Working towards a Chain Free Sea Vista!

St Francis Animal Rescue Working towards a Chain Free Sea Vista!

St Francis Animal Rescue has been successfully unchaining tethered dogs in our local township of Sea Vista since December 2019 and, to date, we have set 48 dogs free.

st Francis Animal Rescue building fences to unchain dogs

Most people think chaining is done out of cruelty, but there are practical reasons why owners chain dogs.  The dog may be aggressive with other dogs and even humans, or it may be a repeat escapee and the owner is trying to keep it from wandering.  The most common reason for dogs to be kept on a chain is because the property is unfenced and close to a busy road where the dog may be hurt if it gets out.

Dog chained in Sea VistaSadly, most owners are unaware of the physical and psychological damage caused to a naturally friendly and docile dog over time. The animal can become neurotic, unhappy, anxious and often aggressive. Dog’s necks become raw and painful and we’ve seen collars or chains grow into the skin. Chained dogs are vulnerable to parasites, insects, extreme weather, other dogs and children who throw stones and taunt them.

Worse of all, in our experience, a tethered dog becomes invisible to the family and suffers from irregular feeding, lack of water and shelter.

When our volunteers find a dog on a chain, we have an honest discussion with the owner and explain the damage done to the animal by keeping it tethered. Once the owner understands that chaining must end, we discuss practical options. We offer the owner a fence around his property to confine his dog safely within his yard. In return, we ask that the owner cleans the yard and disposes of all accumulated rubbish. Then, with his permission, we sterilize his dog and start building a fence too high for the animal to jump over. 

At the end of this process, together with the owner, we celebrate removing the chain from the dog and giving it to St Francis Animal Rescue with a promise the dog will never be chained again,.

When we can afford it, we donate a kennel, blankets, drinking bowls, food and a collar and leash – and encourage the dog owner to take the animal for regular walks so that he is exercised.

It must be admitted that this work is not easy. There are often debates and arguments during the process. Some people refuse to sterilize their dog until they learn that this is a non-negotiable part of the process and, unless the dog is neutered or spayed, fencing does not commence.

Ultimately, however, we are able, through education and assistance, to change the practice of chaining and instil in our community that a chained dog is a dangerous dog not only to strangers, but also to his owner.

There is no greater joy than that of releasing a dog from a chain and watching him run free enjoying his independence and, at last, living the life of a normal, happy dog.  The rewards of this work re priceless.

 

A finished fence for St Francis Animal Rescue

A Salute to Successful Kouga Women

Kouga Municipality - logo

WOMEN from different walks of life will be sharing their achievements and the challenges they have faced in the past with the broader Kouga community this August.

“August is Women’s Month, which makes it the ideal time to showcase the role women, of all races and ages, have been playing towards the achievements and success of Kouga Municipality,” said Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks.

“It is an opportunity to remind women just how strong they really are and to encourage them to believe in themselves and to support one another.”

The programme will feature four women, all employees at Kouga Municipality, who will be interviewed by Oasis FM Station Manager, André Swartz, every Thursday at 07:15 in August.

The interview will be broadcast on Oasis FM 89.8 and will also be streamed live on the Facebook Pages of Kouga Municipality and Oasis FM.

Elvina Felix, Office Administrator for the Office of the Mayor, will open the programme on Thursday, August 5. She will share her journey as a single teenage mother, and how she has overcome many obstacles to be a successful businesswoman today – with a daughter who boasts a diploma in analytical chemistry.

The next week, August 12, the spotlight will turn to Lana Makoba, who puts her life on the line everyday to keep residents safe.

Librarian Nombuyiselo Gonya will take to the spotlight on August 19.

She will be followed by an interview on August 29 with former litter-picker Nokufika Mvundla, who has become the first woman to be appointed as a plant operator at the municipality. She passed her test to operate a tractor loader backhoe, commonly known as a TLB, in May last year and are now handling one of these yellow giants for the municipality’s Waste and Environmental Management section.