Have a Heart – To coincide with the launch of their Have a Heart campaign, St Francis Animal Rescue (SFAR), have also launched their new website to keep generous supporters up to date with progress in caring for the pets of Sea Vista. The ‘Have A Heart’ campaign is to encourage animal lovers in St Francis and further afield to support SFAR’s efforts to sterilize, feed and medicate needy cats and dogs in the Sea Vista township.
SFAR has asked for a monthly pledge of between R50 – R500 from St Francis Bay residents, and those further afield, who care about animals, and share its mission of eliminating the neglect and cruelty that stems from the breeding of unwanted puppies and kittens.
“If we can reach our goal of encouraging donations from 400 animal lovers, our charity will become sustainable into the future,” says SFAR’s.Susan Rae Fox
According to Susan, the last 12 months has seen SFAR grow from strength to strength. “What started as a small group of volunteers who met in Sea Vista to help residents by booking their cats and dogs for sterilization, has expanded to include 10 to 12 volunteers at a time, working side by side.”
The volunteers feed dogs on site, provide owners with bags of cat, kitten, puppy and dog food to take home, deworm and spray cats and dogs for ticks and fleas, and provide medical assistance with local vets for injured and sick pets.
SFAR’s sterilisation programme – Open Your Eyes & Sterilise – has spayed and neutered 120 dogs and cats since January 2018 – a period of four months.
“Moreover, our Feral Cats program has taken 71 breeding cats out of circulation during the same period. More and more owners are bringing dogs and cats to the SFAR Thursday outreaches and we are receiving a greater number of calls for assistance with wounded and sick dogs and cats needing help from a vet.”
Susan says SFAR expenses have recently increased to a point where the organisation needs to look beyond regular fund-raising through events, jumble sales, dog walks and cake sales – to cover its monthly costs.
The breakdown of SFAR’s costs – from 1 January to 20 March.
- Vet spend – R67 241
- Outreach medicines including Parvo vaccines, dewormers and Frontline Spray for puppies – R13 101
- Food purchases – R21 126
- incidentals – kennels, cat traps, collars & leads, printing costs for fund-raiser promotions – R9 609
Susan says this year has seen an explosion of puppies and kittens in Sea Vista. More and more puppies are being brought to outreach, despite the organisation sterilising five or six dogs every week, and many more domestic and feral cats. “It’s easy to become overwhelmed at the daunting task we face. Easy to start asking ourselves whether we are, in fact, helping improve the quality of these dog’s lives with our feeding, vaccinating and sterilization program,” she adds.
However, she believes this is due to the fact that more and more people know about St Francis Animal Rescue after all the work the organisation has done. “The solution is to keep focusing on sterilization and, through ongoing comprehensive education, impress upon dog and cat owners how important it is to reduce the numbers of puppies and kittens born.” There is never enough food, comfort or shelter for the puppies and kittens born into Sea Vista, and SFAR hopes to spread its net wider to reach those pet-owners who are not bringing their animals to us and are not yet aware of how sterilization can change lives – theirs and their pets.
“So, one step at a time, hopefully, by working together to spread the word, and with the help of animal lovers in St Francis Bay, we can change this situation in the future,” concludes Rae Fox.
Donations can be made online on St Francis Animal Rescue’s website
Article by St Francis Today’s roving reporter Kirsten Doyle