Public Health & Safety
Zoonosis: Zoonosis is an infection or disease which 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.
City Health spends tens of millions of Rand's every year treating people infected with zoonotic conditions. Fewer infected animals = a healthier human population.
Bite Wounds & Mauling: Dogs in Khayelitsha are often targets of teasing, stone throwing and sometimes even more severe kinds of abuse - 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 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 whilst concurrently engaging in humane education translates into a much healthier and safer community
Security: Most people reading this have an alarm system linked to an armed response service that compliments SAPS. Most people who live in Khayelitsha live in shacks. The people in shacks who have jobs are mostly employed in low income positions such as domestic workers, petrol pump attendants, street sweepers, security guards, office cleaners etc. Their dog is their alarm and helps to protect their shacks and family.
Violent Crime & Other Criminal Activities
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.
At our hospital and as a result of our 'door to door' initiatives, we engage 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.
Tourism & Small Business Development
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 of starving and diseased domestic animals hinders this development.
"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." FAADA Foundation