Look at me NOW!

Proudly showcasing adopted and adored pets whose lives were changed forever because people gave them a chance. Proof that animals adopted from welfares make wonderful companions.

February 2024

Lucy

Lucy

Sarah Wilson shares Lucy, who was adopted from Johannesburg SPCA

“Lucy was just meant to be with us. She’s a real daddy’s girl, but when I tell people she’s very funny, very naughty but very sensitive, they say ‘Just like her mom!’.

“She has a noise phobia, especially with cars. It’s taken a lot of work, but she’s come on in leaps and bounds. Literally.

“Lucy is a treasure and I can’t believe how lucky we are to share her life with her.”

Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky

Photo credit: Nat Gold ZA

Sarah Bouwer shares Tchaikovsky (Tchaiky for short), who was adopted from Cat Trapping in the Winelands

“Tchaiky was rescued as a kitten by Cat Trapping in the Winelands. I chose him because of his little moustache and he was the last of his litter remaining waiting for a home!

“When I brought him home it was clear that he was a complete character. There was no shyness or hiding under the bed; he immediately started exploring his new home like he owned the place. I was slightly taken aback by how talkative he was, but now I’m used to his constant chatting. Despite his clear bold and adventurous nature, he’s also extremely affectionate as he quickly bonded to me and decided I was his person.

“He loves being out in the garden enjoying wild and exciting adventures, but gets especially excited when I decide to join him. He accompanies me whenever I go outside and comes to greet me the second he hears the jingle of my keys when I get home. Although it seemed he wanted to be a spoilt only cat, he eventually conceded that he’d share my affection with his new sister, Biscuit. She adores him and loves to copy him and follow him around. They love to play together, often chasing each other around the apartment when the evening zoomies hit.”

Max

Max

Lauren Maxwell shares Max

“Max is a two-year-old Husky with a bright, bubbly personality but not much of a voice. Max was found wandering the streets as a tiny puppy in Langa and brought to me to foster for a little while as he needed to be bottle-fed. However, when the time came for Max to go to his new home, I couldn’t let him go, and he’s been with me ever since.

“Max has grown into a slightly smaller-than-average, but full-of-life young boy who loves nothing more than going for a gentle stroll or a swim in a pond. (No beaches, though. The salt water is yucky.) During the day, Max observes the birds and occasionally kitties that enter his yard to lounge.

“Unlike most Huskies, Max has never really found his voice and is a silent observer most of the time, unless he REALLY needs you to know something (like you’re five minutes late taking him for his walk, or you have a treat you haven’t given him fast enough).

“On our walks, Max loves nothing more than greeting every human he sees and judging the other dogs that bark at him along the way. Silent Max never barks back and never responds to an aggressive bark or snarl. Unfortunately, because Max is a Husky, he isn’t always greeted with kindness by other humans, but when they do, he lavishes on the attention.”

Goofy

Goofy

Ansia Els shares Goofy, who was adopted from Highveld Horse Care Unit

“We welcomed HHCU Ford Perfect to the family on the 15th of July 2020, a week after taking a visit to Highveld Horse Care Unit for my 12th birthday.

“A year-and-a-half-later, we joined LinRowe stables to pursue our competitive career. Within our first year, we’d gone from poles on the ground to the Junior 1m classes. 2022 instilled the confidence in our partnership and showcased only very little of what was to come. We were the Junior 90cm Gauteng SASJ challenge overall winner of 2022! In 2023, not only did we achieve the goal I’d set at the beginning of 2022 for us, but our partnership became rock solid. Throughout the year, on our way to the 1.20s, we won two championship classes and picked up a few placings too. On the 26th of November we competed in our first 1.20 show.

“I’ve never felt such a feeling, and to know that we’d achieved that together was so special; Goofy and I were truly partners that day! I cannot wait to see what we can do in 2024.

“Goofy is the very representation of his nickname – he’s an extremely sensitive soul but truly has a winning spirit. He’s got quite the personality and has a very quirky side, but he always wants to do the best he can. He never says no and would quite literally walk through fire for his rider.

“He’s the best first horse a girl could ask for. I couldn’t ask for a better horse with which to have started my Junior career.”

January 2024

Kei

Kei

Alycia Goedvolk shares Kei

Photo credit: Robynne Prinsloo Photography

“One would think that the saying ‘being in the right place at the right time’ is unlikely, if ever, meant to refer to being in a shebeen in a township after midnight on a Saturday night, but in Mkulu Kei’s case, it was exactly that. We were having a braai at some friends down the road when, inexplicably, the beer ran out. This being the Wild Coast, options were few. In fact, the only option to replenish them was to pop into the local shebeen a few kilometres away, which the men apparently thought was a good idea. They were gone a while, and when they came back they had the beers, sure, but they also had two tiny fur balls who’d been living outside in the rain, running the very real danger of being trampled underfoot by shebeen patrons. Being constitutionally incapable of turning away an animal in need, we decided that I’d take one and my friend the other.

“They were no more than six weeks old and required constant care and attention, but somewhere along the line I did something wrong, because nothing has changed except that he’s now five years old. It’s my own fault – it was winter when he came and I let him sleep with me in my bed and fussed over him as if he were my own new-born baby.

“He’s now the fastest hound on the beach, as well as being in possession of a textbook case of a passive-aggressive personality, which means he gets whatever he wants whenever he wants it, and I now sleep on my pillow at the top right-hand corner of a king-sized bed, while he and his friends get a solid 10-hour sleep nightly and I slowly develop sciatica and chronic insomnia.”

Charlie

Charlie

Anrich Ligthelm and Pieter Black share Charlie, who was adopted from Friends of CARE Animal Welfare Society

“The initial encounter with Charlie occurred on the main road of McGregor where he was in a very bad condition, marking the moment we realised this young pup had found a home. Although there was some initial stress, fearing he might want to run away, it didn’t take long for Charlie to assert himself in his new environment. Gradually, he took charge, familiarising himself with our surroundings and bonding effortlessly with our staff, displaying nothing but love.

“Three months down the line, Charlie boasts a coat that shimmers like a diamond, showcasing not only his physical well-being but also his affectionate and obedient nature. Each day we have the privilege to look after him he delves deeper into the chambers of our heart.

“A heartfelt appreciation goes out to Friends of CARE and their dedicated team for making the adoption process seamless. Above all, we extend our gratitude to the McGregor community for their unwavering support in ensuring the well-being of all animals in a compassionate manner.”

Luna

Luna

Lanie van der Berg shares Luna, who was adopted from Wellington SPCA

“Luna, my playful kitty, is a real live wire! She’s about four months old, and this cuddly furball is always exploring, her nose is a super sniffer, no time for eating alone with her in the house – she eats a lot.

“She loves her toys, always attacking them. She sometimes thinks I’m her scratch-pole...! She’s just so cute. We fell in love with her the moment we set eyes on her and she rules the house!

“Luna’s purring is so beautiful and her snuggles are the best. When I wake up, she snuggles herself into my arms.

“We really love her and enjoy her silliness!

“Thanks Wellington SPCA for bringing this furry tornado of fun into our lives.”

Bailey

Bailey

Kerry Scott shares Bailey, who was adopted from SPCA Roodepoort Krugersdorp

“Bailey she was adopted on the 31st of July 2018. She’s just the sweetest little girl and loves everyone.”

December 2023

Keiko

Keiko

Photo credit: Robynne Prinsloo Photography

Alycia Goedvolk shares Keiko

“Keiko Milano was one of only three puppies who survived her stray mother’s labour. No one knew until after someone had taken the clearly in-pain mom to a vet that her hips weren’t widening due to having been hit by a car at some point years before, so the birth was traumatic and the puppies were starved of oxygen. After the birth, the mom didn’t produce any milk, so the surviving pups had to be hand-reared from day one.

“I took Keiko with me everywhere in a dog bag equipped with special puppy milk formula and blankets to keep her warm and cold wipes to keep her cool; she was so tiny that she had no internal temperature regulation system yet.

“Today, four years and 35kg later, she’s a force of nature and imagines herself the queen of the beach, and I’m not disagreeing with her on this particular point.”

Sage, Basil and Mint

Sage, Basil and Mint

Cayla Gomes and Devon Worrall share Sage, Basil and Mint, adopted from HART (Helderberg Animal Rescue)

“We went to HART Animal Welfare in Somerset West with the intention of adopting one, maybe two, kittens and ended up taking a whole litter of three home with us. They’d been rescued from living in a crack in a wall behind a bank.

“Sage, Basil and Mint have the most incredible bond and we just couldn’t leave one of them behind. It just means that it’s three times more love, playtime, zoomies and, of course, endless cuddles, and we’re so excited to have them join our family!”

Cleo

Cleo

Photo credit: Tiny Toes Photography

Marja Vorster shares Cleo, who was adopted from Boggle & Brux Rescue

“We adopted Cleo in June 2022. Cleo loves stashing her food. She’s our little cheeky rat.”

Ozzie

Ozzie

Photo credit: Strike a Pose Studios

Dido Blagden shares Ozzie

“Ozzie, my Gumby look-alike Womble.

“A friend who’s a behaviourist shared Ozzie to my Facebook page and tagged me, saying: ‘Look; another Gumby,’ in January 2021. Gumby was my Paws for People Therapy dog (we did visits to many schools, old-age homes, hospitals, etc.) and, oh, I still missed him terribly.

“On the 7th, I collected Ozzie as a foster (hahaha ja… Really?!). When I arrived to see him I could see Gumby in his face, but other than that he was really a huge, woolly Rastafarian Basset.

“When people ask his breed I say: Womble.

“Ozzie had landed in Maltese, French Poodle & Yorkie Rescue South Africa with three or four ‘siblings’ who were all Daxies or Yorkies. He was very bonded with a little brown Dachshund, Milo – originally they said the two had to be rehomed as a pair. Sadly, all his ‘siblings’ got adopted (including Milo) but Ozzie was left behind. Being so big compared with all the other dogs in the shelter, he was constantly overlooked, and he eventually stopped trying. He was there for six months. He assuaged his helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness with food and became obese.

“Ozzie is a jolly chap who keeps everyone in line. He’s quick to calm anyone whose playfulness gets too energetic. Like Gumby, he doesn’t tolerate bullies or tomfoolery!

“Having trimmed down and filling his hole of need with love, he’s healthy, happy and full of joie de vivre! He has also, most certainly, helped fill the void my Gumby left behind. And start from his face, he also has the heart of Gumby and many of his traits!”


Dido with three of her five “packlings” – left to right: Ozzie, Suzi and Herbie

Pippie

Pippie

Photo credit: Emily Lime Photography

René Loest shares Pippie, who was adopted from PAWS (Potch Animal Welfare Society)

“Pippie is the spoilt (in a good way) little dog every family has. Like the youngest child that could get away with anything. My husband was very much against us getting another dog, especially a small dog, as he didn’t think of himself as a ‘small dog person’. I remember the day I brought Pippie and her siblings home to foster – my husband said: ‘We aren’t keeping any of them.’

“She was nicknamed ‘Dora the Explorer’, because she was a handful as a puppy; we had to be aware of her whereabouts constantly. She stole my husband’s heart one day when I had to work and he had to babysit her. She’s now ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’.

“Because she grew up with medium to large dogs, she thinks of herself as a big dog and doesn’t shy away from a challenge. She loves visiting her grandmothers because they hand out an abundance of treats and kisses.”

Lola

Lola

Aly Goedvolk shares Lola

“Working as a medic, one often finds strange things in strange places, so I was in no way surprised one night to find that the howling we could hear from where we’d parked the ambulance was in fact a mother cat and her clutch of six starving, wet kittens, living in the drains. As we had no calls at that moment, we dismantled the drain and got all the cats out. We took them to whom one may be justified in calling ‘that crazy cat lady’, because one honestly couldn’t walk in her house or garden without tripping over a rescued cat.

“I kept in touch with the lady and, once the kittens were weaned about ten weeks later, I returned to the madhouse of cats to adopt one of the kittens. She’d just had the mom sterilised and miraculously found homes for all the kittens, mine being one.

“Lola is now nearly three; she’s rather aloof, but friendly if approached with caution, and loves to play with her ‘big brother’, Diesel, both of whom don’t do much more than sleep, as is a cat’s wont.”

November 2023

Roxy Rue

Roxy Rue

Kerry Scott shares Roxy Rue, who was adopted from LCARA (Linmeyer Community Animal Rescue Association)

“My Goofball Roxy Rue – I adopted her when she was four months old on the 1st of October 2021. She fitted in from day one.”

Lucian

Lucian

Photo credit: Bezdt Photography

Megan Robertson shares Lucian, who was adopted from Wollies Animal Project

“Lucian (then named Amos) was born in October 2017, and was in the care of a foster home on behalf of Wollies Animal Project.

“Two days before they’d have sent him to the shelter, my cat lady heart fell in love. He went from being unwanted to living in the lap of luxury. He’s an absolute star to our home and a joy to his six other siblings.

“Lucian is my loving little shadow; he follows me everywhere.”

Charly-boy

Charly-boy

Lesley Ferreira shares Charly-boy, who was adopted from SPCA Durban

“My darling Charly-boy is about nine-and-a-half years old. It truly was ‘love at first sight’ for me.

“Having had two precious Maltese dogs previously who’d passed from old age, and then adopting bigger dogs thereafter, a few years later I still wanted another Maltese. I kept looking through the SPCA adoption page and, one day, this ‘Maltese’ caught my eye; I just fell in love with this doggie and knew he was meant for me! By that stage we already had three big dogs but loads of room in our hearts to get another dog.

“I called the SPCA and asked to meet him and was so surprised when this ‘Maltese’ on ‘stilts’ came through. He was definitely not a Maltese! However, my youngest son was with me and he fell in love with him, and so we went through the process and adopted him. SPCA said he was approximately a year old. They called him Boomer at the SPCA, but that name never suited him and he wouldn’t respond to it. So we renamed him Charly-boy.

“We think Charly-boy is a soft-coated Wheaten terrier. He was a stray that had been brought in to the SPCA and never claimed. What they didn’t know was that he’s a ‘runner’! He’d escape any chance he had and it would be a mad dash chasing after him. He was also just too clever and knew how to open doors – he still does! We had to change the door leading from the garage to the house as he could open it and would go on a run as soon as we drove into the garage.

“He’s rambunctious but we love him to bits. He’s also very alert and warned us when we had an intruder breaking into the house. He’s very astute and when my brother passed away he sat beside me and licked all my tears for comfort. He’s always by my side or sleeping by my feet. He can be quite impossible to handle as he gets far too excited on road trips. He wants to chase storms away and fireworks really annoy him. Hadedas, starlings and monkeys drive him insane!

“He knows how to sit, lie down, shake a paw and will come to heel or stay (when it suits him). Sadly, he’s our only dog now as all the others have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Two years ago he had to have his spleen removed as it had a non-cancerous tumour. He’s still quite a handful at times and hates peoples to be on the other side of the gate and barks madly. He also hates it when people leave.

“He loves to go down to the beach and will happily run into the water – we keep him on a leash as we’re never too sure just how far he’ll run! We also have a pool with a very shallow step and whenever he wants to cool down he’ll just walk through the pool. He’ll sleep in our bed whenever it suits him, especially in the colder months. He loves to wait for either me or my hubby to get up during the night, and as soon as we do he sneaks our place and lies on our pillows. My family all love him and he’ll give them soppy eyes and sit next to them so that he can get scratches.

“Life wouldn’t be the same without my Charly-boy.”

Madame Fluffypants

Madame Fluffypants

Photo credit: Tiny Toes Photography

Marja Vorster shares Madame Fluffypants, who was adopted from Boggle & Brux Rescue

“We adopted Madame in March 2022. She loves her food and stuffs her cheeks to full capacity. She’s sweet-natured and very loving.”

Magriet

Magriet

Photo credit: Emily Lime Photography

René Loest shares Magriet, who was adopted from PAWS (Potch Animal Welfare Society)

“Magriet was in our second batch of fosters, a litter of six puppies. She had a wound at the top of her head where the ticks and fleas had started eating her flesh. From day one she was the scared, shy puppy. She wouldn't eat if there were loud noises around her, and she'd hide when we raised our voices a bit when praising the other dogs for good behaviour. We knew from the beginning that she'd have to go to a special home since she had a special personality. After all her siblings found their forever homes, we still had Magriet in foster care.

“After a few more weeks of searching for her family, we decided that she fits in perfectly with us; we know all her quirks and fears, and at that stage she and Seuntjie had such a bond that we couldn’t imagine her leaving our family. She loves her tennis ball – she’d play all day! She follows me like a shadow and has a great instinct for when someone is unwell. She’ll cuddle with them and try to make them well again in her own way. She’s a TV-watching dog and also takes part in conversations between my husband and me; she’ll turn her head from side to side, trying to hear every new word better.”

Joey

Joey

Natalina Chadinha Da Conceicao shares little Joey, adopted from Boksburg SPCA

“My family decided to adopt Joey after tragically losing our two dogs though a home invasion where they were poisoned. After losing our doggies our house felt empty. Something was missing.

“Adopting little Joey has brought back the spark into our lives. He’s so cute and has a vibrant personality that just suits our family down to the ground. A true blessing.”

Forest and Hobbs

Forest and Hobbs

Hobbs (left) and Forest

Kiah de Witt shares Forest and Hobbs, who were both adopted from ODIN (Oudsthoorn Dogs In Need)

“Forest and Hobbs are our gorgeous boys whom we recently adopted. (Forest has more white in his face, while Hobbs is a little more ginger.) We adopted Forest first and then went back and adopted his brother, Hobbs.

“The reason we got Forest first was because Hobbs was very ill when we first visited ODIN; luckily, he’s made a full recovery and has quickly started picking up weight again.

“I’ve never come across such beautiful and sweet-natured cats; both with such unique personalities. I swear both of them are part dog!

“Forest is such a majestic boy, he loves cuddling and is a typical Casanova – or, rather, ‘Cats-anova’, ha ha! His first instinct is to charm anyone he comes across. While slightly more aloof than Hobbs, he’s definitely much more social than most cats I’ve come across.

“Hobbs loves cuddling under the blankets with his human and tends to lie over our faces if not given 100% of someone’s attention.

“Both cats love being held like babies. They LOVE eating and definitely cannot be left unattended around ANY food! Forest and Hobbs barely needed two hours to claim our home as their own, and have quickly become little celebrities – each meow, purr and burst of zoomies is swooned over by everyone in the room.

“I’d love to also mention the immense love and gratitude adult cats show when adopted; many of them are overlooked in shelters as most people only want to adopt kittens. Just look at both of their loving Puss in Boots eyes – how could anyone say no to them?”

Lala and Finn

Lala and Finn

Simone Goosen shares Lala, adopted from Harrismith Animal Shelter, and Finn, adopted from Alcra Rescue

“We did it… AGAIN! Third Adoption from our family over the years.

“Lala, our Yorkie we adopted last year, is so beautiful! She’s the perfect fit for us and we’re so happy to love her.

“Our most recent pup, Finn, we adopted at nine weeks old from Alcra Rescue in Boksburg. He’s just so sweet and super tiny! He only weighs 900 grams at nine weeks old.

“He settled in well and just loves all the cuddles and doggy treats. My seven-year-old son is his daddy – you should hear the way he speaks to him like he understands every word.

“We’re over the moon that we got approved and can now give this little fluff ball a loving home.”

Babe

Babe

Kerry Scott shares Babe, who was adopted from animal rescuer Kerstin Fuchsloch

“Her name is Babe, but I call her Fatty. I adopted her on the 25th of April 2018. Babe’s previous owner felt it unfair to keep Babe home alone all day because she worked a lot. Her previous owner still keeps in contact with me.

“Babe is such an easy little dog, she minds her own business and does her own thing but knows exactly when it’s her snack time.”

Seuntjie

Seuntjie

Photo credit: Emily Lime Photography

René Loest shares Seuntjie, who was adopted from PAWS (Potch Animal Welfare Society)

“Seuntjie was our very first foster from PAWS. He had diarrhoea and mange with almost no hair, and he weighed 500g and was very small. He was picked up in the township next to the road. We weren’t sure if he’d pull through and were at the vet a lot. I thought he was going to be a small-breed lap dog, so I started shopping for doggy ‘handbags’ when he was healthy so that we’d be able to take him everywhere. He stole our hearts with his big, wide smile and grew to be 25kg!

“He’s healthy and enjoys running and being chased; he always greets everyone with a big howl and then runs to the toy crate to grab a toy and bring it to the guests to welcome them to our home.”

October 2023

Benji

Benji

Jennifer Pillay shares Benji, who was adopted from the Randburg SPCA

“We adopted Benji in June 2020 in the middle of the Covid lockdown. He’d been surrendered in March 2020, just before lockdown, when he was only three months old. He demanded our attention when we met him, and we simply couldn’t resist! 

“Benji is a much-loved, spoilt boy who’s still working through some anxiety issues and taking it one step (one paw) at a time, and we’re looking forward to celebrating his fourth birthday in December 2023.”

  

Pebbles

Pebbles

Chantal Car shares Pebbles

“Pebbles was abandoned at two weeks old; he’d been left on a wet muddy towel by his mother, who’s a stray in our complex. As observers we waited for the mother to return to her baby, but she failed to do so. Crying, cold, wet, and scared, we made the decision to step in and rescue this little baby. We bottle-fed Pebbles till ten weeks old. He went everywhere with us; we had to teach him everything. 

“Today, at eight months old, he’s a happy little boy who owns our home and has stolen our hearts. He’s playful with an attitude and rules his kingdom, he loves to knock everything off tables and is curious about everything, and he needs to see everything and loves to eat everything. Get on his wrong side and he’ll shudder his mouth with a growl, but he can’t be left alone and needs our attention 24/7.

“As a baby, he went to a day mother while I was at work, and when he was older, I took two weeks off work to get him used to the house all day. I left him alone for the very first time when he was four months old with my helper. He’s totally spoilt and he deserves the best life ever.”

Cassie

Cassie

Ros Silke shares little Cassie, who was adopted from Rescue is Life

“Cassie was born on the 23rd of June 2023 and was rescued from Lavender Hill with all her siblings. She’s now just over three months old.

“Cassie is a friendly and playful puppy but is also very clever. She learnt her new name quickly, took easily to using the puppy training pads, and sits and waits for her treats.

“After losing my precious 14-year-old boy, Jonty, Cassie has already brought so much sunshine into our home.”

 

Yoda

Yoda

Photo credit: Tiny Toes Photography

Marja Vorster shares Yoda, who was adopted from Boggle & Brux Rescue

“We adopted Yoda in September 2022. Yoda is a little shy but comes out of her shell when there’s food near. She has the most peculiar dumbo ears.”

Skye

Skye

Chantal Car shares Skye

“Skye was collected from a home in Krugersdorp in April 2023. He was full of ticks and flees and had a bad case of ringworm all over his little body. He was seven weeks old when I adopted him from an organisation that puts rescues up for adoption. We took him in to our family and loved him unconditionally. The whole family got ringworm, but we couldn’t keep away from this beautiful soul. I counted 41 spots of ringworm on my own body, but we had a new family member that we loved dearly.

“Skye was rescued out of a storm water drain with four siblings. They all were close to death, cold and wet. It took a good three months for Skye to recover from his ringworm with weekly visits to our vet.

“Today he’s a strong, beautiful kitten with the cutest growl. He’s adopted us as his family, and we love him dearly.”

Max

Max

Katherine Fouche shares Max

“This little soul escaped from home, climbed halfway up Elsie’s Peak, and right into my life and my heart.

“While I initially searched for his owners (who were happy to rehome him), to then searching for someone to give him a forever home, it was too late. Fate intervened, and my heart was captured. From days and nights spent outdoors, he now lies in front of the heater and wags his tail every time our eyes meet. He’s the sweetest, most curious, loving being. Lucky me!”

RedDog

RedDog

Photo credit: Roxanne Zunckel of What a Treat

Alison Wood-Callander shares RedDog

“RedDog was adopted off Gumtree. The story with him is that when my daughter was at Rhodes University in Grahamstown she had a little ginger girl cat called Matilda, but she unfortunately died from Parvo. My daughter was, of course, devastated and so, before she came home to Cape Town for the holidays, I was desperate to get her another ginger cat to soothe her heart. 

“I saw an ad on Gumtree and jumped at the chance to adopt him. RedDog was adopted by me from a couple in Woodstock. Her husband was allergic to the cat, and that was the reason for rehoming him. He’d been adopted by them from DARG, where his original name was Mr Chips; his adopted name when I got him was Beau. He responded to neither names.

“At the time we had three rescue Border Collies, with whom he always used to hang out, hence his name, RedDog. We’re not sure of his exact age, but we guess he must be about 13 years old. We’ve had him since 2013.”

Alaska

Alaska

Photo credit: Roxanne Zunckel of What a Treat

Alison Wood-Callander shares Alaska (and Queenie)

“Queenie’s story is a little bit different. RedDog was on his own and I felt that he needed a friend. Again on Gumtree (sadly) I found this little kitten who looked so sickly and I felt I couldn’t leave her with the current owners. I contacted them and asked to see the kitty. They were very hesitant, saying that the cat was a little bit sick and they needed to get her better. I could see from the photos that they may have needed extra help, so I offered to take her, even though she was really sick, and to take her to the vet as they didn’t have the money to take her. 

“She was absolutely stunning. Very fluffy and with the biggest, bluest eyes. Just gorgeous. I took her to the vet and she slowly improved. With good food and lots of rest, she was on the mend, luckily. She was a playful little thing, but whenever she’d come inside my husband would say that she looked really blue around the mouth. I shrugged this off as him just imagining things because I’d never heard of that before.

“As time went by, I wanted to take her to the vet to be spayed. She was six months old and I didn’t want any unwanted kittens. In passing, I mentioned to the vet that my husband said that she was a little blue around the mouth, so maybe it was a concern, but before putting her under sedation she should just be aware. Expecting a phone call much later in the day, I was surprised to get a call an hour or two later. Dr Cathy Bezuidenhout said that when they checked her they found that there was something wrong with her heart. They suggested I take her to Alphen Vet to see the cardiologist there to scan her and determine what the problem was. 

“To cut a long story short, he waived the consultation fee as long as he could shave her little chest so that he could do an ultrasound for research purposes, because he was so intrigued by her case. He discovered that she had multiple holes in her heart and took lots of photos to show to students for educational purposes. Sadly, the kitten was inoperable, so I went home with her and planned to enjoy every minute with her. It wasn’t long after that, on one sunny morning, she died in the garden of a suspected heart attack. We were devastated. 

“I phoned the original owners as I knew that they couldn’t afford to spay their cat, Queenie’s mother, and asked whether she had any other kittens. Surprisingly, the owner had just had a baby who was allergic to the mother cat and she asked whether I’d like to take her as she had to give her up for adoption. I raced through and got what I thought was a domestic short-haired cat, Alaska. 

“Within months Alaska turned into the fluffiest, most beautiful cat I have ever seen. She was subsequently called Queen, as she’s definitely the queen of this house. So now our family is complete: Finn from Swellendam SPCA, Lily from Animal Welfare Helderberg (link to Lily’s Happy Tale), RedDog from DARG and Queenie from Brackenfell.”

September 2023

Petunia

Petunia

Photo credit: Tiny Toes Photography

Marja Vorster shares Petunia, who was adopted from Boggle & Brux Rescue

“We adopted Petunia in February this year from Boggle & Brux Rescue. 

“She’s our little sweetheart and loves cuddles, treats and free-roaming time on the bed. Petunia is very loving and most inquisitive.”

 

My Boy

My Boy

Andrewla Karaolis shares My Boy

“At 3 AM in August last year, I woke up from a thud on my bed. I have three cats, but when I looked on my bed, I saw four cats! I looked again and saw something hanging off the side of the bed coming from the fourth cat, a stray. I pulled at this thing but it wouldn’t come off, so I switched on the light. To my shock this is what I saw:

“A beautiful cat caught in a snare. His leg was totally broken in half at the joint – he’d freed himself from the snare but broke his leg in the process and still had the snare on him. I sent Joanne Kontaxopoulos of Harties Feral Cat Rescue a message and, at about 7 AM, Joanne rushed to my house and took the cat to the vet, where they amputated his whole leg.

“Joanne released the cat to me after the amputation and he moved into our spare bedroom, where he remained for about two weeks.

“Today, a year later, he’s still with me.”

Kairo

Kairo

Photo credit: Roxanne Zunckel of What a Treat

Saxon Moore shares Kairo, who was adopted from HART (Helderberg Animal Rescue Team)

“Kairo is a rescue; we adopted her and Dice from the wonderful people at the Helderberg Animal Rescue Team (HART).

“She’s a super-energetic, confident and outgoing doggo. She's absolutely full of love and every person and dog must be greeted. When we go on our trail runs, she loves playing in the long grass and chasing the squirrels. She and Dice are very close and snuggle together during these cold winter nights when they aren’t tearing around the house. Never still, always playing and exploring. That's Kairo in a nutshell.”

 

Topaz

Topaz

Chantele Gouws shares Topaz, who was adopted from Kempton Park SPCA

“It was love at first sight when we adopted little Topaz in May 2023. She’s truly the spoiled youngest child in the family who sometimes forgets she’s a cat – she thinks she’s a princess.

“She finally gets along with her two older brothers we adopted two years ago. Our home is filled with kitty purrs and meow-y demands, but our hearts are overflowing with love.”

  

Lupa, Akheela and Jess

Lupa, Akheela and Jess

Vicki Hiscox shares Lupa and Akheela, who were adopted from Sighthound Rescue SA, and Jess, who was adopted from Greyhound Rescue

“Lupa is a Greyhound-Saluki cross. She’s the sweetest clown you’ve ever met, and she talks back to you and will continue to talk until you chat back to her. She’s an amazing swimmer and loves swimming, and is an excellent “detective” and can sniff anything and find anything underwater. She’s my water baby. Lupa can also run for hours without getting tired. All three of my babies are socialised and will play with any dog they see.

“Akheela is our Greyhound whom we adopted from Sighthound Rescue in Cape Town. Akheela came to us being very “head shy” and timid. She’s done a roundabout turn and is now Lupa’s best buddy and partner in crime. Hence we don’t have a garden anymore. Personality wise, she’s the sweetest, gentlest girl who loves to cuddle with her nose in your neck.

“And Jess is our grand old lady. What can I say about Jessica? She came to us with her soulmate, Zephyr, in 2013. My mom was dying and I’d moved from Durban to look after her. That was when I found Zephyr and Jessica about one month after arriving in Johannesburg. Jessica doesn’t leave my side and is my disciplinarian who reprimands the naughty youngsters. The night we took my mom to the hospital, we didn’t know she wasn’t going to come home. But Zephyr and Jessica knew; when we got back from the hospital, we found Zephyr curled up on my mom’s pillow and Jessica curled up at the bottom of the bed. Jessica went downhill after Zephyr passed away, and that was when we adopted Lupa. 

“Our lives haven’t been the same since. We’re so loved and have the three most beautiful rescues that we’d never change.”

Photo credit: Hugh Sanders

      

Azurie

Azurie

Zahndré Roos & Alma du Toit share Azurie, who was adopted from SPCA Uitenhage

“We adopted Azurie on the 27th of July 2023. We went to the SPCA to adopt another kitty that they advertised, but then our friend Antoinette called us and showed us this beautiful girl with the name Serenity. We immediately fell in love with her – she had the most beautiful eyes we’ve ever seen. We immediately started with the process. We met her on the 24th and, three days later, she was safe and sound in her new home with her two mommies (I joke that I’m the mommy and my Mom is granny).

“We laughed, because we kept on forgetting this baby girl’s name, so we started to Google names associated with blue and came upon the following: Azuree is a girl’s name of Spanish origin, and the meaning of Azuree is a variant of sky blue; we played around and came up with AZURIE, our baby girl with the sky-blue eyes.

“We know she didn’t have a good upbringing; we contemplated if she was maybe a house cat that got out or just a stray. She has the most amazing manners and so much love to give. She enjoys the smallest gift we give her, like a stupid old rubber band that keeps her busy for hours. She just loves to play. Her playtime is between 2 AM and 4 AM, while the rest of the household would love to enjoy a good night’s rest, she takes the house over. From jumping from scratch pad to scratch pad or running around in her rainbow colour tunnel, she enjoys everything. So, to say the least, when we have work to do, she sleeps. She even discovered the curtains and thinks she’s Jane (like Tarzan and Jane).

She loves cuddles and to just lie on your chest. She’s already so overprotective of her two “sisters”, Bekkie and Coco, our Green Cheek Conures. I’d love to say she’s an awesome big sister, but between the three of them she’s the baby.”

 

Hershey

Hershey

Photo credit: Shendl Rewitzky of Bark & Beyond

Linda Bowman shares Hershey, who was adopted from Vaalpets

“Hershey was adopted at just at eight weeks old and he’ll be two in October. He made the long trip from Vereeniging. Since arriving, he’s been my little shadow.

“He’s adorable and has got such character. He puts his “jarmies” on at night, enjoys his warm milk before bed, and loves watching Netflix. He also loves swimming in the dam and chasing butterflies etc.; he’s wise as to pick on his own size.”

  

Bailey and Zoey

Bailey and Zoey

Dave Kraitzick shares Bailey and Zoey

“In mid-January, two four-week-old kittens were dumped with Alison Clack who operates Germiston Feline Ferals, with which I’m involved with sponsoring of food and sterilisations. She had nowhere to take them and was considering taking them to the SPCA. They were sick with snuffles and were full of fleas. I spoke to her and offered to foster them. 

“In the meantime, Alison took the kittens to the vet for some medication and to be treated for their fleas. When I fetched them the following day, I could see they weren’t doing well, so I decided to take them to my vet. On first inspection, we thought they were a male and female, so I named them Tigga and Zoey. My vet immediately hospitalised them for a few days and they started to get better. I decided to keep them in my bathroom, where they lived for the first few months. 

“They gradually grew healthy and loved their food. I used to fall asleep in the bathroom every night and wake up with the two of them fast asleep on top of me.

“My plan was to advertise them for homes once they’d completed their vaccinations and were sterilised. However, when I lost my beloved dogs, Jake and Jessie, to heaven, I often lay with the kittens and they warmed my heart and absorbed my tears. By the time they were ready for their sterilisations, I decided I couldn’t adopt them out because they’d been there for me during this really sad time… and besides, I already loved them too much!

“When they went for their steries we discovered that Tigga was a girl, so I renamed her Bailey. They are two very busy kitties. They love their food and are constantly running around chasing each other and playing with their toys. Bailey sleeps under my arm and Zoey sleeps on top of me or sometimes against my recently adopted dog, Einstein’s, chest to keep warm. 

“Bailey is very attached to me and cries when she can’t see me. Zoey is more independent and her biggest love is food! Both are very affectionate and loving.

“I love these two kitties so much, and when I made the decision to go fetch them, I was wondering what I was going to do with them… now I wonder what I’d do without them! Two little precious lives that could have ended so differently will live their days happy and cared for forever!”

     

August 2023

Chloe

Chloe

Marja Vorster shares Chloe

“We rescued Chloe in May this year from horrible circumstances.

“Chloe absolutely loves running in her wheel but sadly didn't have this privilege in her previous home. She also loves cuddles and giving kisses.”

Layla

Layla

Photo credit: Shuttermutts Pet Photography

Jacques Smith shares Layla, who was adopted from Border Collie Rescue

“Layla, our mischievous and loveable Border Collie cross, was adopted from Border Collie Rescue Cape Town! When her story popped up, we couldn’t resist meeting her, and it was instant puppy love. She’s the perfect companion for our older dog, Lara, and together with our never-ending-energy bundle of joy, Hope, they form an unstoppable trio.

“Layla’s start in life wasn’t easy, but she’s a survivor with a heart full of love. It’s suspected that she may have been caged and abused, but every day she leaves more of her troubled past behind, showing us that joy can conquer all. And did we mention her passion for food? This girl can eat! She’s got the food schedule down to a science and never misses to remind us of a mealtime.

“Layla’s journey to our home has been a whirlwind of emotions and laughter. She’s a gentle soul, and we couldn’t be happier to have her in our lives. Here’s to Layla, our look-at-me-now superstar!”

  

Sabrina

Sabrina

Dave Kraitzick shares Sabrina, who was adopted from Harties Feral Cat Rescue

“In late December 2019, two of my doggies got into a massive fight. In trying to separate them I got mauled. Over the next few months I was in and out of hospital and had many operations. My right middle finger was amputated and I had severe injuries to my ligaments and tendons in my legs. My left leg subsequently went septic and luckily the doctors managed to save my leg. During this time, Joanne from Harties Feral Cat Rescue was in contact with me. I’ve helped with fundraising for them and they were a beneficiary from my charity cycle tour from Johannesburg to Durban in December 2019.

“One evening, Joanne sent me a video of a very young kitten that she’d rescued from someone selling it at the Hartbeespoort Dam Tunnel that day. This kitten was feisty and really cute. It was also on an evening when I was particularly sad because I was battling to recover from all the operations and damage to my body. I somehow felt an attachment to this kitten and asked Joanne if I could adopt her, which she happily agreed to. The kitten was very young (probably two weeks old) and Joanne said that she needed to have her tested for all the nasties and she still needed to be bottle-fed for a bit before I could get her.

“In the meantime, I named her Sabrina. When Sabrina was six weeks old, Joanne delivered my little package. It was only days before the Covid hard lockdown. Sabrina was right at home from the start and as feisty and naughty as she was in all her videos. She was still on kitten milk but also loved her wet food, and from day one she attacked all the other kitties and loved all her toys. She was very affectionate and, straight away, enjoyed sleeping on top of Dad. Her one love was destroying toilet rolls, which she still does. She survived a very bad bout of snuffles (and captured the hearts of all the vet staff during her stay in hospital).

“She was an amazing companion through lockdown and brought so many smiles and laughs to my life through this time and also with my recovery from my operations. She found a way to comfort me during the rough times and always entertains me. She’s very affectionate and enjoys darting around chasing anything that moves and play fighting with the other kitties. She’s fiercely independent and doesn’t allow any of the other kitties to get the better of her. Her favourite spot is on top of Dad or bathing outside in the sun.

“She’s been with me for three years and is a very precious member of my family.”

Becca and Kylo

Becca and Kylo

Shirley Millar shares Becca and Kylo, who were both adopted from TEARS

“We adopted Kylo in 2019 and Becca in 2021 – they’re beautiful souls and both are healers.

“Kylo came into our lives in 2019, nine months after my husband passed away and a month after my Dachshund Betsy passed. My two remaining Dachshunds were depressed and pining. Kylo brought so much love, light and energy into our home and hearts.

“Becca, I’d seen her photo on the TEARS website month after month and was drawn to her. But then, one month her post was no longer there. A little while later, her photo was back again – she’d been adopted and was sadly returned.

“A few months later, I decided I wanted to meet her, which I did. Then we took our three dogs to meet her and all went well. Things have been pretty hairy as she had a very abusive start in life and is still very fear aggressive. We manage her environment as best we can and avoid triggers. With me she’s so calm, loving and playful.

“It’s taken months for Becca to accept that a warm jacket and a blanket is ‘safe’. Kylo, on the other hand, loves his jackets and blankets and is a permanent fixture on my bed.”

 

Athena

Athena

Aiden Jacobs shares Athena, who was adopted from Cluny Animal Trust

“Athena was the only pup that survived after her mommy got poisoned and the rest of the litter died due to unknown causes. She was then handed over to Cluny when she was only four weeks old.

“When I saw her, I instantly knew that I wanted to adopt her and give her a better life!

“Athena has settled down amazingly well in her new home and made good friends with our two cats. We currently live on a farm in Fouriesburg, which of course has a MASSIVE yard that she absolutely loves running around in and going crazy (especially destroying our poor plants!).

“Athena is an amazing and – for her age – a very intelligent pup. At only five weeks old, she’s been fully potty trained and learnt how to sit on command. She’s an extremely people-orientated pup, so wherever I am... she isn’t very far behind. She comes to work with me every day and gets along FABULOUSLY with the other dogs at my workplace.”

  

Hope

Hope

Photo credit: Tiny Toes Photography

Marja Vorster shares Hope, who was adopted from Boggle & Brux Rescue

“We adopted Hope in June 2022. 

“She has a misaligned jaw and needs regular teeth trimming. Hope is very independent. She’s not overcome by her disability and we love her confidence and strong character.”

 

Avery

Avery

Gillian Keelty shares Avery, who was adopted from TEARS Animal Rescue

“Avery, is a large tabby, about seven years old, and has made her home with us for the last three years. It’s my understanding that Avery, together with two other cats, was surrendered to TEARS just before the Covid lockdown.

“Her favourite pastime is soaking up the sun and watching the world go by (birds & butterflies), and catching the occasional gogga. She announces her every move with a chirrup and knows how to get her own way simply by staring at you.

“Avery is a loving, sweet and gentle soul. A true credit to the family who brought her up from kittenhood.”

   

Rebecca, Loxley and Bowen

Rebecca, Loxley and Bowen

Jane White shares Rebecca, Loxley and Bowen, all adopted from Barefoot Rescue

“We adopted these three kittens from Barefoot Rescue. We hadn’t intended to get three, but when we visited them and saw how bonded they all were, we didn't have the heart to separate them. Words can't express how much joy they’ve brought into our lives. All three such different personalities but each one perfect. 

“Rebecca, the black-and-white girl, has earned the nickname 110% Becs because she does everything at 110%, whether it’s playing, sleeping, purring, snuggling, or making sure the other kittens are using the litter box correctly. 

“Loxley, the all-black girl, loves to sit and contemplate things and will meow pitifully when she wants to catch bugs that are out of reach. 

“And Bowen, the grey-and-white boy, is so cuddly, an instant momma’s boy and just happy about everything.”

“PS: Rebecca and Loxley are Trixie’s kittens, and Bowen was formerly named Velcro, whom Trixie nursed.”

 

July 2023

Saigon

Saigon

Marco Vatta and Udisha Chathuri share Saigon

“We adopted Saigon from the Vietnamese Embassy in Pretoria, hence his name. A stray cat had given birth to kittens on their property, and they were looking for good homes for the kittens. Of course, we couldn’t resist!”. 

“Saigon was an only fur kid until last year when we adopted Odin, formerly known as Ginger Biscuit. Our family is now complete… but we are considering adopting a canine friend!”

 

Kai

Kai

Joanne Ross shares Kai, who was adopted from Aid4Aid

“Kai had a rough start to life. He was knocked over by a taxi at 11 weeks old. Thankfully, that taxi driver rushed him off to the nearest vet. Kai had an extensive degloving of his paw and needed a skin graft and toe amputation. He also had a nasty case of ringworm that has left a terrible scar and a tummy full of stones.

“Aid4Aid took sweet Kai into foster care and helped him recover and learn what love really was. I fell in love with sweet Kai on Instagram and slid into his DM’s. The rest, as they say, is history!”

  

Gucci

Gucci

Kay-Leigh Bier shares Gucci, who was adopted from Wellington SPCA

“Meet my mischievous little fluff ball, a delightful blend of Maltese and Fox Terrier. This energetic bundle of fur is the epitome of athleticism, always ready for an adventure or a game of fetch. Despite her petite size, this pint-sized dynamo possesses enough energy to rival a marathon runner!

“But don't let that fool you; beneath her athletic prowess lies a heart of gold. This four-legged charmer is incredibly loving and sensitive, with an uncanny ability to sense and respond to the slightest change in mood. Her presence is like a warm, fuzzy blanket, wrapping you in unconditional affection.

“Now, bedtime can be a hilarious battle of wills. Like a pint-sized wrestling champion, my little dog unleashes her inner struggle for dominance every night on the parental bed. It's a comical dance of acrobatics and determination as she tries to secure her spot on the throne, or rather, the pillow.

“However, her attachment issues can be both endearing and perplexing. She clings to her favourite humans like Velcro, never wanting to let go. She’s perfected the art of puppy eyes and guilt trips to ensure she’s always by your side. Leaving the house becomes a dramatic event as you bid farewell with mournful eyes as if you're embarking on a perilous journey.

“In the end, my Maltese-Fox Terrier mix is a loving, energetic, and fiercely attached companion. She brings joy, laughter, and occasional sleepless nights, making life an entertaining adventure with every wag of her adorable little tail.”

Jessica

Jessica

Photo credit: Jacqui L. Photography

Jenny Shone shares Jessica, who was adopted from Highveld Horse Care Unit

“Jessica is the gentlest and most loving donkey and so sensitive. She literally picks up all the energies and emotions of the people around her. She never gets involved in anything naughty and generally keeps out of the way when the others are being naughty. However, she does steal my jump poles at times and cat food if she gets a chance.”

 

LeeLoo

LeeLoo

Imogen Tarita shares LeeLoo who was adopted from Cluny Animal Trust

“LeeLoo was the runt of the Cluny 8 back in October 2019; their mom had been poisoned, and her eight one-day-old pups were raised by hand by Chantel, who was a volunteer of the Cluny Animal Trust at that time. She worked full-time and had to hand-raise these 8, which was not an easy job at all. Initially, the Cluny team were very worried about LeeLoo - she really was teeny tiny compared to her siblings, and her survival was anything but certain - but she thrived.

“The Cluny 8 made great Facebook posts as they discovered the world. Personally, I had a real soft spot for LeeLoo (then called Palesa), and when it came time to find them all homes, I wanted only the best for her. We got an application from a family in Johannesburg that wanted to adopt two girls, and we did the home checks, and everything came back great, so just after Christmas, on 29 December 2019, LeeLoo and her sister Jessie went off to their new home in JHB. Happy ending, right? WRONG!

“On Valentine’s Day 2020, I received a call from Chantel: the family were returning both pups as they were getting divorced. The man was bringing them back in one hour! What was so sad was that this family had bragged all over social media about how they had rescued these two pups and that they had the best of everything. Yet now, out of the blue, they wanted to return them within the hour, with no thought as to where they would go at such short notice. Chantel asked if I could help as I was in Johannesburg. Of course, I could.  

“What got dumped at my office were two underweight and very scared little pups – no collars, leads or anything like that and a dirty old blanket. So much for having the best of everything. I raced over the road to a pet shop and got what they needed, and Chantel arranged for someone to pick them up and bring them back to Clarens. What a traumatic day for these poor puppies.

“Once they were back with Chantel, she worked on getting them back to their old selves, and we had to start the process of looking for a home for them. But I took this as a sign. I had fallen in love with LeeLoo and helped look after her as a baby, and now she had been returned. And she needed us. 

Her sister Jessie was adopted very quickly, so we applied to the Cluny Animal Trust to adopt LeeLoo. Because I work for them as a volunteer and had already adopted Mia (see the Look at Me Now section for June 2023), our adoption was immediately approved. Just in the nick of time, she came home to us at the end of February 2020 - going into hard lockdown with a new dog was the best bonding experience, and she settled in immediately.

“We called her LeeLoo because of the heroine from one of our favourite movies, The 5th Element. We have never owned an Africanis before, but what a wonderful breed of dog that I would highly recommend, especially to families. She is strong and fiercely loyal but, at the same time, a complete goofball. Her antics crack us up. She hates water, and when we took all of our dogs to the beach, she was never far away and kept an eye on everyone but would have none of it! She is solid muscle and doesn’t seem to realise this because she does try to sit on my lap, and she really loves belly rubs.

“Getting her was the best choice we ever made. She made our family whole, and now we have what we affectionately call the Fab 4. As they say, everything happens for a reason, and we were always meant to adopt LeeLoo. She is a very special dog and has a beautiful and gentle heart, and we love her to bits!”

 

Jack

Jack

Carol Clark shares Jack

“This is Jack. We picked him up on a freeway as a puppy about five years ago. My daughter, Amy, decided to keep him. I am his “doggy day-care” mom as she works full time at a very demanding job. But Sundays are set aside for outings to the mountains or the beach - declared a “Paws Day”! Amy and her hubby, Enrico, set out with their four rescue dogs, including Jack, for a day of fun and relaxation.”

  

Pepper

Pepper

Gillian Keelty shares Pepper, who was adopted from TEARS Animal Rescue

“Pepper, our tortie girl, was adopted about 11 years ago, and she will turn 13 in November. She was pregnant when rescued and had four mixed tortoiseshell and ginger babies, all of whom went to good homes.

“She loves lounging in the sunshine, watching birds (never catching them) and enjoys her food and treats (demands them sometimes...).

“On cold wintery days, you will find her asleep on her hot water bottle and wrapped in her sherpa blanket. She lives up to the tortoiseshell reputation and can be quite feisty at times.

“I think TEARS (amongst others) do fantastic work in a world that is getting harder not only for people but their animals as well. It is always a pleasure to spend time at the TEARS cattery, and their annual Sleepathon event is a must!”

Daisy

Daisy

Photo credit: Isak Venter Photography

Gillian Hansen shares Daisy, who was adopted from Animal Welfare Society, Stellenbosch

“We adopted Daisy at eight weeks of age. She had been surrendered to the shelter with her mom and siblings. She is a very spoilt girl and has only ever slept in our beds since the day she entered our home.

Daisy is super intelligent and extremely alert. Her place of standing guard is on our dining room table so that she can see out the window. She is the neighbourhood watch for our entire complex. She is very noisy and squeals like crazy when people arrive or when she goes for a walk. She also can smile and will give you a coy look and smile when she wants attention. She enjoys a good tummy rub. She loves to sleep under the duvet with us but does not like it if we touch her with our feet. We suspect that she must have been kicked, prior to being surrendered, as she does not like feet being near her.

“She is four years old now but is also still very playful. She and our other rescue, Rusty, are great friends and play a lot - on her terms (only if she wants to play and not every time he initiates play. She likes sitting on top of us and if there is a blanket around, she needs to be under it.”

   

June 2023

Milo

Milo

Caryl Moll shares Milo, who was adopted from Maltese Rescue South Africa

“Who would have thought that my paintbrush would magically transform my rock art into reality? What a surprise! A most welcome one too. After 24 hours of painting my ultimate little fluff ball, everything simply fell into place and he finally arrived, totally unexpectedly, into our home. 

“After years of searching for the right pup, and many roadblocks along the way, a simple phone call and plea allowed my little bundle of joy to be welcomed into our home. 

“Milo is growing in leaps and bounds, infiltrating our home with warmth and new energy. What a joy! What a welcome adventure it continues to be and we remain enthralled. Our household is brimming with warmth as his contagious and exuberant energy infiltrates our lives – the perfect antidote to any latent depression. 

“I can’t begin to express my thanks and appreciation to Maltese Rescue South Africa for their professionalism and care in placing little Milo with me; especially to Nicholas. Thanks also to the veterinary staff at Lambton Veterinary Clinic. Thank you for trusting me to give him a good home. Milo will be loved and cared for to the best of my ability.”

Enjoy watching Milo debuting on YouTube here

   

Mia

Mia

Imogen Tarita shares Mia, who was adopted from the Cluny Animal Trust

“We adopted Mia on the 11th of October 2019. She’d been found at about eight weeks of age, sitting on the side of the Bethlehem-Clarens road. There were no villages or anything around, so we assume she was dumped. We’d been chatting about getting a bigger dog as we have a huge property in Clarens and wanted a dog to walk and hike with, so when Mia came along it just made sense.

“I have to be honest, for my husband it was love at first sight and these two are joined at the hip; where he goes, she goes. We now only go on holidays in SA, where we can take the four dogs. I’m not too sure who has separation anxiety more, Mia or my hubby; they really do have a very special bond. I’d been bitten by a GSD when I was a child, so I was a little nervous about adopting her, but I was willing to give it a chance and I’m so glad I did. She’s the most gentle and special soul, yet fiercely protective over her family. She’s truly an amazing dog.

“Mia is high energy, and we love that. We spent a lot of time working with a trainer, because we didn’t want a big dog that was uncontrollable, and it was so worth it! We have her commands down to simple hand gestures and a few choice German words, which is great, and I’d encourage anyone with a power breed to take the time to learn with someone who knows what they’re doing – you’ll never regret it.

“So, am I a GSD convert? You bet. We love Mia and she loves us. And whoever dumped her… you’re a complete idiot, but your loss was our gain because she’s the perfect dog, inside and out. As we celebrate all of our dogs’ birthdays, Mia is the only one of our pets that we don’t know the exact date she was born on, so we chose the 9th August, which as we all know is Women’s Day, so that’s a super special day in our house each year and that’s what a special dog deserves, her very own special birthday!”

 

Sully

Sully

Skye Lombard and Andrea share Sully, who was adopted from Kitty & Puppy Haven

“We had so much love in our home, we knew we needed to open it up to a little somebody who needed some. We went to the Kitty & Puppy Haven, not knowing what to expect, and met our little Sully (Sullivan when he’s climbing up the curtains). It was love at first purr and we knew we had to have him.

“Our hearts are so full and we feel so privileged to be able to give him a forever home. A special thanks to Kitty & Puppy Haven for giving him a second chance at life.”

 

Sophie

Sophie

Birgitta Cederstrom shares Sophie, who was adopted from Sighthound Rescue SA

“When my older Africanis, Rusty, passed away in April 2017 of old age, I contacted Sighthound Rescue SA as I was interested in adopting an Irish Wolfhound cross. One day, I received a call that they had a great fit in a newly rescued bitch, and this is how I got introduced to Sophia, or Sophie as I named her.

“Her rescue story is too sad to share as it was one of total neglect and abuse, as in most rescue stories, and her barely surviving the first days after years of starvation. She was 18kg when she was rescued and approximately 1-2 years old. Today, she weighs 42kg and is 7-8 years old – a magnificent Wolfhound x.

“Never give up, be kind and support rescue organisations who do a fantastic job. Choose to adopt rescue dogs. Don’t shy away from the larger hounds; just get a bigger sofa, or bed, and give them plenty of love.”

Snowy

Snowy

The Giessing family share Snowy, who was adopted from Pomeranian Rescue SA

“We adopted Snowy on the 25th of September 2022. He was one of six babies surrendered to the rescue organisation and he’s six years old. He was fed porridge, which caused him to weigh 9+ kg. Snowy is a ‘Throwback Pommie’ – throwbacks are bigger than your standard little Pommies.

“We have another little pitch-black boy, Pacco; the two of them get along very well. Snowy is the most loveable, thankful baby you can imagine. He loves it when you hug him. His bed in the playpen is his ultimate favourite place.

“Snowy is the cutest, most adorable baby you can imagine and he has firmly crept into our hearts – he’s ‘mommy and daddy’s rescue boy’. All I can say is: PLEASE ADOPT, DON’T SHOP.”

 

Honey

Honey

Kathi Sales shares a bit from Honey...

“I’m Honey, the milk-chocolate rescue, and my sister is Mia, the dark-chocolate girly one, but we’re equally sweet!

“We were adopted from Wellington SPCA; Mom and Dad fell in love with us the moment they saw us and they said we were the perfect pair! Mom and Dad are retired and so have plenty of time to hang out with us. The garden is huge and great to run around and play catch. 

“I’m so lucky to have my sis with me. Mia is the shy one and I’m the bold one. We’re learning all the important words like our individual names, which was quite hard. Dad had this idea to use the method of a batsman in a cricket game. Mom and Dad sat opposite each other and we were called to the opposite side and given a treat. It took a few tries and then we got it. We know ‘sit’ and ‘come’ as well. ‘Leave’ was a big one too. We had to learn that word as Dad has a flock of Guinea Fowl who live in our garden and we’re not allowed to chase them.

“We’ve just turned six months old and so we’re big enough to start going on walks to the beach, which is just outside our gate. We’re discovering it’s a big world out there. We’re allowed to run on our own, but mom keeps our leads attached in case she has to restrain us. She calls us back to her often for a treat so that we don’t get lost. That’s ok as you can get distracted by all the smells, but who wouldn’t want a treat. We live next door to horse racing stables and see the horses training on the beach as well. We have to sit when a horse passes us so that we learn to be calm and not get under their feet. 

“There are so many things to learn and adventures to be had!”

   

Winkle and Perri

Winkle and Perri

Kerry Scott shares Winkle and Perri

“I was fostering Winkle and Perri for a lady who was going through a difficult time. She did contact me about collecting them but they’d settled in so well with me that we decided that it would be better for them to stay with me!

“They’ll be four this year.

“Winkle thinks she’s a power breed and is extremely cheeky, and Perri is my little shadow; he cries to be picked up all the time and held like a baby.”

  

Little fur family

Little fur family

Photo credit: Blue Lace Photography

Tammy Human shares her little fur family... 

“We’ve gathered together a little family of rescues/adopted kitties over the last few years. Our tortie cat, Nova, was adopted from the SPCA when she was three months old. Next, our grey tabby, Loki, was brought home after he was abandoned in a shopping complex close to a pet shop; Loki was about five weeks old when we got him.

“Thor, our ginger cat, was a baby from a feral mommy from a feral colony here in Pretoria East. Then we got our little white-and-black cat, Maverick, who was rescued from a mine.

“In February this year, my brother was on his way to the hospital one evening when he spotted Harley, a little calico kitten, running in the streets, so we headed out and caught her and brought her home. Now Maverick and Harley are the best of friends.”

   

May 2023

Buks

Buks

Retha Niehaus shares Buks, who was adopted from Kempton Park SPCA

“I follow Kempton Park SPCA’s page on Facebook and had noticed Buks when he was first posted. I sponsored him for some months. After seeing month after month go by without him being adopted, or even noticed, I went to meet him with the idea of adopting him as a companion for our Husky, who was all alone as his mom and dad had passed earlier due to old age.

“We took Max to meet Buks to see if they’d get along, and they did. I immediately applied for the adoption and was thrilled when our home was approved. Sadly, three days before we were to fetch Buks, Max passed away, so Buks came home to only us humans.

“Buks is amazing and we never expected that an adopted doggie would be so precious! People always have the idea that owning a dog from puppy size is best, but it’s so not true. 

“We adopted him last August and we took him on holiday with us to Port Elizabeth in December, which we all thoroughly enjoyed. He regularly accompanies us on drives and goes with us to our daughter’s athletics practice on Sundays.

“Everybody loves Buks – and everybody needs a Buks in their lives. I urge everybody who’s looking to add a doggo or cat to their family to first visit their local SPCA and consider giving a loving home to one of their animals.

“We love Buks so much and he brings so much joy into our lives.”

 

Widget

Widget

Photo credit: Nat Gold ZA

Conrad Greer shares Widget, who was adopted from Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre

“Widget is our beautiful girl whom we’ve had for just over nine years and, believe it or not, she and Gizmo are brother and sister, from the same litter. By chance, when we adopted Gizmo, the paperwork revealed that they’re family. Widget was a tiny baby when we got her, but has grown into a very confident and loving pooch. She rules the house and is just such a joy to have around.”

Engeltjie

Engeltjie

Christiaan Harmse shares Engeltjie, who was adopted from Cheeky Beaks Parrot Rescue

“I saw a Facebook post of Engeltjie the Cockatoo and knew I had to meet her. I was contacted by a Cheeky Beaks team member and had the chance to meet Engeltjie. She immediately jumped straight onto me. This was so unexpected, but at the same time so rewarding that I was being chosen by a parrot. Especially a Cockatoo who’s very sceptical and doesn’t allow anyone to touch her. 

“I had another meet with Engeltjie as we wanted to make sure she’d be happy with me; again, she immediately took to me and my heart just bubbled. 

“I fell in love with her the moment I saw her. Engeltjie has filled a place in my heart I didn’t know existed; it’s rewarding to gain the trust of a parrot. This is why adoption is so amazing and I encourage anyone who feels the same love for birds to consider adoption as a way to make a positive impact on their lives.

“I can say that adopting Engeltjie has been a deeply rewarding experience which requires patience, dedication, and a genuine love for feathered creatures. By adopting Engeltjie I’m not only providing her with a safe and loving home, but it also allows me to learn and appreciate her unique personality.

“The foster did amazing work with Engeltjie and got her to engage in a busy environment and still be okay and play with toys when she has to be alone. 

“Thank you, Engeltjie and Cheeky Beaks, for filling my heart!”

 

Thor

Thor

Liz and Charles Penprase share Thor

“Thor has been a family member for two years. From a closed-down, fear-aggressive boy to the magnificent Ridgeback he has grown into today; it was all there, it just had to be encouraged and loved, and it slowly emerged.

“We’re so blessed to have him share his life with us. He’s loved by all who meet him. Thank you to animal behaviourist Katherine Brown and Ridgeback rescuer Antonette van Tonder for making this all happen and giving us the extra push. 

“We cannot believe how far he’s come and how much we adore him!”

 

Fergie

Fergie

Imogen Tarita shares Fergie, who was adopted from Cluny Animal Trust

“In April, Happy Tails Magazine highlighted our precious boy, Jed; this is his sister, Fergie, aka The Supervisor, or as my husband likes to call her, ‘The Princess’. We adopted them together!
“She’s six years old, and she was rescued along with her brother. She may be the smallest one of the Fab 4, as we like to call them, but she’s the alpha for sure. Of course, she sleeps on the bed and has to be on your pillow – well, think about the story of the Princess and the Pea and it all fits – but she’s so funny, she cracks us all up because she has such an adorable personality. This little miss is loved and adored by everyone who meets her.

“She thinks she’s a very big dog and likes to be the boss of everything. If you say the words ‘walk’ or ‘road trip’, she goes slightly nuts and twirls in a circle until she gets a walk or a road trip and, of course, she must sit up front in the car!

“She has a very soulful side as well. We live in the mountains, and we often find her staring out into the distance. We took her to the sea last year for the first time; all the Fab 4 loved it, but Fergie was a scream. When we weren’t on the beach she kept wanting to get on the table (please don’t judge), and she’d just sit there for what seemed like hours staring out to sea, and we always wonder what she’s thinking... Probably what’s for dinner, because she loves her food… but we like to think she’s pondering what a wonderful life she has, because she’s truly loved and adored.”

  

Thomas

Thomas

Russell Sparg shares Thomas

“Thomas is our previously very feral rescue cat who now lives a life of luxury and opulence in Lusaka, Zambia.

“He adopted us on Valentine’s Day at the age of around three months old – now almost 18 months ago – so he’s almost two, and the most demanding and affectionate ginger ever!

“He’s been neutered, but this inconvenience has certainly not dampened his adventurous spirit that we love so much about him.”

Rudy

Rudy

Rekha Mathew shares Rudy, who was adopted from Harrismith Animal Shelter

“It was our first time adopting a dog and I had huge concerns – I was worried if it was the right thing to do... But as soon as we saw Rudy, we all fell in love with him. He ran up to us wagging his tail and enjoyed a few treats from Melvin, our son.

“Rudy has been with us for a few weeks now and he’s shown us so much love, even towards our friends who came to see him. He’s so well behaved and all he needs is love. We look forward to spending a lifetime with our gentle giant.”

Kitkat

Kitkat

Lezania Foster shares Kitkat

“Kitkat is a four-year-old Ragdoll. We adopted her when, sadly, her owner passed away. She was really shy and anxious when she came to us, but today she loves sleeping on our bed and being cuddled. Kitkat weighs 8kg and is currently on a diet programme.

“She loves to roll around on the carpet so that we can rub her. She also runs very fast like a dog. For a very scared cat who hid under the bed all the time, now she’s so playful. 

“She made us work very hard to win her trust, and it was all worth it!”

 

April 2023

Gunner

Gunner

Photo credit: Shuttermutts Pet Photography

Lindsay Catlin shares Gunner, who was adopted from Majestic Beast Rescue

“Isn’t he just divine? Gunner, who’s 2.5 years old, was chained up outside for almost all that time, had no muscle mass, and was very thin.

“Gunner was rehabilitated by Majestic Beast Rescue in Klapmuts and is truly magnificent now.

“It’s wonderful to take on a rescue dog who has no issues. He likes other dogs, has no food aggression, behaves well on walks, and enjoys the car.

“I’m blessed to be his guardian for the rest of his life!”

  

Piston

Piston

Photo credit: Xany Jansen Van Vuuren

Xany Jansen Van Vuuren shares Piston

“Piston was found as a three-week-old kitten in the hood of a car. The driver of the car heard crying coming from the hood after having travelled from a nearby town to Bloemfontein. 

“After many urgent shares on social media, Piston found her way to us, and we all spent many sleepless nights bottle-feeding this tiny little survivor. 

“Today, she’s a happy, chubby little troublemaker.”

 

Jed

Jed

Imogen Tarita shares Jed

“We adopted Jed, a Maltese X, six years ago when he was eight weeks old. He has three sisters, who are all rescues. He was born on the 17th of September 2016, and we celebrate his birthday every year. It’s quite rare to know the exact day your dog was born, so we feel blessed that we know his birth date.

“He’s the sweetest thing and fiercely protective like a lion. If I’m in the house, he follows me everywhere. Where you find me, you’ll find Jed. He has tons of energy and loves to play catch. He always snuggles and cuddles up with me, and yes, he does sleep in the bed! If I turn over, he moves and cuddles up close. It really is so cute. I have a footstool at my desk, and when I’m working from home, he curls up on that and goes to sleep.

“A couple of years ago, I entered him into the Fluffy Kids monthly competition, and he came second. It must have been his adorable face. We had a long chat about his prize money, and although he wanted treats, which he gets every day, he agreed that we could donate his winnings to the Cluny Animal Trust to help other animals in need. Not only is he adorable, but he’s generous as well.”

  

StinkerBell

StinkerBell

Photo credit: Xany Jansen Van Vuuren

Xany Jansen Van Vuuren shares StinkerBell

“Officially named Smelly Cat, a name many millennials will understand, but affectionately called StinkerBell, he came to us as a broken, exhausted, starving, and incredibly smelly cat after his previous humans had replaced him and his sister with two kittens. They stopped feeding him and sprayed him with a garden hose when he dared come near the house. Luckily, a concerned neighbour noticed what was happening and brought him to us to rehome. 

“We fell in love with his gentle, affectionate nature and couldn’t bear to part with him after what he’d gone through.”

 

Gizmo

Gizmo

Photo credit: Nat Gold ZA

Conrad Greer shares Gizmo, who was adopted from Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre

“Gizmo is our handsome and gentle boy. We’ve had him for eight years, and he’s my wife Belinda’s shadow. He’s just a most loyal and loving boy. Unfortunately, our time with him is limited as he has a terminal lung tumour, which is inoperable, so each day he’s with us is very special.”

Belle

Belle

Kerry Scott shares Belle, who was adopted from an animal rescuer

“Matriarch Bellch Belle turns eight in June. She’s my soul dog and the boss of the house!”

 

March 2023

Annie

Annie

Heather Gertzen shares little Annie

“Annie is five years old and had been born into a home where there was no love whatsoever. As a puppy, she was used as a plaything by a child who delighted in pulling her fur out! 

“Thankfully, she was rescued, and the day she was taken away, I adopted her. She had barely any fur covering her body, was in enormous pain, and weighed just under 1kg. 

“Her fur took a while to grow back, but today she’s the most beautiful girl and gets all the love that every animal deserves!”

Oneplan Pet Insurance was so moved by Annie’s story; her fighting spirit made her a true Oneplan Pet Hero. Amy Botha of Oneplan Pet Insurance says, “We’re so comforted to know that Annie is in an amazing environment now, and that we have the privilege of looking after her health, while her mom, Heather, looks after her happiness.”

 

Miss Kitty and Daisy

Miss Kitty and Daisy

Carrey-Lynn Legge shares Miss Kitty and Daisy

“Miss Kitty has been a member of the family for many years. She became especially fond of us when her elderly owner passed away and she adopted us as her new parents.

“We recently adopted Daisy as a sister for Miss Kitty. There was definitely a lot of hissing at first, but they’re slowly creeping their way into each other’s hearts.

“They both love to have zoomies at all hours of the night and spend the days relaxing in the sun.”

  

Bella

Bella

Marina Britz shares Bella, who was adopted through Feel Good Funding Adoptions

“Bella was a puppy-mill Boerboel momma who was no longer wanted. We took her in as a foster and simply fell in love with her, and now she’s here to stay!

“She’s constantly investigating everything around her in a pedantic way. When completely satisfied that all is ‘kosher’, only then can she relax with bliss written all over her face. She’s irreplaceable.”

 

Duke Thomas

Duke Thomas

Marie-Ann Wannenberg shares Duke Thomas

“Duke Thomas came into the vet practice where I work as ‘unwanted’. I was told not to look at him. Then I was told not to fall in love with him. And, well, that’s history!

“He rules the block of flats that we live in. Even though he’s neutered, he’s a fighter. Given half the chance, he fights with any cat crossing his path and he fights with the humans if he’s taken away from an attempt to fight, or when I have to bring him in, if there are cats around. 

“He was first called Mini Beeny/Lost Boy; Dr Jenny then suggested Tom, Keith suggested Duke, while my friend Almaree suggested Thomas... so I combined the names and called him Duke Thomas.”

 

Nina and Nes

Nina and Nes

Jo Blair and Ofer Barak share Nina and Nes

“We sadly lost all three of our fur babies in 2022; we thought we could manage life without any ‘kids’ for a while, but then we met Nina. We couldn’t resist this beautiful soul who’d spent most of her young 10-month-old life at TEARS. Nina is our Golden Girl, she’s pure joy.

“And then, two weeks later, this tiny pup happened upon us! Baby Nes was rescued from an abusive owner by a lovely kind-hearted soul named Peter, who sadly couldn’t keep her. Taking her in has given us, and her ‘big sister’, Nina, nothing but happy entertainment and so many cuddles (and the odd nip – those puppy teeth!). We named her Nes (Nessie), which means ‘miracle’ in Hebrew, and because she’s a little monster!

“Our unexpected family is complete and we look forward to every day with our stunning rescue pups.”

  

Casper

Casper

Photo credit: elysian

Jackie Bruwin shares Casper, who was adopted from Bella’s Guardian Angels

“After adopting Casper’s mum (Luna’s Happy Tale), I couldn’t resist and adopted him too! He remembered her immediately, but she wasn’t having any of it. His sweetness won her over and they are now best of friends!”

 

Bithkit

Bithkit

Photo credit: Nat Gold ZA

Conrad Greer shares Bithkit, who was adopted from Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre

“Bithkit is probably 12 years old now, and we’ve had him for three-and-a-half years. We rescued him from a shelter as he had bad arthritis and the cold winters at the shelter didn’t help, so we brought him home. 

“We treat his arthritis as best we can, but we still need to help him to his feet and steer him around when he battles to walk on his own. He’s such a chilled, relaxed and happy old gentleman.

“And just to explain that Bithkit is actually Biscuit, but he has no front teeth from his hard years before adoption and his tongue hangs out sometimes, so he’s now known to us as Bithkit!”

Yoshi

Yoshi

Shamimah Khan shares Yoshi, who was adopted from Cheeky Beaks Parrot Rescue

“I adopted Yoshi in October 2022. He’s the most gorgeous little Eclectus parrot, who’s completely stolen our hearts with his charm and I simply cannot imagine life without him in it.

“He’s learning new words all the time and loves playing peek-a-boo.”

  

Ali

Ali

Lauren Námer shares Ali, who was adopted from Pug Rescue South Africa

“We named Ali after my beautiful sister, whom we lost in December. 

“Ali (previously Ellie) is a special little 12-year-old granny. She’s been waiting for over a year for the right home and lost her sibling 10 days ago, which upset her greatly, so this is a second chance at a ‘happy ever after’ in a retirement home, where she’ll have so much love, attention, pampering, and some other geriatric siblings.

“Adopting a senior is such a gift. They’re incredibly special and so deserving.”

 

Boesie

Boesie

Zelda Venter shares Boesie, who was adopted from Woodrock Animal Rescue

“This is my beloved boy, Boesie. I adopted him in 2013 and they said he was seven. I have no idea actually how old he is, but he’s very old now. I love him so much that I cry each Christmas, fearing it’s his last. But he’s still going strong. 

“He’s so mixed breed that I have no idea what he is, but there is a Scotty somewhere. He travels all over the country with us and is a happy dog. He has a scar across his back from where, according to the vet, it seems someone poured boiling water over him. 

“Just a little funny story: Boesie loves the beach and we recently took him to Kleinmond in the Western Cape. We were walking along the very foamy beach when he suddenly fell into a puddle of foam. My friend Liela rescued him, and he came out looking like a woolly sheep covered in foam!

“Boesie is so well cared for. I carry him to bed in my arms at night, before he gets a hearty good-night kiss.”

February 2023

Skittles

Skittles

Andrea Fraser shares Skittles

“Our little Skittles, nicknamed Smitch, came to us a little unexpectedly. One Sunday, we were all chilling at home and a message came through on our neighbourhood group that kittens had been found outside Baragwanath Hospital and they urgently needed homes. There were a few boys and only one girl. 

“I immediately packed the kids in the car and off we went to see them. The little girl stole our hearts and we knew she’d be the perfect fit in our family. Fast forward to today, she’s the most incredible cat! 

“Smitch totally adores my kids, waits for them to get back from school or wherever they’ve been, and follows them around the house, even sleeps with them. She’s also best mates with our Border Collie; they’ve been close since the day we brought her home. We absolutely love her to pieces and can’t imagine our home without her.”

Senna

Senna

Marelique Grobler shares Senna, who was adopted from HART (Helderberg Animal Rescue Team)

“The whole family went to my brother for his birthday, and Willow’s foster parents were there with their new foster pup, Senna. 

“We were amazed at how well she and Willow played with each other, and we asked if Senna could have a sleepover to see if Willow would accept her at home.

“It didn’t take long for Senna to steal our hearts and we adopted her the next day! 

“Senna is absolutely adorable and we’re super happy to welcome her to the Grobler family.”

  

Cleaver

Cleaver

Zelda Venter shares Cleaver, who was adopted from Wollies Animal Project

“Cleaver is the latest addition to our little family – we adopted him during lockdown. The shelter had made a plea for him, as Cleaver, then called Dino, wasn’t coping in a cage. He came from a dire background from which he had to be removed. 

“As it turns out, he’s no problem at all; he only wants love. Although he’s the biggest of our three rescue dogs, he’s like a lamb. He very quickly took to the good life.”

 

Amelia

Amelia

Zelda Venter shares Amelia, who was adopted from Woodrock Animal Rescue

“Amelia was found in a veldt shortly after she was born; sadly, her mother was found dead. Amelia, as small as she is, rules the household. She has two brothers, Boesie and Cleaver, whom she orders around, but they dearly love her. 

“Amelia is also widely travelled. Her first trip was as a pup of eight weeks on a 10-hour trip to the Eastern Cape, which she loved. Amelia is fearless and had the least traumatic past from all three of our dogs. I doubt she remembers being abandoned in a veldt.”

  

Snippie

Snippie

Annerie de Waal shares Snippie

“Snippie was purchased from a pet store but was returned a few days later because he allegedly bites. He was then given to me.

“It was quite clear that this little baby was abused in his home. His body was covered in bruises and wounds and his spirit was broken.

“Snippie is under a year old still. He’s recovered from his physical trauma and is getting there emotionally. He’s learned to trust again and has become such a happy boy!”

Mia

Mia

Jo-Jo Bayvel shares Mia

“I rescued my little Mia from a breeder who was going to put her to sleep because she has lupus. She’s now 12 years old and the love of my life.

“She’s a love bug who spends most of her day cuddled up to me or in my bed, but she also thinks she’s a madam as she chases hadedas!”

 

January 2023

Amara

Amara

Photography credit: elysian

Marelique Grobler shares Amara

“We’d recently just adopted Willow and Willow adopted her as her sister from the get-go and felt the need to protect her from the start. 

“Amara had been rescued by Willow’s foster mum after being found in a box at a second-hand shop in Somerset West and was in desperate need for a loving home.

“It just made absolute sense to make her a part of our family and we immediately fell in love with her! Willow and Amara have formed this special bond that left us all in awe.”

   

Bentley

Bentley

Photography credit: Mariaan Browne

Maggie and Craig Williams share Bentley – their precious “grand-puppy”

“We got Bentley for my daughter as her 18th birthday gift – her dream dog was a Yorkie! He was a total surprise for my daughter, who loved him from the moment she set eyes on him. As life happens, however, when she moved out of the house, she was unable to take Bentley with her. 

“That was two years ago, and Bentley has stayed. He is, of course, totally used to the house, his walking route, and the other dogs that he shares his home with. When he’s misbehaving, he’s called by his full name, ‘Burenwag Bentley’, and he immediately goes ‘Oops! Trouble!’ and stops whatever he’s up to; it’s quite comical to watch.

“He has an amazing personality; a feisty spunky little dog who loves a good outing in the car. He catches on the minute I’m going out, even before I pick up my handbag, and will position himself in line with the garage door so that as soon as it opens he runs in, whether he’s invited or not! Most times this ploy works (it’s too cute for it to fail) and he gets to come along, provided it’s a quick trip/somewhere dog-friendly. If not, he’s evicted from the garage, much to his horror!

“Bentley is five years old now and loves an afternoon nap on the bed with his people, his walks, treats, outings of any nature, and as much attention as possible. He loves to see his previous owner but doesn’t appear to show any signs of wanting to move in with her. She took him to her new flat a few weeks ago and she said he had fun, but, at 7PM, he parked himself at the front door and waited patiently to be taken home. I think Rebecca was a bit sad about this, but, as I explained, he’s used to his garden, his routine, and his own pack who are his companions. He also loves his ‘grandparents’ and appears unlikely to want to be rehomed with Rebecca, as much as she misses him. 

“He’s the gift that stayed with the gifters! I hadn’t intended to have a Yorkie, but I honestly couldn’t have asked for a more faithful, snuggly little companion. And car outings with Bentley are the best. He’s the ultimate therapy dog and, although not a rescue in the true sense of the word, he’s the one who was left behind and appears to be happy that he stayed! I couldn’t imagine life without him.”

 

Annie

Annie

Photography credit: Strike A Pose Photography

Kate Biernacki shares Annie, who was rescued as a stray

“Annie is seven years old, and she walked into a lady’s garden when she was around 4 - 6 weeks old. She was found with the family dogs circling her. They were unable to find her owner and were highly allergic to cats, so they had to rehome her urgently. Unaware of the potential danger, they’d been trying to feed her cows’ milk only. 

“We collected her from the family and took her straight to our vet. She had a large hernia and it was touch-and-go to save her, but, gratefully, she made it through her surgery perfectly. 

“Annie is a very vocal cat but not a cuddler; everything happens on her terms – and we’re okay with that!”

Olaf

Olaf

Photography credit: elysian

Robyn Christenson shares Olaf (Ollie)

“Olaf, or Ollie, was found at the age of around eight months in Hopefield by Foster Love Animal Rescue. The family that had him, his mom and one sibling simply dumped them and stopped feeding them. He was a feral, scraggly mess when we got him and very petrified of people. I took one look at him and said: ‘We’ll fetch him today!’ That was three years ago now. 

“Ollie is super affectionate and loves cuddling with his family. He prefers the outdoor life; we kept him inside for a long time to acclimatise to home living again and he’s decided that he prefers spending his days outside watching the goings-on in our cul-de-sac. We’re very fortunate to have neighbours who love him as much as we do, although they can’t get too close to him. He sleeps on their trampoline, walls, roof of the enclosed pool, and his go-to when it’s raining is their pizza oven if he can’t get home in time.

“He comes home multiple times during the day and night to eat and check on his ‘subjects’. He was a dirty, scrappy looking guy when we rescued him; he’s grown into a beautiful, very fluffy floof with huge paws and an even bigger heart – we love him, and he’s enjoying this life, I think; living off whatever scraps you can find isn’t fun.”

  

Luciey

Luciey

Jacqueline Oberholzer shares Luciey, who was adopted from PAWS – Potch Animal Welfare Society

“We adopted Luciey on the 13th of October when she was around 11 months old. We lost our family dog back in July due to old age and, at the beginning of September, my husband and I decided to start our search for a pup that would be a good friend for our three-year-old Morkie, Cody.

“After what honestly felt like FOREVER (mid-October), I contacted Johan from PAWS – Potch Animal Welfare Society – and asked if they had any female doggies younger than one year. I explained exactly the pup we were looking for and was then told about a beautiful, young, super-playful pup that they’d rescued named Lucy (now spelled Luciey), that they’d saved after she was found with a broken leg.

“They’d put pins in her leg, spayed her and given her the necessary time she needed to heal before putting her up for adoption.

“The decision was made to visit PAWS where I could then meet her and decide if she’d be a good match for us.

“Well, I can honestly say that meeting Luciey for the first time took me by surprise as I’d never expected to love an animal as much as I loved her from the moment I saw her!

“She’s vibrant, playful, goofy, energetic and cuddly, with the perfect amount of naughty.

“My husband and I decided that Luciey would be a perfect addition to our small family and a perfect friend for our pup, Cody.

“The two of them now spend their days chasing each other around the yard, lazing about on our bed, or enjoying cuddle and tease time with their humans.

“I must add that, although Luciey was originally adopted as a friend for Cody, she’s truly become not only a dog, a family member, and a friend to me but has also become the best support animal I could have ever asked for.”

  

Luci

Luci

Photography credit: elysian

Helen Acriviadis shares Luci, adopted from Adopt-a-dog (which has since closed its doors) 

“Luci is notorious for minding her own business, sleeping through construction noise and sensing when someone is in physical pain and smothering them in love and healing energy. 

“She also loves starting fights with Sage (as most younger sisters do) but never gets the blame. I mean, how can you stay mad at a precious face like hers?”

December 2022

Hobie

Hobie

Photo credit: Mariaan Browne

Maggie and Craig Williams share Hobie

“Hobie is a loveable little Miniature Pinscher-type doggie who’s now approximately three years old. Craig rescued her at Hobie Beach, Port Elizabeth, when she was as small as the DStv remote! Craig was walking along the beachfront while waiting for Rebecca and saw two youngsters with a tiny puppy. He kept walking, but a voice in his head said, “You should check.” He went back and didn’t see them but then thought they couldn’t have gone far. Long story short, they were on the beach, trying to feed this sickly little puppy chips.

“Craig paid them R70 (all he had with him) and took her, with them protesting that they wanted more. We fostered her, with the intention of letting her be adopted (we had four other dogs at the time and didn’t want to keep another puppy). She had to be hand fed and was a very sick little puppy, with worms and a parasitic infection, ear infection, and had been accidentally stood on. She had to be rushed to the vet, who doubted she’d pull through. We prayed the whole night, distraught at the accident. But, the next morning, the vet sent a little video clip of Hobie walking towards her. We were overjoyed and decided then and there to keep her.

“She basically runs the household and is a total little busybody. She also has hyperactivity of note and is constantly on the go. She’s super intelligent, with an amazing tracker ability, despite no training. She can find the toys we’ve hidden no matter where we put them.

“We simply couldn’t imagine life without Hobie. She brings an energy to the household second to none, and her guarding an item of my clothing never fails to make us laugh. She’ll lie with my socks, and anyone that comes near her is chased away. She maps out a radius around her and the item she’s chosen to guard, and that perimeter cannot be breached, so uniquely Hobie.”

Juliette and Shadow

Juliette and Shadow

Photo credit to their foster mum: Hannah Lippold

Jani Kuipers shares Juliette and Shadow, who were adopted from PlumPets Animal Shelter

“After losing two of my other kitties (one to cancer and the other to a freak accident) earlier this year, my home was too quiet and I knew it was time to find two new additions to my family. I was still making a joke in saying that I should perhaps get a Siamese look-alike, never thinking I would…

“And a week later I saw the post on rehoming these two cuties. My heart just melted and, as they say, the rest is history.

“They’re such wonderful creatures and I can’t believe they’re the same scared little kitties from three weeks ago. The way they’ve opened up in such a short amount of time – I can’t wait to see what they’ll be like in the next six months. What a joy!”

  

Eywa and Nakoa

Eywa and Nakoa

Kirsty Lobley shares Eywa (left) and Nakoa

“I share my life with my two rescue Pit Bulls. I adopted Nakoa from Underdogs SA Pitbull Rehabilitation Centre. He’s just over a year old, and he’s beautiful. His name is Hawaiian, meaning ‘the warrior with universal energy’. He’s strong and very protective of Mommy, but his favourite thing to do is give hugs and full-face kisses. Oh, and to catch his ball like a true athlete – I’m thinking of enrolling him for agility training. Unusual for a Pit Bull, but there’s nothing ordinary about my Nakoa! 

“Eywa is five months old and a real little lady. I got her from a woman who was going to dump the puppies from an ‘accidental’ litter. She’s gorgeous and her name is Sanskrit for ‘feminine life force’ (have you watched Avatar?). She was the runt that nobody wanted. I’ve had her at the vet many times trying to find out why she’s so skinny. But the vet said there’s nothing wrong, so now Mommy calls her Heidi Klum… a sexy little supermodel. She’s looking much better and has lots of energy to cuddle every morning.

“Eywa is very subdued, and although she loves mixing with other dogs, she definitely has her favourite humans whom she trusts. She loves to stare deeply into my eyes, which always works and results in her getting whatever she wants! And as long as her big brother is nearby for emotional support and guidance, all is well. 

“My life would be empty without my fur kids. They bring me joy, teach me about patience, and get me to live outside of my own selfish needs. They’re a true gift. My life has been enriched by adopting Nakoa and Eywa!”

  

Jackson, Mitch, Merlin and …

Jackson, Mitch, Merlin and Milla

Mila (top left) and Jackson, Merlin (middle row) and Mitch (bottom)

Nadia Torrinha shares Jackson, Mitch, Merlin and Milla

“In August 2018 I decided I wanted to adopt a kitten and asked the ladies at the office to let me know if they heard of one. Within a day or two, one of the ladies showed me a photo of a black kitten up for adoption.

“I immediately messaged Lynette Nicholson of Nicholson Kitty Rescue enquiring about Mitch and she invited me to meet him at her house. Gabi (my seven-year-old daughter) and I went to meet him. Upon getting there, we found out that Mitch was one of three kittens. Lynette had named them Mitch, Merlin and Mila (two boys and a girl).

“They’d been found in a quarry in Krugersdorp at two or three days old, and their mom was nowhere to be found. So they’d been hand-reared and were available for adoption.

“Initially, I suggested we take two of the kittens… but who do you leave behind? So I landed up adopting all three kittens and kept their names.

“Having been hand-reared, they’re all very homely and extremely affectionate and sweet. I’d take them with me to my office each morning, and in the afternoon when the au pair fetched the girls from school, they’d pop past the office and take them home again.

“Whenever I arrive home and the outside garage door starts opening, all four cats rush to the door leading into the house and they’re all waiting for me as I walk in. And, from that moment on, they follow me around. If I go to the toilet and close the door, they sit and scratch the door to be let in.

“In 2018, my niece Kayla also adopted a stray kitten and called him Jackson. At the time, she was a university student in Pretoria. In 2020, she was expecting a baby, and that, combined with the Covid-19 lockdown, meant she had to move back home to her mom’s house. She wasn’t able to take Jackson with her as my sister had two Huskies and a German Shepherd that were not used to cats, and she worried for his safety. So, I landed up adopting Jackson too.

“He soon became a part of the family and the cats all get on very well.

“Life with our kitties is never dull. Mila loves snuggling up to me, sleeping on my arm as I work on my computer, and still ‘sucks’ on my shirts (apparently, when cats are hand-reared they sometimes never lose the need to suck).

“Jackson often joins Gabi while she sleeps. The funny thing is that he only comes along after she’s sleeping. He then crawls under her arm and snuggles with her – she isn’t even aware that he’s there. I often take these photos and send them to her so she can see them the next morning…

“They all love to hang out on my cat stand in my room and watch me work. 

“When I call the cats, they all come running from wherever they are; it’s a sight to behold!”

 

Skye

Skye

Photo credit: Mariaan Browne

Maggie and Craig Williams share Skye

“Skye the Boerboel was rescued at just two days old by someone on one of the networks we follow. Being on the network, we assisted with formula for her and her three surviving siblings, and popped in at the foster care mum to check on the pups. We were sometimes in time for bottle feeding and would assist, such a privilege. We were offered a puppy and, although we initially said no, eventually I said that we’d take whichever puppy wasn’t homed.

“The bigger siblings were all snatched up. Skye had a squint and was definitely the runt of the litter. Not on anyone’s list, we took her and she’s grown into the most amazing doggie, totally devoted to her family, and of course we reciprocate her love. She’s absolutely precious, and feisty towards anyone on the other side of the gate/wall!

“She has a duck toy, which I gave her when she arrived, and she’s grown up with Duck. Duck is now a relic of its former glory, but Skye still loves her duck and carries it around with her wherever she goes. Due to being removed from her mum at a young age, she ‘suckles’ on the duck, so there’s no replacing it – we’ve tried. If I wash Duck, she’ll sit outside and watch the washing line until Duck’s brought back to her 

“Skye and Hobie love going on walks and walk well together. Skye loves a drive in the car, doesn’t matter where, she’s in! She particularly enjoys the drive-thru at KFC with Rebecca! The staff are always amazed at this large dog sitting in the front seat – she definitely looks imposing and fierce. She is, however, an oversized teddy bear with all who know her, who really think she’s a lap dog.”

 

Genie and Pikah

Genie and Pikah

Pikah (left) and Genie

Diane Brooks shares Genie, adopted from African Tails, and Pikah, adopted from CAAA (Capetonians Against Animal Abuse)

“When my 17-year-old Inca went over the Rainbow Bridge, a ginger kitten was brought into the vet the very same day. He’d been found on the side of the road, near Westlake. The vet ladies persuaded me to adopt him. That was my beautiful Maui. I thought he needed a friend, so I went to all the rescue centres and just never managed to come home with another kitten.

“Enter my friend Karen, who has a cattery and fosters for African Tails. The next thing I knew, she’d handed me a little tortoiseshell kitten, which I named Genie. Maui used to beat her up something terrible, but she soon outgrew him to 8kg. She’s the sweetest, biggest softie, ever.

“Sadly, after seven years, Maui went missing. After several months of hoping and searching, we found nothing. Genie was sitting at the window each night, waiting for him to come home. Enter Karen again. This time she ‘shoved’ me into her car and drove me to see the kittens at CAAA. There were so many to choose from – I’d never actually CHOSEN a kitten before; they all chose me.

“There was a cage with a litter of five kittens; they were only eight weeks old. They were all white with spots of calico and, after cuddling them all, I decided on one with huge ears the size of pyramids. I named her Pixie but found myself calling her Pikah, Peanut, and a host of other ‘P’ words! Eventually, I changed her name to Pikah.

“She and Genie get along famously. Pikah sleeps next to my pillow and follows me around the house constantly and is absolutely adorable!

“Sadly, Maui’s body was found after six months, but at least that gave me some closure.

“Both Genie (now eight years old) and Pikah (only just 10 months old) are indoor cats and are allowed out only for short periods during the day, while I’m at home to supervise. I never take my eyes off them and they don’t leave the garden. I couldn’t bear it if anything happened to my two girls!”

  

Nico and Leo

Nico and Leo

Annerie de Waal shares Nico and Leo

“I got Nico after he was being sold between breeders at only nine months old. He was being sold as a breeding bird, even though he’s severely disabled. Someone brought him to my attention, so I stepped in and started planning to get him to me.

“He arrived here in a very dirty box that was way too small for him; he couldn’t even sit upright. It was heartbreaking to see.

“When he got here he was in bad shape. He’d shared an aviary with other young Macaws who bullied him. He didn’t have tail or flight feathers, and his feather condition was very poor.

“He couldn’t walk and couldn’t move around.

“So, the long journey started to get this boy back to health and independence. It took over a year to sort out sores on his feet as he walks on his ankles. He needs a special cage set-up due to his disabled feet. After more than a year, the skin has hardened, so he no longer has sores.

“He grew out his tail and wings, and with that came his confidence. He bonded to my rescued male Eclectus Parrot, Leo, and the two of them have become inseparable. Leo came to me as a tiny baby with pneumonia after he aspirated on his formula. It was touch and go with him, but after four months he was finally out of the woods.

“Nico is such a happy boy and is enjoying life! He moves around, climbs, and plays like any other bird. You’d never say he’s so badly disabled by just looking at him.

“Leo is a very gentle bird and loves people. He’ll fly to anyone and just have a chat!

“They have such a beautiful friendship and are just a pleasure to have in the flock.”

 

Rascal

Rascal

Andrea Fraser shares Rascal, who was adopted from Nicholson Kitty Rescue

“We lost our precious old boy, Os, earlier this year, and our little Skittles, only a year old herself, really needed a kitty friend.

“We saw Lynette’s Nicholson Kitty Rescue’s Facebook post that Rascal was looking for his forever home and decided then and there that Rascal needed to be part of our family.

“Rascal has fitted into the family perfectly – he’s such a happy and playful boy, doesn’t stop purring! But he also has a mischievous side, so his name really suits him. We just love him to bits.”

 

November 2022

Anubis

Anubis

JP Crozier shares a bit from Anubis, who was adopted from RAD (Rescued Animal Drive)

“Anubis. I wasn’t always called that, but when my dad saw my face, he knew my original name of Poncho wasn’t the right one.

“I love my new home with my other siblings. Some of my favourite things are napping in the sun and getting scratches on the left side of my body. The scratches are especially good as I’m a special doggo. You see, I was in a really bad accident and lost my left back leg. But that hasn’t slowed me down and dad says he didn’t even notice my leg was missing when he looked at my initial photos.

“I’ve been here five months and I’m really settling in!”

And JP adds... 

“Anubis has severe separation anxiety so isn’t overly fond of cuddles and love unless he asks for it, which he does by gently nudging you with his nose. He also has severe car trauma so doesn’t like leaving the house. However, he’s the most gentle, sweet and loving boy anyone could ask for, and every day I fall in love with this brave boy even more.”

 

Peaches and Harley

Peaches and Harley

Heidi Steyl shares her little rescue dogs, Peaches and Harley

“We moved into our new place two years ago and luckily the place was pet-friendly, so we decided to adopt our first doggie. I started following a few rescue organisation on Facebook, and that’s how I found little Peaches. I wanted two puppies so that they’d be friends, but hubby suggested we adopt one now and later get another one.

“We filled in the application form and, when they started asking about who’d be at home with puppy when we’re at work, I thought, ‘Okay, I’m not getting her,’ and so I started looking around again. That’s when I saw the photo of Harley on the SPCA’s site. She was so small and thin, and we decided that she needed a home. It’s so heart-breaking going to the SPCA and seeing all the dogs there. Still makes me sad just thinking about it.  

“When we started the paperwork for Harley, I got a call to say we’d been approved to adopt Peaches, and so, in the end, I got my two puppies!

“We adopted Peaches from Vaalpets and Harley (brown one) from Johannesburg SPCA.

“Peaches was the cute tiny black puppy that stole our hearts as soon as she gave her to us. She lay on my neck all the way from Vanderbiljpark to Johannesburg, where we went to collect Harley. As we stopped at the SPCA, Peaches got sick and threw up on me, ‘christened’ as a fully-fledged dog mommy! 

“Harley was so the opposite of Peaches – she wiggled so much they couldn’t take a proper photo of us. I had to sit in the back seat with Harley just to keep her still.

“When we got home, Peaches didn’t like the energy of Harley, but soon they started playing. Now they’re always together and are the best of friends. Harley was initially not very affectionate, but she’s become quite fond of cuddling. Peaches is always willing to share kisses (even at 4 o’clock in the morning) and has become very feisty; in her heart she’s a Doberman. They love their walks and most of the time it looks like they’re walking us.

“They are naughty at times, and they have ‘mommy’ and ‘daddy’ wrapped around their paws. My couch cushions will never be the same as they have a bed but prefer to lie on top of the cushions.

“They hated water at first, but as they got older, they started loving it. It’s a mission trying to use the hose in the garden as Harley keeps biting the spray. Harley also lies in front of the shower waiting for someone to finish so she can go in and ‘bite’ the few drops from the shower head. When she looks at you with those puppy-dog eyes (and she moans), we’ll run the water for her. They still don’t love bathing, but spraying water is their favourite.
 
“We took them on holiday with us and they just love running around on the beach. They weren’t fans of the waves, but rock pools were better until water rose from the waves, then they got on the rocks. The monkeys drove them mad and, every morning at 09h00, there was barking and moaning at these ‘creatures’ on the roof and in the trees.   

“We love our two girls to bits and can’t imagine our lives without them.”

  

Chelsea Bun and Bear

Chelsea Bun and Bear

Neeri Naidoo shares Chelsea Bun and Bear

“I found Chelsea Bun 12 years ago – she’d been dumped in a bin at just a few days old. Chelsea survived parvo virus and still lives with a renal and thyroid issue but has never let it get her down. She’s living her best life and completes our home.

“Bear has survived Ehrlichiosis, losing her sight and losing both eyes, and still battles a rare blood disorder and cancer. Yet, for the past 11 years of her life, she’s never let it define her! She’s the bravest Bear I know and she’s such an inspiration.

“Thank you for sharing my fur kids, they are proof that rescue dogs are simply the best breed!”

Frankie

Frankie

Annerie de Waal shares Frankie

“Frankie came to me as a hatchling after her mom kicked her out when she was just a couple of hours old. It soon became apparent that her crop wasn’t functional, something her mom probably knew.

“After keeping her alive with a drip and fluids for two weeks and fitting her with a crop ‘bra’, we got her crop working and it just went better from there!

“Frankie is now almost two years old and just the most gorgeous girl with the softest heart!”

   

Whispy and Ella

Whispy and Ella

David Liebovitz shares Whispy and Ella, who were adopted from Nicholson Kitty Rescue

“We adopted Whispy in early May and then Ella at the end of September this year from Lynette at Nicholson Kitty Rescue.

“The two female kitties have become fast friends, and their constant playing and incredible sweet natures have filled our home with so much love and happiness.”

  

Shadow

Shadow

Nicolene Steyn shares Shadow, who was adopted from PETS (Pet Empowerment in Townships)

“It was in 2013 when my mom showed me this photo of a young black dog on Facebook which was looking for a new home. His previous owners had moved house and simply abandoned him and his brother there. For two months the neighbour would put food over the fence, but the poor dogs started to eat the moving boxes that had been left behind. The neighbours called PETS Witbank (at the time), and when they came, they discovered that, tragically, the brother was long gone; only Shadow had survived.

“I applied for adoption the same day he was put up for adoption, and I was successful in being approved. On the 17th of August 2013, a wonderful and kind woman who was his foster mom came all the way from Witbank and brought him to me in Pretoria.

“Shadow was very silent and ‘on his own’; he’d growl if I tried to hug him and move away. So I gave him his space but also showered him with love and attention. It took about two months for him to accept us as his new family and to allow me to hug him and kiss him. And today he’s literally my Shadow. 

“He follows me everywhere and is very protective of me. He still doesn’t like for other people to hug him. When I adopted him, I took him to the vet and they said he’s between two to three years old. So, August is his new birthday month, and this year he celebrated his 11 - 12th birthday.”

 

October 2022

Stella

Stella

Sonja van Schaik shares Stella, who was adopted from SPCA Swellendam

“Late one evening, I saw a post on Facebook about a little four-month-old kitten which needed a home... again.

“Stella (previous shelter name Lizzy) was born on the 22nd of February 2022 and rescued from her owner at a very early age.

“She was fostered back to good health and then she got adopted by a family. The new family didn’t realise they’d experience severe cat allergies and, after much consideration, she was sadly surrendered back to SPCA.

“I lost my beloved calico in November 2021 due to cancer, so I just knew I must open my home and adopt this beautiful calico with the bushy tail. The next morning I completed the adoption form, a few days later the home check was approved and, in June 2022, I took the 214km drive from Cape Town to go and fetch her from Swellendam SPCA. Four hundred and twenty-eight kilometres later she was safely in her new home.

“Stella is living a life of royalty, which also includes pet insurance and two very large outdoor catios, each with their own beautiful cat towers and climbers, where she can lie in the sun and watch the big variety of garden birds. All peaceful, happy and safe.

“I can’t imagine my life without her; she’s such a blessing to my life, very chatty, gets along well with all the other furry kids, and is crazy for running water and cooked chicken. I’m so thankful to be her forever cat guardian.

“Thank you to SPCA Swellendam for allowing me to adopt Stella. Keep up with the amazing work which you do on a daily basis.”

   

Kona

Kona

Michelle Witteveen shares Kona

“Kona was an orphaned kitty. He was found in the forest in Greyton by a friend of mine, with no mommy nor siblings anywhere around. They searched for a few hours. We estimated that he was about five or six weeks old. 

“I collected him three days later; he was a little bit shy and flea covered, but neither lasted very long. He has a loving, friendly, very chilled personality, enjoys human company and will have a full-on conversation with you (in meow, of course). His weirdest trait is that he loves to be cuddled, but the human needs to be standing and holding him in their arms – sitting down and cuddling isn’t an option. He loves playing with feathers, which he’ll proudly collect from the garden. He also loves playing hide-and-seek and pounce; it’s become a regular evening routine for us.

“He’s the bravest boy as he’s just survived tick bite fever and had to endure some horrible meds – this just before his second birthday, which we’ll celebrate with a big treat! He certainly keeps our lives interesting and entertained.”

  

Levi

Levi

Annerie de Waal shares Levi

“Levi came to me as a baby after his parents and siblings were eaten by rats. He was the only surviving member of his family.

“He was very weak and unable to stand up and it was a challenge to raise him. 

“Luckily, he recovered beautifully and is now a handsome young man!”

 

Xena

Xena

Photo credit: Nat Gold ZA

Stephané Richter shares Xena, who was adopted from PlumPets Animal Shelter

“Xena was estimated about 10 weeks old when we rescued her.

“I was lying in bed at about 10pm and I heard a distressed kitten crying. I went outside and, being dark, I couldn’t see much, but when I looked across the road there was a tiny kitten stuck on the wall. The neighbours across from us were still building the house, so there were only construction workers staying there. I went outside and managed to quickly catch her. She was full of fleas and the construction workers didn’t know who she belonged to or where she came from.

“We posted notices to our neighbourhood watch group, but no one came forward. Due to the unique colouring on her face, we just immediately fell in love with her. We knew she was put on our path for a reason.

“She hid under the bed for about two weeks before she truly realised that this is her new home.

“She’s become the most cuddly little cat and is very attached to her momma. She doesn’t like the outside much and is pretty much a home body.

“She loves to sit and stare out the windows and also loves her food. She’s not much of a fan of treats and can be very fussy on those. However, we’ve found that Catit Creamy lickable cat treats are her favourite, and she sits on the kitchen counter every night waiting for some.

“Xena acts like the queen in the house and is very cuddly. She loves to cuddle with me under the blanket, and I always wake up with her either on top of my face or my shoulder. She’ll wake me up by giving me kisses.”

September 2022

Bentlee

Bentlee

Kayla Grusd shares Bentlee who was adopted from Kitty and Puppy Haven

“We adopted Bentlee (previously named Barrel) in 2010 when he was just ten weeks old. When we adopted him, we were told that he was found in a dustbin near Diepsloot. 

“Our boy is now twelve years old and living his best life with his Labrador brother, Parker. 

“Bentlee loves playing with a tennis ball, swimming and cuddling on human laps. Despite getting on in years, our boy has a real zest for life!”

 

Dante and Gizelle

Dante and Gizelle

Louise Pinkham shares her girls, Dante and Gizelle

“As we all know, life can be a circle of events, and it always somehow comes back to you. A friend, Bernice Mong, had deliberately not circulated a message of a mommy with one kitten being sent around to various people requesting help from me because she knew I was dealing with a lot at the time. Well, the WhatsApp happened to end up with me after all ... the circle found its end.

“I fetched Dante and her baby, Gizelle, who was then just four weeks old, on the 28th of March 2022 from a foster who was keeping them safe but was finding Dante difficult. She is not a feral but a ‘given-up and abused’ cat. 

“Dante was possessive over her Gizelle. I was attacked if I went near her baby, so I focused mostly on her to gain her trust (I mostly focus on the mothers if and when I take a family in. Mothers deserve it!)

“Dante went into attack mode on seeing any cat or dog. This posed a problem, so they were isolated. True to being a good mommy, I had never witnessed such an interlocked mother-daughter cat relationship before. A week later, to try to break the bond, I would take Gizelle to be a kitten with my others. Gizelle was unfriendly but still very sweet – her mother’s influence was going to make her a difficult cat. 

“Dante and Gizelle did find a home together, but sadly (or, happily actually), they were returned. We still have no idea as to the actual truth of why they were no longer wanted.

“So, on her return to me, I decided it was enough of going from place to place. She was staying, and so was Gizelle. I refused to lock her up in the room and started socialising her with other cats and dogs.

“Dante must have suffered horrific abuse prior to her finding me. Today, with patience, reprimand and assurance, she gets along with the other cats and dogs. One thing I can say is never to underestimate a cat not understanding your ‘reaching out’ to protect and teach them.”

 

Leo

Leo

Jane James shares Leo, who was adopted from Border Collie Rescue SA

“Leo is a Rough Collie-Husky cross of about seven years old. He is my crazy boy. He revs up all my Border Collies with his Husky talk. 

“He has eaten most of my furniture back in the day. He has epilepsy which is kept under control with chronic meds. And... he is the light of our lives!”

  

Georgie

Georgie

Jazmine Cole shares Georgie, who was rescued during an outreach in George

“Georgie was being fed potato skins and, through the help of two amazing women, he was rescued and sent down to Cape Town. 

“After being in the care of his foster mom, Claire Shadbolt, he joined our gang of fur babies, and today Georgie is a happy and playful beautiful boy whom we totally adore!”

 

Archie

Archie

Kayla Grusd shares Archie, who was adopted from Woodrock Animal Rescue

“Archie, formerly known as Snatch, was adopted in July 2021. He is the only one of his litter that looks this way and so his exact breed is unknown. 

“Archie is a ball of energy and a huge love bug. His night-time routine includes making sure that he is cuddled right up against his humans, even if it means pushing them off the bed. He loves park dates with his fur friends, snoozing in the sun, car rides to his human grandparents (and fur cousins) and enjoying meals next to his bunny friends. 

“The best part about our Archie-boy is the big smile and tail wag that he gives to the people he loves.”

  

Lucy

Lucy

Elaine Thompson shares Lucy, adopted from Nicholson Rescue

“During 2021, I sadly lost my two twenty-year-old ginger cats – the loves of my life. We decided ‘No more cats for a while’ so that we could travel. 

“My daughter had adopted two kittens two years earlier and followed a foster mum, Lynette Nicholson, on Facebook. In January 2022, Lynette posted a plea to home ‘their longest serving inmate’, three-year-old Lucy, who had been waiting for over a year for a forever home. Lynette finished off by saying, “Maybe 2022 will be Lucy’s year”. That was it. We were sold, and we collected our precious Lucy at the beginning of February. 

“Lucy was a seemingly feral cat that had been rescued by Lynette. She was heavily pregnant and produced four adorable kittens the next day. Happily, the four kittens got good homes. It was just Lucy who needed a home.

“Lucy was very timid when we brought her home, and for the first month, she spent her time in her safe place in her basket in my bedroom. Eventually, she got braver and started to explore the rest of the house and venture into the garden. Each week her personality changes as she gets more confident. She is now very vocal, purrs loudly if you touch her, and eats like a champion (all the time).

“Lucy is obsessed with my husband and rushes to him when he gets home from work. She sits and stares at him while he is watching television and curls against his back at night on the bed. (I think I’m a bit jealous).

“Yesterday, for the first time, she lay curled up with my eighteen-year-old dog, Sasha. Progress! This made my heart happy.

“Thank you, Lynette, for caring for her for so long. We treasure her and spoil her and couldn’t have asked for a lovelier cat.”

  

Toto

Toto

Wendy van Blerk shares Toto, who was adopted by Paws R Us: SA

“Toto is probably one of the most amazing woofs on the planet. We got him from Paws R Us: SA. Paws had him for a year before he came home to us. He lives his absolute best life with us.”

  

Blackie

Blackie

Val Treurnicht shares Blackie, adopted from Border Collie Rescue SA

“We adopted Blackie last month. Blackie is still a youngster at only 13 months only. We are both super excited to have found each other, with lots of thanks to supportive friends and the Border Collie Rescue SA.

“He is a very gentle dog and so light on his feet. He loves his early morning walks and playing with my grandchildren, who all adore him. He reckons grooming time is only for girls, but we are gradually working on that. 

“We are still discovering lots about each other. We both like gardening. He is a great listener, so now I can chat away without seeming mad.

“Thank you to everyone involved in his rescue and subsequent welfare.”

 

August 2022

Tyler

Tyler

Nisha Moodley shares Tyler, who was adopted from Project Dog Durban

“I adopted Tyler in 2013 when she was two years old for my parents, Krish and Maliga Naidoo. She was boarded at a kennel in Shongweni, KZN, after being surrendered by her owner from a nearby township who could no longer afford to care for her. Tyler waited at the kennels for over a year for a new home.

“I adopted her to keep my parents company after my elder sister’s passing. It was the best decision I have made. Tyler has the purest soul and a heart of gold. She really helped my parents as a constant loving companion at a very sad time in our lives. She’s extremely loyal and loves them dearly; shadowing my father.

“Now at age 11 years old, Tyler lives in a cottage with my parents on my property in Johannesburg. She spends her days in the sun, strolling, albeit at a much slower pace, in the garden and following my three little dogs around – being bullied by snobbish Sparkles. She’s also influenced by naughty Yorkie Molly and will sometimes join her in arguing with the neighbourhood pets.

“Tyler, I believe, is an angel whose presence helped my parents during a period of extreme grief and loss. I think we’ve learned that we should never judge a book by its cover. In shelters, dogs like Tyler often get overlooked for the cute, fluffy small breeds and puppies. But I couldn’t have chosen a better dog than Tyler from the township.

“Thank you for giving her an opportunity of being featured in Happy Tails.”

 

Phoebe

Phoebe

Tabitha Stewart shares Phoebe

“Phoebe was found on a farm when she was a few days old; she was picked up by Jan Pharazan (who’s a feral trapper) and was bottle fed until she was old enough to eat on her own. She was then passed on to Colleen Britz, who looked after her until she was old enough to find her forever home.

“I met Phoebe when she was two weeks old in a little shop in Hilton (where Jan was working) and I fell in love with her.

“A few weeks went by and my mental health declined rapidly, and my family decided I would benefit from having a support animal.

“I arrived home at the end of January 2020 to a kitten sitting on my bed in my sister’s arms. My family stood around me asking me for her name – Phoebe was the first name that came to mind. Quite by chance, Phoebe means “radiant”, and that’s exactly what she is.

“Phoebe changed our lives forever; she was the first cat we’d ever owned as a family, and she became the queen of the household in a matter of days. She’s referred to as Miss Phoebs because of her regal nature.
 
“She’s spoiled beyond measure with a drinking glass in each room so she never has to move too far for a sip of water, and she gets her drop of milk every morning when coffee is being made… she even gets flowers on Valentine’s Day (she likes to eat them). Phoebe turns three this year, and the impact she’s made in the 2.5 years she’s been with us has been profound.

“Phoebe has helped me through many panic attacks and through the darkest point in my life. She’s my whole world and more. We love you, Phoebe Grey Stewart!”

  

Julie

Julie

Maria Randall shares Julie, who was adopted from Megs Mutts Rescue

“Some time after our very old little Brown had passed on, my husband needed a new own dog. So we spent several months searching in rescue groups and visiting shelters. To find a girl that liked cats and dogs, and hiking, and wasn’t too young, wasn’t easy. After some failed attempts, a little rough-haired Fox Terrier appeared on Megs Mutts Rescue’s Facebook page and it was the famous love-at-first-sight occasion. 

“Julie joined our Maltese, Pumpkin, and cat, Alfie, and has since entertained us with her shenanigans of misplaced shoes or socks or barking at her mirror image in the window. She’s extremely bright and learned many new words, which she follows with the correct and obedient actions. She’s such a fun companion and we’re very happy with her and that Julie found a new home.”

   

Vlooi

Vlooi

Veronica de Bryn shares Vlooi

“Vlooi is our little rescue. She was about one year old when she just turned up at our house. We put out the word and did our best to find her owner with no success, and five years later she’s still with us.

“With Vlooi there’s never a dull moment.”

 

Tracker

Tracker

Tarryn De Kock shares Tracker, who was adopted from TEARS

“Tracker is the sweetest companion. I take him almost everywhere I go and people just dote on him. Even though he’s a very quiet boy, he’s not short on sass, so that’s keeping me on my toes!”

Editor’s note: Read Tracker’s Happy Tale here.

 

Aurora

Aurora

Chiara Molinaro shares Aurora, who was adopted from DARG

“We first saw Aurora when we were out in Atlantis helping another dog. She was on the same property, but the owners weren’t concerned about keeping her as she only hid away and ‘had things wrong with her’. I told them we couldn’t take her immediately as we had to check if DARG were able to assist. 

“After speaking to Jeremy, he agreed to take her in and help, so Kyle went back the next day to collect her.

“We found that she had a huge tumour, which turned out to be a Transverse Venereal Tumour (TVT). Aurora went for a few rounds of chemo treatment, which was successful, after which she was spayed.

“We visited her every weekend since rescuing her and couldn’t get enough of her loving nature and constant smile.

“We said that we weren’t sure if were able to adopt her, and that if someone else was going to give her a loving home we were going to be happy for her, but for some ‘meant-to-be’ reason it didn’t work out with the other families. We’d become very attached to seeing her weekly, so we decided it would be best for all of us for us to adopt her. 

“It was the best decision that we’ve made, and Aurora has fitted in so well with us.”

  

July 2022

Charlie

Charlie

Nisha Moodley shares Charlie, who was adopted from Project Dog Durban

“We adopted our 10-year-old Charlie in September 2014 when she was two years old. Project Dog kindly allowed this adoption, even though we’re living in Johannesburg. Charlie was found abandoned with two other dogs in a house. She was starving and suffering from tick-bite fever, but she’s come a long way since her sad start to life.

“While she hasn’t overcome her food obsession, she’s a happy dog – very relaxed and happy just to spend her days sleeping or relaxing in the sun. Nothing upsets Charlie; she’s really sweet – just a cool and chilled dog.

“While she doesn’t receive the attention that her brother, Sparkles, and sister, Molly, do from people, and has occasionally been laughed at for her skinny legs, Charlie simply doesn’t care, because she has parents who love her and give her the best quality care – she’s living her best life. 

“Sparkles absolutely adores her and is always keeping a watchful eye on her. He’s always protecting her from ‘naughty beast’ Molly, who likes to start quarrels with Charlie (I think it’s a girl thing).

“Charlie is sadly now older and dealing with a heart murmur, a partially collapsed trachea and tracheal airways disease. She’s on chronic medication and being supervised by her vet so has made vast improvements and is doing well.

“Thank you, Happy Tails, for sharing Charlie’s story.”

Group caption: Charlie in the middle, Sparkles (cream) on the left and Molly (brown) on the right. Both girls have pink collars on their coats.

  

Beatrice and Eugenie

Beatrice and Eugenie

Alan Fourie shares Beatrice and Eugenie, adopted from ZanneWelfare

“Beatrice and Eugenie were probably only about eight weeks old when they came to us – the only two surviving piglets from a rescue mission in Port Elizabeth. They joined our two other pigs, Sebastian and Petal, and last year Bella joined the family. 

“They also share their home with dogs, cats, ducks, and chickens. They were the best of friends when young but now squabble with each other like two teenagers at times. They’re both very affectionate and intelligent, and we feel privileged to have them in our lives.”

 

Barkly and Tilly

Barkly and Tilly

Tilly (top) and Barkly (below)

Beverley Cooke-Tonnesen shares Barkly and Tilly

“It’s hard to believe that, less than three years ago, we adopted a very cute but very traumatised little floof, whom we named Barkly, from SPCA Uitenhage. When we discovered how reactive he is to other dogs, we’d never have imagined that one day he’d have four doggy friends AND a little sister (who’s growing bigger by the day). 

“With lots of love, patience, and excellent advice from behaviourist Bev Davis, he and his baby sister, Tilly (a Giant Schnauzer cross, adopted from Project Dog), have become inseparable. Barkly’s New Life is just getting better and better!”

Editor’s Note: To keep track of these cuties, you can follow them at https://www.facebook.com/barklysnewlife

 

Tom Thumb

Tom Thumb

Jeanne Assante shares Tom Thumb, who was adopted through the Bunny Huggers SA Facebook page

“Tom Thumb was a rescued bunny who was found struggling to breathe; in trying to save his life, someone had fed him incorrectly. He was then taken in and fed correctly but, although he survived, unfortunately, his siblings passed away. 

“How blessed I am to have him! 

“He loves to give kisses and cuddles – he’s very affectionate. He absolutely loves speed races on the bed as well as the couch. He’s a dwarf bunny, so he’ll stay small, hence Tom Thumb. I love him so much. Rescue bunnies are the best!”

  

Axl

Axl

Heidi and Floris Smit share Axl, who was adopted from GRACE Animal Sanctuary

“Axl was rescued by GRACE Animal Sanctuary when his mom died during giving birth as part of a litter of 15 pups. Sadly, only two pups survived: Axl and his brother. They were bottle fed and raised by Brahm Koekemoer.

“We adopted Axl in February 2022, and he’s now a much-loved part of our family. He has a two-year-old dog brother-from-another-mother, Africanis dog Lemmy, and a much older dog sister, Kiki, who’s 10 years old. Axl, at 10 months old, loves his training sessions with dad Floris and wakes us up every morning telling us it’s now time for his morning exercise. In his down time he loves redecorating mom’s garden and helps with ‘pruning’ all the plants. He also loves playing with Lemmy; even though he’s still not fast enough to catch Lemmy when the chase is on, this doesn’t stop him from trying. 

“We love watching Axl transform month after month, gaining confidence and becoming the dog he’s meant to be. Believing in adopting rather than shopping, we waited a long time for the right dog to cross our paths, and when Axl came along, we just knew it was meant to be.”

  

Katie and Ashley

Katie and Ashley

Katie (left) and Ashley

Natasha Kotze shares her girls Katie and Ashley, adopted from Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre

“We adopted Katie and Ashley just as the Covid-19 lockdown started in 2020. They’d never had a home and grew up in shelters and cages. We saw a post about a family fostering them on Facebook and just knew they had to be ours.
“For the first couple of weeks they kept barking at my husband and would only hide behind me. Today, my husband and I have to fight for their attention – it’s a constant battle between us as to who they love most.

“Unfortunately, our girl Katie, the smaller of the two, recently got diagnosed with aggressive cancer. She’s still going strong, though, and fighting every day. They’re the most lovable and happy two ‘pups’; we couldn’t have asked for better!”

 

Knoffel

Knoffel

Monique Dell shares Knoffel, who was adopted from FORA (Friends of Rescued Animals)

“We adopted Knoffel from FORA 12 years ago. We adopted her as a ‘Miniature Doberman Pincher’, which she turned out NOT to be, but we’d known she was a wild card... which fitted so well with our family. Wild cards abound in this house.

“We named her ‘Knoffel’, because everyone loves garlic but nobody knows what garlic really is... Is it a vegetable? Is it a herb? Nobody cares! We just love it anyway, as with our Knoffel. When you meet her, you just love her – life is better with ‘KNOFFEL’.

“She’s the best dog ever! She’s watched over my kids on nights that they were sick, she’s barked at them when they ride their bikes too wildly, she’s woken me when my son had a Croup-attack, she’s loved and cared and been silly on more occasions than we could ever have hoped for. She has truly completed our family!  

“Knoffel has raised puppies (not hers, but she loved them until they could be fostered), she’s loved me through heartache when I was a single mama with two little kiddos, she cuddled my kids at the passing of their father, she’s been happy to see my teenagers on days when they got home and didn’t even like themselves much, she knows when to cuddle and when to just lie at your feet. She knows when to sort out our ‘puppies’ and when to reprimand the Boerboel so he behaves like a sane dog again. The Chinchilla gets daily greetings from her, and even the Bearded Dragon gets checked on every once in a while!

“Knoffel just came in and changed lives from the get-go. She’s been such a part of our family that we can’t imagine life being good without her. How blessed we are to be able to love her.

“LIFE IS ONLY GOOD WITH KNOFFEL – Thank you FORA for our blessing! Twelve years and going strong. Best dog EVER!”

Tyson

Tyson

Veronica Pienaar shares Tyson

“We adopted Tyson from someone whose dog fell pregnant and they needed a home for him. 

“Tyson is a brindle colour, and we’ve got no idea what type of dog he is, but he’s definitely one of a kind. He’s most loving and wants to cuddle and be in your face 24/7.”

June 2022

Dexter

Dexter

Kerry Gillham shares Dexter, who was adopted from Boston Terrier Action Group

“Dexter was surrendered to Boston Terrier Action Group at the age of five, as his owner had moved into a flat and couldn’t take him with him.

“I volunteer for BTAG, and so I ended up fostering him. He was about 5kg overweight and needed some bad teeth removed, but otherwise he was a friendly, happy boy.

“He ended up being a “foster fail”; we kept him as we simply fell in love. That was 6 1/2 years ago!”

 

Naluh

Naluh

Dr Anke Leonore Roux shares Naluh (pronounced Naa-Loo), adopted via Bouvier des Flandres Rescue South Africa

“Naluh is my two-year-old male Bouvier. Some say he’s a rescue, but I think he rescued me!

“As a veterinarian, I don’t like buying pets from breeders and strongly believe in adopting. I knew I wanted a Bouvier and so I contacted Sonja du Plessis at Bouvier Rescue SA. After waiting for a young Bouvier for over a year, I finally found Naluh. 

“Naluh moved with me to rural Eastern Cape when he was five months old. I had to complete my Compulsory Community Service (CCS) in Tsolo, and Naluh was my only friend and greatest protector. We travelled from farm to farm and back to the consulting rooms. Naluh would help me herd cattle, treat orphaned pups, take care of new-born calves and teach students that not all dogs are scary. 

“We moved back to Pretoria after my CCS year and spent six months there before embarking on our latest adventure: Cape Town! Naluh has been living the salty dream and loves swimming and chasing birds on cold beaches. When I go to work, he goes to an adventure day-care where he enjoys runs on the mountains and ocean swims. After all that, he STILL has the energy to harass me into taking him for another walk along the promenade. 

“He keeps me sane, he keeps my heart soft, and he keeps my spirits high. My partner always jokes and says that no one should ever ask who the love of my life is... because he knows the answer would always be Naluh.”

 

Mowgli

Mowgli

Tracy Conn shares her adorable little Mowgli

“Meet Mowgli.

“According to our vet, Mowgli is roughly seven years old. He was rescued after being found running on the road in Alexandra Township.

“This tiny little boy had a really rough life before he came into our home. His features and little body say it all. We’ve had him for one year now and he’s very loved and pampered. His big sister, Sasha, who was adopted from AACL, loves and adores him so much. When he first came to us he was so scared – Sasha helped to bring his trust, confidence and personality out.  

“We often look at him and are so grateful that we can give him the very best love and care to make up for all he went through in his past. We’re truly blessed to have this little fella in our lives.”

 

Nikita

Nikita

Photography by Marizanne Ferreira

Anel van Eyk shares Nikita, who was adopted from ZanneWelfare

“Nikita has a very soft personality. Her spirit was totally broken when she arrived; I cannot imagine what she went through. 

“Anything would frighten her. Nikita couldn’t get into a vehicle or a travelling crate without getting sick; she’d wet herself and vomit until she couldn’t anymore. She was a very shaken and a scared little girl. To this day, with strangers she’ll quickly go into a submissive state, head down. 

“But she’s improved in leaps and bounds (quite literally) since her adoption in November into this lovely sweet girl. She’s still learning a lot, but we will get there. She and Blue love playing with each other, and luckily they have a big enough yard to play in. My other little dog, Dixie, who rules the roost, is the oldest at four years, then Blue, who’s turning three, and Nikita is the baby (coming up for one year old).”

Willow

Willow

Erica Ferrey shares Willow, who was adopted from Animal Welfare Society Port Elizabeth

“Willow arrived at AWS PE in January 2022 as a stray and she was never claimed. She came in as a teeny little kitten… and was missing her left front leg. The AWS veterinarian, Dr Stuart, assessed her, and apart from the missing leg, which was assumed she was born without, she got a clean bill of health. 

“Sadly, she wasn’t coping well in a cage, and my family offered to foster her. She swiftly became a foster failure.

“Willow has fitted in so well. She’s besties with her big brother, Leo, and she doesn’t let her missing leg hold her back in any way.”

Shadow

Shadow

Ingrid Harrison shares Shadow, who was adopted from Animal Welfare Society of SA in Philippi

“Since the passing of our 11-year-old male Rottweiler five years ago, we’ve been looking to adopt a rescue Rottweiler. Thanks to Happy Tails Magazine, we were guided to Shadow.

“Shadow is a six-month-old male who was surrendered as unwanted to AWS SA. We were delighted when we passed the home check and could go and fetch him.

“On the day of his arrival, Shadow was very skittish and too frightened to sit close to us, but by the following morning, he woke up a different dog. He’s like our shadow, following us wherever we go and not letting us out of his sight!

“We’re so happy to welcome Shadow into our family.”

Dude, Moemei and Lucky

Dude, Moemei and Lucky

Marika Spaans shares Dude, Moemei and Lucky, who were adopted from ODIN (Oudtshoorn Dogs In Need)

“The plan was to LOOK at the kittens and consider, talk it over first, and to adopt one.... but we soon realised that you don’t ‘just look’ at kittens. We ended up bringing home a brother (Dude) and sister (Moemei) that Saturday.

“On the Wednesday, we received a voice message from ODIN about the remaining little brother; he was very unhappy and lonely at the kennel. My husband melted completely and we promptly fetched number three. We named him Lucky! 

“We didn’t tell my youngest daughter, Milan, about Lucky, and just left him with Dude and Moemei in her room. When she returned from art class, she completely lost it when she counted three kittens, and she’s not stopped smiling since.

“Dude, Moemei and Lucky are happy back together. And purred their way into our hearts!”

  

Sparkles

Sparkles

Nisha Moodley shares Sparkles, who was adopted from Paws R Us SA

“Introducing our little seven-year-old Sparkles – the antithesis of all things sparkly. My husband and I adopted him in April 2016 at a year old. Sparkles was saved from being euthanised by Paws R Us. He, unfortunately, has some spinal trauma from his abusive past but otherwise is a healthy, happy dog.

“He’s affectionately known as ‘girl pants’ to my husband. He’s very distinguished and considers most people and dogs beneath him. He’s very unfriendly to guests and very protective over his home and belongings. When he’s not vocally displaying his displeasure at most things in life (whining, howling and crying) – just to eat his breakfast, among other things, he’s my shadow, keeping me company as I work or garden.

“Food must be strategically placed in a specific area in the kitchen, biscuits crushed to the exact consistency he prefers, and never let his paws get wet. He loves his older sister Charlie (adopted from Project Dog, Durban) but doesn’t care at all for little Yorkie Molly (adopted from Louis Trichardt SPCA) – probably because she doesn’t tolerate his tantrums.

“Nevertheless, Sparkles is well loved, very sweet to those he loves, and very well mannered. He’s such a loyal little boy, and it’s such a pleasure to have him.

“Thank you for giving Sparkles the opportunity to be featured in Happy Tails Magazine.”

 

May 2022

Shaggy

Shaggy

Christine Riley shares Shaggy, who was adopted from a friend

“Shaggy is the most interesting story – not exactly a ‘little’ rescue!

“I was told the usual story... you know (violins playing in the background), how he really needed a home, etc., and that he was just ‘a bit bigger than Gemma’ (my Fox Terrier).

“And it’s true, he is a bit bigger... HE’S A LABRADOODLE! But you know what it’s like: when you meet, it’s ‘game over’!

“Shaggy absolutely adores water, especially the sea, into which he throws himself at any opportunity.”

 

Mea

Mea

Marda de Wet shares Mea

“Mea was my goddaughter Clea’s cat when she came to study in Stellenbosch. Mea spent the first year here because Clea lived in what was essentially a concrete bunker; when she got nicer accommodation, she spent every weekend and varsity vacation here. 

“Clea left in 2018 to teach English in China, met the love of her life, got engaged, and now lives in America. And I was delighted to have gotten to keep ‘the baby’!

“I recently adopted JB from TEARS (JB’s Happy Tale), and he and Mea look like twins. They adore each other, and my little family is now complete!”

 

Josie

Josie

Melanie Morris shares Josie

“Josie was living in the bushes along Marine Drive with homeless people. She must have escaped from her chains, as my friends, who’d gone caravanning at Pine Lodge one weekend, found her running with the rope still around her neck. 

“I was called to help and took her home to ‘foster’ for the weekend. But, by Sunday, there was NO chance she was ever leaving... I loved her too much!”

Kermit

Kermit

Photography by Strike a Pose Photography

Laura Nagel shares Kermit, who was adopted from ARK Animal Rescue

“We adopted our little Chihuahua, Kermit, in 2017. He’d come from a horrid puppy mill/hoarding situation. He’d been confiscated along with 72 others after living in disgusting conditions for three years. 

“It’s taken a lot of hard work, patience and love to help him be a normal dog.”

 

Stormy

Stormy

Sudre Sutton shares Stormy, who was adopted from Oscars Arc WOOF Project

“I rent the lower part of a house owned by someone whose name you might recognise: Christine Riley, dog mom of Riley, Surfer, Wizard and Shaggy… all of whom have appeared previously on the Happy Tails website. I already have one dog, an old lady named Lallie, but had fallen in love with another, a much younger pup.

“Christine was strictly against having another fur kid on the property – we have so many. But then she met Stormy… and we all know how that goes! Stormy by name, stormy by nature – like all ‘teeny-puppers’ (teenage doggies) – she only has two gears: 6th and neutral. Run, run, run, Zzz… and nothing in between! 

“We (Christine and I) know how she feels – it’s ‘Stormy, No!... Stormy, shush! Stormy, don’t chew that! Stormy, stop barking’. Two minutes later: ‘Hmm, why is Stormy so quiet?!’ But we wouldn’t change her for the world!”

 

Zee

Zee

Liz Penprase shares Zee

“Zee is our 12-year-old Ridgeback girl. She came from an abusive home where her owners had refused to have a specialist veterinarian operate after driving over her leg. Their vet patched her up as best he could, but the owners now no longer wanted her and her sister, and they were given up for adoption. As soon as we took her in, we had the operation done, and it took a while for her to be rehabilitated. 

“Zee had three homes before we adopted her. She had awful homes before, but she instantly was in love with Cleo, Moose and Myia. They just all got along so well together – never a fight. She’s very social, loves her walks, and has many friends.

“Zee has such a gentle nature and now (after the sad passing of Cleo, Moose and Myia) it’s only Thor (our latest rescue) and her. They’re very close, but he’s much younger than her at two-and-a-half years old. She’s like a mother to him and he adores her, even slowing down to wait for her on walks.

“We’re not sure of her age but can see she’s getting old; she’s slowing down and struggles with her legs. She’s on lots of meds to help her. Because of this, Zee feels the cold easily. So, this winter, she’s enjoying the warmth of her onesie made by Milla Moo.”

(PS: “Her sister was also adopted to a lovely home. She’s since passed away but lived a happy life – we kept in touch with her family, who moved with her to Germany.”)

 

Lala

Lala

Simone Goosen shares little Lala, who was adopted from Harrismith Animal Shelter

“I was shattered after losing one of my Yorkies last year due to a freak accident. The empty space and the cold pillow my little Bella left was unbearable. Tequila, our other Yorkie, who turned 14 years old recently, also felt the absence of his lifelong friend. 

“My heart had been longing to find a little friend that could join our family, so I started searching for a doggy to adopt. Thanks to my insomnia, I scrolled past Harrismith Animal Shelter’s social media post of a brown little fluff ball with beautiful yet sad eyes staring into my soul… and I fell in love! I sent two messages at 03h30 in the morning, asking that I please have to adopt this baby. The pup had no name yet – the only info we had was that she was four months old and had just one picture. But she was going to be mine, I knew it!

“Helene Haworth of Harrismith Animal Shelter was so helpful and kind, and I quickly got my forms in to start the process. Soon, our new baby travelled from Harrismith to Alberton, and I could cuddle her the next day.

“We named her Lala (a combined name in memory of BelLA and our oldest friend TequiLA). She’s the sweetest, most loving little fur ball and we have all fallen deeply in love with her, and she’s so spoiled already.

“Rescue dogs are the best; we all need a second chance at life, and we’re extremely happy that we could be that chance for Lala.”

  

Buddy

Buddy

Melanie Morris shares Buddy

“Buddy, who’s about 12 years old now, was found chained up outside a supermarket and was rescued by my friend Bronwin Meyer from Domestic Animal Care in Gqeberha (at the time she wasn’t involved with DAC yet).

“Bronwin took him to the vet, who in turn phoned me as they knew I was looking for a new little rescue for my son. This was before Bronwin and I had become friends, so imagine our delight when we got to know each other later and realised that I was the one who’d adopted Buddy!

“And we’re so glad we did.”

 

Kira, Frankie and Molly

Kira, Frankie and Molly

Left to right: Molly, Frankie and Kira

Sue van der Gaast shares Kira, Frankie and Molly

“We have a saying in our house: ‘It’s a dog’s life’. And nothing could be truer. Blessed is the dog who shares their life with us – hectares of freedom to explore, quad bike rides, cosy beds and cooked meals every day. These dogs are sure to be the envy of many a four- (or, for some, 3- or none) legged friends. All of our dogs are keen gardeners as that’s where we spend the most time.

“Kira is a lovely-tempered Kelpie who’s my partner, Herman’s, shadow. She goes everywhere with him if she can. He adopted her 13 years ago when her human had left the country and she needed a new home. Kira is 14 now and her age is definitely catching up, but she makes incredible effort to get up and down the stairs and is now gently lifted into the bakkie (pick-up truck) to go and do farm chores.

“Frankie, our Dachshund, also needed a home after his owner left the country. Frankie is paralysed, but he happily scootches around and is definitely not a fan of the wheels that have been bought for him over the years. He’s lively and his favourite time is when he’s on the quad bike with us and can feel the wind blowing through his beautiful, big ears.

“Molly is our grumpy, very protective little tripod Yorkshire Terrier. Molly lost her leg after being kicked and was rescued by a girl in Knysna. She later asked my partner if he could look after her for a week whilst she went away… that was three-and-a-half years ago. Molly definitely believes she’s the alpha queen – even with the new Rhodesian Ridgeback rescues who absolutely tower over her, she’s always got a cheeky snarl ready.

“They’re all happy, healthy and adored. And living their best lives with us on the farm!”

(NOTE: “By the time this goes to your readers, the beautiful Kira would have crossed the rainbow bridge. Rest gently, beautiful girl, Herman’s constant and beloved companion every day since Sandy died; and what joy she’s brought us.

“We love you, girly, run free now. Herman and Sue, Frankie and Molly.”)

   

Bunnies

Bunnies

From the little white bun going clockwise: Frosting, Pepper, Caramel, Frisco, Coco, Jellybean, Ash, Topdeck, Cappuccino

Melanie Morris shares her rescue bunnies

“I have 18 bunnies in total (not all depicted)... all with different stories. 

“Many vets phone me when they get dropped off there as strays or no longer wanted. So many people cruelly dump their bunnies in parks or fields and then they get found in the street.

“With our family, they’re loved and cared for, and I enjoy spending time with them.”

April 2022

Bruno

Bruno

Veronica Pienaar shares the story of Bruno, who was adopted from Great Dane Rescue SA

“We adopted Bruno when he was only six months old. He’s a Great Dane mix who thinks he’s a tiny lap dog and jumps around like a show horse when excited (which is always) – he’s now 2.5 years old.

“He holds a big place in both our hearts and our home!”

 

Matthias

Matthias

Ineke Prinsloo shares the tale of Matthias, who was adopted from Nicholson Rescue

“We adopted Matthias just over two years ago. He was fostered by Mathilde Harris, and like all the kitties that pass through this beautiful network of carers, he got the best restart in life despite the original worst start as a rescue.

“All our cats choose their own names and have their own stories. Matthias is named after my great-great-grandfather Matthias de Beer Mulder, ‘Oupa Thys’. Of course, I never knew him but feel a special bond to him – stories relayed by my maternal grandmother that I’m the only descendent who shares the love of cats, specifically ginger kitties, with him. 

“When this little ginger arrived, he told me quite clearly that he’s to be named after ‘Oupa Thys’. He posed in the thorn tree late in the afternoon; the setting sun was just accentuating his marble ginger to the very best – and he knew it! 

“Thank you for featuring him. He’s a poster boy for the fantastic work that Lynette Nicholson, Mathilde Harris, Sharon van der Westhuizen and the other rescuers do every day. There are so many stories of heartache and difficult decisions for the rescuers, but like the ‘starfish story’ for the Matthiases of the world, their efforts make all the difference.”

  

Surfer

Surfer

Christine Riley chats about Surfer, who was adopted from Oscar’s Arc WOOF 

“I decided that Riley, my youngest, needed a friend (‘yeah, right,’ I hear you all saying… ‘Any excuse!’…). So I put the word out that I was looking… (A tip to anyone who’s feeling lonely and that no one ever contacts you… Just casually suggest that you might be wanting to offer a doggie a home, and you’ll be inundated… mail, phone, sms, WhatsApps, smoke signals…).

“To cut a long story short, I ended up heading for Oscar’s Arc WOOF project in Cape Town where I met Surfer (so called because he was rescued as a stray at Surfer’s Corner in Muizenberg) and, well, it was love at first sight, for both of us!

“Surfer has now been with the family for a couple of weeks and has found a place in my heart in which he fits snugly. He’s not simply the friend for Riley that I’d intended but ‘occupies’ his own ‘space’ in my heart and in the household, which belongs entirely to him!

“We’ve already gone for hikes in the reserve behind my house, and I’m looking forward to taking him to the beach for the first time (I live in Scarborough). It’s going to be an interesting exercise… you know what it’s like when you have a dog who’s new to the family… you tend to call them a lot, until you (and the doggy) become more secure that you belong to each other. So… picture the scene… sand, sea, sunbathers, surfers… and in amongst all this, a 50-year-old woman stomping around, yelling, ‘Surfer! Surfer! SURFER!!!’”

  

Kimmy

Kimmy

Vanessa Martin talks about Kimmy (aka Ma Se Blom Pot)

“Kimmy turns 14 at the end of August. A friend gifted me with her on his 40th birthday. He told me that in his mom’s street was a small dog that kept on having puppies and had, sadly, passed away. Kimmy was the last of the puppies that were left. She was a tiny bundle full of ticks and fleas when I got her.

“Kimmy came into my life when I was at my lowest – I’d just lost my mother, and my dad had been diagnosed with dementia. She helped me cope through all of it.

“Kimmy is quite a character! She loves viennas, and that’s the only way I get her to listen to me.

She loves car rides, loves attention, and turn heads wherever she goes!”

 

Frank

Frank

Laura Nagel shares Frank, who was adopted from Ark Animal Rescue Centre

“We adopted Frank in 2017. A breeder surrendered him at six months and we adopted him when he was nine months old.

“He was a little skinny and looked horribly neglected, but he’s the most gorgeous Yorkie now!

“He loves attention and toys and adores his big brother, Bedford the Boston. He’s timid around strangers, but as small as he is, he rules this house!

“No one can believe that we adopted such a perfect Yorkie from a shelter!”

 

Tobius and Gracie

Tobius and Gracie

Tobi (left) and Gracie (right)

Julie Legge shares Tobius and Gracie

“Tobius (a Hebrew name meaning ‘God is Good’) and Gracie (saved by God’s grace) were rescued as feral kittens when they were only eight weeks old by my vet daughter, Kayleigh-Jean, and her vet partner, Wim Slabber, during one of their outreach projects in the informal settlements.  

“Gracie and Tobi are now a year old and they’ve added so much joy to our lives; they’re dearly loved and cherished by The Legge Family.”

  

March 2022

Wolfie

Wolfie

Photography credit: Strike a Pose Photography

Elwynn Oberholzer and Debbie Vermaak share Wolfie, who was adopted from Hellen White – In the Community

“Wolfie joined us in November 2014 as a foster boy of just five months old. Hellen had rescued him through her outreach programme in Bellavista. He fitted in so well and the four girls loved him, and so we formally adopted him early in 2015. 

“He absolutely loves raw carrots – he knows when they come out and will beg until he gets one. Wolfie’s an extremely sensitive soul and he’s set on routine; for example, he becomes very ‘verbal’ at feeding times, and we aren’t allowed to dish up late. 

“When he’s ready for bed, he’s quick to take himself outside for his last ‘business’ and then expects his bed made and ready to snuggle with his soft toy rabbit of many years which he nibbles whilst making little sucking noises.”

Thor

Thor

Photography credit: Strike a Pose Photography

Tamara Hugo shares Thor, who was taken in as a kitten after his stray mother gave birth to a litter in someone’s house

“Thor was born on the 12th of February 2013 from a stray who found a cosy spot in someone’s house to have her litter. When the mother left the kittens when they were approximately six weeks old, my husband (who didn’t have a say in the matter) and I took tabby Thor in – he became the first addition to our little family.

“Thor has always been the kind of cat that’s not very social and comes for his few minutes of love, when he wants it, on his terms. On Mother’s Day, May 2018, we had our mothers over for lunch and, as he always left the house when it was ‘crowded’, Thor took a walk-about. That afternoon, there was a huge storm, and I don’t think he could follow his tracks back.

“The usual posts went up on every social media site, at every vet, and SPCA. Seven months later, we had to move house and I gave up hope of Thor ever coming home.

“With our move to the new house, my son and I decided to adopt a puppy. Whilst at the Roodepoort SPCA, my son, Liam, who was two years old at the time, asked if we could go and look at the cats. I told him that we weren’t getting another cat – we were looking for a dog! But Liam begged, saying that he just wanted to go and look. 

“There were five tabby cats in catteries next to each other, and I couldn’t believe it when I saw a familiar face: I just knew the second I looked into Thor’s eyes that it was him. He was missing a tail, which their records state was surgically removed before he was handed in by a lady in September, two streets up from where we used to live. 

“He knew he’d found us as much as we knew we’d found him. We had to go through the whole adoption procedure, which was heart-breaking, as I had to leave him there until property checks, etc. were done. 

“He finally came home on the 23rd of December 2018 – eight months after he’d disappeared in the thunderstorm. It was the best family Christmas present EVER!”

Bubby

Bubby

Photography credit: Japie van Reenen Photography

Veronica Pienaar shares little Bubby, who was saved from an unwanted life

“Bubby is a Chihuahua mix, and he turns seven years old on the 5th of May. He’s my shadow and soul mate and simply had to be part of our special day!”

  

Duke and Daisy

Duke and Daisy

Hannes Heyneke shares Duke and Daisy, adopted from Boston Terrier Rescue South Africa

“After numerous visits to our friends (to play with their Boston Terriers), we fell in love with the breed and started to actively keep an eye on the BTRSA’s Facebook page for Bostons up for adoption. 

“Duke and Daisy weren’t even properly advertised yet when we indicated that we were interested in adopting them. 

“However, they were in Johannesburg and we were in Gqeberha (about a day’s drive away), so we had to rely on the volunteers and our parents’ videos and descriptions of their personalities and behaviour. It was daunting! We really wanted to adopt and not shop, but it was a difficult decision to make with them being so far away. But after replaying the videos over and over again, the decision was easy: we were going to give them their forever home!

“We’ll never forget the day we went to fetch them from the airport. There they were, in their travel crates, with big brown eyes staring at us through the peepholes. It was a meeting filled with excitement; they’ve found their forever home and we’ve found our fur babies.

“We’ve had them for just over two-and-a-half years now and it has really been fascinating to watch them adapt and make our home their own. The best part was observing how their personalities unfolded as they realised that they’re in a safe and loving space.

“Duke and Daisy have been an absolute blessing and we’d choose them one thousand times over. We cannot imagine our lives without them.”

 

Mz Jazzi

Mz Jazzi

Tessa Papadopoulos shares Mz Jazzi, who was adopted from FORA

“Jazzi is a FORA bottle baby that took over our lives on the 4th of November 2021. 

“She’s very much loved and adored by us, her two-footed ‘mom and dad’, and her canine sister, Happy.

“She’s growing at a rate of knots, eats like a horse, and plays herself and us into exhaustion. Her favourite game is ‘kitchen soccer’ (or ‘kitten soccer’). She brings us her ball, then we must kick it between the kitchen and the dining room until she’s had enough.

“She terrorises poor Happy by leaping onto her back like a tiger trying to bring down a buffalo or throws herself onto Happy from the curtain rails. There’s never dull moment with Jazzi around! In her quieter moments (this after she’s worn us all to a frazzle) we enjoy her kitty cuddles. 

“Jazzy is our very special little girl.”

 

Storm

Storm

Photography credit: Louise Lacante Photography

Louise van der Klashorst shares Storm, who was adopted from Wollies Animal Project

“We adopted Storm four years ago – we have no idea how long he was in the shelter before he was adopted by us, but he was already an adult dog. My vet estimated him at between one and two years old.

“The day we fetched him and brought him into our home, he was ecstatic – he kept running round and round the living room with joy, jumping from couch to couch.

“Storm battled separation anxiety when we first got him but, thankfully, this behaviour stopped after a few months, and he’s now a very calm and loving dog. We knew he needed a friend and we promptly adopted Schwoz. Storm loves to play with Schwoz and now our family is complete!

“Storm truly is an amazing dog with so much love to give, and I wouldn’t exchange him for the world.”

 

Dumpie

Dumpie

Linda Luus shares Dumpie

“Dumpie had been dumped but, fortunately, we found him about five years ago.

“We noticed that his behaviour was a bit unusual, and when we took him to the vet, we were told that he has Down’s Syndrome. 

“Dumpie has no idea how to play, or it seems he’s not registering what’s going on. His mouth hangs open 24/7. If he does try to play, he’s off-balance, or just stumbling and falling more than playing (we’ve checked: there isn’t anything physically wrong with his sense of balance or his ears). He makes weird noises just sitting alone and wide awake, so there’s no reason for the sounds. I have two other Pekingese and the difference between them and Dumpie is like day and night. 

“Dumpie is a mystery, but he has the biggest heart ever. You can place any animal from a bird to a rabbit with him and he’ll cuddle and fall asleep with them. 

“We recently celebrated the day that we found him by inviting six of his doggy playmates over to celebrate the day with him and us – much fun was had by all!

“All his weird ways just make him even more special, and we love him to bits!”

 

Nina

Nina

Natalie De Jesus shares Nina, who was adopted from Paws R Us SA

“Nina is our first-ever rescue – our Covid-19 rescue. We’d actually applied to foster her but fell in love with her straight away and immediately applied to adopt her. She’s a six-year-old bundle of joy! 

“She’s fitted in beautifully, and after living life in a shelter, she enjoys the comforts of the good life she lives now! She has a happy, loving life with her human family and Mia, her furry sister.”

 

February 2022

Valentine

Valentine

Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography

Elwynn Oberholzer and Debbie Vermaak share Valentine, who was adopted from FORA

“Valentine was rescued by the FORA team on Valentine’s Day in 2020. She’d managed to get herself stuck under the waterproofing membrane on a double-storey housing complex roof and she’d been there for a good few days.

“After being tested for the dreaded kitty diseases, she was vaccinated, sterilised and put into FORA’s main shelter cattery. She really didn’t do well there, so Linda swiftly moved her back into their kitten room.

“Debbie and I were looking to adopt an older cat that needed just a little extra care and naturally Valentine was suggested – and we were very happy to welcome her to our family.

“From the first night home with us, Valentine was wrapping herself around our legs and purring away happily!”

Spice

Spice

Jo Blanckenberg shares Spice, who was adopted from Friends of Rescued Animals (FORA)

“A few months ago, Spice was picked up from the streets with her litter of new-born puppies and taken in by Community Led Animal Welfare (CLAW). From there, she was sent to Linda Scrace at FORA. They noticed that her left eye was badly infected. The vets did an enucleation (removal) of her left eye and discovered that she had microphthalmia of the right eye. This means that Spice is functionally blind. 

“Thank goodness she was rescued off the streets – how she even survived for as long as she did is nothing short of miraculous.

“She raised her pups with Linda’s help and, when they were old enough, they were adopted. Spice was spayed and ready for her future.

“I followed her story on social media and decided that her extreme courage deserved the reward of her very own home and family. And so, on the 2nd of July, we collected Spice and took her home to our rather large family of much-loved rescues. 

“She’s adapted completely to her new life, enjoying walks, treats, and tickles just like any dog should. She sleeps in my daughter’s bed every night and spends her days sunning herself on the stoep and going for a walk with the others in the evening. 

“Looking at her, most people don’t even realise that Spice is blind. What a great approach to life she has! She uses her assets to her advantage (she has excellent hearing and sense of smell) and doesn’t let her challenges stop her from living life to the fullest.

“I absolutely adore this little dog! Thank you to FORA and CLAW for rescuing her and giving her a second chance!”


Spice and her BFF, Miley (also a rescue)

Odin

Odin

Nadine Clench shares Odin, who was adopted from Husky Haven

“After losing our other little rescue Ishtar during Lockdown, just short of 16 due to a stroke, King Louis, who suffers from dwarfism and brain damage (brain age of approximately six months old) didn’t manage on his own. And so, we adopted a new baby from Husky Haven.

“Odin is the cutest little bundle of fluff that came into our lives at just the right time to comfort Louis and care for me in ways I could never have imagined.

“We originally decided not to get any new pets at this time, but the minute I saw his photo on Facebook (a friend had liked his post, so I saw her comment), I fell in love. After several calls to Brenda Meyer from Husky Haven, I was sent the adoption forms, passed the home check and welcomed Odin to the family. 

“Odin is a Husky-Toy Pomeranian cross (aka a Pomsky) and is a super-intelligent, very sensitive and natural-born therapy dog. 

“A few months after adopting Odin, I also became part of the Covid statistics and spent a month in hospital, part of the time ventilated in ICU. Upon my return home, we noticed that Odin would occasionally come and lie with his head on my chest; when I then tested my oxygen levels, we found that he was picking up and warning/waking me when my levels dropped below 90 and I required supplementary oxygen. 

“He’s been by my side throughout my recovery and still wakes me when needed. He also has an uncanny way of picking up when my blood pressure goes too high and will come and sit next to me and paw at me until I test my BP and take meds to stabilise.

“At first, I was nervous bringing a new baby into the family as our Dachshund of 10 and the old cat of 17 are not great with change, but they’ve all accepted him, and he’s become an integral, much-loved, and unashamedly spoilt member of the family!

“Thank you to Brenda and her team from Husky Haven for saving this precious soul and allowing us to welcome him into our home.”

 
King Louis and Odin

Lola

Lola

Adelle Jung shares her lovely Lola, who was adopted from Sighthound Rescue SA

“Sighthounds have always been close to my heart. I’ve been following Sighthound Rescue SA for some time amongst some other organisations that are dedicated to rescuing this very special breed. Buying a dog from a breeder was simply not an option for us.

“Whilst being in contact with Cheryl Campbell of Sighthound Rescue SA, we decided that a Greyhound puppy would be best suited for our family. Lola, our pup, was part of a litter of eight which was bottled raised and cared for from two weeks of age by Cheryl after their mommy was poisoned. 

“Our home check was done by a wonderful volunteer, Reinier Vermaak, and our precious puppy was delivered to us by ‘stork’ (aka Patricia Boshoff). It’s truly touching to see the dedication and kindness from everyone who’s committed to saving these beautiful hounds. 

“And this is how our Lola ended up in Sandton. 

“Lola is true to everything the breed represents. She’s intelligent, sensitive and intuitive and, like any puppy, a clown. But most important of all: we found a perfect match for our family. Thank you to SRSA for this beautiful act of kindness and making this world a better place for Sighthounds.”

 

Molly

Molly

Nisha Moodley shares Molly, who was adopted from SPCA Louis Trichardt

“I adopted Molly (a Yorkie-Poodle cross, we were told) in March 2017 while we were living between SA and Luxembourg, when she was only a year old.

“She was found roaming the streets as a starving little stray. The adoption process was approved and facilitated by the very forthcoming Lesley Gaigher while I was still in Europe, and as soon as I was back in the country, my husband and I drove four hours to fetch her. 

“Now, five years later, and happily living in Johannesburg, she shares her home with her adopted brother, Sparkles (a seven-year-old Maltese-Pekingese cross adopted from Paws R Us SA) and sister, Charlie (a nine-year-old blonde wirehaired Terrier- Maltese mix adopted from Project Dog). Molly is a happy, healthy, spoilt rotten and confident little dog. 

“She loves being outdoors, going for car rides, taking a quick dip in the pool to fight with the pool cleaner, fighting with the residents and their dogs, stalking birds and lizards, and bullying my husband (which he secretly enjoys and often indulges her tantrum!). She also won a ‘Cute Pet’ Competition in 2020. 

“We’re very blessed and lucky to have her in our lives. She brings much laughter and happiness to our home.”

    
Charlie (top), Sparkles (middle),
and Molly (bottom)

Padme

Padme

Christil Viljoen shares Padme

“I got Padme from a life-long friend of mine. I’ve always been looking for a Belgian D’Uccle as they are Bantam-size (small breed) and have very chatty and sweet personalities.

Padme enjoys grooming herself, talking A LOT, getting neck scratches, and having a good nap. Her favourite food is... bugs! She’s a great pest-control chicken as she even jumps into the air to catch flies and mosquitoes. She has a very sweet side and loves cuddling up in my neck on the bed. And she’s always extremely curious. She comes to work with me every day and wants to check out every client who walks in.

“She’s made good friends with my pets – Jedi the Border Collie and Goofy the cat (her favourite friend – they love napping together).

“Padme the chicken will hopefully become my ‘education chicken’. I want to take her wherever I can to educate people that they are great pets with amazing personalities (just like any domesticated animal), but unlike others, chickens are the most abused animals on the planet. Yet, they’re intelligent, self-aware, loving, and sensitive. 
“In the few weeks that I’ve had her, I can see how amazed people are by her. And it just makes me realise how little people know about chickens. I hope that, by educating people and showing them how lovely Padme is, they might consider adopting – particularly ex-laying hens. They spend their whole lives in A4-size cages, never seeing the light of day. There are chicken rescues such as Wings of Hope Chicken Rescue that help chickens in need. One day I’d love to open my own chicken rescue and help those without a voice.”

  

Bentley

Bentley

Lauren Nàmer shares Bentley, who was adopted from Witbank SPCA

“We knew we were ready and wanted to adopt another senior rescue dog, and so when I came across a Facebook post about Bentley, a 12-year-old Toy Pomeranian needing an urgent home, we fell in love and decided there and then to adopt him. 

“We went to the Witbank SPCA to apply and got to meet him, which we were very excited about. We collected him two days later once the home inspection was done. Bringing him home was very special, and although he was a little nervous, he settled so well with our other senior animals and became part of our family immediately. 

“He was a little frail under all that fluff but has picked up weight and is healthy and happy. He absolutely loves his walks and cuddling with us and is such a character. He loves playing, even at his age, and I often start the day with him tugging on my clothes for a game. 

“We were told he’s an escape artist, so we put in a baby gate in front of our front door, one into our garage, and he stays on an extendable leash at the park, but that’s what you do for family – you make sure they’re safe and happy. 

“He’s accepted the other dogs and cats and loves that I’m working from home. He’s scared of thunder and fireworks, but we make sure to be with him and let him know he’s safe. We couldn’t imagine our lives without him. We adore our Bentley, aka Prince B, and he adores his life with us.

“Adopting saves two lives: the life of the animal you adopt and the one that can take their space, but adopting a senior is just so special. Their chance of adopting is a lot less, and what better way to say, ‘I love you’ than to make sure their final years – or however long they have – are wonderful, affirming, and the retirement they deserve.”

   

Chaya

Chaya

Hendré de Villiers shares Chaya, who was adopted from Border Collie Rescue

“Chaya was rescued at just seven weeks old near Port Elizabeth. She came in with a massive burn wound on her side and went into foster care while she recovered. I was looking for a pup with which to do rescue work and saw Chaya online... but I lived in Cape Town. However, I knew she was the one, so we arranged a flight for her all the way from PE! She’ll have been with me for 11 years in November 2022.

“When I first adopted her, I worked on a farm and Chaya was my daily companion; she slept in the office while I did paperwork and was my co-driver on the golf cart &n