Paw-some heroes honoured at special Animal Welfare Society ceremony

AWS SA Chairlady Pam Hart with Riley Valentine and AWS SA CEO Dr John McMullen. Picture: Jackie Wernberg

AWS SA Chairlady Pam Hart with Riley Valentine and AWS SA CEO Dr John McMullen. Picture: Jackie Wernberg

Published Jan 30, 2024

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Cape Town - The Animal Welfare Society SA hosted an intimate ceremony to thank five of its loyal donors and partners who play a special role in advocating for animals and sustaining the organisation.

AWS SA in Philippi has been a pillar for the community through its regular projects and helping those less fortunate with primary healthcare for their beloved fur babies.

Among the five recipients was Pamela Isdell, a patron and animal welfare warrior who can claim credit for a number of operational victories since she assumed office in 2016.

AWS SA spokesperson Allan Perrins said: “Thanks to Pamela’s magnanimity and genius we have a dedicated pet sterilisation clinic, a unique pet vaccination walk-through clinic, an education and outreach vehicle, a state -of-the-art alternate power supply, limitless potable quality borehole water, intruder proof boundary walls and brand new animal handling equipment, to mention just a few of the projects she has selflessly funded.”

AWS SA Chairlady Pam Hart with Pamela Isdell and AWS SA CEO Dr John McMullen. Picture: Jackie Wernberg

Perrins also honoured mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, in his absence, for donating R500000 from his Mayoral Fund in July 2022, enabling AWS SA to sterilise and vaccinate 1000 pets.

Brigitte Reeve-Taylor, founder of Dancers Love Dogs, was next for sponsoring the sterilisation of thousands of pets on the Cape Flats, raising over R5 million since she first performed in the name of dogs.

Cindy Kooi, a volunteer graphic designer responsible for the layout of annual reports, sought-after Pawsome Stories booklets and world-class social media adverts followed.

Brigitte Reeve-Taylor and AWS SA CEO Dr John McMullen. Picture: Jackie Wernberg
AWS SA Chairlady Pam Hart with Cindy Kooi and AWS SA CEO Dr John McMullen. Picture: Jackie Wernberg

Riley Valentine, 12, was honoured for sacrificing birthday presents in favour of gifts to his project, Cause-for-Paws; a pet food drive aimed at benefiting the AWS SA animals.

Perrins said: “Our youngest animal welfare ambassador, Riley, for his devotion and selfless decision to forego birthday presents in favour of his family and friends donating pet food and spoils to his campaign aptly called Cause-for-Paws.

“May his compassion for animals serve as an inspiration to others who have yet to experience the joy of helping those less fortunate.”

Riley, who previously suffered with epilepsy, said dog therapy healed him and he has a dream of becoming a veterinarian.

Riley Valentine. Picture: Jackie Wernberg

He told the Cape Argus: “I want this award to be an inspiration to other children to get involved in AWS SA and become activists for the rights of animals.”

Perrins also paid tribute to the fallen heroes who generously remembered AWS SA in their wills.

He told recipients: “We know you have a lot of choices when it comes to donating and we are so grateful that you chose to donate to our cause. We simply couldn’t do what we do without amazing people like you. Many people say they want to help; fewer actually step up to do it.”

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Cape TownAnimals