by Toni Younghusband – resident of Prince Albert
There will be far fewer unwanted cats and dogs on the streets of Prince Albert in the Karoo thanks to September’s pet sterilisation project led by visiting veterinary surgeon Dr Hilldidge Beer of Ebervet CVC. Dr Beer, with the help of veterinary nurse Sr Hilda Mills, sterilised 66 dogs and cats over two days at a makeshift clinic in Prince Albert’s North End township. More than a dozen Prince Albert residents volunteered to help set up the clinic, man the administration desk, transport animals to and from their homes and provide post-operative care. EberVet CVC – an initiative launched in 2006 to promote primary animal healthcare in poor communities – was full of praise for Prince Albert’s well-organised effort.
The animals were strays or came from homes in North End. Owners were asked to pay only what they could afford towards the sterilisation. A significant percentage of the costs of the project were carried by generous donations from Prince Albert residents and visitors to the town. The project was co-ordinated by Henriette Liebenberg with the help of Elsa de Beer and Linda Jaquet who also operated as ambulance teams to ferry animals to and from their homes. The OK supermarket supplied food for the volunteers while the Landmark generously donated anti-flea medication for the animals.
A clutch of enthusiastic North End children helped tend the animals before and after surgery, while several owners waited many hours beside their beloved pets while they slept off their anaesthetics.
“With the enthusiastic and kind people of Prince Albert, anything is possible in your town,” Dr Beer told the Friend, the local newspaper, and promised that she would return for another clinic in the not too distant future.