To clear cage space, we immediately suspended our mass sterilisation & primary treatment programme. Then SA.MAST staff got on the phone and started calling our Town Two data base while two teams were dispatched to the area.
Town Two is a place we know very well. Our mass sterilisation and primary treatment programme has covered this area twice in the last two years - while continuing to respond to ad-hoc calls for either our animal ambulance or requests to sterilise a new resident cat or dog.
But the extent of the fire was… overwhelming.
Where to begin amongst so much devastation and heart-break?
How would we make sure that every animal needing help would receive it?
Within a couple of hours, the first team was already heading back to our hospital with its first load of homeless and frightened animals. At the same time, SA.MAST Team Leader, Mark Booi, was allowed to interrupt a meeting taking place between fire victims and ward councillors. Mark explained to everyone that if they needed medical attention for an injured or ill animal or temporary shelter for their cat or dog, we were ready to be of service. From there, it was just go, go, go!
Over a two-day period, working late into the night,
SA.MAST collected 54 homeless cats and dogs.
Many were suffering from dehydration and exposure to heat, smoke and dust. A few were burnt, some in a lot of pain. Of the initial 54 homeless animals, two were mommy dogs with puppies and one was a very pregnant kitty who gave birth just a couple of hours after arriving at our clinic. All the other cats and dogs, except for three four-month old pups, had previously been sterilised at our clinic.
Even though it's now been over a week since the fire, we're still rescuing, treating and providing temporary shelter. We can only imagine how much worse it would have been if we hadn't already sterilised over 90% of all Town Two cats and dogs.