Pet star of the Month February 2019- Ginger Morkel
Golden oldie getting a second chance in life
The awful part of working in the veterinary industry is seeing pets suffer. Whether they are sick, hurt or even lost. It breaks our hearts to the same extent.
One day, early in January, Mrs Cassandra van Zyl found a very old, mostly blind cross breed dog at the Sasol garage in Rooihuiskraal. It was obvious that he was scared and had nowhere to go. She could not keep him and asked us to help as she did not want him to go to the SPCA.
Being in the veterinary industry, we all have a very soft spot for pets and thus we treat the stray animals with the same love and respect as we do our patients. If we have space in our very busy hospital, we always try to assist the community by taking in lost pets, buying the owners some time to find their missing pet.
We understand that accidents do happen and that some pets are escape artists. The first thing we did was to scan him for a chip. Sadly he was not chipped which changed the ball game completely. If pets are not chipped, it makes it so difficult for us to find the owner. Not everyone is on social media and many owners have no idea where to start looking for their missing pet.
We took this very hungry, tired and scared dog into our care. We prepared a cage with blankets for him and opened some soft tin food, which he gulped up – indicating he had not eaten in days. Mrs van Zyl was adamant to help us find his owners. She also posted his photo and information on various Facebook pages, community WhatsApp groups and alerted the Vets in the area. Sadly after 3 days, no owner had been found. As each day passed, we got more worried and sad. We knew that if the owners were not found quickly, this old dog would not stand a chance to be rehomed….
One of our darling clients, Mrs Morkel saw a post made by Sister Cindy urgently asking for a foster home. She made contact with us and offered to foster this old dog. She was like an angel sent from above!! Mrs Morkel sadly lost 3 of her senior pets recently. Grieving the loss of her beloved pets, she felt that this old dog needed her love and attention as much as she needed to hand it out.
We made contact with a rescue worker who helped us follow the correct steps. Mrs Morkel completed foster forms and passed the home check with flying colours. The Morkel family immediately fell in love with this sweet dog. She took him for a bath and a shave, he got lots of love, plenty of food and yummy snacks, slept in the house and was even allowed on the furniture. Quickly he fitted in and they knew that this dog crossed their path for a reason. They named him Ginger and are now in the process of adopting him.
We would like to thank the Morkel family for giving this sweet old dog a second chance and Mrs van Zyl for rescuing him off the street. We also want to thank each and every client that donates towards our stray fund.
In general only 10% of people that drop off strays and ask for our help are willing to make a donation. To those that do, we really appreciate it. We use these funds for any treatments needed (medical, dietary etc) of injured stray pets. We cannot make a difference if we do not get support from the community.
Please keep in mind that although we love animals and we always try to help, we are not a Rescue Organization or the SPCA. We are a veterinary hospital and we can only help if we have space available. We have 3 day policy where we keep dogs for 72 hours to help give the owners time to locate their missing pet, after this time we have to send a stray dog to a Rescue (if they have space) or the SPCA. If you help us find a foster home we can send those details with to the rescue where they will make contact with you. Also note that we do not take in healthy adult cats without microchips as cats tend to roam the area and will find their way back home.
We want to end this lovely story by asking everyone who loves their pets, to PLEASE microchip and sterilize them as not all pets are as lucky as Ginger. Some sit in cages for months, even years before they get adopted or might even be put to sleep due to the high demand of stray pets requiring shelter.