FIND OUT ALL ABOUT WHAT WE DO HERE!
From our outreach program, to sterilisations, our brand new camp and education to the community, you can read all about it here.
In 2016 HALO set up the first outreach program with the community leader and a community representative of Lepelle. Since then our outreach program has grown to four communities surrounding Hoedspruit; Lepelle, Tswenyane, The Willows and LeBoeng (California). Once a month, the HALO volunteers visit each community and pet owners can bring their dogs, cats and other domestic animals for free medical care. The animals are examined and medicated when needed (worms, mange, mango worms and fly strike are common problems in the rural community dogs) or vaccinated (5-in-1 and Rabies). All records of the dogs are kept and pet owners bring the vaccination card to each outreach. After each visit, dogs are dipped to get rid of ticks and fleas. Sick dogs in the rural communities are a danger to people and wildlife so it is also important for those reasons to keep rural dog populations healthy..
Dogs are checked for body score index (1-emaciated, 5-obese) and advice to the owner is given on animal welfare. Finishing the dip the owners receive a small bag of dog food to improve the physical condition of the dogs as most rural community dogs only get fed leftovers from the owners.
At outreach pet owners are encouraged to sign up their pet for sterilisation. Community pets roam freely and the population can quickly spiral out of control. Female dogs in communities are suffering when they get litter after litter as it literally drains out all reserves of the dog leaving them skinny and sick. Also, mortality among puppies in rural communities is high, puppies are often unwanted by pet owners and end up being neglected, starved or dying of preventable diseases. Breeding also leaves dogs a risk of contracting transmissible venereal tumours (TVT), a sexually transmitted cancer in dogs. We usually see a big improvement in the health condition after a dog is sterilised. A sterilisation costs R900.
Education is a key goal for HALO. At outreach volunteers discuss animal welfare topics with the pet owners, such as adequate and proper nutrition, benefits of sterilisation, prevention and treatment of common disorders such as mange, transmissible venereal tumours (TVT) and fly strike. HALO also assists owners that require more assistance in treating their dog’s medical conditions or food supplementation.
Education on how owners can responsibly take care of their pets with knowledge about basic treatments and nutrition will on the long term be the most effective tool to improve the mental and physical health of community domestic animals. HALO works with owners of all ages. As youth are usually the main carer of domestic animals in rural communities, it is particular important to teach them how to bond and respect animals.
In the newly built HALO holding facility on the R531 Orpen Road we have capacity for 40 dogs who are in need of medical treatment. We are able to do more sterilisations and help dogs who needs surgeries (e.g. from car accidents, a common problem in rural communities) or treatments (e.g. TVT treatments require several injections over a period of time) and HALO can monitor progress more closely.