FOURWAYS – Although it’s the humans in lockdown, dogs and cats are also in need during this difficult time. Here is how three Fourways-based shelters are dealing with the lockdown and how you can help.
As nearly 60 million South Africans bunker down as much as possible during a national lockdown in order to fight the spread of Covid-19, thousands of animals in shelters and rescues are also being affected.
The Fourways Review reached out to three locally-based animal shelters to find out what measures they have put in place for the lockdown, how things are going and how the public can help without leaving their homes. The three shelters are Ark Animal Centre, 4Paws Animal Shelter and the Pet Empowerment in the Townships (Pets).
Ark Animal Centre
The Ark Animal Centre in Chartwell mostly focuses its work on helping pregnant dogs and puppies get the care they need, although it also cares for adult dogs.
Candice Eilertsen of the shelter spoke to the Fourways Review, “The gates to Ark have been locked for the duration of the lockdown and we also have a sign outside explaining that we can’t accept visitors. “We’re very lucky because all the dogs [in our care] who are able to be fostered out have been fostered out – the only animals we’re still caring for at the shelter are those who are injured, pregnant dogs and moms and puppies that can’t be fostered yet.
“I’m not actually sure how we’ll get through the lockdown, especially if it lasts longer than the three weeks that were planned. But everyone is struggling right now, so we can’t ask others to support us if they can barely support themselves.
“For those who can, please give what you can, but we understand it’s difficult for everyone right now.”
She added that while the main phone lines to the shelter will not be answered during this time, members of the public can still reach out via social media or via email to find out more information about potential dogs for adoption. “I’d also recommend that pet owners find out which vets in their area will still be operating in case there is an emergency.”
Located in the Riversands area, 4Paws Animal Shelter cares for about 300 dogs and cats in need. Tammy Knepscheld, who runs the organisation, explained how 4Paws will be operating during the 21-days.
“We’ll be running on ghost staff. One person every day will come in to check in and care for the dogs, a second person will be in charge of the cats and I will be in to oversee things and to make sure that any animals that need medical care will get help,” she said. “We don’t want people coming through at all, so no volunteers until the lockdown ends and we won’t be adopting out any animals.
“Although, if anyone is interested in adopting once lockdown ends, they are welcome to contact us and we can send photos of the animals available.”
The shelter, unfortunately, does not have enough food or funding to survive the lockdown and are in desperate need of support from the public.
You can make a donation using the banking details on their website, add them as a beneficiary on your MySchool card or SMS the word ‘paws’ to 40707 to donate R20. “Please stay safe,” Knepscheld advised the public.
The Pets non-profit organisation is slightly different from the others on this list in that it has no formal premises, but instead is a collection of volunteers who use a network of foster homes to care for dogs and cats in need from townships around Gauteng.
Nicole Badenhorst of the organisation said, “We’ve decided that fostering out our animals for only a few weeks is too unsettling for the animals, so we haven’t done that unless people can commit to foster continuously.
“Fortunately, we have enough food, but we still have a lot of money to pay in vet bills, and that may increase if there’s an emergency during lockdown, so anyone who can donate financially is urged to get in contact to help.
“If you see any of our animals [on the website or social media] that you’d like to adopt after lockdown ends, please get hold of us and we can send you photos of them. People who want to foster [when restrictions are lifted] are also welcome to be in touch, but again, please only do so if you can really commit as these animals have already been through so much.”
Source: Fourways Review
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.