PETS ARE FOR LIFE, NOT FOR CHRISTMAS!

Bella, one of our ARO office cats!

Bella, one of our ARO office cats!

It’s the season of giving, and while we all want to give gifts that are special and meaningful to our loved ones, especially children, a pet is not a gift. Although pets are cute and offer unconditional love, they also require a lifetime commitment from you, the owner!

Many animals are handed in to shelters after the Christmas season is over. Many of these animals were given as gifts.  Do not dump unwanted pets.  Make a plan to reach a welfare shelter and sign the unwanted pet over correctly.

Having discussed the realities of giving an animal as a gift, there are many other ways to assist our four legged friends. The Animal Rescue Organisation encourages the public to donate money to our organisation in lieu of a Christmas gift or alternatively visit our online shop www.animalrescue.org.za and purchase your Christmas presents with us, that way you will be supporting the animals in our care.

For those who have researched and understand the commitments of caring for an animal, and still feel you would like to add a four legged companion to the Christmas celebrations, please visit a reputable welfare organisation and adopt one of the many animals in need of a good home.

If you are already a pet owner, myself and the Animal Rescue Organisation are appealing to owners to be vigilant and responsible during the celebrations.

Christmas trees and decorations add a touch of festivity and get everyone in the Christmas spirit, but for inquisitive pets its can be hazardous. Ensure the tree is secure and won’t topple over, put any electrical cables and lights out of reach.

Discard of any wrapping paper, ribbons, bows and carrier bags as your pets could easily get entangled and injure themselves.

Refrain from letting off firecrackers and be mindful when pulling Christmas crackers and popping champagne corks and balloons.

Provide a safe quiet environment for your pet to go to should the celebrations or rowdy visitors become too much.

Before sitting back and relaxing after a meal, ensure any leftovers are put away and are out of reach from your pet, turkey and chicken bones can splinter and become lodged in your pets throat or damage their intestine. Keep alcohol out of reach. Don’t be tempted to change your pets regular feeding habits, overfeeding or diet changes can cause digestive upsets.

Should you wish to spoil your pet, rather choose to purchase a toy or treats, that are provide by a reputable vet shop.

In the event, that your pet gets out of the property, ensure your pets has a means of identification.

Last but not least, when on your travels, NEVER leave your pets in the car, especially not during the hot summer months.

In closing, I wish all my fellow bloggers and followers a happy, healthy and safe festive season. May 2014 be a year of kindness and compassion to all animals.

Until next time,

Jess

SPRING HAS SPRUNG

With the stormy weather we have had over the past weekend, it seems “silly” to announce the arrival of spring – but it is officially spring and I am sure that we will all soon be wishing for the odd cooler day. Especially those that enjoy the outdoors as much as the dog walking fraternity do.

There is no excuse for not getting out and enjoying the fresh air, and if like me, you have pets that come rain or shine love the outdoors; they will be more than happy to accompany you.

Fortunately for us, Cape Town has plenty of great spots to walk your pets. Having asked supporters, colleagues and friends I have created the ARO Top 10 places to walk your dog guide:

  1. Tokai forest – dogs are allowed at the lower end of the forest and along Spaanschemat River Road
  2. Sea Point Promenade – dogs are permitted along the promenade but must be on a leash
  3. Kommetjie Lighthouse Boardwalk – Lighthouse Road, Kommetjie.  Must be under control at all times.
  4. Noordhoek Common – Noordhoek main road and Avondrust Road, Noordhoek. Same conditions as above.
  5. Fish Hoek Beach – dogs are permitted to run freely on certain parts of the beach.
  6. Silvermine Dam – Situated on Ou Kaapse Weg, dogs are allowed in specified areas. Keep on a lead.
  7. Constantia Green Belt – Alphen Drive (opposite Alphen Hotel), Constantia. As above.
  8. Rondebosch Common – Park Road and Campground Road, Rondebosch. Keep under control at all times.
  9. Keurboom Park – Keurboom Road, Rondebosch. As above.
  10. De Waal Park – Upper Orange Road, Gardens, Cape Town +27 (0)21 400 2521. Keep under control at all times.

If the weather (and other benefits) aren’t enough to persuade you, then consider doing your bit for a great cause and join the Animal Rescue Organisation on Sunday 29th September 2013 at the beautiful Nitida Wine Estate in Durbanville for their second Best Friends Dog Walk, for more information or to register online visit www.animalrescue.org.za.

I look forward to seeing both you and your beloved dogs at this year’s Best Friends Dog Walk which has been described as one of the most relaxed and enjoyable around.

Until next time

Jess

FROM GANG VIOLENCE TO ‘TIN CAN TOWNS’ – the ARO Wheels Keep Turning…

With the recent spate of gang violence in and around Cape Town, one cannot help but think of how fearful life must be for those affected by the violence. Not only do residents live in constant fear for their lives, children are being deprived of an education (as schools cannot open their doors), but the animals are suffering too.

Having worked in many gang stricken communities and hearing first hand from staff members who reside in these areas, the situation is dire, and the services of animal welfare are crucial to the well-being of the animals living in these areas.

As much as the community has had to come to a standstill, so have the services of our mobile clinics. We simply cannot risk the lives of our staff. The sad reality is that we are providing a service to these communities to benefit them; however, our mobile clinic staffs are threatened weekly and on occasions this has resulted in robberies at knife point.

One only has to read my blog about ARO servicing the Manenberg community to understand how vital our role within the many unfortunate and indigent communities is. The clinics in Manenberg were a great success – until now and by working with the Manenberg Pets Project, we ensured that community members got involved and in return were remunerated with the opportunity to learn compassion and various career enhancing skills.

Unfortunately, our clinics have not been able to return to the Manenberg area as yet, but as soon as the situation resolves itself, our services will be continued.

On a positive note, we have joined forces with the Animal Rescue Team, Tin Can Town and the Dancers Love Dogs project to complete a sterilisation drive in Blikkiesdorp, a relocation camp made-up of corrugated iron shacks in the Delft area.

The Tin Can Town ladies have been doing a wonderful job coordinating animals to be collected for sterilisation, our van then goes into Blikkiesdorp on a Monday and Tuesday to collect the animals for sterilisation. Each of the animals that come in for sterilisation are given a full vet check, and then returned to their owners on Thursday.

To date we have sterilised 42 animals from Blikkiesdorp. In addition to this, our hospital team continues with sterilisations that are brought in daily from our fleet of mobile clinics.

So all in all a big ‘paws up’ to our locum veterinarian, Dr Pickard and her hospital team.

Let’s hope and pray that we can soon once again take ARO to the communities that need us most.

Until next time,

Jess

ARO staff members teaching the children of Blikkiesdorp responsible pet ownership

ARO staff members teaching the children of Blikkiesdorp responsible pet ownership

Manenberg residents wait patiently to have their pets seen to by the ARO Mobile Clinic

Manenberg residents wait patiently to have their pets seen to by the ARO Mobile Clinic

Blikkiesdorp

Blikkiesdorp

Shine on Award

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As a relatively ‘new comer’ to the blogging world, it was a feather in my cap to have been nominated by http://sparkyleegeek.wordpress.com for the Shine On Award. I started this blog with the purpose of voicing my concerns and opinions of animal welfare in South Africa. It is wonderful to know that my blog is reaching people and I am able to be the voice for those that cannot speak. Reading through the various blogs it is encouraging to know that there are others speaking for our four legged friends. So to http://sparkyleegeek.wordpress.com thank you for your nomination!

The Rules for the Shine On Award are listed below:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. Link back to the person who nominated you.

3. State 7 things about yourself

4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.

5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award requirements.

 7 Things About Jess

  1. If you haven’t already noticed, I am an avid animal lover. I have been volunteering for various animal charities from the age of 12yrs.
  2. The 16th May 2013 marked my 2yr anniversary in my dream job – Communications & Events Coordinator at the Animal Rescue Organisation in Cape Town.
  3. I have a cross breed ‘pavement special’ rescue dog – Thumbelina – who is my pride and joy!
  4. I love to dance. Although i’m not a professional, I still know how to have a good time!
  5. I grew up on a smallholding. I had an array of animals, from guinea pigs and rabbits to donkeys and sheep.
  6. I am an adrenaline junky. Anything that the average person would think of as mad, I am game for!
  7. I love to bake. It is a great stress relief for me, nothing like the smell of biscuits in the oven! or baking the cake AND eating it.

 My Nominees are:

Rumpy Dog  http://rumpydog.com

Dog with the blog!   http://calvy.wordpress.com/

Animals Deserve to Live   http://animalsdeservetolive.com/

First Steps   http://jolliffe01.wordpress.com/

Pause For Tails http://helenwoodwardanimalcenter.wordpress.com/

Cool To Be Kind To Animalshttp://cooltobekindtoanimals.wordpress.com/

Purrs Full of Love http://www.purrsfulloflove.com/

The Best Friends Blog http://blogs.bestfriends.org/

Pets News and Views http://petnewsandviews.com/

Save the Pit Bull, Save the World http://www.underdogged.net/

Savannah’s Paw Tracks http://savannahspawtracks.com/tag/blog-for-animal-welfare/

Animal Welfare Guardian http://animalwelfareguardian.com/

The Canine Companion http://thecaninecompanion.wordpress.com/

DOGthusiast http://dogthusiast.com/blog/

Horse Welfare Blog http://www.animalfriendsequine.co.uk/community/news/horse-rider-blog/horse-welfare/welfare-of-horse-paramount/

Rescue Dog Blog http://getarescuedog.blogspot.com/

In ending, thank you once again to The Canine Companion and Sparkyleegeek for the nomination. Continue to be the voice for those that cannot speak and together we can be the change we want to see.

Lots of tail wags and purrs

Jess

Blanket Appeal

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Blankets given in goodie bags during our Sterilisation Campaign in Honour of Mandela Day 2012

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Blankets given in goodie bags during our Sterilisation Campaign in Honour of Mandela Day 2012

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Blankets are used extensively during our MASU sterilisation trips. They are needed to ensure the animals are kept warm when coming round from anesthetic.

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Each animal that receives treatment in our hospital is provided with a blanket in their kennel.

A chill in the air and rainy afternoons, winter is on its way. The ARO can house up to 65 animals per day. Each animal that comes into our care needs to be fed, have proper shelter, attention and love. With the winter months ahead of us we require additional food to ensure the animals keep warm, because their bodies are burning additional energy to keep warm; all animals require at least a half a cup of food extra per day.

Our need for cat and dog food remains a priority. To date we use about half a ton of pet food per month; this rate is continuously increasing. Therefore we rely greatly on the generosity of the public and the donations we receive.

With the recent spate of cold and wet weather; the need for blankets remains critical at the Animal Rescue Organisation (ARO). We are appealing to the public to please donate blankets to ARO. Preferably fleece blankets as they dry quickly in this weather.

We encourage the public as well as corporates to challenge thier staff and contribute toward this worthy dirve. Donations can be dropped at our Charity Shops – 51 Main Road, Bergvliet 021-7157525;  Belmont Rd, Kalk Bay 021-7881195 and 16 Voortrekker Rd, Bellville  021-9480773 or alternatively contact Julia Green at our offices on 021 396 5511 to arrange for a collection.

Please share this post with all your animal loving friends, and together we can make winter a little brighter!

Until next time,

Jess

Taking ARO to Manenberg

Manenberg, one of the many areas where gangs and violence is rife.  Along with these social challenges, there are an ever increasing number of pets and animals in the area.  In order to address the health of these animals, the Animal Rescue Organisation has assigned one mobile clinic every second Tuesday of the month. Here our mobile clinics will provide basic primary veterinary services such as:

  • Dipping against Mange and other skin diseases
  • Deworming
  • Diagnosis of wounds and diseases requiring hospital treatments eg: Parvo Virus, Biliary (Tick Fever)
  • Nutritional Advice
  • Vaccination
  • The clinics also manage the bookings and collections of animals for sterilisation which is done at our hospital.

Yesterday, I was very fortunate to be a part of the opening for these clinics that will be taking place at the Manenberg People’s Centre. Joined by the Manenberg Pets Project, AWS Phillipi and CoGH SPCA the opening was a great success.

Over 60 dogs were treated, 13 brought in for sterilisation and 9 animals surrendered / unwanted. The support and participation of the community was fantastic, and very well received. Among the many pets treated, it was apparent that Pitbulls are the preferred breed within Manenberg.

Despite a couple of serious cases of neglect, the overall condition of the pets in the area was satisfactory. Education is key in ensuring the continued care for all animals in the area. The support of the Manenberg People’s Centre is greatly appreciated and will ensure that education is continued after our clinics have left.

Our mobile clinic will return to the Manenberg People’s Centre on Tuesday 14 May 2013 from 10 – 12, and we hope it is as well received as yesterdays clinic.

Keep reading our blog for the latest updates.

Until next time,

Jess

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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.

WELFARE ORGANISATIONS TO CONTACT:

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.

MOST IMPORTANTLY ACT FAST AND DO NOT PANIC!

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..