Mobile clinic for the animals of Mdzananda

mobile animal clinic helps a dog in capetown south africaWhen community members cannot bring their dogs to our clinic, we bring the clinic to their dogs!

Many people in the townships of South Africa are deprived of consistent, modern vet care because of where they live. They may be located many kilometres away from an animal hospital or clinic. IFAW’s project, the Mdzananda Animal Clinic, receives anxious calls daily from community members needing help for their animals but who are just too far from us to bring their pets. Many people do not have transport to bring their pets to us, and the mini-bus taxi services do not allow pets to travel in them.

To help the community and their pets, we have a mobile veterinary clinic that visits various areas in the community. We also have an ambulance service that will collect pets and deliver them back home after receiving treatment.

mobile animal clinic drives through the townships of south africaMzoxolo Cuthalele, is one of Mdzananda’s drivers and animal welfare assistants. He describes a recent day out in the field:

“It's a Wednesday morning. The sun is hot and so is my temperature. I'm not feeling well but I know that if I do not go to work there will not be a driver to take the mobile clinic out. The pets need me.

“We usually start by dropping off pets who have been discharged from our clinic. We have a bakkie (pickup truck) and trailer full of dogs and cats ready to go home to their owners after receiving hospital treatment or operations in our theatre. 

“After the slow process of trying to find the physical addresses for our cargo of pets (roads and homes are frequently unmarked), we finally head to Mfuleni where we will be hosting our mobile clinic for the day. The thought of meeting new dogs excites me.

“When we arrive at Mfuleni township it is very hot and everyone is outside - children are playing in the streets, others are resting in the shade. As we drive around looking for a suitable place to park, people start to notice our brightly decorated truck and yell to each other, 'the animal car!'

children running to the mobile animal clinic in mdzananda south africa“Within minutes, the line grows long and I'm contemplating  whether my fever is going to allow me to tend to all of these pets! The sight of tails wagging immediately cheers me up - there is nothing better than seeing a happy, loving dog ready to be vaccinated!

“We swiftly set up our collapsible tables, unpack the cooler boxes of medicines we will need, and get going.

“Poppy is first in line - a three month old black dog. You can tell he has been at our clinic before, as he is calm and knows when the injection is coming.

“While busy with the pets, a previous client came to visit and tell us how happy he was with the service he received at Mdzananda. His dog named Russia had distemper, a very contagious disease of which the recovery rate is low. A week after he was admitted to the clinic, Russia was back home and healthy. He could not stop thanking us. It's people like him who really make us proud to be a part of the Mdzananda Animal Clinic.

“At the end of the day, the pharmacy supplies are almost finished. We pack up and head back to Mdzananda”.

poor communities of south Africa seek help from mobile pet clinicThanks to the help of our supporters, IFAW has proudly supported the Mdzananda Animal Clinic, in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, for nearly 20 years. In that time we have improved the lives of thousands pets, and helped create an animal welfare aware community.

--MdP   

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