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ISSUE NO. 01 DECEMBER 2021It’s Raining Cats and DogsNational Sterilisation Project & Dancers Love DogsWritten by: Debra Buys – fundraising consultant to NSP & Dancers Love Dogs Two Cape Town based not-for-profit organisations, National Sterilization Project (NSP) and Dancers Love Dogs, have joined forces to address the growing crisis of pet overpopulation in South Africa.The bond between man and dog had its beginning some 12 000 years ago where a reciprocal relationship between them first emerged, while cats became pets around 7000 B.C.
Today however, overpopulation in domestic pets, or the surplus of pets such as cats and dogs, is a global problem and encompasses two primary factors: allowing cats and dogs to reproduce with little chance to find homes for the offspring and pets being relinquished by owners who can no longer keep their animals, or who no longer want them.
NSP was established in 2008 to reduce the growing number of unwanted and neglected pets by raising funds to support ongoing, nationwide mass sterilisation programs conducted by other organisations. After rescuing a dog on a highway in 2012, Dancers Love Dogs was founded by professional dancer, choreographer, and dance instructor Brigitte Reeve-Taylor. Funds are raised through their annual gala dance shows with everyone involved volunteering their time and expertise so that all funds can be used for mass sterilisation programs. According to the World Health Organization, there are approximately 200 million stray dogs worldwide and estimates that there are upwards of 70-million stray dogs in Africa alone. Stray dogs are a major problem in South Africa, as many starve, contract deadly diseases or can pose a safety risk to humans.
Reports indicate that a minimum of 1 million dogs and cats are euthanized in SA every year.
In a 2011 article, IOL reported that Cape Town had at least 230 000 un-owned dogs roaming the streets. The numbers of stray cats are more difficult to determine as cats are prolific and highly precocious breeders. One unsterilized pair of cats and their unsterilized offspring, can potentially multiply to 20 000 cats in 5 years.
And while some of these cats and dogs are lucky enough to make it into the hands of animal rescue facilities, the remainder live a harsh life on the streets, where they’re exposed to extreme elements, placed in danger of being harmed or abused, and suffer from untreated injuries and illnesses. The ever increasing population of cats and dogs in towns and townships is becoming an issue of major concern and is a direct result of human negligence due to pet abandonment and irresponsible breeding. Whilst sterilisation is the key, the problem is further exacerbated by the lack of government funding and clear sterilisation protocols, the affordability of sterilisations and loss of jobs and income due to COVID.
Animal rescue organisations are struggling to cope with the influx of the bags and boxes of unwanted and abandoned animals that are delivered daily to their facilities.
NSP and Dancers Love Dogs are trying to address this problem. Since starting their latest fundraising drive in August 2021, NSP has donated R100 000 to their current 11 beneficiaries around South Africa for their sterilisation projects, and to date Dancers Love Dogs have funded an incredible 15 000 sterilizations. Both NSP and Dancers Love Dogs receive no government funding and rely solely on the generosity of the animal loving public who can also help by:
Making sure your new pet comes from a legitimate shelter or non-profit rescue group
Consider all the responsibilities and consequences of pet ownership before deciding to get a pet and always make a lifetime commitment to your pet
Educate your children, friends, family members and co-workers about pet overpopulation, adoption and the importance of spaying and neutering
You can help stop generations of suffering. Have your female pet spayed and your male pet neutered. Don’t allow them to breed and add to the pet overpopulation problem