There is no easy way to say this...
SA.MAST will not be hosting a kennel building event this year.
Let me explain why…
SA.MAST has been conducting a mass sterilisation campaign in Khayelitsha for several years. This campaign has ensured that thousands upon thousands of cats and dogs have been vaccinated, treated for parasites and sterilised. Due to our passion, commitment and hard work this campaign has resulted in the transformation of many areas that was once in utter chaos.
There is of course much that still needs to be done and we are doing it.
However, despite our years of commitment, when the time finally came for Khayelitsha to benefit from City of Cape Town funding, expressly for the purpose of mass sterilisation in Khayelitsha, there was no tender process (as has taken place in other provinces in SA) and SA.MAST was denied any opportunity to receive funding. Our urgent pleas to listen to reason fell on deaf ears.
Instead of giving up, we decided to turn lemons into lemonade.
What did we do? We stayed focused and continued to fulfill our promises made to the Khayelitsha community and you the donor. We haven't stopped sterilising, treating, rescuing or rushing patients off to secure emergency medical care when they are injured or ill. We also haven't stopped conducting health and welfare audits at the homes of our patients. These audits help to establish which interventions we can possibly provide to improve quality of life – including the provision of adequate shelter.
But there has been a price to pay.
Earlier this year we announced that it is our intention to establish a full time and fully equipped animal hospital. Establishing this hospital would greatly assist SA.MAST in coping with the number of patients needing emergency medical care and repeat treatments. It would also, as importantly, help us to increase the number of sterilisations we are able to perform each month in Khayelitsha.
If we had received just half of the City funding that became available, SA.MAST would have received the support we needed for our mass sterilisation programme, freeing us up to utilise funding for the establishment of the hospital and radically reducing the number of months it will now take us to raise the full amount needed to build this hospital.
We are only human.
There are only so many hours in the day and we just don't have the the time or resources needed to ensure that we continue to meet our mass sterilisation, emergency medical assist, rescue, intervention and hospital establishment mandates while ate the same time prepare for and then host South Africa's much loved and largest kennel building event.
I truly appreciate the disappointment you must be feeling, but I am hoping that you understand and support our decision and feel that we are keeping our promise to you to always, always do the best we can do for our beautiful cats and dogs in Khayelitsha.
Should we secure the funding we need in time, I am certain that in early 2015 we will be able to host the kennel building event.
Come and build a kennel at our clinic!
It is not nearly good enough to just rock up at a guardians house, quickly secure permission to sterilise their cat and dog, whisk the animal off for the procedure and not at the same time do everything in your power to ensure that the patients quality of life when returned home is the best it can possibly be.
Even though we will not be hosting the kennel building event this year, kennels are being built at our clinic everyday and going where they are most needed – thanks to the support you have given us. Even better, Pollsmoor Prison parolees, who may struggle to find work because of their criminal record and who would then possibly revert back to a life of crime and mayhem, will soon be building kennels at our clinic too. After spending a few months with us, they would have been given the knowledge and support they need to go on to start their own small businesses and sell kennels to private buyers in a commercial setting. I do hope that we can count on supporters to place their orders!