67 ways to help this Mandela Day: Lend a paw to animals in need
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By now we’ve all surely shed a tear over the viral video of the hungry, injured seal banging on the door of a Blaauwberg, Cape Town, restaurant. Thanks to the staff and patrons, along with the SPCA, the ailing animal was transported to a Hout Bay sanctuary and is now recovering.
But the incident shines a light on the desperate circumstances being experienced by animals across the country. The Covid-19 economic crunch has seen pets being abandoned, while the absence of tourists has cut off an important source of food for their counterparts in the wild.
With Mandela Day fast approaching, and no sign of the pandemic letting up any time soon, here are some ways in which you can commit your 67 minutes to support organisations that help animals in distress all year round.
Take your best friend for a walk
With lockdown restrictions for outdoor exercise now eased, a walk with your dog is the perfect excuse to leave your home. Woodrock Animal Rescue will be holding dog walks as part of its Ark Animal Walk Park launch on Saturday and Sunday, 18 and 19 July. Gates open at 8am and entrance fees are R67 per person, R30 per dog and free for children under the age of 12.
All funds raised will support Woodrock Animal Rescue’s ongoing mission to save dogs from abuse and neglect.
Donate your time
The Centre for Rehabilitation and Wildlife (CROW) will be hosting corporate volunteers on Friday and Saturday, 17 and 18 July, to help with various projects at the centre. Projects include clearing and deweeding a patch of land for its Living Pantry Project, cementing feeding blocks and preparing a pond for the tortoise enclosure, creating new rockeries for the dassies, and repainting the volunteer house.
CROW will also be accepting donations in cash or kind on both days. For more information or to take part, email CROW.
Help beat the bills
In the interests of stopping the spread of Covid-19, Dogtown SA will not be accepting physical volunteers on Mandela Day but dog lovers can sponsor a dog – known as a Wagger in these parts – for just R67. Sponsors can choose which dog they’d like to sponsor or have Dogtown SA choose one for them.
In return, sponsors will receive a personalised e-card for themselves, a family member, friend or colleague. One email, with the subject line ‘67’, is all it takes to sponsor a Wagger and help Dogtown SA beat their bills.
Paint a mural
SPCAs across the country will be doing various drives for Mandela Day but animal lovers in Rustenburg, Johannesburg, can support the local SPCA with their time – and artistic skills. The centre is looking to refresh their space, so are appealing to volunteers of all ages to help them decorate their walls.
Alternatively, for those with less time on their hands, Rustenburg SPCA will also be accepting donations of rabbit food, paint and PVC piping on the day. Confirm your participation by mailing the centre or sending a WhatsApp text message to 084 885 5173.
Swipe when you shop
The MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet community loyalty programme makes it easy for you to show your love for those who need it the most, including animals. When you become a supporter, you can select up to three causes that matter to you, and each time you swipe your card at a participating retailer, a donation is made to your beneficiaries on your behalf - at no cost to you! Giving, made easy.
To become a supporter, sign up for free as a MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet cardholder at myschool.co.za or download the app.
Relate bracelets, which are hand-made by elderly women living in townships, who all receive an income, also support many causes – including those focused on animals.
This Mandela Day, purchase a Relate bracelet to help the Endangered Wildlife Trust; Save the Elephants SA/Elephants Alive which ensures the long-term survival of African elephants and their habitats; the Jane Goodall Chimpanzee Institute of South Africa, who rescue orphaned chimps who would otherwise end up being poached for bushmeat or illegally traded; and the SA Guide Dogs Association, which trains guide dogs, service dogs and autism support dogs.