When we started our ‘Open Your Eyes & Sterilize’ program in Sea Vista, there was resistance to sterilizing dogs (at that time, few cats were kept as pets in the community).
Using a reward system offering food, we encouraged owners to spay their females but few males were neutered because people expressed concern that castration would destroy the dog’s spirit and his ‘power’.
We’ve changed this attitude through ongoing awareness of the health benefits of sterilization and today dog owners ask us to sterilize their male and female dogs and pups from the age of 6 months.
The term used to sterilize a dog in Sea Vista is to ‘close it’. Volunteers canvas for sterilization at every outreach and during our ‘Street by Street’ walks.
Owners sign a permission slip and details are submitted to our Treasurer, Verna Couper, who books appointments for sterilization.
St Francis Animal Rescue sterilizes most dogs through the SPCA Assisi Clinic, in Humansdorp.
Every Wednesday and Thursday morning, a SFAR Transporter collects our dogs for sterilization from an appointed destination and takes them to the SPCA clinic.
A second transporter collects our patients after surgery and returns them safely home to their owner with pain medication and after-care advice.
Our system works well but, regretfully too many puppies are still born in Sea Vista. Only when residents cease selling puppies as a source of income and stop bringing puppies into the community from other areas, will we be able to manage this situation more efficiently.