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Cape Town — While families are scrambling to make sure they get water on Day Zero, animal lovers are making sure the four-legged ones are also catered for.

Animal Rescue Organisation (ARO) and Water for Paws and are doing their bit by establishing a water collection system to ensure their dog bowls remain full.

The organisations are compiling their own Day Zero water drop-off collection points around Cape Town and are asking the public to donate water to ensure that the animal organisation, ARO hospital and communities with animals in need of water won't be left behind.

ARO spokesperson Karen de Klerk said the organisation is not very hopeful that Day Zero won't occur, and doesn't have a clear message from the City about the water collection process for rescue organisations that assist animals.

“People in bush areas don't have a vehicle to run around to get 25 litres of water for livestock. It's not a happy story. We are hoping to get a filtration system for our borehole, to use water for the hospital and for animals at ARO or coming through the hospital system but what about other animals?” asked De Klerk.

She was not the only one that expressed concern about the welfare of animals during the drought as Cape Town resident Fiona Dimio also feared for animal organisations without water and set up Water for Paws last Friday to collect water reserves for animal organisations.

“All I wanted to do was be a Capetonian trying to do my part in the current water crisis that we see ourselves in. With Day Zero approaching and the taps to be turned off, I wondered what would happen to the animal rescue centres and the individual Animal Rescue Angels.

“I could not sit back and hope that “someone else would do something” so I started Water for Paws. The response has been astounding water has been rolling in fast. We're collecting water from Joburg and Cape Town,” said Dimio.

The executive director for safety and security for the City of Cape Town, Richard Bosman, said the City is entering into engagements with animal organisations to work out what will be the best way to meet their water needs in a Day Zero scenario.

With regard to household pets, Mayco member for informal settlements, water and waste services and energy councillor Xanthea Limberg said households must devise plans to stay within the 50 litres of water allocation, while accommodating the essential needs of every living being.

To find out more about ARO and where you can donate water, contact Karen de Klerk on 0813520927 or e-mail [email protected]