Seventy ticks and counting! The little puppy we christened Ewok had so many ticks on his tiny 200 gram body when he was brought into CLAW that it’s a wonder he wasn’t as shrivelled as a prune. But he was still able to look at us with eyes full of wonder and hope (once the ticks had all been removed, of course). Controlling ticks and fleas is a tough job in this environment, and is a life-saving intervention that CLAW does every day.Every day of every week, Community Led Animal Welfare (CLAW) staff head out into the ever-growing shack settlements and impoverished townships that circle Johannesburg to the south and west. Two mobile clinics cover two or three areas each a day, taking with them the basic health care essentials for animals belonging to people far away from the nearest veterinary facility – and who probably could not afford to treat their animals anyway.

In these communities CLAW provides the only regular, dependable access to vet care for much loved pets, as well as humane education. For their owners, CLAW often provides that little bit extra, a food parcel, clothing, toys for their children.

For the animals CLAW provides tick and flea control medication, deworming and anti-parasite control, vaccinations while the animal welfare assistants can identify any animal health problems that might be brewing.

Staff also make appointments to collect pets in need of sterilisation and take animals that are very sick with diseases like biliary (a deadly tick-related illness) back to the CLAW hospital for veterinary care and treatment.

This series of pictures will give you some insight into the daily experiences of a CLAW mobile.

Caused by tick bites, biliary can be deadly if not treated in time. This puppy was brought to CLAW’s Durban Deep premises in time to get life-saving treatment.

Many people don’t know what to feed puppies, especially when there’s no money to buy special dog food. This little puppy was being fed on bones and cow’s milk which is no diet for a growing dog. CLAW mobile staff advised her loving owner to include some vegetables and eggs (good protein, and cheaper than meat) in the pup’s diet.

How to you leash your companion animal if you can’t afford collars and leads? All too often wire is the only available material – which is uncomfortable and even unsafe. A staffer adjusts a collar for this dog that was brought to a World Rabies Day vaccination drive run by CLAW recently.

Those people living in the web of impoverished settlements around Johannesburg often love their animals deeply, and will jump at a chance to care for them and get them vaccinated against disease. Where a family has access to CLAW’s services, you can see it in the glossy coats, wet noses and happy faces – human and animal.

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Article source: IFAW

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