Uniondale spayathon 2019

Uniondale may be a small town but there were plenty of big hearts at our first spayathon here.

Tucked in a picturesque valley between passes, Uniondale suffers all the economic woes of a town dependent on agriculture yet there was such incredible generosity towards our spayathon that we were able to spay and neuter 130 dogs and cats from impoverished homes.

Tish Cummins, Uniondale animal welfare volunteer and guesthouse owner

The Uniondale spayathon was a collaborative effort initiated by the Garden Route SPCA in George and local Uniondale animal welfare volunteer Tish Cummins. Tish has been helping animals in her town for more than 27 years and is the go-to person when the SPCA pays its monthly visit here. There are no veterinarians in Uniondale.

SPCA inspectors Colleen Thysse and Gerda Reynders

Dr Kimberley van der Schyff examines a sick puppy

Once the SPCA had identified the need for a spayathon, it set about co-opting EberVet CVC (veterinary surgeon Dr Hilldidge Beer and nurse Sr Hilda Mills), Animal Care Team (ACT) in Oudtshoorn, the State Veterinary Services and De Rust veterinarian Dr Garth Ryder. Tish got the local Lions organisation on board to feed our team and she and the local Spar provided accommodation.

The Animal Care Team’s Vanessa Engelbrecht comforts a pre-surgery dog

EberVet CVC’s Sr Hilda Mills prepares a dog for anaesthetic, assisted by Makayla Bacon of ACT

The spayathon was held at the local community hall with the SPCA’s Gerda Reynders, Colleen Thysse and Robbie Kamfer fetching and carrying animals to and from their homes. There were also many pet owners who brought their pets to the clinic and registered on the day.

Veterinarians Dr Hilldidge Beer, Garth Ryder, Juanita Jacobs, Suzanne Muller, Kimberley van der Schyff and Natasha Clark

EberVet CVC’s Dr Hilldidge Beer

The surgical team consisted of six veterinarians: Dr Hilldidge Beer, Dr Garth Ryder, Dr Suzanne Muller (George SPCA) and community service veterinarians Natasha Clark, Juanita Jacobs and Kimberley van der Schyff. EberVet’s Sr Hilda Mills provided the anaesthetics assisted by volunteers from ACT.

See coverage of the spayathon in the local newspaper https://diehoorn.com/nuus/massa-sterilisasie-op-uniondale-n-eerste-vir-die-dorp/

Fortunately there were no pregnancies though many of the dogs were on heat so many pregnancies were timeously avoided. All animals were also vaccinated, dewormed and deflea’d where necessary.