Ebervet Community Veterinary Care celebrated the festive season with a very special gift to ourselves: our 1000th free sterilisation for welfare pets, performed by our CEO, veterinary surgeon Dr Hilldidge Beer.
Each year Dr Beer and a small team of willing colleagues visit impoverished communities throughout the Helderberg, Overberg and Karoo regions setting up makeshift clinics where these sterilisations are performed. Pet owners - many of them unemployed and living on welfare grants - cannot afford veterinary care for their animals. They are encouraged to bring their dogs and cats for spaying and neutering and are not charged for the surgery. Sterilisation not only cuts down on unwanted litters but it also improves the health of the adult animals.
Clinic facilities are rudimentary - venues vary from school and community halls to farm houses and even, on one occasion, a bathroom - but there are also enthusiastic teams of volunteers drawn from local animal welfare groups to help.
A makeshift clinic in the Karoo
Veterinary nurse Hilda Mills reassures a nervous dog and owner
Dr Beer with our 1000th welfare sterilisation patient
Dr Beer scrubs up at a makeshift scrub table
During 2016 we visited Greyton, Zoar, Amalienstein, Calitzdorp, Sir Lowry's Pass Village, Prince Albert, Riversdale, Villiersdorp and more, neutering and spaying dogs and cats with the help of Greyton Animal Welfare Society, Karoo Animal Protection Society, Prince Albert Dieresorg and Overberg Pet Care Society. We also vaccinated against infectious diseases and treated illnesses like mange and biliary.
In addition to our outreach clinics we spayed and neutered hundreds of animals at our Ebervet Pet Clinic premises in Strand, working with welfare organisations like Pet Pals, HART, Township Animal Rescue, The A-Team, Helping Animals Together, and PETS.
Enormous thanks must go to the incredible people who selflessly dedicate their lives to animal welfare in these small towns and villages. Their task is a tough one.