Sponsored by Welttierschutzgesellschafte.V, daily work is done by Dr Renee Van Rheede Van Oudtshoorn and her extremely dedicated team of volunteers in numerous townships and informal settlements in South Africa. They work from a make shift caravan mobile theatre as well as walking on foot between shacks to educate animal owners within their own environment. The emphasis on teaching people to take care of their animals within the means available to them ( ie belts as collars instead of wires, local shrubs and herbs as insect repellents, running lines for dogs tied up etc),
They spend hours per week not just sterilising and vaccinating animals, but also educating in animal care in schools and communities. This team firmly believes in improving human lives by job creating projects and education in these communities as well as teaching empathy towards animals by setting daily examples. In this way, the future generations of South Africa, the children develop a healthy relationship with the animals around them. Instead of then seeing the animals as objects to vent their frustrations on, caused by the harsh life in the impoverished South African communities, they now see animals as their sanctuary, improving the children’s mental and emotional health and automatically leading to better animal welfare in these regions.
CVSSA and Optima CVC is involved in various levels of education starting from:
- One on one education where the pet owner is educated about basic pet care.
- Pre-primary and primary in poor areas where the children are being educated in basic pet care. They get hug our mascot Jagter, listen to his heart beat and listen to his lungs with a stethoscope.
- We also work with high school pupils who are considering veterinary science as a career.
- Taking veterinary students on rotation from University of Pretoria, Veterinary Faculty, Onderstepoort.
- Dr Renee Van Rheede Van Oudtshoorn is an annual guest lecturer at the Veterinary Faculty, sharing her vast knowledge in community veterinary service with the future South African Vets. The University of Pretoria, Veterinary Faculty, requested the project to be part of their third year Veterinary Professional Life Curriculum.
- Taking international students on EcoLife Expeditions on community veterinary outreaches, so they can get a glimpse into the life of a community vet.
- Dr Renee Van Rheede van Oudtshoorn and her team have also been approached by the State Veterinary Service to train the newly graduated State Veterinary Community Vets.
- We have also started to train Animal Welfare Assistants (AWA) who will provide basic care in their communities.
- Dr Renee Van Rheede Van Oudtshoorn also acts as acting as mentor for final year vet students (Local and International) and newly graduated vets.