Angels everywhere | Hoedspruit Animal Outreach
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For dogs and pets in rural areas like Hoedspruit, HALO’s angels are helping keep them happy and healthy — where vet care is often out of reach for most.
All dogs deserve the best when it comes to their physical and emotional wellbeing. Sadly, many rural dogs in disadvantaged communities are overlooked — as veterinary services can be expensive for those facing financial struggles.
That’s why the angels from HALO are making such a difference in the Hoedspruit area. Set up in 2016, the NPO outreach program has been working closely with communities around South Africa’s wildlife haven. Every month, HALO volunteers visit each of the four communities so pet owners can bring their dogs, cats and other domestic animals for free medical care. After an examination, animals are medicated when needed or vaccinated — and owners get a record for their dogs who are also dipped to get rid of ticks and fleas.
Community dogs roam freely in these rural areas, and the population can quickly spiral out of control. That’s why dog owners are also encouraged to sign up their dog for sterilisation.
It’s important that rural dog populations are kept healthy, as they can affect local people and wildlife in the area. Counted among many of HALO’s successes to date are the 11,000 consults, 1,090 dog sterilisations and vaccinations of 7,302 dogs.
Along with teaching the often-young owners of dogs about their pet’s health, HALO now has a new holding facility for sick and injured animals. Built from funds raised and generous sponsors, HALO is now able to offer more sterilisations and medical treatment for dogs who need surgeries. Car accidents are a common problem in rural communities, where a holding facility offers a place to recover — and receive regular treatments for specific conditions.
Supervised by volunteers, two kennel assistants from the local community work full time at the camp ensuring the dogs receive the best care. By employing local community members, HALO hopes to develop their skills and support them in their role as ambassadors for animals in their region.