Cape Town - When 24-year-old Hanna Lombard lost her Rottweiler due to illness she went to an animal shelter to replace her beloved dog, and one look at a neglected pitbull melted her heart.
“We had just lost our Rottweiler due to illness in 2013 when we visited a shelter looking for a Labrador puppy to adopt,” said Lombard.
“We went to the Animal Anti-Cruelty League (AACL) in Epping and Christine Leonard, the animal adoption facilitator, asked us if we would be interested in an adult pit bull. We were very apprehensive at first, mostly because of the negative publicity in the media around the breed,” Lombard said.
“We went into Roxy’s kennel, nonetheless. Her name was ‘Top Deck’ at the time. She was so happy to see us, that she had a little accident on my foot. She looked into my eyes, I looked into hers and it was a done deal. It was as if our souls connected and she chose me. She’s been my best friend and soulmate ever since that day. She’s like my little shadow,” Lombard said.
The one-year-old pitbull was found wandering the streets and was “skin and bone” when she was brought in to AACL.
Now, Lombard has committed to giving back and helping other dogs and cats in need every year on Roxy’s “gotcha day” (birthday).
“We don’t know exactly when Roxy’s birthday is, but every year for Roxy’s ‘gotcha day’ we try to do something around that time to support shelters and homeless pets,” Lombard said.
“The first year we got her, we donated money to Hope, a dog that was being treated after presumably being used as a ‘bait’ dog by dog fighters,” she said.
“Every year after that, we try to do different things. The one year we baked a bunch of ‘pup cakes’ and took food for the cats and dogs to AWS SA in Philippi.
“For her fourth gotcha day, we did everything in four’s. We baked a cake for the staff, we made beds, blankets and donated to the cats as well, but everything was in fours,” she said.
“For her fifth gotcha day we donated bandannas and blankets to ‘Pit Pals’ for them to sell and raise money for their vet bills. This is because I am so passionate about the breed,” Lombard said.
“This year we are doing a sterilisation fund-raiser with AWS SA. The organisation is building a sterilisation clinic, called the Isdell Sterilisation Clinic,” she said.