It is raining in Cape Town but the sun is shining for a stray in Khayelitsha

The lucky stray.Driving on the highway on my way to the International Fund for Animal Welfare Dog & Cat Project, Mdzananda Animal Clinic this morning I cast my eyes across to the Helderberg Mountains in the distance. 

The weather looks threatening; definitely looks like more rain is on its way.

Approaching Khayelitsha though, blue skies appear and it feels good to be visiting the project again after a few weeks absence.

The project’s resident dogs run up to greet me as I enter the courtyard gates, Ruby, AJ, Liquorice, all coming to say hallo in their own way, most wanting tummy rubs, others like Liquorice nudges my hand and cheekily nips encouraging me to acknowlege his presence.  Liquorice is the project’s resident blood donor, having saved the life of a fellow canine just last week with a transfusion. 

Dr Gemma Driscoll comments on how busy the hospital has been in the past two weeks and with new signage having been erected recently, she is convinced that it’s no coincidence their consult and admittance numbers have increased since then. 

The surgical theatre is full and the Animal Welfare Assistants move swiftly as they go through the motions of preparing patients for spay and neuter surgery and monitoring recovery.

Two of the clinic's Animal Welfare Assistants with the lucky stray.After spending a few minutes in consults with Maria Limani, one of the project’s long time Animal Welfare Assistants, we notice a young man having difficulty persuading a small, emaciated looking young puppy to follow him. 

We approach him and Maria tells him in Xhosa to pick the dog up as it is evident the pup is skittish and not quite sure where he is leading him.

He enters consults and he tells us that he found the young pup wandering around in the street where he lives and he cannot have a dog. 

So the young stray is relinquished into the project’s care and Maria vaccinates, deworms and frontlines him, all the while he lies obediently on the consult table. 

She carefully cleans his eyes and gently places him on the ground and scoops a few spoonsful of tinned dog food into a bowl and he hungrily gulps the food down.

It is raining in Cape Town but the sun is shining in Khayelitsha today for sure, I think to myself, especially for one special dog who for tonight has a warm place to sleep and food in his stomach and tomorrow….well hopefully a new home.


Post a comment


Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Jan Hannah, Campaign Manager, Northern Dogs Project
Campaign Manager, Northern Dogs Project
Kate Nattrass Atema, Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters