File photo: African News Agency (ANA)
The Khayelitsha-based Mdzananda Animal Clinic hopes to vaccinate 100 dogs as part of commemorating International Rabies Day on September 28.

The clinic will be hosting a day where pets of the community can be brought to receive free vaccinations.

“Rabies is a deadly virus that can spread to people from the saliva of infected animals. About 99% of human cases result from dog bites and are fatal once symptoms occur.

“Apart from (placing) humans in danger, the virus causes extreme pain, discomfort and leads to the death of the infected dog,” said the clinic.

Mdzananda fund-raising and communications manager Marcelle du Plessis said the Western Cape was not a hot spot for rabies.

“This does not, however, mean that we shouldn’t prepare against it. All it takes is for one infected dog to come into our community for the virus to spread rapidly. Since neighbouring provinces have reported cases of rabies we always have to be vigilant.”

The highly contagious and deadly virus is preventable through a simple vaccination.

“Dogs and cats should first be vaccinated for rabies between four to six months of age. They need a booster one year from that date. Thereafter, they need to be vaccinated once every three years,” said Dr Friedl le Roux, head veterinarian at Mdzananda.

“On World Rabies Day we will be vaccinating 100 dogs. Owners will receive a vaccination card indicating when to bring their pets for their follow-up shot.”

The clinic has appealed to the public to sponsor a dog for R50. This will cover the costs of administering the vaccinating, including needles, syringes, gloves and veterinarian time.

Sponsor a dog by making a donation to Mdzananda Animal Clinic, Standard Bank, Account number: 075595710, Rondebosch, Branch Code: 025009, Reference: Rabies, and your name, or contact [email protected]