EberVet Training Academy’s Sister Hilda Mills held a two-day training camp in Oudtshoorn in mid-March for 11 animal welfare volunteers who work in three towns in the Karoo. The EberVet Training Academy supports animal welfare organisations by offering on-site training to welfare volunteers working on the frontline.
The Oudtshoorn camp was initiated by Vanessa Engelbrecht of The Animal Care Team (ACT) in Oudtshoorn and was also attended by welfare colleagues from the Karoo Animal Protection Society (KAPS), Beaufort West and the Rietbron branch of ACT.
EberVet Training Academy’s Community Veterinary Care course is offered by Sr Hilda Mills, a senior veterinary nurse with many decades of experience in animal welfare. Sr Mills travels to the town or village where training is required and offers both theoretical and practical training in primary animal health care. This is an essential skill in many of these communities where veterinary services are beyond the financial reach of impoverished pet owners, or where there are no resident veterinarians.
Day 1 of the course is devoted to theory – learning about common contagious diseases, hygiene practices, educating owners and more – and on day 2 volunteers are taken into the community to practice their new skills under Sr Mills’ guidance. This includes identifying illnesses, taking temperatures, deworming and vaccinations.
Though some ACTS and KAPS volunteers had been through this training programme before, they valued the important reminder: “Get back to the basics. Sterilise, sterilise, sterilise.” Also the essentials like dipping against ticks and fleas, and regular deworming. Thousands of dogs and cats die in impoverished towns each year because they have contracted illnesses from ticks or worms. “We faced a lot of tough moments on the practical day but we were also able to assist a lot of animals in need,” said Vanessa Engelbrecht.
At the end of the two-day course, graduates are awarded a certificate of competence.
Animal welfare organisations who would like to attend this EberVet Academy training course are asked to email their details to Sr Mills at email@example.com