Animal Welfare Education Centre Launches in Khayelitsha at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic

by Mdzananda Animal Clinic

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The Mdzananda Animal Clinic is proud to announce the launch of their Education Centre! You are invited to witness this special event.

Since 1996, the Mdzananda Animal Clinic has been providing health care to the pets of Khayelitsha, a community of 1.5 million people just outside of Cape Town, South Africa. They believe that it is of great importance to not only help the animals but to also ensure for the empowerment, upliftment and education of pet owners. The Mdzananda Animal Clinic is proud to launch their Education Centre sponsored by Uthando.

Research in changing human behaviour (especially in the animal welfare sector) has shown that education is the core of transformation. This issue is extremely prevalent to the team at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic. A research project conducted by the International Fund of Animal Welfare (the clinic’s main funders) showed that community members dearly love their pets. They do however feel that they have insufficient knowledge on how to look after their pets. Most important of all is that they are very eager to learn.

Since the inception of the Mdzananda Animal Clinic the respect and understanding of animals have grown year by year. The clinic’s veterinarian, Dr Brian Bergman, says that he has noticed a significant change in attitude of the general community towards animals since he first started working at the clinic. “I believe this is because of the existence of the clinic. Simply by having a clinic available shows people that animals have needs”.

With the launch of the education centre, the Mdzananda Animal Clinic will be actively increasing the education of their clients.  Even though education has been given to pet owners when pets were brought to the clinic for help, a formal education procedure was never in place. The new education centre is the start thereof. The education centre doubles up as a waiting room for animal consultations. This room is filled with basic educational posters in Xhosa and English as well as two televisions playing educational videos. While will be learning while waiting to have animals examined.

Monthly workshops will be held at the education centre on weekends. These workshops will cover the basics of animal caring, animal health care, respect for life and how you as an individual can make a difference. They hope to include weekly puppy classes as well. Apart from animal related education the workshop space will also be open to skills development workshops to empower community members further.

On the 15th of March at 10 am, Uthando owner James Fernie will be cutting the ribbon for the opening of the centre. This will be followed by the debut education session presented by Paul Jacobson, owner of Vondi’s Holistic Petfood. The topic will be that of “how to make wholesome, homemade food for your pet”. Paul says that he feels privileged to open the centre. “The enlightened person acknowledges the positive impact that a natural, wholesome and organic diet can have on health and longevity. Yet, when it comes to our companion animals we don’t always apply these same principles of healthy living. By caring for your companion holistically and naturally you will resolve your pets health problems, be it skin allergies, digestion or arthritis as well as promoting longevity and well being.”

The Mdzananda Animal Clinic hopes to launch a further education program to accompany the centre in the near future. This depends on the availability of funding and will involve employing an education officer to run programs at schools in the community and in the greater Cape Town area.

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