34 before 35 – #20 Volunteer at an animal shelter

Yesterday I spent the day out at DARG in Hout Bay with Cam in an effort to get started on my list of things I want to do/get involved with before my next birthday. 

DARG is a pro-life, non-profit organisation that rescues, cares for and re-homes abused, neglected and abandoned cats and dogs. It is their vision to be a leading example of animal sheltering in South Africa.

When DARG was founded in 1995 by Cicely Blumberg, Leslie McClaghlan and a group of volunteers, it was inially a shelterless rescue network. DARG eventually rented, at a very nominal fee, 28 dog kennels from a Mrs Harrop who ran a boarding kennel. For 3 years more and more dogs found their way to DARG, and almost 3000 dogs were homed.

When Mrs Harrop passed away the property was put up for sale. DARG went on a search to find a donor who could buy the property and let DARG continue to run the kennels.

In early 2000 a Mr. Antonio Giovanini and his wife Joy bought the kennels and land. The land was put into a trust, and is reserved exclusively for use as a NO-KILL animal shelter.

We spent the morning walking some of the dogs that are currently residing at DARG, a few of the mutts really stood out 🙂 There are some really special animals available for adoption – these guys have so much love to give and they all deserve a chance to live their lives happy and loved. I have an adopted dog, Flick, who has been with me since June 2012. He is quite possibly the most loving animal I have ever had the pleasure of having in my life.

Spot - a very friendly young dog

One of the gorgeous kittens waiting for a home

If a new family pet is something you are considering for your family, I urge you to adopt, rather than buy. There are puppies and kittens available, and DARG will help you choose an animal suitable to your home and lifestyle. If you are unable to adopt you could consider also donating food (not just to DARG, you may have another shelter in your area that would benefit from caring people like you). If that is out of your budget, a couple hours of your time on weekends is all these animals need – just a little love and care goes a long way.

Ross - a very chilled little boy :)    I think this is Figaro - mischief personified!

What I will say though – is if you get a pet you need to understand that this should be a commitment you make for life – your dogs and cats are more than just animals. They are a part of your family and shouldn’t be abandoned or traded off because you don’t like their personality or you’re bored with them. It’s all or nothing when it comes to owning a pet.

You can find DARG on twitter , facebook and on the web

Spread the love and help save a life 🙂