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Aftermath of the festive season – pet abandonment skyrockets

While many enjoyed the festive season and New Year, the Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha was placed under strain. Homeless dogs and cats have poured through their doors.

During the Festive Season many Khayeliltsha community members go to the Eastern Cape to visit their families. Not having a solution for their animals, they are often left with no option but to hand their pets over. People also have increased expenses during this time and there has been a significant knock-on effect from lockdown with people losing income. Such people can no longer afford to look after their pets.

“We are grateful that people are coming to us instead of abandoning their animals. Many people are truly devastated to hand over their pets. Unfortunately, we have now reached capacity and need to start turning pet owners away or direct them to other welfare organisations,” says Marcelle du Plessis, Fundraising and Communications Manager.

The NPO animal clinic provides veterinary care to Khayelitsha community pets. They treat up to 1000 animals per month through consultations, hospitalisation, surgery, sterilisations, mobile clinics, an animal ambulance and pet owner education.

“As our organisation is a veterinary clinic we are not specifically geared towards housing homeless pets, but our initial small adoptions program has grown so much that we now need to employ a dedicated person managing adoptions,” says du Plessis.

Mdzananda has a small shelter facility that can comfortably house 12 dogs and 12 cats at a time. In December they had 26 dogs surrendered and 3 are in foster homes. 14 cats were surrendered and 26 are in foster homes.

One such pet is Dobbie. “Dobbie was found in Khayelitsha, completely emaciated. He was admitted to our hospital where he was diagnosed with malnutrition and tick bite fever. He was treated for this and his condition fluctuated significantly. One day he would start looking better and the next day he would drop completely. Apart from the tick bite fever he had so many other medical problems. One of the most severe symptoms being that the tips of his ears naturally started rotting off one day. After 6 weeks of treatment, blood transfusions, medication and a lot of TLC, Dobby has recovered. He is happy and healthy and is now ready for adoption,” says Dr Lara Murray, Veterinarian at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic.

“We are appealing to the public to please open their hearts and homes to fostering or adopting a new furry family member,” says du Plessis.

The influx of homeless animals has also placed financial strain on the organisation. A donation towards caring for a homeless pet will also be welcomed. On average a pet stays with the Clinic for two months before a new home is found. Some have stayed for up to eighteen months. It costs the Clinic R1565 to care for one pet in the first month alone.

If you can adopt or foster get in touch on / 082 251 0554 / 021 367 6001. If you would like to make a donation the Clinic’s banking details are Mdzananda Animal Clinic, Standard Bank, Account number: 075595710, Branch: Rondebosch, Branch Code: 025009, Reference: Strays +Your Name. For more information visit


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