City of Cape Town urges public to adopt pets as the number of stray animals are on the rise

The City of Cape Town said animal organisations are under strain as there has been an increase in stray animals and pets being surrendered to organisations and urged members of the public to consider adopting animals.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith said the City has initiatives in place, some which are ongoing and include:

–   The establishment of an anti-dog fighting task team

–    City-funded mass sterilisation campaigns undertaken by the Cape Animal Welfare Forum (CAWF)

–    MOU on the impoundment of dangerous animals/animals in distress

Smith is a patron of the CAWF and said the animal welfare sector is under extreme pressure.

“The pressure on our animal welfare sector is relentless, and they really do incredible work in spite of the odds stacked against them. The City provides funding for a number of initiatives to help keep Cape Town’s pet population safe.

“I will also raise the sector’s plight with the Western Cape Government to see if we can unlock additional funding. To the public, my appeal is to please give us a hand, whether by adopting a pet, ensuring that their pets are sterilised, or making donations to help the sector meet all of its obligations,” Smith said.

He said animal welfare organisations facilitate animal rescue networks and work to rehabilitate and rehome them.

“They also help to locate lost animals, or reunite them with their families; offer clinic services and outreaches, particularly in communities in need, and they conduct ongoing education and awareness around responsible pet ownership, and the importance of sterilisation,” Smith said.

According to the MARS Pet Homelessness Report 2022, there are roughly four million homeless pets in South Africa, with 650,000 living in animal shelters and the rest on the streets.

Smith said one of the local welfare organisations, TEARS, which is also a member of CAWF, reached out to the City recently, having witnessed a marked increase in the number of pets being surrendered.

“We recently had to stop new intakes, as we simply did not have any more capacity. Our appeals to the public for assistance resulted in 44 adoptions in one month, but there are still so many dogs and cats that need good, loving homes. We also want to urge would-be pet parents to please adopt, instead of buying pets, and to break the cycle of unwanted pets, by ensuring that their fur babies are sterilised as soon as they are eligible, and to keep up to date with their vaccinations and general health needs.

“And, we would like to invite corporates to consider channelling some of their CSI funding into mass sterilisation and pet registration campaigns to ensure that we are all working towards sustainable and humane solutions to combating this crisis,” head of Marketing and Fundraising for TEARS, Lara van Rensburg said.

TEARS also accepts donations of household goods and clothing that can be sold at its four thrift shops, to supplement the organisation’s finances and help more animals in need.

Source :IOL

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