Hermanus Animal Welfare Society (HAWS), which has been in existence since 1969, was quietly going about its day-to-day business, only to be shocked by the President’s announcement that from 26 March, the nation was going to be in lockdown. What did this mean and how would this affect HAWS?
Our main concern was not only for our own animals but all the animals in the community. Who would take care of these very vulnerable creatures? What would happen if members of our staff became infected and ill? The main function of HAWS is to prevent cruelty to all animals and to promote general animal welfare in the Hermanus area, but how to continue this function while being in lockdown?
As we are considered an essential service provider, our veterinary clinic could operate but, in accordance with regulations by the South African Veterinary Council, we were restricted to handling only emergencies. Our clinic patients and kennel animals have to be fed, watered and have their cages cleaned, so our staff had to continue working. However, this brought about another problem as our charity shop, which generates the bulk of our income, had to close during lockdown. This meant no income to pay salaries.
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