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Mass Sterilisation, General Veterinary Care & Outreach Initiatives

SA.MAST is permanently located in the heart of Khayelitsha and currently responsible for the largest, area specific and goal driven mass animal sterilisation campaign in Africa.

To date, we have sterilised, vaccinated (incl. rabies) and treated for internal and external parasites over 24 000 animals in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa, the largest informal settlement in South Africa.

Our Mission: To assist informal and disadvantaged areas in their urban renewal and rehabilitation.

We achieve our mandate by addressing the causes and consequences of the over-population of diseased, stray, neglected, abused or dangerous domestic animals in specific areas via the implementation of a free, consistent, extremely focused and goal driven mass animal sterilisation, treatment and education campaign.

This, along with the provision of an animal ambulance, hospital for the sick and injured, massive kennel building and distribution programme (almost 5000 to date) and other community empowerment initiatives where it is most needed, is our contribution to the compassionate development and well-being of our Rainbow Nation.

Method & Objectives

Moving in a NW to SE direction, all areas in Khayelitsha have been identified, gridded off and systematically scheduled to undergo our free mass sterilisation and primary treatment campaign. Our Forward Team implements the Census and Health & Welfare Audit at every home with animals they are able to access. Unsterilised animals are scheduled for their spay or neuter procedure; when additional assistance or intervention is needed, such as education or inspectorate, shelter or animal ambulance for sick or injured animals, the appropriate action is taken utilising limited resources. On average we build and deliver 20 kennels per week.

First Stage: Khayelitsha consists of 28 recognized areas – all of which have now been covered with an initial sweep, giving us a phenomenal first phase success rate of 70% to 80% completion of all areas.

Second Stage: A second sweep of all 28 areas for new or missed animals. This should result in an unprecedented approximate 90% sterilisation coverage rate for an informal settlement area as large as Khayelitsha. Expected completion: End of 2017.

Third Stage: Khayelitsha will revert to a population maintenance management programme.

Then What? Given the opportunity we will export our campaign model to neighbouring informal settlement areas.


Zoonosis is an infection or disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans. Zoonotic diseases are more common and serious in third world countries and transmission occurs when animals infected with bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi, comes into contact with humans.

Did you know that one of the TOP 40 City Health Government purchases is de-worming treatment?

A radical reduction in the number of infected and diseased animals mixing with the human population and a consistent zoonotic disease awareness programme delivers a positive impact on human health. Densely populated areas, where sanitation is poor or where, as is the case in Khayelitsha, one in four people are suffering from a compromised immune system (HIV/AIDS), are particularly vulnerable.

Hover for examples of infections passed on from cats and dogs.

Bite Wounds & Mauling

Most dogs in Khayelitsha are not fenced in and are often targets of teasing, stone throwing and sometimes even more severe kinds of abuse, such as beatings or the dousing of boiling water or oil of ‘nuisance dogs’, resulting in fearful and aggressive behaviour development. Attacks occur most often when their puppies or source of food is perceived to be threatened or when a dog or a group of dogs are guarding their home turf. Groups of abandoned dogs can and have resorted to violent pack behaviour, sometimes resulting in the fatal mauling of children.

Limiting adult dog and puppy population numbers through sterilisation while concurrently engaging in humane education translates into a much healthier and safer community.

Cape Town is ranked as the 9th most violent city in the world. The top four most murderous areas in the City are on the Cape Flats, where Khayelitsha is located. This area has been described  to be  ‘in the throes of violent crime and at war with itself’.  It is largely domestic violence and gang-related violence that accounts for the abnormally high murder rates in this area.

A 2013 Institute for Security Studies Africa report strongly recommended that Khayelitsha and other surrounding areas ‘clearly require in-depth, multi-disciplinary interventions.’ The connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented. Someone who is cruel and violent to animals will also be so to people. Conversely, someone who is kind and compassionate towards animals is far less likely to commit a violent crime.

Our hospital is situated in the heart of Khayelitsha from which, six days a week, we assist the community in exercising compassionate and empathetic behaviour. The SA.MAST team comes into contact, either at our hospital or as a result of our in situ outreach initiatives, with hundreds of cat and dog guardians every week, including disadvantaged, vulnerable and impressionable youth at risk. At each encounter, emphasis is placed on education and the humane care and treatment of animals.

While we assist all Khayelitsha residents, we recognise that we have a unique opportunity to empower the many children we come into contact with. Our policy of never turning away a person, especially a child, seeking help for their cherished cat or dog is an invaluable contribution to the emotional well-being and empowerment of a community in urgent need of role models and the promotion of a compassionate and non-violent society.

SA.MAST is also engaged in the identification and reporting of child neglect, abuse and other criminal activities including drug dens and dog fighting. As this is a sensitive and confidential subject, details on these activities can only be released after receiving a formal enquiry.

City of Cape Town:

Responsible tourism is tourism that creates better places for people to live in, and better places to visit. A responsible tourism approach aims to achieve the triple-bottom line outcomes of sustainable development, i.e. economic growth, environmental integrity and social justice.

A healthy and sustainable animal population promotes and is supportive of small business and tourism development, conversely, an overpopulation epidemic of starving and diseased domestic animals hinders this development.

FAADA Foundation: www.turismo-responsable.com

“To see stray dogs and cats – hungry, sick and suffering – is something very common. And according to statistics, people experiencing this are less likely to return to that particular destination and more likely to share the incident with friends, colleagues and on websites such as TripAdvisor.
Some tourists even refuse to travel to certain destinations because they don’t want to see stray dogs and cats suffering.”

Tourism aside, stray dogs and cats can have a negative impact on the economy of these communities since they can destroy local ecosystems, agriculture and kill livestock. Furthermore, free-roaming dog populations result in animal welfare and public health problems. (Ex: rabies infection). Additional social problems include road accidents, fighting, noise, bitten children, fecal contamination and spread of rubbish.

The only long-term and cost-effective solution is the sterilization of stray dogs and cats. Several NGOs are already working in this direction in some of the most popular international tourist destinations, but they need the support of their governments in order to undertake permanent sterilization campaigns.”

References the effects of stray, starving and diseased animals has on tourism can be easily found on the following links:


All Creatures

Land Invasion


Section 18A Tax Deductible Donation Certificates

As a Public Benefit Organisation, we are able to issue Section 18A Certificates upon request, for all monetary or product donations made to SA.MAST – you get to claim funds back from SARS. To have all your Section 18A questions answered, please read our FAQ’S – Section 18A Tax Deductible Donation Certificates document.

FAQ’S – Section 18A Tax Deductible Donation Certificates

B-BBEE Accreditation:

SA.MAST is a certified Level 4 Contributor. All monies spent earns 100% recognition on your score card claim.

SA.MAST B-BBEE Certificate