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February 11, 2019

Heroes to Hoedspruit’s street pets Humane Society International/Africa and Hoedspruit Animal Outreach join forces to serve community pets and protect wildlife

Humane Society International/Africa

  • Dr. Nina Kisch/Hoedspruit Animal Outreach

HOEDSPRUIT—Humane Society International/Africa has joined forces with local organization Hoedspruit Animal Outreach (HALO) to improve the lives and welfare of community cats and dogs in the villages around Hoedspruit. HSI/Africa is providing HALO with grants in 2019 totaling approximately ZAR150,000 to increase spay/neuter efforts and to provide medical care to more cats and dogs in the area. In this wild corner of South Africa, animal vaccination and sterilization will be used not only to improve domestic animal welfare and manage overpopulation but also to help protect wild and endangered species such as the African Wild Dog and African wild cats against diseases such as rabies that are spread by domestic animals.

In South Africa, the challenges so often seen in street dogs and cats – such as overpopulation, lack of veterinary care, undernourishment – are common to community dogs and cats as well. Whilst most community dogs are ‘owned’ in some way or form, they often roam the neighbourhood, scrounging for scraps and freely breeding. As they come from rural and disadvantaged communities, affordable and accessible veterinary care is very limited.

HALO has been operating to serve Hoedspruit communities since April 2016, providing access to primary animal health care (including vaccinations and sterilizations) and educating owners about animal care and welfare. The organization is currently involved in five communities – Lepelle, The Willows, Sigagule, Tswenyane and Moraba (also known as California) – and has treated more than 2400 cats and dogs in the last year alone. HALO is run exclusively by volunteers under the supervision of qualified veterinarians. With the funds provided by HSI, HALO hopes to sterilize nearly 150 additional dogs and treat 800 more animals during the year.

HSI/Africa and HALO share in the vision of improving street animal welfare and agree on a long-term, sustainable approach to animal population control. For more information about HSI/Africa’s animal protection campaigns, visit www.hsi.org/world/africa.

Photos available here.

BACKGROUND Even though some countries encourage acceptable animal welfare practices for street dogs and cats, these animals are usually seen and treated as pests by local communities. Sadly, overpopulation of street animals in some countries is often dealt with in inhumane ways such as poisoning or shooting. Humane Society International works in a variety of countries to improve street animal welfare based on the needs of the country. HSI’s approach to overpopulation always places the welfare of the animals as a priority. The cornerstone of this approach hinges on humane application of animal control, helping to create programs that focus on sterilization and vaccination campaigns and education.

Contacts:

HSI/Africa: Media and Communications Outreach Manager Leozette Roode, mobile +2771 360 1004, lroode@hsi.org

HSI/UK: Director of International Media Wendy Higgins, mobile +44 (0) 7989 972 423, whiggins@hsi.org

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