The statistics are shocking: thousands of healthy, happy cats and dogs are euthanized every month in South Africa. The reason? There are just too many: the result of irresponsible pet owners who can't be bothered to sterilize their pets, and simply dump the unwanted kittens and puppies.
These homeless animals then roam the streets of towns and cities, scavenging for food, often sick and injured - and sometimes subjected to appalling abuse.
Thankfully, ordinary people are stepping up to the plate to do something about this.
The National Sterilization Project (N.S.P) was established in 2008 by the owner of a telemarketing company who wishes to remain anonymous. He saw an urgent need to raise funds to pay for the sterilization of stray and feral animals. The N.S.P. has made it their mission to raise the money required to subsidize sterilizations performed by chosen beneficiaries, who already have established sterilization programmes.
This marvellous concept of networking and partnering to achieve a common goal has proven to be dramatically successful. Their vision, “To play a major role in reducing the growing population of stray animals in South Africa, through an ongoing nation-wide mass sterilization program”, is fast being realised and has given their beneficiaries, not only a much-needed cash injection, but also hope.
Hope that the future of stray animals in South Africa will be a less harrowing one. Hope that more organisations, as well as the general public, could network resources and abilities to make our country a safer, happier place for all stray animals. Hope that we may not be fighting a losing battle, but can actually make a difference by working together.
The main problem with unwanted animals is the shocking rate at which they breed. A dog will produce at least 3 litters within a 2 year period, which, by the end of 8 years, could see 10 368 unwanted puppies being born. The feral cat situation is even more dire, as from just 3 unsterilized females, more than 16 785 kittens could be born over a 3 year period.It is the oversupply of stray and feral animals that invariably leads to cruelty and abuse.
At Cats of Durban, we are well aware of the super-human effort required in this situation. There is no “quick fix,” but with the assistance of cat angels such as the N.S.P, we will continue to give of our best and press on in reducing the numbers of animals that are birthed simply to suffer.Our heart-felt thanks to the N.S.P. for giving us wings to fly a little further in our plight to make a difference. From all of us at Cats of Durban.
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