Reaction officers attempt to tow the vehicle away from the trapped animal. Image: supplied
Reaction officers attempt to tow the vehicle away from the trapped animal. Image: supplied

Animal care organisation starts feeding humans as Covid-19 eats into incomes

By Jehran Daniel Time of article published Jul 3, 2020

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Durban - A Durban-based animal welfare organisation has highlighted on Friday that in addition to feeding animals, it has also begun distributing food hampers to a number of the pet owners themselves, who are feeling the harsh effects of the coronavirus pandemic on South Africa's economy.

In an interview with African News Agency (ANA), Neeri Naidoo, founder of Phoenix Animal Care and Treatment, said the coronavirus pandemic has caused a severe problem for pet owners and in some instances has robbed them of their income. 

"We're even doing hampers for humans now, to help them because when we go out to feed the dogs we see the families starving as well. So it has been kind of hectic," explained Naidoo.

"We try not to do cases where animals are owned by people, we just do stray animals, but we've had to help in the instances where the animals have gotten sick or injured because people don't have any funds," she added.

According to Naidoo, the organisation has been inundated with an influx of stray and abandoned pets ever since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown in March.

The missing cow that was rescued. Image: Supplied


"We were feeding about 80-plus animals just before lockdown started and we are now feeding around 196 animals. That's how many animals we have to ensure have food on a daily basis," said Naidoo.

"Also people who want to donate, from the very little that they have now, they are prioritising human organisations because people are in dire need, so most of the animal organisations have taken a back seat."

To add to the ongoing animal drama the city faces, a missing cow was found and rescued in Verulam, Durban, on Thursday by a local security company.

Reaction Unit South Africa, a security company based in Verulam, just north of the central business district, issued a statement on Thursday commenting on the strange encounter.

“Reaction officers were dispatched to the call on Caper Crescent, Trenance Park, at 1.06pm and upon arrival found the animal trapped between the boundary wall and a white Toyota Corolla,” the security firm said.

The cow appeared to be of the Nguni breed, although no clarification has been provided.

According to the owner of the animal, it had been missing for a few days after becoming separated from the herd.

Reaction officers on the scene said there had been no immediate response from the relevant authorities in KwaZulu-Natal.

They then asked the owner of the vehicle for permission to tow it and he agreed.

A tug-of-war atop a dirt driveway ensued between the late-'80s-model Corolla and the reaction unit's Ford Ranger and finally the responding officers managed to free the animal. The road surface provided no traction whatsoever, making the vehicle almost impossible to tow.

The cow, free at last, calmly wandered off.

- African News Agency (ANA)

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