Letters of Love from Around the World for Lily and her Doggy Friends

Letters of Love from Around the World  for Lily and her Doggy Friends
Friday, October 18, 2013
Cape Town, South Africa

 ”Lily” quilts, made from thousands of letters of love and support for an abused dog, were today handed over to the Cape Town animal welfare project that saved her.

Two years ago animal lovers were shocked by the news that a dog had been buried alive on the orders of a high school principal, for being a “nuisance”.

Among them were supporters of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW – www.ifaw.org), the main funder of the Mdzananda Animal Clinic, whose clinic staff rescued the dog. IFAW sent swatches of fabric to donors around the world inviting them to write messages to the dog on them. The fabric squares have been sewn into quilts for the animals cared for by Mdzananda.

“What was truly overwhelming was the depth of emotion people shared in their words of love and support. They felt compelled to act – in the end we received more than 3,000 signed swatches back from our supporters,” said Ronelle Petersen, Supporter Relations Representative for IFAW Southern Africa.

“We created the ‘Lily’ display quilt as a public reminder that animal abuse can never, ever be tolerated, and a local NGO was employed to sew  up the balance of the swatches to make hard-wearing, padded dog blankets for Mdzananda’s patients.”

In one of the more shocking animal abuse cases prosecuted in South Africa, Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha rescued a dog after it had been buried alive on the orders of a high school principal who said the dog was a nuisance.

“Lily was unearthed from a metre-deep pit near to the Luhlaza High School tennis courts, by Mdzananda clinic staff in October 2011 – she had been underground for at least 30 minutes and was barely alive when they reached her. A two year court case recently found two janitors and the principal guilty of animal cruelty and sentenced them to community service and fines,” said Lisa Cant-Haylett, IFAW Co-coordinator for Companion Animal Projects in South Africa. The principal was also ordered to establish a humane education programme at the school.

Initially named “Warrior” for her bravery by clinic staff, she was renamed “Lily” when she found a new home with a local journalist who covered the story for her newspaper, and eventually adopted the greyhound-like cross breed.

Today Lily was the guest of honour at an event at Mdzananda to hand over the “Lily” display quilt, and the padded blankets for clinic patients.

“The story of Lily’s survival is a tribute to her spirit, and to the wonderful staff of our dog and cat clinic in Cape Town. Today Lily is intelligent and obedient, playful and inquisitive – everything a happy dog should be. Her story is inspiring,” says Cant-Haylett.

Ends

About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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