While many of us are ensconced at home during lockdown, some are putting their lives on the line to ensure the public still have access to critical services.
The team at Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha is one example.
Animal lovers in this Cape Town township have one less thing to worry about as the clinic’s doors are staying open for serious cases.
Mzananda stays open to provide vital services
Pets are often brought to the clinic with broken bones, fractures and wounds after being hit by vehicles. You’d expect fewer cars on the road now, but even so one young dog was already admitted on day one of the lockdown.
A community member found it in the road and it had reportedly been unable to walk for three days.
“The Good Samaritan picked the dog up and brought it straight to the Mdzananda Animal Clinic”Dr Lara Murray (Mzanandas Animal Clinic)
Sadly its injuries were so severe it was decided it would be kinder to euthanise it.
“I shudder to think how long this dog would have suffered if we were not open during lockdown,” Murray says.
During lockdown the Mdzananda clinic is being manned by 13 experienced staff including veterinarians. They are putting themselves at risk daily by going into the community to help pets in pain.
Marcelle du Plessis, the clinic’s fundraising and communications manager, says:
“Unfortunately we are not able to run at full capacity during this time, but we are open to any pets from the Khayelitsha community with life-threatening emergencies.”
“We will make sure no animal suffers.”Marcelle du Plessis
At the moment the clinic’s hospital is full of pre-lockdown animal patients that will be cared for until they are healthy and can return home.
Mdzananda’s Animal Ambulance won’t be taking a break either and staff heading out are equipped with gloves, masks and sanitiser.
Help is at hand and help is needed
Precautions are also being taken at the hospital, with pets handed over for treatment at the front gate so no-one physically enters the property.
The clinic’s receptionist is also helping people at the gate with inquiries.
The clinic is unable to generate an income from adoption fees, consultation fees or onsite vet shop sales during lockdown – a figure of about R81,500 a month.
The public can help by making a one-off donation or becoming a Paw Member and donating R50 or R100 a month.