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Never did I imagine that when Stephanie Ernstein and I joined forces to form a small animal outreach on the Sea Vista playing fields some five or so years ago that it would ever grow into what it is today. When Rebecca Tilders decided to retire from the incredible work she did with local pet population  and move overseas, Stephane took over much of what Rebecca had been involved in.  How I actually got involved I don’t remember other than Sue Rae Fox suggested Steph could maybe do with some help. And so it began.

Stephanie and I met every Thursday  with Steph treating dog illnesses, injuries and vaccines and I dipping dogs against Ticks and fleas. Over time volunteers came , some stayed some left but Thursday afternoon’s soon became a social event on the Sea Vista community calendar with crowds of kids joining us along with pet owners.

Stephanie with two growing lads close to matriculating took leave to attend to attend to her boys academic and sporting activities but she was ably replaced by Christelle and Cathy and finally Sue was persuaded that she should take a more hands on part in the going on’s over and above the amazing work she does in raising funds for the sterilizing of cats and dogs.

And so started the incredible growth and work being done by St Francis Animal Rescue or SFAR.

Finding a permanent venue was a major concern for neither the playing field nor a small tract of land were really suitable and thus when Jean Hugo offered Sue use of a piece of land next to his Construction offices, the outreach finally had a permanent home. Going forward this kind offer by Jean has come in extremely useful not just for the SFAR outreach but also for St Francis Disaster Volunteer Group food parcel distribution for the local community.

No longer actively involved owing to diminished mobility I happened by the yesterday afternoon to catch up with how things were going post the lockdown.

To say I was surprised would be an understatement for even since my previous pre-lockdown visits, the outreach seems to have grown a new enthusiasm. Whether motivated by the incredible work done by Sue Rae-Fox and Sheena Ruth during the Stage 5 and 4 lockdown periods when these two intrepid animal lovers saw to the wellbeing on the Sea Vista pet community or just a need to be involved in a meaningful activity, it was wonderful to see so many new volunteers now actively taking part.