Residents show love for rescue dogs

Rachel Alberts and Jeremy who she found at Sighthound Rescue.

Paws-a-While charity organisation held their monthly animal adoption fair on the Sea Point Promenade on Sunday.

There were 35 stalls, with the majority displaying dogs in need of homes and others selling dog food, apparel and kennels.

Carolyn Dudgeon, the Paws-a-While founder and organiser, says they bring registered animal organisations together to raise awareness and funds.

“Our theme is ‘date a rescue dog’ as it’s Valentine’s day soon, and you can take a dog on a date for 30 minutes and it costs R50 which is paid directly to the organistion. We thoughts it’s a great way to support the organisations who come from as far as Somerset West and Khayelitsha,” said Ms Dudgeon.

Among the organisations receiving much-needed financial support from dog lovers were Sighthound Rescue, Fisantekraal Animal Rescue, and AID for Animals in Distress. Ms Dudgeon says that, in addition to pet adoption, their goal is to educate schoolchildren about animal welfare, including mass sterilisation.

“We want to educate people about the overpopulation of cats and dogs. We want to try and stop it as there’s so many dogs being rescued. We have 150 rescue dogs here up for adoption and these are only the ones the organisations could bring. We have over four million dogs that are homeless and that’s why we need to educate people about sterilisation,” she said.

Shashi Beharie with Bruno from Fisantekraal Animal Welfare.

According to Zama Mabena, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA centre manager, the adoption fair is intended to educate and encourage people to adopt stray pets.

“This is an amazing job for everyone and we are encouraging people to adopt dogs and cats as the population is getting out of hand. We want people to support these organisations,” Mr Mabena said.

Aid for Animals in Distress began as a WhatsApp group eight years ago and is now a registered NPO on the Cape Animal Welfare Forum.

“We’ve rescued 1500 animals and we do this as volunteers, we all have jobs so we are doing this for the love of the animals,” said Craig O’Neill the chairman of Aid for Animals in distress.

People getting up close with the Sighthound puppies.

Fabian Diamond discovered his pitbull Justice, whom he believes was a fighter dog due to the scarring, at the SPCA in December 2019.

“When we visited the SPCA to see Justice, he sniffed my wife, he sniffed me and then licked my face and I said bring me the adoption papers, it’s a pleasure to have him around,” he said.

Ward 54 councillor Nicola Jowell praised Paws-a-While for bringing the organisations together and educating the public about rescue dogs.

“The event has been a welcome addition to the promenade with the community responding well to the cause and many getting involved and helping too. Through these days 100s of animals have been adopted and have made way for more to be rescued, from sometimes very tragic and difficult circumstances. I am very supportive of events in our beautiful public spaces that create a platform for supporting work done by NGOs that do so much good work,” said Ms Jowell.

On the left is Aid for Animals in Distress chairman Grant O’ Neill, Mowgli, and Blair O’Neill with Harper.
Shantalie Hewavisenti and Suki visit the fair every month.
Fabian Diamond and Justice who he found in recovery at a SPCA.