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Enhancing our staff to be the best pet carers

Can you believe it! In October this year Mdzananda is turning 21! As part of our journey our staff team has grown in leaps and bounds. Without our dedicated team of staff we would not be able to serve the pets and their community. Today the clinic employs 23 staff members of whom 17 are community members. As a non-profit community-based organisation we place great value on the inclusion of community members in our staffing complement. Staff members have been trained by our veterinarians to be qualified Animal Welfare Assistants, Hospital Assistants, Theatre Assistants and Pet Carers. They have become educators and mentors for their surrounding community. Staff development is a priority for the organisation. One of our latest staff enhancement programmes is in the form of Clicker Training. Pule, Lethu and Ronnie, three staff members from the Mdzananda team, have signed up for Clicker Training sessions with Animal Behaviourist Kieron Piper of Thinking Pets. Clicker Training is a method of dog training based on behavioural psychology which relies on obtaining desirable behaviour with a click and then rewarding it. An idea for the future is to incorporate this Clicker Training into our education programme where small groups of local children will be taught the skills to train their own dogs to obey simple commands such as “sit”, “lie down” and “stay”. At the same time the children will learn about taking care of their dogs focusing on the Five Animal Freedoms – freedom from hunger and thirst, freedom from discomfort, freedom from pain, injury or disease, freedom to express normal behavior and freedom from fear and distress. Our staff training is currently taking place at Happy Space in Kloof Street in Tamboerskloof. Happy Space is a well-being collaboration that includes a retail shop and nursery, shared work space and an events venue.

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