International World Rabies Day is on the 28th of September and this year, the Mdzananda Animal Clinic based in Khayelitsha, aims to vaccinate 200 dogs on the day. The clinic will be hosting a mass vaccination day where pets of the Khayelitsha community can be brought to receive free vaccinations.
Rabies is a deadly virus that can spread to people from the saliva of infected animals. 99% of human cases result from dog bites and are fatal once symptoms occur. Apart from setting humans in danger the virus causes extreme pain, discomfort and leads to the death of the infected dog.
“Luckily the Western Cape is not a hot spot for rabies,” says Marcelle du Plessis, Fundraising and Communications Manager. “This does however not mean that we shouldn’t prepare against it. All it takes is for one infected dog to come into our community for the virus to spread rapidly. Since neighbouring provinces have reported cases of rabies we always have to be vigilant. We aim to make Khayelitsha an immune community in the case of the virus ever getting to our area.”
The highly contagious and deadly virus is preventable through a simple vaccination. “Dogs and cats should first be vaccinated for rabies between 4-6 months of age. They need a booster one year from that date. Thereafter they need to be vaccinated once every three years,” says Marcelle du Plessis. “On World Rabies Day we will be vaccinating 200 dogs, most of them for the first time. Owners will receive a vaccination card indicating when to bring their pets for their booster shot and the importance of this follow up shot will be explained to them.”
The Mdzananda Animal Clinic is asking members of the public to sponsor a dog for R50. A R50 donation will cover the costs of administering the vaccinating including needles, syringes, gloves and veterinarian time. Mdzananda has received the vaccinations free of charge from the state vet.
Apart from just administering Rabies shots, each pet will also receive a vaccination against deadly diseases including Parvo Virus, Distemper, Parainfluenza and Adenovirus.
Sponsor a dog by making a donation to Mdzananda Animal Clinic, Standard Bank, Account number: 075595710, Rondebosch, Branch Code: 025009, Reference: Rabies+YourName or contact firstname.lastname@example.org