Prince Albert Dieresorg makes the grade

Prince Albert Dieresorg/Animal Welfare, a tiny organisation made up of volunteer residents of this small Karoo town, recently completed the EberVet Training Academy’s Animal Welfare Assistant training course.

The course, hosted by veteran veterinary nurse Sr Hilda Mills, was held over two days in Prince Albert.

Day One was devoted to theory. Participants learned about common diseases and injuries they’re likely to encounter, treatment options and pet owner education. Pet owner education is essential as in many cases, ignorance and poverty, rather than deliberate neglect, is responsible for animals suffering in impoverished communities. It is important that volunteers also understand the home environment in which animals live, and the financial burdens carried by their owners, so that the correct advice and assistance can be provided.

A focus of the training is to encourage pet sterilisation and the EberVet Petcare Group’s Community Veterinary Care division offers sterilisation outreach to impoverished pet owners. CVC travels thousands of kilometres each year sterilising pets in the Karoo, the Overberg and the Helderberg.

Day Two of the Academy course is conducted in-situ, with participants accompanying Sr Mills on a tour of pet owners’ homes. In Prince Albert’s impoverished North End actual cases were examined and treated.

This EberVet Training Academy course is aimed primarily at animal welfare volunteers who must provide first line assistance to animals in need, in towns where there is little or no access to veterinarians. In Prince Albert’s case, the closest veterinarian is more than an hour’s drive away and impoverished pet owners have neither the transport – nor the funds to hire transport – to get their animals there. In these instances, having the assistance of trained animal welfare volunteers is invaluable.

Participants who successfully complete the course are awarded a certificate.

Any welfare organisation wishing to sign up for training is asked to contact Sr Mills directly at h2@midkaroo.co.za. Sr Mills will take a maximum of 10 participants per session.