When Nikki visited South Africa back in 2017, she was on a mission to learn more about the hardships street dogs in South Africa face, as well as opportunities to support dog-owners in poorer local communities. She met with the inspiring team behind the township animal clinic SA Mast, and knew instantly that this was an area in which Wild at Heart Foundation could help.
Khayelitsha means ‘our new home’ – this sprawling mass of buildings is home to hundreds of thousands of people and dogs, and we wanted to play our part in helping make this home a safer, more compassionate place for dogs and humans alike.
SA Mast aims to address the causes and consequences of the over-population of diseased, stray, neglected, abused or dangerous domestic animals in specific areas via the implementation of a free, consistent, extremely focused and goal driven mass animal sterilisation, treatment and education campaign.
Employing and training an incredible team of 12 people, SA Mast has treated well over 12,000 animals to date – offering free sterilisations, vaccinations, primary treatments, animal ambulance, and building thousands of kennels for shelterless dogs.
We’re always incredibly supportive of organisations that recognise the value of education alongside sterilisation and veterinary care. SA Mast operate a double-pronged approach to addressing the root of the problem: sterilisation effectively tackles the potential for still more strays to be born; and education and community-involvement ensures that the locals engage with the campaign values.
As a result of these shared values, we proudly supported SA Mast with monthly neutering campaigns, funding the sterilisation of 48 dogs each month for a two-year period. This has enabled hundreds of residents of the township to have their dogs spayed or neutered for free, as well as treating hundreds of Khayelitsha’s strays. With over 1,000 dogs sterilised, Wild at Heart Foundation are proud to have played a part in reducing the number of street dogs roaming the township in South Africa, preventing the birth of millions of unwanted puppies.
* images courtesy of SA Mast