WATCH: Plett outreach programme won't let red tape hamper lockdown food distribution efforts

By David Ritchie Time of article published Apr 15, 2020

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Cape Town - She has been threatened with arrest but Liesel Barnard says she will, as long as she can, continue to assist in feeding the people and animals of the informal communities around the industrial area of Plettenberg Bay.

“I had a woman come to me literally crying of hunger but a local community leader said I’m not allowed to distribute food. I told him to either look away or arrest me, but I cannot turn her away.”

Barnard is a member of Muddy Pooches, a community outreach programme in Plettenberg Bay. Muddy Pooches is run by Marelé Pretorius along with Tanya Hyde and Liesel Barnard, all of whom have businesses in the Plettenberg Bay area.

Their main focus is to teach youngsters in the informal settlements of Bossiesgif, Qolweni and Pine Trees how to take care of their dogs. They dip, deworm and feed and an average of 200 dogs every Saturday, and have been doing so for 3 years, but with the Covid-19 lockdown, they have seen an increased need in the communities and have taken to distributing masks, feeding the animals more regularly and assisting with distributing food donations to the people, where possible.

Erin Coetzer helping children put on their masks. Muddy Pooches usually dip, deworm and feed an average of 100 dogs every Saturday, but with the Covid-19 lockdown have seen an increased need in communities and have taken to distributing masks, feeding the animals more regularly and assisting with distributing food donations to the people, where possible. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

They spray each person’s hands with hand sanitizer before handing out pet food and chalk lines drawn in the road assist with social distancing. Two lines are formed on either side of the street, one for cat food and one for dog food

Dogs and cats brought by the community to the team, who are not yet spayed, are taken with permission from their owners, to the Marine Way Animal Hospital to be spayed free of charge. 

Muddy Pooches is a community outreach programme in Plettenberg Bay. Their main focus is to teach youngsters in the informal settlements of Bossiesgif, Qolweni and Pine Trees how to take care of their dogs. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

Hyde says they have been working hand-in-hand with the Covid-19 task force in Plettenberg Bay run by Dr Nicky Whiteman and they are in the process of getting new permits sorted out, as the current permits which were accepted by SAPS are no longer valid, to be able to continue their relief efforts in the communities.

South Africa was under an extended lockdown in an attempt to flatten the curve to halt the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

African News Agency (ANA)

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