The festive season has officially started and so has the busiest and most difficult time at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic. “Pets that are run over by cars skyrocket. Pet abandonment shoots up. The numbers of injured and sick patients escalate,” says Marcelle du Plessis, fundraising and communications manager.Queen is one of them. Being just under a year old she was one of the first festive season motor vehicle accident patients seen by the clinic at the start of November.The clinic is a permanent, veterinary council registered, non-profit organisation (NPO) animal clinic in the area. It serves an average of 700 animals per month through consultations, hospitalisation, general and orthopaedic surgeries, continuous sterilisations, mobile clinics and an animal ambulance. The clinic has a strong focus on community empowerment and education to ensure responsible pet ownership in the future. Queen was run over by a fast-driving car, her back foot mauled and the bone exposed. She is now safely in the care of the organisation and recovering well. Whitey was another. He was knocked down by a reckless driver – his hind leg fractured. “Christmas and the end of the year is a difficult time at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic. People seem to drive more recklessly, knocking pets over. This results in severe injuries needing orthopaedic operations. One such operation costs us a minimum of R2 000,” says Du Plessis.During the festive season, many Khayeliltsha community members go to the Eastern Cape to visit their families leaving their animals behind with friends. Very regularly these friends do not have experience in looking 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. Very often, these pets are not collected when their owners return home,” says Du Plessis. It is also common to find pet owners walking through Mdzananda’s doors handing pets over at this time of the year. If you would like to donate here are the bank details: Mdzananda Animal Clinic, Standard Bank, account number: 075595710, branch: Rondebosch, branch code: 025009, reference: Christmas plus your name. For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.mdzananda.co.za.