STERILIZATION

Sterilisation is AACL’s priority, particularly in low income areas where the cost of the sterilisation is untenable.  You might ask why?  The sad reality is that without sterilisation, female dogs and cats will spend most of their lives bearing litters, until their bodies can no longer withstand the on-going demands of repeated pregnancies.  Male dogs are often maimed or even killed in fights as packs pursue any female dog in heat.  The end result is a score of unwanted puppies and kittens which are often underfed and neglected, and many die of hunger and disease.  In addition to the suffering of these animals, they also pose a risk to people living in those communities as they carry and spread diseases – sadly, one specific risk can be deadly and occurs all too frequently – this is rabies.

It is for these reasons that the League’s Inspectors and Field Workers seek out problem areas on a daily basis, discuss the benefits of sterilisation with owners and secure agreement for them to collect animals for sterilisation and then return them to their owners.  Every animal collected for sterilisation by the Animal Anti-Cruelty League is sutured with dissolvable stitches, vaccinated and inoculated against rabies.

Extensive sterilisation campaigns are undertaken whenever funding allows.

An example of such a previous campaign would be during the period July 2013 to March 2016, when the AACL partnered with the KZN Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in its Outreach KZN project.  This project offered free sterilisation of dogs and cats within townships and informal settlements.

As transport was a major challenge for many of those wishing to have their animals sterilised, the AACL Durban Branch offered its vehicles and field personnel to collect animals from as far afield as Richmond and Umkomaas.  The animals were transported to a satellite clinic and returned at the end of the day.  The AACL also provided a bag of food for each animal to aid their recovery.

In Hammarsdale and surrounding areas, field workers cleared these areas street by street of unsterilized animals.  As community confidence grew, more and more pet owners came forward requesting assistance, and continue to do so today.

During this outreach project, the League collected and returned over 7 000 dogs and cats for sterilisation, vaccination, rabies inoculation, deworming and parasite control.

INSPECTORATE

The League’s fully qualified inspectors operate under the authority of the Magistrate of the various districts in which we operate.  The Inspector’s mission is to prevent cruelty to any animal by thoroughly inspecting and investigating all environments in which animals find themselves, preferably educating the public before arguments and prosecutions, except in cases of premeditated or deliberate cruelty.  An inspector will always act in the interest and welfare of all animals.

EDUCATION

Education is a vital aspect of the League’s objectives.  It is recognized that the education of our children at an early age, on the care and well-being of animals, is a most effective way of tackling animal abuse and neglect.

We encourage schools to include animal welfare in their development programmes, and invite them to either bring pupils to our premises where we conduct short educational sessions on animal welfare and then take them on a guided tour around our facilities, or allocate a time at their schools where we can come and present an animal welfare lesson in which we teach children the basics of keeping their pets happy, cared for and healthy.  Activity books and badges in English and Zulu are handed out at these sessions to reinforce our message at home.

Learners are encouraged to bring to the attention of their educators, any acts of cruelty or neglect which they may witness.  This information is then passed through to the League, so that  the necessary action can be taken.  These Learners are called AACL Action Heroes.

Field workers are trained in the education of township residents regarding the correct care of their pets, dispelling myths about traditional cures that are in many cases detrimental to the health of their animals.

FERAL CATS

There is a difference between stray and feral cats.  A feral cat is typically a cat which has either never had any contact with humans or any such contact has diminished over time.  She is usually fearful of people and has learnt to survive on her own outdoors.  A feral cat is not likely to ever become a lap cat or enjoy living indoors.

They will search for an environment that offers them a) some security, as in hideaways where they can get some sleep while safe from any danger; b) a source of food, be this rodents, birds and other wildlife in the vicinity, or other food items that they can scavenge; and c) some form of community. This last point is significant in that they tend to bond together as a ‘family’ and may ultimately drive other strange cats away.

It is very difficult to rehome adult cats, primarily because of the vast numbers of cats out there, and the ever-declining number of people who are willing and able to take them in.  And this is even more difficult with feral cats, as very few of them ever lose their feral instincts and fear of humans.

Therefore, in our view, the best approach to dealing with feral cat colonies is to take every possible step to trap them, sterilise and vaccinate them, and then release them back into their colony.  This approach dramatically lowers the rate of breeding and helps to keep the colony relatively safe from diseases.

Our involvement includes two steps: we encourage local people to create a safe feeding area that will entice cats to come there to feed at set times.  Apart from providing better feeding conditions, and potentially reducing the pressure on bird predation, this step facilitates the next step.  Here the AACL assists with the trapping of the cats and getting them sterilised and vaccinated.

MOBILE DIPPING

The acquisition of a mobile dipping trailer, through the sponsorship of generous animal loving supporters, has allowed the League to undertake trips into rural areas and informal settlements, providing a free service in the eradication of tick and flea infestation.  Such treatment greatly reduces the ravages of mange and other diseases.

Animal Anti-Cruelty League Durban & PMB
Animal Anti-Cruelty League DBN