TEARS Animal Rescue welcomes the City's proposed amendments to its Animal Keeping Policy


TEARS Animal Rescue joins other regional animal welfare charities in applauding the City of Cape Town’s proposed amendments to its’ Animal Keeping Policy (2005) that is out for public comment until May 17. 


The revised law, if it’s passed, will make it mandatory for pet owners to sterilize their pets over the age of six months. 


TEARS Animal Rescue Operations Manager, Mandy Store, affirms that by far the biggest challenge that animal welfare organisations are faced with are the increasingly high number of homeless, sick, neglected and abused animals that need to be rescued, treated, rehabilitated and rehomed as a direct result of animal over-population and uncontrolled breeding. TEARS will be looking to raise approximately R7M this year to cover the subsidised and sponsored sterilisation and vaccination programmes that it operates via the TEARS Veterinary Clinic and its various community outreach programmes.

Says Mandy,

“We’re thrilled that the new law will encourage responsible pet ownership and help to reduce the number of unwanted and homeless cats and kittens, and dogs and puppies that the TEARS Mobile Clinic rescues every month. It’s in everyone’s best interest, especially the animal, to spay and/or neuter rather than allow irresponsible breeding.” 

The TEARS Veterinary Clinic sterilised over 6000 animals in the last financial year and sterilises on average 500 animals per month.

Due to the financial impact of COVID19 on the poor, and the resulting escalation in costs and demands on animal welfare services, more and more non-profit organisations (NPOs) are looking for assistance from other charities to fulfill critical sterilization and vaccination quotas as a means of minimizing pet homelessness and avoid another outbreak of PARVO and distemper that recently affected so many animal rescue shelters.  While TEARS services the low-income communities of Masiphumelele, Ocean View, Vrygrond and Red Hill, it also collaborates with over a dozen other animal welfare organisations, some as far afield as Kronenberg near Malmesbury, contributing to 30% of TEARS sterilisation work across the Cape.

Says TEARS Head Veterinarian Tanya Heuer:

“We offer free sterilisations and the first vaccination for free, and subsidised veterinary services to pet owners in the low-income communities we serve. The only way to mitigate the ongoing animal welfare and indirect community health issues related to animal over-population in the Western Cape is to fund mass sterilization and vaccination programmes in tandem with pet care education.”

With the large overpopulation of animals and overcrowding that occurs in many of the informal settlements, Zoonosis (the transfer of animals diseases to humans) also occurs in the forms of giardia (causing diarrhoea), rabies, ringworm, erlichia (a tick-born blood disease), intestinal worms, scabies as well as diseases carried by ticks and fleas passing to humans.

TEARS General Manager, Lauren Carlyle concludes,

“We look forward to a future where sterilisation of all companion animals is required by law. TEARS continues to rely on the support of its corporate, foundation and individual donors to help us achieve our mission and mandate. Education supported by veterinary healthcare and free sterilization and vaccination services is the only way to decrease the negative impact of overpopulation and facilitate a healthier human and animal population within vulnerable communities in the Western Cape.”

TEARS encourages more donors to help sponsor a spay or a neuter for a companion animal in a low-income community.

  • Sterilising companion animals offers many health and behavioural benefits including a reduction in territorial aggression in males, less likelihood of wandering, and it won’t impact the animal’s alertness or natural protective instincts.
  • Male pets can become more affectionate with owners, children and other pets; and it minimises bad habits such as jumping over fences, chasing of cars, and urinating in the house.
  • Female pets may have a reduced risk of mammary tumours, and are generally healthier which ultimately reduces veterinary costs.

Comment on the City of Cape Town’s draft revised Animal Keeping Policy (2005) proposed amendments here: https://www.capetown.gov.za/City-Connect/Have-your-say/Issues-open-for-public-comment/comment-on-the-draft-revised-animal-keeping-policy


As a recognised public benefit organisation all donations to TEARS are tax deductible. TEARS issues tax certificates according to the rules of Section 18A of the Income Tax Act (PBO No.: 930 001 672).



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