can we overcome it. Besides urging people in all communities to vaccinate their pets, the South African Veterinary Association (SAVA) is joined by the South African Veterinary Council (SAVC), the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, Rural Development (DALRRD), the National Department of Health (DoH), the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), the National Animal Health Forum (NAHF) and the Rabies Advisory Group (RAG) to replace fear with facts.

Rabies is a very serious problem which continues to exist in all nine provinces of South Africa. Dog mediated rabies is particularly rife in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape. It is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it is passed from infected animals to humans – it is transmitted through saliva, most commonly if one is bitten. It has a dramatic effect on the human brain and once clinical signs become visible, there is no curative treatment, and it is fatal.

According to modern statistics, this terrible virus kills at least one person in the world every 9 minutes. More than 70 000 people die from it each year according to The World Organisation for Animal Health of which about 95% of these deaths occur in Africa and Asia.

It is critically important that every owner, in all walks of life, has their dogs and cats vaccinated in order to protect our communities against this disease. Only by understanding the scientific facts and getting rid of myths and misinformation can this be achieved. Moreover, in South Africa not having your cats and dogs vaccinated is against the law.

Just as we have seen with the current COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a lot of misinformation, “fake news” and superstitions surrounding the vaccination and ways of dealing with the virus. The same can be said of many other diseases and viruses such as rabies. It was once said that “almost all fear is fear of the unknown. Therefore, what’s the remedy? To learn to understand the things you fear”. So, fear creates false and very often dangerous ideas which can only be cured by learning and sharing proven and scientific facts.

Let us look at some of the most common and misleading beliefs or myths which surround this countrywide danger which are based on fear, as opposed to the truths which are proven by many years of scientific studies. Lots of people believe and have spread the misconception that rabies is not preventable, like it is in the animal from birth or “for life” – this is not true. Science

has shown that it can be prevented through vaccination of animals by any responsible and loving pet owner and that if just 70% of dogs in high-risk areas are vaccinated, this can completely eliminate canine rabies in that area.

Another false belief is that rabies cannot be prevented in humans once bitten, that there is no medical treatment. This is not true. This also leads some people to trust in traditional medicines rather than scientifically tested and proven solutions. There certainly is treatment for rabies in humans, if it is given correctly and immediately (or as soon as possible) after being transmitted. The post-exposure prophylaxis treatment is 100% effective if it is given early enough and correctly. If you are bitten or scratched by a suspected rabid animal, you should wash the wound well with soap and running water for 15 minutes. Then seek immediate treatment at your nearest medical facility, where a series of vaccinations will be given and if required, rabies antibodies will be administered.

People also have the incorrect idea that rabies is only ever transmitted by dog bites. This too is untrue. Though in our communities it is most commonly passed on by infected dogs, it can be transferred to a human from the bite, scratch or lick of any infected mammal, the second most common being cats.

Animals in general are not a risk, but we can identify the tell-tale signs in a rabies infected animal – if they are infected with rabies, they show changes in behaviour and neurological symptoms. They normally salivate profusely, can become paralysed, may not be able to swallow, continuously vocalise (barking, whining, howling etc.) and often become aggressive or the contrary, non-responsive. It is very important to stay away from animals with these symptoms, and to report the animal immediately to your vet, Animal Health Technician or to the police.

To protect your animals, family, and community you must vaccinate your dogs and cats. The first rabies vaccine is given at 12 weeks (3 months) of age, followed by a booster vaccination between one to 12 months later. Thereafter a booster every three years. In high-risk areas, annual vaccination is strongly recommended. However, it is never too late for your pet to receive their first vaccination, followed by the booster protocol.

South Africa is committed to the global “Zero by 30” goal – For zero human deaths due to dog mediated rabies by 2030. This can be achieved through adequate vaccination of dog (and cat) populations, as well as provision of treatment to humans that have been exposed to rabid animals.

**The World Rabies Day South African campaign is proudly brough to you by the South African Veterinary Association (SAVA) and V-Tech.


Join us in saving human and animal lives by following us on:

Source: SAVA


Montego Pet Nutrition’s latest Karoo wet food for cats

 Montego Pet Nutrition’s latest Karoo wet food for cats

Montego Pet Nutrition is expanding their super-premium Karoo Cat range into wet food for adult cats. This limited ingredient, purrfectly balanced meal for cats is vet recommended and formulated for optimum nutrition and superior flavour.

Your feline family deserves only the best, and this is why Karoo wet food for cats contains zero corn, soya and gluten, is a fantastic source of moisture and is packed with essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals that is crucial to the development and maintenance of strong, healthy muscles while promoting good digestion.

Suitable for adult cats of all breeds and available in two mouth-watering options: Slow Cooked Stew with Real Chicken, Lamb and Carrots or Ostrich, Lamb and Green Peas. Both recipes are complete, deliciously satisfying meals your cat with love!

Karoo wet food for adult cats now available in a pack of 3 x 125g individual tubs at an RRP of R61.50. Visit for more information.

Source: Montego


Khayelitsha veterinarians speak out about dangerous rabies cases

Khayelitsha veterinarians speak out about dangerous rabies cases

Patient at Mdzananda Animal Clinic presenting with rabies symptoms

Two rabies cases were identified at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayeitsha, Cape Town. The last report of rabies in the Western Cape was in 1994.

On the 11th of August a community member asked the clinic to collect her pet as she suspected it had a bone stuck in its throat. The dog had been vomiting for two days, appeared weak and was passing a yellow stool. Priffy, a medium sized, one-year-old male dog was collected and appeared subdued and drooling.

Dr Isel Esterhuyse, the veterinarian at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic, proceeded with caution as the symptoms were suspicious. She examined Priffy’s throat for the suspected bone, but none was found. A distemper test was done but the result was negative.

The next day Piffy’s behaviour changed from subdued to aggressive. Dr Brian Bergman and Dr Isel Esterhuyse suspected rabies based on the symptoms. Being a highly infection and fatal virus, the owner was consulted and euthanasia was consented to. There is currently no cure for rabies. The body was immediately taken to the state veterinary pathology laboratories in Stellenbosch where the dog tested positive for rabies.

“When the dog arrived, we immediately thought the symptoms looked strange. As a precaution we handled the dog with a catch pole and everyone wore double gloves. We placed him into isolation and by the next morning his behaviour had changed drastically to being extremely aggressive. We decided to euthanise and have the body tested for rabies,” says Dr Esterhuyse.

On the 16th of August the second case presented at the clinic. A client arrived with a male dog hypersalivating and circling. When approached the dog became very disorientated and aggressive. The immediate assessment by Dr Brian Bergman concluded that this case too was a very suspicious case of rabies. The decision was made to euthanise and the body was transferred to the state laboratory. The dog tested positive for rabies.

The clinic’s Community Engagement Officer was deployed to do a site inspection of both the premises and to interview the pet owners to investigate where and the rabies infections occurred. To date, the origin has not been found.

“We immediately called SA MAST, the other animal welfare organisation in Khayelitsha, to inform them of the cases and to be on the look-out for others,” says Sr Heidi May, Operations Manager at Mdzananda Animal Clinic. “We held a meeting with our staff to put new procedures in place on how to handle future rabies situations if they are presented. A meeting was held with the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Health Department, City of Cape Town and SA MAST to outline a plan for proceeding.”

With immediate effect, a combined, rigorous vaccine campaign started on Monday 23rd August.

Two more cases were admitted to the clinic thereafter presenting rabies symptoms. Both were euthanised and sent to the laboratory for rabies testing.

“We urge all pet owners to have their pets vaccinated against rabies,” says Marcelle du Plessis, Fundraising and Communications Manager. “On the 28th of September is world Rabies Day. Apart from our current rabies vaccination campaign, we will host a further mass vaccination day on this day. We ask members of the public to support us by sponsoring a vaccination at R50. Rabies vaccinations are supplied to us free of charge by the state vet. The R50 will cover gloves, syringes and needles as well as a 5-in-1 vaccine covering other illnesses such as parvo and distemper.”

To sponsor a vaccination, donate to Mdzananda Animal Clinic, Standard Bank, Account number: 075595710, Branch: Rondebosch, Branch Code: 025009, Savings account, Reference: Rabies +Your Name. For more information contact

Rabies is a deadly virus spread to people from the saliva of infected animals, usually through an animal bite but can also transmit through saliva coming in to contact with your lips, eyes or any exposed cuts on your body. The virus can be transmitted to other animals and humans. Animals most likely to spread rabies include dogs, bats, coyotes, foxes, skunks and raccoons. Symptoms include fever, difficulty swallowing, excessive drooling, staggering, seizures and aggression. There is no specific treatment for rabies. Once symptoms appear it’s nearly always fatal. A vaccine can prevent infection.

Khayelitsha veterinarians speak out about dangerous rabies cases

About Mdzananda Animal Clinic (

The Mdzananda Animal Clinic is a permanent, veterinary council registered, NPO animal clinic in Khayelitsha, a township just outside of Cape Town, South Africa, home to 400 000 people (2011 census) and their pets. The clinic serves an average of 1000 animals per month through consultations, hospitalisation, general and orthopaedic surgeries, continuous sterilisations, mobile clinics, an animal ambulance and pet adoptions. Mdzananda has a strong focus on community empowerment and education to ensure responsible pet ownership into the future.

Source: Mdzananda Animal Clinic