After 4 and a half years of working at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic I have learnt to put my emotions aside. If I had to take to heart the pain of each pet entering our clinic I would never be able to help them.
People often say to me, “I could never do the work that you do.” I answer simply, “I go into protection mode because the pet needs me.”
Detachment is sometimes the only way to survive in this industry. But we are never quite immune…
One evening this week I found myself staring blankly at my television. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I was crying for Hippo. I was crying for his little owners.I was crying for all the pets I had not cried for before.
Hippo, a young brown cross breed male, arrived at our clinic late one afternoon. A community member had found him wandering aimlessly in the streets. It was clear that he belonged to someone as he was well looked after.
He was attacked by two bigger dogs. The injuries were severe.
Hippo lay in our hospital ward in complete shock. His eyes told a story of confusion. One minute he was at home - the next he was lost. As if that was not scary enough, he was attacked. Imagine his fear.
Three little boys arrived at our office. They were looking for their dog that had gone missing. We took them to our shelter, theatre and hospital and they pointed at one dog – Hippo.
We explained to them that Hippo was very ill and that we would do everything we could to help him. Their eyes filled with tears. One of the little boys cried long sobs of sadness and pain for his pet.
Sadly Hippo did not survive. His injuries were too severe and we could not save him.
I sat on my couch that evening with tears in my eyes. I knew I was supposed to be detached but on that night I was weak. I couldn’t help but feel Hippo’s fear along his journey, his pain and the little boy’s pain who loved him so dearly.
We are never quite immune…
But we choose to continue because the voiceless need us.
Christmas and the end of the year is a difficult time at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic. Many of the community members go to the Eastern Cape to visit their families leaving their animals behind with friends. Very regularly these friends do not know how to look after animals. Their homes are not always equipped for animals - they get out of the yard, end up in dog fights or get hit by vehicles.
We receive many animals that have fallen sick due to insufficient nutrition or non-pet friendly living conditions. During this time we cover all their costs as owners are not around to donate a small amount towards their pet’s treatment.
It is very common to find owners walking through our doors handing pets over to us before they leave for the Eastern Cape. Usually these pets are not collected on return, no donation is made towards their stay with us and they become homeless - completely reliant on us to care for them, nurture them and find them new homes.
This festive season I would like to ask you to open up your heart and to not turn away from the suffering. We don’t always want to think about sad things, especially at Christmas time, but we need you.
Through this letter I would like to ask you to consider making a gift to the Mdzananda Animal Clinic over this festive season. Any gift, big or small, is greatly appreciated. Your gift will help us to look after the voiceless pets like Hippo.We could not save him, but we save many pets every day!
If you are not able to make a financial gift I encourage you to get some friends together and collect essential goodies needed to help the pets this Christmas.
From all of us at Mdzananda, we wish you a blessed festive season
With sincere gratitude
Marcelle du Plessis
Fundraising & Communications Manager
Please donate generously:
Mdzananda Animal Clinic, Standard Bank, Account number: 075595710, Branch: Rondebosch, Branch Code: 025009, Reference: Christmas+Your Name