A PORTRAIT SERIES ON THE FOUR LEGGED FRIENDS OF THE MDZANANDA ANIMAL CLINIC.
The people of Khayelitsha have a complicated relationship with their pets. The evidence is everywhere. You can see it in the condition of the dogs, in their stance as they wait in line for the clinic, and you can particularly see it in the tension or joy on the owner’s face (and in the dog’s body) when they interact.
Some are fully integrated members of the family, cared for just like a child would be. Others are seen as property, an object acquired to protect what little the owner has. And the most unfortunate have no value at all.
This is part of the reason that the Mdzananda Animal Clinic’s work is so critical. Not only are they the last line of defense in the health and welfare of animals whose owners cannot afford care, they are systematically changing the way that the residents of Khayelitsha view and treat their pets. After almost two decades, progress is not a straight line, but it is a battle they are definitely winning.
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