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

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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