SFAR Street by Street on Mandela Day

Volunteers from St Francis Animal Rescue took a walk through Sea Vista on July 18th, Mandela Day, to celebrate Madiba’s legacy of working to make the world a better, kinder, more generous place.

Each of four volunteers carried back packs containing dog-food to feed at least 67 dogs as a way to commemorate Mandela’s fight for social justice for 67 years.

We spent a few hours in Sea Vista feeding not only hungry dogs – but a large female pig, a litter of small piglets, a flock of hens and one skinny kitten. As always, our volunteers were welcomed with smiles and a show of genuine gratitude by the dog-owners of Sea Vista.

Times are tough though and it’s hard enough to put food on the table for the family – let alone the animals. St Francis Animal Rescue supplies most Spaza Stores in Sea Vista with bags of adult dog, puppy and kitten food sold at R5.00 a bag but, for those who are jobless, R5.00 is not always available.

We discovered two litters of small pups being weaned from starving mothers and booked two females for sterilization next week. We also came upon a dog with a serious injury to his eye and asked his owner to take him immediately to Dr Nerine Botha at Aloe Vet on our account.

The most gratifying aspect of the work St Francis Animal Rescue Volunteers do is the enormous satisfaction we get seeing how healthy most Sea Vista dogs are. Naturally, there are instances of neglect and abuse – and dogs  chained for their protection or because they are vicious – but, in the main, most of these dogs are healthy and well cared for.

Many of these animals know us from our regular outreaches and run towards us, tails wagging, tongues lolling, eager for a kind stroke and a handful of pellets.

Mandela Day – a global call to action – has at its heart, the message that we each have the power to transform our world. The volunteers of St Francis Animal Rescue believe we have an ability to make an impact on the quality of life of dogs and cats living in Sea Vista. We do this through promoting our Open Your Eyes and Sterilize campaign and encouraging dog owners to spay and neuter their dogs to improve the quality of their lives. At present, we neuter and spay up to five dogs and cats a week – often more. One day, we believe we will have the funds to do more.

We thank Mandela for his inspirational legacy of volunteerism and service – it’s one we live by.