Spotlight South Africa: Ruby’s second rescue is a reminder that education is important

Ruby in hospital in early February. c. IFAW/L. Cant-HaylettAny dog or cat living in Khayelitsha, Cape Town can count itself extremely lucky if it finds itself at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic in times of illness or injury.

In the 10-plus years of the project’s existence, many lives have been saved, suffering ended and hope restored for both owners and animals. And so it was for Ruby, a special young girl who has recently been given a second lease on life.

Ruby first arrived at Mdzananda about two years ago after being hit by a car, as happens to so many dogs in the township.  Because of severe injuries sustained to her front left leg, it was decided to amputate it.  Ruby recovered extremely well and spent three months convalescing at the project, getting used to life minus one limb.

Everyone was delighted when Ruby found a new home, with a loving family.  Her new owners brought her back for the occasional visit to say hi to everyone who had helped her through her ordeal.  So it came as a shock when about two months ago Ruby was brought in emaciated, neglected and close to giving up on life.

Details of her demise are sketchy, but Ruby was left with a neighbour while her owners went away and during this time she received very little to no basic care.  The Ruby which everyone remembered was a shadow of her old self and it was an anxious few days waiting to see if she would pull through.

Pull through she did and once again her three-legged form bounces across the project’s paving between the parked cars, ready to greet anyone willing to give her a few minutes attention, a loving scratch or rub.  So full of energy and if she could talk I am sure she would be saying, “I’m back, you see I made it again and I never want to leave”.

Ruby’s story highlights the importance of humane education, an important cog in the wheel of animal welfare, which should never be sidelined.

-- LCH

For more information about IFAW efforts for cats and dogs in South Africa, visit our Cape Town: Solutions for pets of the poor project page.

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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