Peter, 14, and his little brother Gerry Cedras, 8, with beloved dog. Picture: Jack Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - Two little boys who lost everything in a fire two weeks ago, scraped together their last R7 to save the life of their neighbour’s dog. The barefoot brothers then walked for several kilometres across farms to the Animal Welfare Society in Philippi.

Peter, 14, and his little brother Gerry Cedras, 8, live on the Groenvlei Farm in Philippi with their parents Jerome Spyer and Henna Cedras, 36.

The family live in a tiny farmhouse with no running water or electricity, and share a small bed. Two weeks ago, a candle which had fallen over burnt all their belongings including the boys’ shoes and clothing.

On Wednesday, Peter and Gerry were asked by their neighbour Julia Julie, 60, to take her dog Lady to the AWS because the pet was not eating. She gave Peter R5 for food for the two of them. Peter originally intended to keep the money, along with R2 he’d gotten from a cousin, as he was saving to buy his brother a pair of shoes.

But the boys realised they would need money to pay the AWS for Lady’s treatment, and decided to use their “savings” for her instead. “We all love the dog,” says a shy Peter.

AWS spokesman Allan Perrins says staff were touched and left speechless when the boys arrived with the dog and told their story.

“These two heroic little souls had walked for miles from one of the local vegetable farms covering some really rough terrain, urging and carrying their beloved dog Lady, who they prefer to call Meisie, which was busy dying, all the way to us,” he says.

Picture: Jack Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)


“Gerry made the trip barefoot. His brother Peter had saved R7 which he was going to put towards buying Gerry a pair of shoes but felt the shoes could wait and opted to rather spend the money on saving their dog.”

Perrins says staff were so taken by the boys’ courage that they gave Gerry a pair of shoes.

He says Lady, a German Shepherd cross, was diagnosed with tick bite fever.

“Since arrival, she has had a blood transfusion, been placed on a drip to keep her hydrated and been prescribed a course of medication.”

Perrins adds: “What really impressed me about these two minors is that despite the odds, they made a plan and unselfishly put Lady’s life and needs before anything else.

“We hope their devotion, compassion and initiative inspires other owners to take good care of their pets.”

Peter and Gerry live on Groenvlei Farm, Philippi. Picture: Jack Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)


The boys’ mother Henna says they have nothing left after the fire. “We have managed to fix the roof with the help of a relative but we lost everything, down to the children’s birth certificates.”

* If you would like to assist Lady and the family with food and donations, contact Allan Perrins on 078 631 5126. Donations can also be dropped off at the Animal Welfare Society in Papkuilsvleiweg, Philippi.