Animal Welfare Society says it is dealing with a 'tsunami' of unwanted pets
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Cape Town - The Animal Welfare of Society of South Africa (AWSSA) has described the number surrendered and unwanted pets admitted to its care as a ’tsunami’.
Spokesperson Allan Perrins said although the number of animals was adding to the workload, pet owners did the responsible thing by not dumping or selling them.
“The two primary reasons we speculate have caused this massive increase may be because many households have taken a serious financial knock since the start of the lockdown.
“Affordability is becoming a real issue for pet owners not only in the Cape Flats but in the broader metro area.
“A lot of people have lost their jobs.
“Petrol has just sky-rocketed again.
“The cost of living is a bit of a runaway train and unfortunately for many people, spending money on their pets has become a low priority.
“A lot of Capetonians are in what can be described as survival mode.
“Another reason could be since the start of the lockdown our movements have been somewhat limited so we've been unable to get into the areas that we would normally service and that allowed all of the intact unsterilised animals to breed uncontrollably so that has resulted in a proliferation of unwanted, unplanned kittens and puppies,” Perrins said.
He said the organisation normally planned for a seasonal increase in numbers over the holiday season, but already had an influx of unwanted and surrendered animals since December 1.
“If that’s the sign of what’s to come, we’re in for a very busy festive period.”
On Tuesday 16 kittens and 3 adult cats came from a Hanover Park family.
Perrins did a rough calculation and said: “Assuming that you feed a cat a sachet of cat food a day, you’re looking at about R6 for a reasonable brand of cat food.
“Per day, you’re looking at R200 to keep those many cats and that's just their food, never mind vaccinating, de-worming, etc.
“Pet ownership has become a very costly indulgence.”
Hospital receptionist Savanna Small said: “This is where education comes into play about sterilisation, why it should be done, what the impact is.”