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


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