Written and photography supplied by Hanna Lombard
Roxy was found on the streets in a terrible condition in 2013, and she was never claimed. She spent months in the shelter waiting for the right family to come along and adopt her. We lost our Rottie, and we were casually visiting shelters looking for a Labrador puppy to adopt. It was our first time adopting, so we went to a few shelters to meet their dogs.
I knew it would be better to adopt as it saves two lives: the dog being adopted and the dog that can go into the open kennel. We went to the Animal Anti-Cruelty League (AACL) in Epping one Saturday morning and completed the paperwork. The adoption facilitator went through the forms and asked if we’d be interested in an adult Pit Bull, but at the time we were apprehensive. The only thing we knew about the breed was the negative image they had in the media, and we still had our hearts set on a Lab puppy, so we walked through the shelter and met all the dogs.
On our way out, the adoption facilitator asked if we’d like to go into the Pit Bull’s kennel. After seeing how excited she was, we went inside. She was so happy to have us in her kennel. Her bum was wiggling in overdrive; she gave so many kisses and just wanted to climb onto my lap. She had a little “accident” from all the excitement, and it was a done deal. I never believed in love at first sight until I met Roxy. It was a really strange feeling – the best way to describe it is to say our souls connected. I knew she was the one, and to this day, I’m convinced she chose us. We left the shelter and she was booked for her sterilisation the following week.
On the 12th of August 2013, we received the call telling us that she was ready to join our family. We were in a shop looking for new dog accessories for her, but we dropped everything and raced through to the shelter before they closed to bring her home. She crept into the hearts of all the staff at the shelter, and there were quite a few tears when we took her to the car.
It wasn’t always easy at first; we had to learn how to adjust around Roxy, and she had to settle into her new home. With time, love, and patience, Roxy flourished, realising that we weren’t going to give up on her. She’s the most amazing and loving dog, and we do almost everything together. Everyone who meets her falls in love, and she loves meeting new people. We try our best to use her as an ambassador for her breed; the positives about adoption – especially older dog adoption – and the importance of sterilisation.
She started with obedience training this year, and she’s doing incredibly well. She passed her first and second test with 92% - proof that it’s never too late to start with training. She also entered a dog show in the “Best Rescue” category in May at the Silvermist Equestrian Centre, and she won first place! She’s also a Regal Pet Health “Regal Hero” and uses their Stress and Anxiety Remedy to help her with any anxiety.
Every year for her Gotcha Day, we try to celebrate in a meaningful way by giving back to animals in need. Her adoption facilitator now works at Animal Welfare Society of South Africa (Philippi – Cape Town), and the first couple of years we celebrated by donating a variety of items to them.
In 2018, we donated various items to Pit Pals to sell and raise funds for their vet bills. This year we ran a sterilisation fundraiser for AWS SA to fund sterilisations at their Isdell Sterilisation Clinic. Sterilising dogs and cats is so important, and it helps reduce pet overpopulation, prevent cruelty and abuse, and reduces the risk of many health-related issues in both cats and dogs. With huge thanks to our sponsors, we had amazing prizes up for grabs.
We raised R13,607.96 in total, which means 39 animals will be sterilised. This will prevent thousands of litters in the long run, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing support of everyone who believed in our cause and supported the fundraiser.
A huge thanks to everyone who supported and donated towards Roxy’s fundraiser this year, and a reminder to look out for our 2020 fundraisers too! Thank you for helping us (and Roxy) make a valuable difference out there! We also want to say thank you to all our amazing sponsors for this fundraiser!
The Kennel Brewery also held their “Pawfect Winter Beer Festival” at the end of August and allowed us to raise funds for our cause. @Goldengirlcalibear (IG) arranged a meetup for all the Instagram dogs of Cape Town in September and helped us to raise much-needed funds at the event.
Allan Perrins, Head of Communications and Resource Development of the Animal Welfare Society of South Africa (AWS SA), adds…
Hanna is one of the kindest and most caring young ladies I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. She’s an inspiration to all and a model dog owner. Not only has she raised sorely needed funds for pet sterilisations, which entailed a huge effort on her part, but she’s also been an incredible ambassador for Pit Bulls, who almost always appear in the news for all the wrong reasons.
I was so sorry that I couldn’t attend the draw and thank her personally, but she knows how much her support means to us and those who’ll benefit from her efforts.
We’ve tallied up the numbers for Roxy’s sixth Gotcha Day and will be using the proceeds to sterilise the first batch of animals to benefit from the Isdell Sterilisation Clinic.
Hanna – we salute you for a job well done.