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 🙂


A Message From DARG – Pet Safety over the Diwali Festival

Another post related to keeping your pets safe during loud and noisy celebrations with fireworks:


Please be aware and KEEP YOUR PETS SAFE:
Cape Town Diwali Festival will be held at Canal Walk on Saturday 27th October and there is going to be FIREWORKS!!
021-8016472 OR 083-415 1580 OR 072-628 4966 are contact numbers for the festival organisers.


With Guy Fawkes (5 November) just a few days away, animal shelters, and resue centres are preparing to receive a flood of lost and stray pets, terrified by the negative effects of fireworks especially loud crackers.

Because animals are able to hear a wider range of sounds than humans can, the sound from fireworks is at least seven times louder to them. Their natural response is to try and escape
the sound with sometimes tragic consequences.

The Animals Protection Act clearly states that “it is illegal for any person to terrify any animal” yet despite the SPCA’s efforts to educate the public on the dangers and legalities of using fireworks and lobbying government for a total ban on the use of fireworks, injuries and trauma to animals occurs each year during fireworks season (Guy Fawkes, New Year, etc).

The Firearms and Explosives Ordinance also makes it illegal for any child under the age of 16 to use or buy fireworks and it is also illegal to use or sell fireworks without an official permit except at an officially designated site. Yet, despite this legislation, fireworks are still sold in many corner cafés to anyone with money to buy and let off at home where they pose a potential danger.

Harming an animal with fireworks will result in prosecution and concerned members of the public are to please report any acts of alleged cruelty to the SPCA 24 hr control centre – 700 4140 /59 or a/h to 083 326 1604. Members of the public can also contact the Metro police 24 hour call centre to lodge complaints regarding illegal firework activities on 021 596 1999.

Please note the following guidelines to help protect your pets:-

• Ensure all animals have identification; ( ID tags or are microchipped )
• If possible, stay at home with them;
• If you can’t be at home, keep your pets inside and preferably in a room that is safe and secure;
• Try and mask any noise by drawing the curtains and playing calming music;
• Put familiar and comforting things around them;
• Give your pets a nutritious and balanced meal at night – this is likely to make them more sleepy;
• Give them something to chew on – a chewy bone or catnip toys for cats;
• If you suspect your pet will react badly to fireworks, then seek professional advice from your veterinarian who may prescribe a sedative to help them cope. There are also effective homeopathic remedies available that may be bought across the counter at vet shops to help keep your pet calm.

-info courtesy of GHSPCA

Goodbye Mau :'(

A special friend has lost her cat Mau, a gorgeous ginger kitty who had infinite patience with the kids and endless cuddles… Mau was sadly run over last night and was found by a neighbour this morning….

For you @Cupcakemummy and Fysh tonight when you bury him:

Poem For Cats

And God asked the feline spirit
Are you ready to come home?
Oh, yes, quite so, replied the precious soul
And, as a cat, you know I am most able
To decide anything for myself.

Are you coming then? asked God.
Soon, replied the whiskered angel
But I must come slowly
For my human friends are troubled
For you see, they need me, quite certainly.

But don’t they understand? asked God
That you’ll never leave them?
That your souls are intertwined. For all eternity?
That nothing is created or destroyed?
It just is….forever and ever and ever.

Eventually they will understand,
Replied the glorious cat
For I will whisper into their hearts
That I am always with them
I just am….forever and ever and ever.

Author Unknown