Animal rescuers appeal for pet food
NOKUTHULA MABUZA email@example.com
ANIMAL owners and rescue organisations are appealing for pet food that is in limited supply. Sorisha Moodley, of Verulam, who has two pit bulls, said: “My dogs are like my children and seeing them looking at me, waiting for food makes me helpless. I have had no choice but to cook and share the little food I had for my family. I miss seeing their happy faces and wagging tails when they see their favourite food. I hope shops get enough stock soon.” Debby Holmes, an animal rescuer at Nicky’s Little Claw in Pinetown, said they catered to more than 300 feral cats and more than 80 kittens. She said that while the city was faced with fuel and food shortages, animals were also affected. “Pinetown was a war zone during the looting. Most places were burnt and veterinary clinics opened for emergencies. So it has been difficult for us to get enough donations, which we rely on. I am not sure how long the remaining food will last. I am so broken. I feel like I am letting them down." Shabnam Baran, an animal rescuer at Stray Paws that cares for homeless, stray, injured and abandoned dogs and cats, said that since the unrest more animals had been displaced. She said they were unable to send all the dogs they found on the streets during looting to a vet. However, they managed to find them temporary homes. “We have received a lot of calls regarding stray dogs that were lost or abandoned. We went and collected every dog we saw. I then posted on social media that we were looking for temporary safe homes for 10 of these dogs and the response was amazing. They are now with families who will take care of them until we are able to locate their owners.” She said they still required dog and cat food as they fed stray animals and distributed food to poor communities that could not take care of their pets. “There is no food since the looting and many vets have run out of supplies.” On its Facebook page, SPCA Durban said that in the midst of violence in the hard-hit Springfield Park area their premises was left unscathed. “Staff remained on the property day and night to make sure the animals were fed and cared for. Everyone is safe. But the real crisis is yet to come. Our dogs and cats need food and that could soon be in very short supply. Plus, as soon as we reopen, we are going to be flooded with hundreds more dogs and cats surrendered by owners who can no longer afford to keep them. “With long queues outside supermarkets and pet shops, the shortage of fuel and because of the volatility of the situation we cannot ask you to drop pet food off at our premises.” The SPCA appealed for financial donations to buy in bulk from their suppliers. For more information, see their Facebook page. The eThekwini Municipality has urged the public to donate food to the Umgeni River Bird Park and Mitchell Park Zoo. “In light of the current unrest, the city is taking reasonable precautions to ensure there is sufficient food for animals at the uMgeni Bird Park and Mitchell Park Zoo. “These facilities only have adequate food for the next few days. The municipality is calling on members of the public to donate perishable food items, vegetables and other food to help sustain the animals at the zoo and bird park. The city is grateful to the public who have already donated items and encourages further donations.” They said further donations could be delivered to the Umgeni River Bird Park or the park’s district office in Morningside.