Extend your goodwill over the Christmas period and onward, by giving to an animal shelter in need. Hundreds of people in the animal rescue world work tirelessly behind the scenes, to save animals from horrendous conditions, under underfunded and gruelling conditions. Today we look at Diepsloot Dogs December Christmas initiative, run by Linda Horsfield, and PawsRehoming run by Claudine Matthews and how you can help:
“This initiative was started by Claudine Matthews who runs PawsRehoming in the East Rand and who provides food, shelter and medical treatment to six East Rand townships throughout the year. Last year I got involved when she asked for help with feeding the dogs which are left to fend for themselves when their owners go home for the Christmas holidays. (Pawsrehoming is not an animal shelter, but assists in securing shelter for homeless dogs at local animal havens. They rescue, rehabilitate and rehome lost, abandoned and abused dogs, as well as the provision of food and medical care, including vaccinations and sterilisations).
Linda decided to tackle Diepsloot in the December period where owners go away for the holidays, explaining how she goes about it.
“I solicit donations of cash and dog cubes via Facebook. Then I ask volunteers to help decant the cubes into 1kg or 2kg containers – and then pack into heavy duty black bags to carry in Diepsloot. Volunteers are also needed to help distribute the food in Diepsloot, we walk to find the dogs. We give to every dog no matter what its condition – but when we find a dog in poor condition, or tied up too short , or without water or shelter we try to educate the owner/carer and give food, water, water bowl, collar, lead and/or medical assistance depending on what is needed.
“We take a photo of the dog and the shack number, so that the dog can be collected for sterilisation and I can follow up to check that there has been an improvement in the dogs living conditions. If not I call in the authorities to remove the dog.
“Last year I had 12 people helping with the decanting of food – and 16 people helping with the distribution of the food. We distributed about 700kgs of food in Diepsloot Township over the holiday period and I then donated 100kgs to Fourpaws who run an animal shelter in Diepsloot because I ran out of volunteers to distribute before I ran out of food…..
“I use cash donations to pay for:-
- dog food directly from the supplier at a discounted rate
- collars, leads, tick and flea medicine and vaseline (for fly bitten ears)
- hand sanitiser and water for volunteers who help distribute the food in Diepsloot
- small toys for township children who help us with info on where to find dogs as township dog owners fear that their dogs are going to be removed so they keep them hidden until they realise that you just want to help – then they come flooding out!
Everyone who donates cash gets sent a copy of the bank statement, as well as a copy of all invoices for all items purchased.
“There is an absolute crisis in the townships as animals are breeding like flies as their owners, most of whom love them dearly, can’t afford to get them sterilised or provide them medical treatment when needed as they don’t have transport to take their dog to a vet, and also can’t afford to pay for the treatment, which is exorbitantly expensive. Last year I found a dog with a broken leg which had been untreated for a week and a new mom with her uterus hanging outside of her and her puppies were about 4 weeks old amongst many, many other heartbreaking cases.”
How can the public help?
- Cash so I can buy the above items
- Dog cubes (not larger than 1kg or 2kg containers)
- Collars, leads, tick and flea collars, Vaseline
- Supermarket packets
- Heavy duty black bags
They can help by volunteering to help decant the cubes from 25kg bags into smaller containers (from 15 December onwards) and by helping distribute the food in Diepsloot (from 22 December onwards).
For monetary donations: Diepsloot Dogs
Branch code 470010
Account no 139 015 1431
To Help PawsRehoming on the East Rand:
Contact Claudine Matthews on 084 695 9887 to arrange for collection or delivery of any donations.