SLIDESHOW: Supporters send in swatches of love for warrior, Lily the dog in South Africa

Two years to the day after Lily – we call her Lily, the Warrior Dog – was rescued after being buried alive because she was causing a “nuisance”, there was cause to celebrate her life at IFAW’s Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Cape Town.

Lily, originally called Warrior, because of her fighting spirit, found a special place in the hearts of IFAW supporters so we found a special way for them to bless her life, and just as important, the amazing team who saved her.

Over the last few months we sent thousands of small swatches of pink and orange fabric to IFAW supporters, inviting them to write messages of love and support on them for Lily. We were staggered by the response – more than 3,000 people sent back the pieces of material.

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We had them turned into padded quilts to line the baskets and cages for Mdzananda’s dog and cat patients, and others pieces were made into a large “display quilt” which has been hung in the consulting room at the clinic for all of our customers to admire.

Lily was the guest of honour at the event we held to mark the occasion and dozens of people from the local community, as well as local journalists turned out to meet Lily and the team.

It was early morning on October 20th, 2011, when Mdzananda got an anonymous tip-off to say that two men had been spotted digging a pit on the premises of Luhlaza Secondary School and then burying a live dog in it.

Veterinarian Dr Edson Man’Ombe and animal welfare carer Lazola Sotyingwa, rushed to the school and apprehended two janitors on the school field. After initially claiming the dog was dead, they then admitted the dog was still alive when they buried it – acting on the instruction of the school headmaster. The dog, they said was crippled and causing a nuisance by hanging around the schoolyard in the hope of scavenging tidbits from pupils.

The pit was reopened and Warrior, as she was immediately named, was found gasping for air 1,5 metres below the surface.

Both the janitors and the headmaster were later found guilty of animal cruelty by a Cape Town Magistrate’s Court, and received criminal sentences and fines. The head master was also instructed to ensure a humane education programme was put in place at the school – the first time, we believe, that a court has made such a ruling.

Over two years of loving care and physical rehabilitation and Lily has become a pretty, intelligent, healthy and engaged dog.

It is only because of your generosity that IFAW is able to support the only full-time, on site animal welfare clinic in Khayelitsha Township, where dogs like Lily are saved every day and are able to be given a second chance to have a fulfilling loving life.

Thank you.


For more information about IFAW efforts to help dogs around the world visit our campaign page.

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Senior Program Advisor
Senior Program Advisor
Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
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Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
IFAW Veterinarian
Katie Moore, Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Loïs Lelanchon, Animal Rescue Program Officer
Animal Rescue Program Officer
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy