Take a “PAWS” and meet Dr Annelize Roos – One of the heroes protecting South African’s furry friends
Many people fail to recognise the fundamental and critical work provided by veterinarians all around the world, praised as being the custodians of animal health and welfare. Dr Annelize Roos is one of these unsung angels looking after domestic animals in South Africa, the founder of EnviroVet CVC, a satellite company which falls under the umbrella of the South African Veterinary Association Community Veterinary Clinics (SAVA-CVC).
With the goal of providing veterinary services to animals living in impoverished communities around the country, SAVA-CVC was established in 1998. Dr Roos followed suit by creating EnviroVet CVC in 2011 and has since brought together a strong team of dedicated individuals working to protect domestic animals belonging to those who cannot afford or access private veterinary clinics. Their primary focus is on communities in Cape Town, but mostly in the smaller towns across the Western- and Northern Cape, where no other veterinary services are available, providing a variety of essential services to guarantee the well-being of these helpless creatures. Notably, EnviroVet CVC has performed more than 60 000 pet sterilisations over the last decade.
Dr Roos has an enormous love for life and chose to engage in activities that have a component of physical demand, intellectual challenge and emotional well-being. When asked about what motivated her towards this profession she said: “An intuitive attraction to African wildlife triggered the desire to become a veterinarian”. She proudly received her BVSc degree from the University of Pretoria in 1984, then after working as a veterinary assistant for some time, she opened her own small animal clinic in 1986 in Durban. She later relocated to Cape Town in 2008, becoming involved in animal welfare activities on a full-time basis and has since studied all globally available guidelines, research publications and protocols on national animal welfare.
EnviroVet CVC focuses on the well-being primarily of dogs, cats and donkeys, and whilst sterilisation projects come first and foremost, Dr Roos and her team conduct many other critical services such as vaccinations, dipping, deworming, treatment of mange and TVT (Transmissible Venereal Tumor). She believes that a veterinarian’s role is relevant to the socio-economic reality of that specific community with the main purpose of the veterinarian being the prevention of pet abuse and suffering. This goal can only be achieved through a comprehensive pet population management approach, which includes the sterilisation of at least 70% of pets in any geographically demarcated area; she holds to the concept that this “herd immunity” principle has the potential to curb pet population growth.
A central element to the formidable work undertaken by her team is education. This means providing as much information and training as possible during their work in remote or impoverished areas. For this reason, they do not simply remove animals, perform sterilisation and then return them. This type of “confiscation” of animals can create a gap which is usually soon filled by another pet often treated as poorly as the first. Therefore, the EnviroVet group knows the majority of the animals individually, are aware of their circumstances, and beginning with the basic necessities of giving a pet a name, teaching people to respect their pets and showing them how to treat them with love. They have seen highly positive results by taking part in the journey of the intimate relationship between the animal and its owners, who in the end are far better able to understand the need for as well as the ultimate benefits of a compassionate, informed and caring attitude towards their beloved pets.
When asked how she stays motivated in her line of work she responded that “Anything with a clear purpose and a concrete, measurable outcome, results in unstoppable escalating motivation. Scientific approach to Animal Welfare Activity within the socio-economic reality of South Africa is an example of exactly this”.
To find out more about Dr Roos and the wonderful work the EnviroVet CVC team are doing please visit the website: http://www.envirovet.co.za
Source: EnviroVet CVC
Disclaimer: The information produced by Infurmation is provided for general and educational purposes only and does not constitute any legal, medical or other professional advice on any subject matter. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always seek the advice of your vet or other qualified health care provider prior to starting any new diet or treatment and with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you suspect that your pet has a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.