TEARS appeals to the public to help feed hungry community pets this winter


It’s that time of the year when there’s a definite bite in the air, letting us know winter is here. The chilly drop in overnight temperatures has Veterinary Clinic and Rescue non-profit organisation (NPO), TEARS Animal Rescue on a mission to help community pets in need.

TEARS Animal Rescue is asking the public to lend a hand in helping this winter, to feed hungry community pets and help the organisation to collect blankets, kennels and other items to keep cats and dogs warm.

“The impact of the COVID-19 Lockdown on low-income communities means that many are not able to provide for their pets as they once were,” reads the TEARS webpage. “People and families living on or near the breadline are struggling to come up with the funds to simply feed their pets, let alone provide them with the comfort of a blanket or adequate shelter during the coldest time of the year.”

According to Cape {Town} Ect. the charity already struggles to cope with rescuing a concerning number of starving and homeless animals who suffer from hypothermia, TEARS reportedly rescues and treats up to 1050 animals each month, with 60% of these admissions a result of pet owners no longer being able to afford their pets.

“The sad reality is that winter has always been challenging for vulnerable companion animals living in low-income communities. But the knock-on effect of COVID and the loss of income for so many pet owners have made a bad situation even worse. Despite giving kennels, blankets, and additional pet food when these are available, the TEARS Veterinary Hospital reports that they continue to see pet deaths due to hypothermia, exposure to the elements, and severe malnutrition”, says TEARS Operations Manager, Mandy Store.

Despite the animal shelter’s current situation, the TEARS Mobile Clinic continues to rescue many emaciated and homeless animals and are appealing to the public to help this cold season.

“We’re appealing to the public to lend their support by contributing to the Give Warmth Campaign. Sponsoring one bag of pet food for one hungry community pet, for a month, costs R150. This campaign not only raises awareness for the harsh realities faced by homeless animals but by giving to the campaign, supporters are able to create a tangible impact by changing the life of an animal in need”, concludes the TEARS Head of Marketing and Fundraising, Lara Van Rensburg.

Read More | This online tool shows the most vulnerable Covid-19 hotspots in South Africa

Let’s join together to keep vulnerable pets warm this winter. Pets in low-income communities need food, blankets and adequate shelter. The TEARS Welfare Clinic needs heating pads to keep sick and injured pets warm and protected. And there are still homeless pets at the TEARS Kennels and Cattery that need fleece blankets while they wait for their forever homes. Make a difference by sponsoring a pet in need and donate to the TEARS Give Warmth Campaign. Click here.

What else can I do to help?

  • Make a general donation to the Give Warmth campaign – your gift will be used for what’s needed most.
  • Building a kennel for a pet in a low-income community is a fun DIY project for the whole family! All you need to change a life and give warmth this winter is a few supplies, handyman tools and a few hours of your time. Click here to find a step-by-step guide to build a dog kennel out of wooden pallets.
  • Start your own online fundraising project to raise funds to Give Warmth this winter. 
  • Gather up any extra blankets, comforters, towels and pet beds in decent condition that you are no longer using and drop them off at TEARS Animal Rescue in Sunnydale or the TEARS Charity Centre in Retreat.
  • Not in Cape Town? Check online to see if there is an organisation in your area that needs blankets or is specifically dedicated to collecting blankets and other pet bedding for local shelters and rescues. 

Tips and Advice

  • Fleece blankets are perfect as they are warm, easy to wash and quick to dry – which is great for the erratic winter sunshine. 
  • You can buy inexpensive, secondhand blankets, comforters and towels at charity shops and thrift stores to donate. 

Images | TEARS

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