Tears feels Eskom pinch

2019-02-19 06:00
Working in the dark.

Working in the dark.

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Tears Animal Rescue in Sunnydale has been hit hard by load shedding. Their operational productivity in general has been affected as they rely on their computer systems to capture all veterinary processing for the clinic and also for all the animals at Tears.

Tears has two clinics, namely the welfare clinic and the satellite feral cat clinic. The clinics have a proud history of providing animal medical services to low-income households, as well as sterilising and treating animals brought to them as a result of various outreach projects, such as the feral cat project.

Monthly, they treat hundreds of animals for a wide range of conditions, advocating sterilisation as the primary means of reducing overpopulated domestic animal populations.

Tears general manager Lauren Carlyle said: “Sterilising humanely reduces the number of unwanted pets and homeless animals, and indirectly the amount of contagious pathogens for diseases such as rabies, parvovirus, and canine distemper virus in dogs; and feline enteritis, feline panleukopenia and feline respiratory disease, or snuffles, in cats. We strive to educate responsible pet ownership and sponsor sterilisations, vaccination, defleaing, tick treatment and deworming to all the low-income communities that we serve, i.e. Masiphumele, Red Hill, Vrygrond and Ocean View. Because we provide a veterinary hospital facility to these communities we find that the reasons for the patients coming in are mostly because of ignorance or because pet owners are unable to afford the basic primary healthcare (sterilisations, vaccination, defleaing, tick treatment and deworming) for their animals.”

When there is no electricity they have to rely on head lamps and torches, which greatly affects the services they offer to the animals in need

Carlyle said: “It is extremely disheartening that we are unable to be efficient and to provide the clinic services to the best of our ability. We do the best that we can with what we have – however the vets are limited in their ability to treat, operate on and care for animals when there is no electricity. Without electricity we have to limit the number of animals that we see. During load shedding we have at least 10% downtime. We are unable to do X-rays, run blood tests, etc.” she said.

Apart from treating the animals they also struggle to do all their applications for adoptions, while general queries are mainly corresponded via email. Hence the impact on their operations and adoptions is significant. Some of their equipment can’t operate without electricity, so the current situation is disheartening for them.

“Equipment such as surgical light, X-ray machine, hair clippers for pre-surgical shaving, fridges for drugs and vaccines, blood machines, microscope (for screening/testing), body freezer and sterilising pots need electricity. With electricity going on and off it can cause electrical damage,” said Carlyle.

If the situation continues like this, the animals treated by Tears will be greatly affected.

They are now appealing for help with generators, UPSs and solar energy. “If we get this, we don’t have to worry about having no electricity. On an average day we sterilise between 30 and 50 dogs and cats. The hospital has a capacity to care for an average of 30 patients per day which are hospitalised in-house patients. An average of 20 to 30 out-patients are treated on a daily basis which are brought in by our mobile (ambulance) clinic services.

“The vet starts her rounds in the hospital at 08:30 by doing treatments for hospital patients. The vet will then proceed to sterilise from 09:30 until 13:00. The rest of the afternoon is spent treating out-patients and all in-house hospital patients including emergencies. The animals that are sheltered at the Tears kennels and cattery are also seen during this time,” she said

Although acquiring generators, solar energy or UPSs is a pressing issue for now, the clinic still needs a lot of help. “The clinic needs Kwikspace units, a mobile van fully kitted with cages, a rescue vehicle (bakkie), X-Ray collaborator, dental machine, ultrasound machine and spay kits just to mention a few. We really need our clinic up to standard so that we can continue with the work we do in the communities,” said Carlyle.V To donate or to volunteer email Tears on tears@tears.org.za or call 021 785 4482

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