The SA.Mast Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha has been assisting the Department of Agriculture to vaccinate as many cats and dogs following two cases of rabies in the area. Picture: Stephen Williams
The SA.Mast Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha has been assisting the Department of Agriculture to vaccinate as many cats and dogs following two cases of rabies in the area. Picture: Stephen Williams

Government and animal clinic vaccinate pets after rabies scare

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Aug 26, 2021

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Cape Town - The SA.MAST Animal Clinic has, along with the Department of Agriculture, have vaccinated about 150 cats and dogs in the Makhaya area following confirmation that two dogs tested positive for rabies in Khayelitsha.

While the department confirmed that the source of infection was traced back to the very large Makhaya area in Khayelitsha, it’s still a mystery as to how two dogs, one allegedly from Khayelitsha and the other from Delft, both became infected in Makhaya, said the organisation.

SA.MAST founder and director Tamsin Nel said: “Should a total rabies outbreak in Khayelitsha ever actually take place though, it would be everyone’s worst nightmare.

“It would spread like wildfire, beyond the boundaries of this massive township and leave unimaginable devastation, heartbreak and suffering in its wake.

“Rabies, like Covid is a zoonotic disease with its origins stemming from an infected animal.

“As it currently stands, SA.MAST is the single biggest obstacle standing in the way of a rabies pandemic breaking out in Khayelitsha, a pandemic which would also endanger animal and human lives far beyond this township’s borders.

“We urge all households with cats and dogs in or near Khayelitsha to be especially vigilant and ensure their vaccinations are up to date,” she said.

The organisation described the cost of needles and syringes as the tip of the iceberg in terms of resources required to implement its free mass animal sterilisation and vaccination programme.

“We are entirely reliant on donor funding and are therefore calling on everyone – foundations, trusts, companies and individuals to help us keep rabies out of the Western Cape.

“We are in desperate need of your help and urge you to contact us to pledge your support.

“Our website www.samast.co.za is able to facilitate many types of financial or product support, we do issue Section 18A Tax Deductible Donation Certificates and we are audited,” said Nel.

Cape Times

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