Nationwide, South Africa is dealing with an overpopulation of dogs and cats. With nearly every shelter filled to the brim, animal welfare organisations have literally taken to the streets in sterilisation campaigns to help curb the burden of overpopulation.
An unsterilised pet and its offspring can produce over 60 000 lives in 6 years. This past week the Sandton SPCA ventured into Alexandra Township in the Gauteng province to assist the community with their animals with sterilisation.
Alex Township Outreach
Inspector Xolane Mncube explains that on top of providing veterinary treatment, they also handed out blankets and foods to the community of Alex. They focused specifically on the township as they get lots of volume at their branch in terms of members of the community reaching out for help.
“It is very important that we prevent cruelty, and we prevent suffering and by sterilising the animals – we are helping them and even educating them. If you have a dog or cat, it’s important to sterilise them, because they don’t know at the end of the day what to do with the additional animals. By sterilising and educating the community on how important it is to sterilise their animals, prevents diseases and sickness.”
Watch the video report below.
Warren Siziba, a Training Inspector for the SPCA, says that he loves to be an inspector because their role is not only to rescue animals from cruelty but also to educate people on how to take care of their animals.
“Sterilisation is very important because some people can’t afford to feed the excess of animals that are the result of breeding. They are able to support 2-3 dogs, and when they keep on breeding, they end up giving them to individuals who don’t care about the animals and they can’t manage to take care of them.”
First black SPCA inspector in SA
Inspector Obed Mohlala is from the Sandton SPCA. In 1988 he became the first black person to qualify as an inspector in the country.
“I have been involved with the SPCA since 1982, while I was still at school, and it is where I found my love for animals. During that time it was very tough as it was during the previous government, but I felt great because I was the only black person to qualify amongst the whites in that time.”
His passion led him into the riots in Soweto during South Africa’s turbulent transition to democracy in the early 90s. His white colleagues were not able to assist anymore due to the high levels of violence directed at them, and this is where Inspector Mohlala stepped up due to his love of animals.
“I wanted to help, especially because there were horses pulling carts that needed assistance. It was very tough and there were people stoning cars during that time, and at one stage they also hit the windscreen of my car. I just told myself that I have the passion to work with these animals and help them, and I did.”
Healthy animals, healthy humans
A community leader in Alex, Steven Thalaga, says they are grateful for the efforts of the SPCA.
“In this area, the dogs are peaceful; they like people and enjoy living here. Most people here don’t have money because they don’t have jobs… but they love their animals. The dogs also protect the community, they don’t like people running. When you are running, it shows that you have done something funny and then they chase you.”
Inspector Xolane Mncube explains that all people deserve animals as long as there is love.
“Our background doesn’t have to define us… whether we have to have animals or not. The only thing needed is education. I always believe that if there’s love… it’s important if you love your animal you give it water, food, and shelter.”
“I’ve seen lots of people in underprivileged areas and they are taking good care of their animals, and I have even seen other people who are wealthy staying in rich areas who are not taking care of their animals and are involved in dogfights – so you cannot judge a human a person by where they live.”