IFAW's Daily Program To Help Dogs In South Africa
I recently returned from an inspirational week in South Africa visiting IFAW's companion animal program: Community Led Animal Welfare (CLAW). CLAW delivers veterinary and animal welfare services to dogs and cats in disadvantaged communities around the greater Johannesburg, South Africa.
The photo attached is of a little puppy who was brought by his owner to one of CLAW’s field clinics. The clinic was operating at a new location the day I was visiting which meant that for many owners this was the first time they had access to health care services for their pets.
The need for these health care services was evident immediately - I’m used to seeing several ticks on one animal, so was shocked to see one small puppy with over 125 ticks – he probably had more but I stopped counting! At the field clinic, the puppy was given a treatment to kill the ticks and his owner was given advice on what she should do in future to prevent repeat infestations.
I was impressed to hear the scale of the services provided in South Africa townships - over 20,000 treatments are administered in over 35 communities throughout the year.
We had just gotten things rolling at the field clinic when my colleague Cora Bailey received an emergency call about a dog with an untreated broken leg. We began a 30 minute drive towards an area called Lawley New. After a bit of searching we found Shush, a village dog in need of immediate care. Shush was lying on the ground outside his owner’s shack. When Shush's owner came outside, he told us that his dog had been knocked over a couple of days before.
Shush and his owner only recently moved to the area, so unfortunately the owner did not realize that Cora would have been available immediately had he known to call. He obviously cared very deeply for Shush. Before Cora and I arrived, assuming that Shush's leg was broken he did the only thing he could think to do which was to make a crude metal wire support. Unfortunately, this act of kindness had actually caused more damage as it dug into his leg causing an infected wound to develop.
Shush’s owner was delighted to hear we could take him to the vet so we loaded him into our vehicle and off we went…
… to be continued…….