ImageAny pet owner or individual working within the animal welfare sector, aims to ensure that all animals are entitled to the 5 Freedoms.

  3. FREEDOM FROM DISCOMFORT (providing a suitable environment)

Like humans, various factors can affect the way an animal feels, both mentally and physically. The 5 Freedoms are there to remind us that we are caring for sentient beings. When next you come across an abused animal or even your own pet, take a moment to assess their quality of life. Is your pet comfortable and protected from the weather? Is he or she fed an adequate amount of food and have readily access to fresh, clean water?  Are you able to provide the necessary care should your pet become ill or injured? Do you spend time with your pet? Does your garden provide adequate space for your pet to exercise and perform natural behaviors?

The last point mentioned above brings me back to circus animals, and the very relevant issues they are facing. Being en-caged or kept in small enclosures is not normal for animals, especially wild animals. Having watched video footage taken of circus animals, the stress, fear and anxiety is clearly visible in their actions and behaviors. Elephants rocking from side to side and being chained; tigers enclosed in small cages and then having to travel long distances from town to town. Wild animals belong in the wild, please don’t support animals in circuses.

So as you can see, all animals – domestic and wild have specific needs in order to remain happy and content. When making a decision to get a pet, ensure that you are able to provide the 5 Freedoms before taking on the responsibility.

Until next time,


The Law of the Wild


Many wild animals worldwide are cruelly taken from or deprived of their natural environments and placed in circuses where they are forced to perform unnatural tricks with cruel and harsh consequences for the animals who are condemned to a life of misery.

Why do circuses continue to use wild animals? For the entertainment of an indifferent and apathetic minority. Until we ALL take a firm stand against this archaic and inhumane form of bemusement, circuses will tragically continue to ply their perverse trade.

The incident that was recently flighted on Carte Blanche showed just one of the many cruelty cases encountered in circuses. However, physical violence is not the only form of cruelty or fear that these unfortunate animals have to unnecessarily endure. Very often animals travel long distances, moving from town to town. Chained and en-caged in confined containers for long periods of time.

There is irrefutable proof that wild animals suffer severe stress as a consequence of being in the circus. Many show acute signs of stress including anxiety and depression and suffer premature death as a consequence. In fact no animal is immune but wild animals are especially susceptible.

Over 30 countries worldwide have banned the use of wild animals in circuses, with the UK recently announcing that in December 2015 wild animals will be banned from performing in circuses. The popularity of circuses using animals is on the decline. Circuses that feature only human performers, such as the Zip Zap Circus and Cirque Du Solei are increasing in popularity and provide glamorous, cruelty-free, spectacular entertainment. Such forms of entertainment deserve our support and patronage.

It’s up to us to say enough is enough and to STOP supporting circuses that use animals in their shows.

Together we can make a difference. Wild animals belong in the wild!

Feel free to comment and share your opinions.

Until next time, Jess


Best Friends Dog Walk 28 April 2013

Great news for you and your four legged friends – the Animal Rescue Organisation (ARO) will be holding the Best Friends Dog Walk on Sunday 28 April 2013 at 9am at Nitida Cellars in Durbanville.  It will be our first time at Nitida Cellars, however, as a frequent visitor to the Cassia Restaurant, I am sure it is going to make the ideal venue!

Registrations are flooding in and we have had to limit the number of participants allowed on the day, to avoid dissapointment, please pre-register online at www.animalrescue.org.za  Should you wish to register on the day, registration opens at 08.30am. Cost is just R10 per person and R20 per dog. All proceeds raised will go towards our work within the indigent communities.

It is a great morning out for the whole family – The Cassia restaurant on the estate will have delicious breakfast and pastries available on the day. The ARO will have promotional goods and treats for your pets on offer too.

Even if you’re not a dog owner, you can still take part in our Best Friend Walk. It’s open to everyone, so come out and support a good cause. 

We look forward to seeing you there!

Jess and Thumbelina Image


Lost / Found Guidelines

Missing Poster

Losing your pet is a huge fear shared by every pet owner. When your beloved pet goes missing, emotions run high and it is an extremely traumatic experience. All too often we hear of animals either going missing or being found, would you know what to do if your pet went missing?

Whether you are a pet owner yourself, provide dog walking services or own a parlour, you should have a crisis plan in place should any animal in your care going missing. Below I have included guidelines to follow should you lose a pet or pick up a stray animal.

  • Have a recent updated photo of the missing pet, ensure the photo is stored on both your cellphone and computer
  • Contact the vets and rescue organisations in the area where the pet went missing / Take the found pet to your nearest vet / welfare to check if it has a microchip.


CoGH SPCA – lost and found – 02 700 4166
Animal Welfare Society Phillippi – 021 692 2626
TEARS -Southern Peninsula – 021785 4482
DARG – Hout Bay – 021 790 2050

  • Return to the area the pet went missing in or was found. Spend a few minutes whistling and calling, ask members of the public if they have seen the dog or know who the found dog belongs to.
  • Prepare a flyer with relevant information about your pet, include the pets name and a physical description. Contact information should include you name, telephone number and cellphone number. Include a photograph on the flyer and have these photocopied. Post and distribute flyers wherever your pet was seen / found, as well as in local vets, welfare organisations and local cafes.
  • If you have found an animal, do not provide too much information, give some leading clues and then leave it up to the owner to correctly identify their pet. Ensure you supply the location the pet was lost / found, date and the time.
  • Take advantage of the lost and found ads in your local and community newspapers. Place a ‘lost dog’ advert as soon as possible, and be sure to check the newspapers daily for any pets that have been found.


Reality Check

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Mother Dog with Puppies 002 web Mother Dog with Puppies 005 web

Every so often we find ourselves asking, “Are we really making enough of a positive difference? “The answer to this frequently asked question by almost everyone involved with animal welfare is yes and I am absolutely certain that if animals could talk they would agree that despite the seemingly insurmountable odds together we can and do make a difference to the lives of so many otherwise unfortunate animals – even if it means one dog at a time because to that dog, we mean the world.  We represent hope!

Today we were once again given a stark reminder of the reason for our existence and incredible contribution that everyone at Animal Rescue Organisation makes when all of our hard work and tireless efforts at winning the hearts and minds of our beneficiary community was rewarded by the kindly deed of a local farm worker who because he has faith and confidence in what we do decided to bring us his neighbours neglected and abandoned dog and litter of young puppies all yelping for her attention and trying to suckle on her already visibly over-taxed body.

The gentleman who had brought her in from one of the nearby farms explained that it was his neighbour’s dog; however, the neighbour had moved and simply abandoned his pet and her puppies to an unimaginable fate…

Despite the desperate case that we were faced with, it undoubtedly proved that we are making a difference as this caring individual went out of his way to bring the mother with her pups to our clinic.

With the Cape’s cold, wet winter months fast approaching, many township animals are struggling to survive and cope leaving it up to us and our allies to alleviate their plight and properly fulfill our rescue mandate but because the scale of the challenge is so big we will never be able to single-handedly win the day.

As we receive absolutely NO government funding our ability to continue performing miracles day after day is dependent on your continued support, understanding and generosity for which we are so grateful but now more than ever we need to appeal for your continued support and as, generosity.

So, please support our events, arrange an affordable monthly debit order, donate via sms, place your small change in our collection tins or if you prefer, give a gift in kind… no matter how small the gesture it makes a BIG difference to the lives of those that would otherwise have no choice and who have no voice to express their dire plight..

Shop for a Cause – FREE!


Everyone who wants to help animals is feeling the pinch financially and with the ever increasing cost of living it isn’t easy to make monthly contributions or attend fundraising events.

The My School card enables you to raise funds for the Animal Rescue Organisation, just by swiping! All you have to do is register for a card, make ARO your beneficiary (or one of 3 beneficiaries in total) and swipe your card every time you shop at participating stores including Woolworths and Reggies.

To find out more and to register for your own My School card today visit https://www.myschool.co.za/supporter/apply/?beneficiary=6937 . My School is FREE but helps ARO to continue working for those who cannot speak!

Should you require any further information please contact Jessica 0213965511 or jessica@animalrescue.org.za

An Introduction to ARO


Welcome to the Animal Rescue Organisation’s official blog spot. Here we will discuss upcoming events; issues surrounding animal welfare; the work we do and how you can get involved. I am Jessica Perrins, Communications & Events Coordinator and look forward to sharing the ARO blog with you.

More importantly this post is to introduce to the Animal Rescue Organisation and explain to you what we are about.

The Animal Rescue Organisation (ARO), originally called Voluntary Animal Rescue was founded by Betty Hobbs and her late husband, Ulrich Schäffer in September 1986 and this year will celebrate 27 years of service to the animals of the Cape Metropole’s most indigent communities.

ARO invites all Capetonians to share in our celebration of this milestone and encourage anyone who is passionate about the welfare and wellbeing of animals to join their winning team by becoming a supporter and donor of an organisation that truly cares about the welfare of all animals.

The aim of ARO is as relevant today as it was 27 years ago – to help alleviate the plight of the many unfortunate animals struggling to survive in the growing number of deprived informal settlements and poor townships in and around Cape Town.

In 1995, it was decided to change the name of the organisation by dropping the word Voluntary in favour of it’s present day name of the Animal Rescue Organisation (ARO) – which has since gone on to become an established household brand name synonymous with compassionate animal care. 

From humble beginnings which saw the organisation operating from a single garage in Tamboerskloof with only one donated vehicle and a determined and ambitious team in charge, the demand for it’s services grew. It was decided to relocate ARO into larger premises in a residential house in Observatory and later to a larger home in Rondebosch East. The continued success of the organisation saw it having to move yet again to its present home in Olieboom Road, Schaapkraal, Ottery.

Over the past 27 years the team at ARO has not allowed any opportunity for growth and expansion to slip by, resulting in further expansion of it’s services and operational capabilities to the point where last year over 20 000 animals benefitted from it’s services. Today the scope of ARO’s work is all encompassing and includes sterilisation, dipping, deworming and vaccinations. Every visit by a Mobile Clinic to one of the many indigent areas serviced by ARO is used as an opportunity to educate pet owners about responsible ownership and the benefits of having their pets sterilised. 

Although relatively small, they are undaunted by the seemingly overwhelming challenges posed by an escalating domestic pet population explosion in the areas serviced by ARO and remain steadfast in their commitment to help make a positive difference to the lives of everyone they serve.

Today ARO consists of:

-A team of 27 dedicated employees;

– A healthy army of volunteers, supporters and donors;A strategically positioned, fully equipped, South African Veterinary Council approved and registered Hospital and facilities in Schaapkraal Ottery;

– 3 Mobile Clinics which have effectively extended the operational reach of the organisation to include a surrounding radius reading as far north as Atlantis.

– One Mobile Animal Sterilisation Unit (MASU)  which takes ARO to the people and enables us to assist communities where animal welfare services are not provided.

– ARO’s affairs are goverened by a hands-on professional Management Committee Chaired by founding member Betty Hobbs (nee Schafer).

ARO’s many and varied successes are attributable to a number of factors which include: an involved and active Management Committee, a professional fundraising department, a team of passionate employees, as well as a  loyal following of supporters and donors.

ARO is also an active member of the Western Cape Animal Welfare Forum where issues of mutual interest for the benefit of animals is discussed by a number of reputable Cape based welfare organisations. This co-operative approach has served the animals of the greater Cape area very well as resources are pooled and a shared approach is welcomed.

I hope that the above has provided you with an insight into what we do and who we are. 

Until next time, Jess