Cluny Animal Trust(CAT) is a Community Veterinary Welfare which was registered in 2011(PBO status in 2012) and based in the little town of Fouriesburg in the Eastern Free State. We then commenced the process to find funding for all the work that was arriving on our doorstep. We have recently joined the SAVA CVCs, so we are now part of this amazing team!
Cluny Animal Trust aims to provide primary health care to as much of the Eastern Free State as possible, like all the other CVC’s we feel that poor animals need veterinary care too. To this end, thanks to a very generous donation, we were able to purchase a 6 tonne truck. The truck is fitted out with a 2-table theatre, 9+ cages (some can be divided), an anaesthetic machine, and all the bits and bobs needed to have a fully functioning mobile theatre, which allows us to set up in the most inaccessible places. The one proviso that was set by the donor was that we named the truck Daisy, so her name is emblazoned on the front proudly for all to see.
Cluny Animal Trust was originally named after my small farm in the Fouriesburg district, where I was hoping to have a rescue, and community veterinary centre. This, however, never materialised, due to the distance out of town, and the red tape attached to the PBO status on a private property, particularly building a clinic. So, we purchased a small square of land in town with a rather run-down cottage on it (property prices in Fouriesburg at the time were miniscule!) and it is here where we would like to build a Community Veterinary Clinic. At the moment we are working out of my small private clinic, but with the arrival of our first CCS vet, we are rather cramped, so that will be changing soon….
Daisy has taken us to many parts of QwaQwa, where we have done monthly weekend outreaches, thanks to Marchig Animal Welfare Trust, Help Animals International, and Foundation Marchig, who have funded all of our visits for the past two years. In Daisy we have helped the animals of the indigent and poor of Bethlehem, Paul Roux, Rosendal, Ficksburg, Clarens and many farm villages and districts in between. Feral cats are also a huge problem in the small towns, and that is an ongoing project, of capture, sterilise and release. Being an endemic Rabies area, everything that passes through our doors gets a Rabies vaccination, and we spend a fair amount of our time travelling from farm to farm, vaccinating and discussing the dangers of Rabies and the advantages of Rabies prevention with the farm labourers and their children. Most of our sterilisation outreaches take place on weekends, due to my private practice work, and on those weekends where we are not doing veterinary work, we are usually raising funds!
We have some fun fundraising initiatives during the year, such as the Autumn Classical Music evening in beautiful Clarens and a golf day at the beginning of winter on the Clarens Golf and Trout Estate, which is followed by a dinner and auction. The Polar Bear Plunge in July is one of the highlights, with near freezing temperatures making the 50m swim all the more bracing, fun for swimmers and spectators alike.
Treatment of diseases and surgical intervention when necessary is becoming a bigger part of our work, particularly in animals from the nearer towns. We are also including the production animals in our primary care now too, with a full time CCS vet whose passion is sheep and cattle! Education of emerging farmers on improving production and the welfare of their animals is essential to our rural CVC, and we are excited about the difference this will make to our communities.
We are a small team with a lot of enthusiasm, and we hope to make a big difference to the lives of the many owners and their animals that would otherwise not have received assistance.