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Welfare group helps South African township dogs

Schalk Van Zuydam / AP

A dog is examined by British volunteer veterinarian Gemma Driscoll, right, at the Mdzananda clinic, in the Khayelitsha township near Cape Town, South Africa on Friday, Feb. 24, 2012. The Mdzananda animal welfare clinic helps impoverished residents take better care of their pets.

Schalk Van Zuydam / AP

An unidentified dog owner carries his pet to the Mdzananda clinic, in the Khayelitsha township on Friday.

Schalk Van Zuydam / AP

A dog is operated on by veterinarian Brain Bergman at the Mdzananda clinic.

AP reports: An animal welfare group is trying to help dog lovers in an impoverished South African township better care for their pets.

The Mdzananda clinic in the sprawling Khayelitsha township started in 1996 in one shipping container. Today, an operating room and other facilities are housed in seven brightly painted containers equipped with electricity and running water and filled with the smell of anesthetic and the sound of big and small dogs barking nervously. The International Fund for Animal Welfare funds the clinic and brings in volunteer vets.