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The City co-funded campaign to sterilise nearly 1 500 cats and dogs in Atlantis is heading for the home stretch in record time. Read more below:

A mass animal sterilisation campaign being run in two Atlantis suburbs on behalf of the City of Cape Town is heading into its final stages, thanks to overwhelming community support.

The City’s Health Department initiated the first sterilisation project in 2013, providing grant-in-aid funding to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA and members of the Cape Animal Welfare Forum to sterilise dogs and cats in identified areas. To date, City Health has provided funding of more than R1,5 million for projects in Dunoon, Brown’s Farm, Khayelitsha and Wesbank to have 4 580 pets sterilised.For the Atlantis campaign, the City has provided funding of nearly R600 000 to have a further 1 436 animals sterilised in Saxonsea and Sherwood Park. Organisations involved include the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, African Tails, the Community Veterinary Clinic, the SPCA Swartland and the Animal Rescue Organisation. The campaign was launched on World Spay Day on 23 February 2016 and by Monday 18 April 2016, 821 animals had been sterilised – 75% of them dogs. All of the pets that are sterilised receive a rabies vaccination supplied by the Western Cape Government’s Department of Agriculture.

‘The animal welfare organisations involved continue to amaze us with their effective handling of these projects. The project timeline is generally about six months, but they always manage to reach their targets much sooner. This is also testimony to the community buy-in, because the sterilisation can’t be performed without the pet owner’s consent. The fact that we’re nearing the 1 000 mark is in an indication that residents recognise how important sterilisation is for the health of their pets, but also the community,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Health, Councillor Siyabulela Mamkeli.

The sterilisation project aims to curb the number of unwanted litters, but also has an educational aspect around pet care and animal welfare matters in general. Thus far, the SPCA’s ‘Anipals’ puppet show has been presented to nearly 1 500 learners in Atlantis. The organisation will have reached more than 4 000 children by the end of the project. In addition, the adult owners of pets are also educated by all of the participating animal welfare organisations as part of the process.

‘Environmental health is a key aspect of our directorate’s mandate and the sterilisation campaigns should be viewed in this context. It is in our interests to help manage the pet population because there continue to be far too many unwanted litters and therefore animals that are not being cared for properly. This has the potential to have a negative impact on human health and that is why we have to care for the health and well-being of our furry friends too,’ added Councillor Mamkeli.

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