"The Western Cape is not a hot spot for rabies," says Marcelle du Plessis, fundraising and communications manager at Mdzananda Animal Clinic.
"This does not, however, 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," he adds.
The virus is preventable through a vaccination. "Dogs and cats should first be vaccinated for rabies between four to six months of age. They need a booster one year from that date. Thereafter, they need to be vaccinated once every three years," says Dr Friedl le Roux, head veterinarian at Mdzananda.
"On World Rabies Day, we will be vaccinating 100 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," Dr le Roux adds.
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. The clinic has received the vaccinations free of charge from the state vet.
You can sponsor a dog by making a donation to:
Mdzananda Animal Clinic
Account number: 075595710
Branch Code: 025009
Reference: Rabies + your name
For more information, contact [email protected] or visit www.mdzananda.co.za. You can also follow Mdzananda Animal Clinic on Facebook or on Twitter.