Ingrid de Storie from Ocean View has dedicated her life to giving protection and warmth to vulnerable animals in her area. Picture: Mthuthuzeli Ntseku/Cape Argus
Cape Town - Ingrid de Storie from Ocean View has dedicated her life to giving protection and warmth to vulnerable animals in her area.

Known as the “Mother Teresa of animals” by residents of Ocean View, De Storie, 60, has from a young age felt a need to be a voice for the voiceless.

For 20 years De Storie has been helping stray animals roaming the streets of her community, using the meagre proceeds from her fish and chips outlet. She volunteered at Tears animal rescue for 18 years before opening her own rescue haven in her yard.

“My calling was to take care of abused and neglected animals, as they can’t defend themselves,” she said.

The initiative 1 Kennel at a Time was founded in 2014 after she and Corrine Wilson first worked together on what was supposed to be a one-day project, handing out doggy bags, and has grown to five volunteers.

De Storie said she walked her community in search of hungry and sick dogs and cats, and rescued them with the help of Tears and the SPCA.

“Everyone in my community knows me. If an animal is sick or hit by a car, they come to me, even in the middle of the night,” she said.

De Storie said animals had been killed and used in gang initiations, including being boiled alive, having their feet cut off, being tied to train tracks, burnt alive and used in fights.

“I hate dog fighting and I’m not scared to confront people who do it,’’ she said, adding that she had earned respect from her community for her animal advocacy.

“Our intention is to rather help people than take animals away, as shelters are overflowing with animals and there aren’t enough homes available.

“We have a temporary safety net for people who surrender their animals when they can’t afford them.”

To date, the 1 Kennel at a Time team has supplied more than 700 kennels and has educated pet owners.

“We encourage sterilisation by offering pet owners free kennels in lieu of them sterilising their pets,” said De Storie.

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Cape Argus