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.
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.
Jackie Wernberg shares Chrissy, who was adopted from the Animal Welfare Society of SA, Philippi
“I first met Chrissy when I was doing a photo shoot at AWS to help with their animal adoptions.
“When the COVID-19 lockdown was announced, I knew I had to help out by fostering a dog. After all, it was ‘only for three weeks’, and I had no other animals at home. I knew after the first week that it wouldn’t be easy to give her back. Just as well, because lockdown lasted a lot longer than initially anticipated, and she’s now become a firm family member. Yes, a Foster Fail!
“It’s a long time since we’ve had a puppy, our last dog having passed away over a year ago at the age of 16. But we’re so enjoying this little girl with her gentle yet mischievous personality. She’s been such a gift for us during a very difficult time. Scarcely an hour goes by that she doesn’t make me smile at her antics, or simply because she’s so cute.”
Photo credit: By-Joao Photography
George and Melissa Joao share Akira, who was adopted from the Kitty and Puppy Haven
“Akira’s name has a Japanese origin, meaning bright or intelligent, but also a Hindu origin, meaning graceful strength. We’d originally visited the haven just to see their operation, but when my husband saw Akira, he immediately knew that this was an extremely sad and depressed cat who needed a rather special touch. It turned out that Akira’s previous owners had emigrated and he had to remain behind; he suffered horribly emotionally. He was only about one-and-a-half years old.
“He was very scared initially when we adopted him and used to hide in cupboards, under the bed, or wherever else he could fit. It took two long weeks to gain his trust – George worked with him over this time, all the while forming a very strong bond with him.
“Today, Akira is a highly affectionate and sometimes very vocal cat with the prettiest, bluest eyes. If you lift your hand just above his head, he jumps up and head bumps you, almost like a ‘high five’. He loves cuddling, even under the blanket, and purrs so loudly that it sounds like he’s purring right into your ears.”
Dawn Ratcliffe shares Leah, who was adopted from Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre
“Owning another dog was not in my future… or so I thought. For starters, I’m terribly allergic to most dog and cat hair, and, secondly, dogs need exercise, attention, etcetera… there was always an ‘excuse’ that I told myself as to why I wasn’t getting another dog. Then, in January 2019, my husband passed away, coronavirus arrived on our shores, and lockdown happened. It’s time, I thought, for a dog as a companion.
“Due to lockdown I couldn’t visit shelters, but I scanned the many Facebook pages of animal shelters looking for homes for dogs. While there were one or two (or a dozen) that appealed, they were either too young, needed a family, high maintenance, etcetera, etcetera. None were ‘just right’.
“Until, scrolling down my community Facebook page, a gentle doggy face looked out at me from her spot on a bare patch of sand, sad eyes looking directly at me. Leah, from that moment, you had me hooked and I knew: you were a special girl.
“She’d been fostered out at the beginning of lockdown, but due to the economic downturn, her fosters were forced to move and couldn’t take Leah with them. She was so sad to be returned to the shelter.
“I made contact with the go-between, Adopt a Senior Dog, and expressed my desire to meet with Leah. Numerous conversations took place with the end result that Leah is now firmly ensconced in my home and in my heart. While she’s having to adapt to a pet Muscovy duck, a hen that has adopted me, and various other wildlife that either lives or visits my garden, she’s doing really well.
“Leah and I are going to create many happy memories that will obliterate the nine years of her life where she was unloved and unwanted in a shelter until I scrolled through my community Facebook page and we found each other.”
Alan Commaille shares Azriel, who was adopted from Capetonians Against Animal Abuse
“Azriel settled in with us very quickly. He’s a very shy guy that has no idea how to talk to the girl cats in the block, but he gets very chatty with people and needs lots of lap time. He sleeps on the bed with us, with his own pillow.
“He even has his very own Instagram @mrgreywillseeyoumeow !”
Jeanette Pearce shares Eddie, who was adopted from family friends
“We decided to welcome a seven-week-old puppy into our home at the beginning of March 2020. My husband was elated, as he could finally have a dog – his dream. As a mom to two bunnies, I admit that I was slightly hesitant at first. Nevertheless, we adopted little Eddie into our home and hearts.
“Much research was done on properly socialising a puppy with other pets. Flash forward to today, we might have done too much of a good job. It seems that Eddie now believes he’s actually a rabbit. Although we never allow him to be with the bunnies unsupervised, he enjoys grazing with them – herbs are his favourite snacks, and he prefers the bunny pellets to his own. I’ve even seen him take a whack at eating their hay (but he quickly decided that it was too much admin). His favourite part of the day is when we open the bunny room for the bunnies to come out, and it breaks his sweet heart when we put them to bed at night.
“Our boy bunny, Clooney, has been alfa male since we adopted him from The Strawberry Foundation. Today, he remains just that. Eddie has fallen into his rôle as submissive to Clooney and lets a 1.5kg rabbit boss him around. He’s been taught to completely ignore our special needs bunny, Tilly, but loves to give her a big sneaky kiss when he thinks no one’s looking.
“We’re a happy family. Our herb and bunny treat bill might have gone up, but so has the love and entertainment. The whole family has fallen in love with Eddie, and we’re glad to have given the special pup a chance.”
“Naughty” Clooney, “Diva” Tilly, and “busy puppy” Eddie
Linda Simone shares Winston and Waddles, whom they adopted through TOP (The Outreach Program)
“After the very sudden and sad passing of our beloved cat, P2, after 17 years of wonderful times together, we were heartbroken and not yet ready to take on any new babies. Until I happened to see a Facebook post of two kitties desperately needing a foster home. My heart just broke again.
“After a very brief discussion with hubby, off we set to see if we could be temporary ‘mom and dad’ to these two boys. We met Waddles and Winston in the spare room of a local home, occupied by the amazing animal rescuer Samantha Mann of TOP (a pet angel in human form).
“She told us that the two boys had come from a pretty terrible background, and it was clear from their behaviour that they were very traumatised. Winston hid, but Waddles came straight to John (hubby), and he was sold. Samantha told us that they were a ‘package deal’, and we were glad to oblige.
“Needless to say, the first three days at our home the pair were bordering on terrified. Winston hid under the bed constantly, although Waddles occasionally came out to charm us before flitting away again. John didn’t think we’d make it, but, just two weeks later, these two boys couldn’t be more at home, or more loved.
“They’ve become such a special part of our family and are much loved by all – including the neighbours, who watch us walk them daily around the block in our complex. So, after all the heartache of losing our lovely P2, and the trauma these two special boys went through, the happy ending is both ours and theirs. We’re officially their new mom and dad and look forward to many long years with these amazing and adorable cats.”
Dido Blagden shares Suzi Q, who recently joined her family
“Suzi Q was adopted from CLAW and adored by my good friend Jill Olivier. When Jill sadly passed away in April 2020, when South Africa was in the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown, there was no hesitation that I’d take in little Suzi.
“For the first couple of days, Suzi was sweet and obliging but a little unsure. She slept in the kitchen for the first couple of nights. She kept trying to engage with my other three dogs – Herbie, the fat little Derriere (Dachshund-Yorkshire Terrier dog), Dini the feral rescue, and Pablo, my blind, deaf, dumb (as in, not the brightest bulb on the tree) 17-year-old ‘foster’ from an ex-partner.
“Herbie was the first to engage with her a little, but Dini was the one she really persisted in trying to win over; Dini determinedly ignored her. I tried to get Su to sleep in the main bedroom with us by closing off my bedroom door; she then insisted on sleeping outside. So, I put out a huge plush dog bed and her blankets and dressed her in a pink jersey. Nothing I did enticed her to sleep with us in the bedroom and come back into the house. That is, until the 1st of May, when we were allowed to walk dogs again.
“On that very first walk, Dini and Suzi were walked on a bungee ‘splitter lead’. It was then that they bonded and became besties. They started to play, and that night, when I got to the bed, there was Suzi Q. She’s slept with us on the bed ever since! It turns out that it wasn’t anything I was or wasn’t doing – she wanted Dini’s permission to join the wufflecuddleparty.
“Suzi is a darling, is adored and fully belongs with us; she was our blessing and gift during this whole Covid-19 lockdown!”
Felix (left) and Savannah
Brenda Bryden shares Savannah and Felix
“Savannah and Felix are a five-year-old bonded brother and sister pair who originally came to join our household as fosters in August 2017.
“A colleague was leaving to teach English in China for a year; we’d been trying for several months to find a suitable forever home for the cats together. When it got to a week before departure date, my colleague was desperate, as there’d been no interest in these beautiful babies. I agreed to foster them for a year with the understanding that when their original owner returned from her one-year stint in China, she’d take them back.
“But one year turned into two, and in November 2019, Felix and Savannah were gifted to my daughter and me. They’re an entertaining pair – Felix is a master at opening doors, so there’s no privacy in our home, and Savannah is a chatterbox who loves to give head butts. Despite them entering a household with existing resident cats, they still tend to dominate when it comes to taking affection and deciding when it’s mealtime.”
Vanessa Raphaely shares Daisy Rose, who was adopted from Grace Animal Sanctuary
“My daughter had looked and looked for the perfect pooch, until finding and falling for Daisy Rose’s photo on the sanctuary’s Instagram account. The rest of our family had never met her before she waltzed into our lives during lockdown. But it really didn’t matter – we would love whichever dog arrived at our door.
“Daisy Rose is adorable, sweet, bouncy and very ‘chewy’, and we’ve all fallen in love with her. Except our two existing dogs, who will take, we think, a little longer to like being used as teething toys. She has sharp teeth!”
Priscilla Babu shares Bentley, who was adopted from Husky Heaven Rescue
“Bentley was born at Purrpaws For Life and was only a pup of six months old when the shelter was devastated by a fire at the end of January 2019. He was kindly taken in by Husky Heaven Rescue, where he remained until we found him.
“Our family decided to foster Bentley when we went into lockdown in March 2020. Of course, he crept firmly into our hearts and now claims ‘foster fail’ status and is joyfully part of our family.
“Bentley is a Bull Terrier mix dog, and he loves to play, give hugs, sleep on a pillow next to my bed, and watch cartoons on TV.
“He has a wonderful personality and doesn’t bark much. We’re forever grateful for Brenda Meyer of Husky Heaven Rescue for taking such good care of him for over a year and entrusting him to us.
“He’s greatly loved by my sisters Jenny and Lynn, and me, and he even has his own Instagram account: i.am.bentleytherescue.
“Bentley has discovered so many new things, like looking at himself in the mirror, playing with his teddies, barking at leaves, playing with pillows (he has a thing about pillows) and loving his daily walks, which are now allowed once more.
“We think he loves us as much as we love him, and we’re so happy to share our lives with him!”
Photo credit: By-Joao Photography
Melissa and George Joao share Kitara, who was adopted from Wollies Animal Project in 2014
“Our beautiful Siberian forest cat, Princess Kitara, was adopted from Wollie’s Animal Project on the 22nd of February 2014 when she was just two years old. She was rescued from an industrial area after being found there living as a stray.
“We’d adopted a Siamese kitten in 2012 but unfortunately lost her to FIP. When we were finally ready to adopt again, Wollie’s had Kitty Wednesdays, focusing on sharing adult cats for adoptions – I saw her post advertised on their page.
“We went on Saturday morning to meet her, and she stole our hearts the moment we laid eyes on her. She is a breathtakingly beautiful cat with a very unique and cheeky personality to match. We have three other cats, and she’s mostly integrated well with them. However, the princess prefers her own company and being doted on by her minions (us).
“Kitara is living her best life in her forever home with the people who love her. Adopting an adult cat from a rescue is truly a gift in disguise. Rescue pets are amazing; saving a life is amazing. They may require more love and care initially, but they end up being the ones who truly save us.”
Ice (left) and Dutchess
Suné van der Merwe shares Ice and Dutchess, adopted from New Beginnings
“Ice and Dutchess were adopted when they were about three years old. They were both extremely thin and malnourished. Ice had a big scar all around his body, and Dutchess’s weight was a great concern for us, as she was really only skin and bones.
“They’ve been with us now for three years, and although they never really learned to play as puppies, they’ve adjusted and are great with each other as well as our little Daschund girl. Dutchess loves her little sister to bits and plays with her all the time.
“We’re so glad that we could help these animals and give them a chance at a happy life in a caring family; they’re part of our family, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Angela Verster shares Dio and Sab, who were both adopted from Capetonians Against Animal Abuse
“We adopted Dio (white) and Sab (black) on the 12th of November 2019.
“Our intention was to get ‘a’ kitten, but their foster, Cindy, suggested we should consider taking two. We did… and it was the best decision we ever made! We’d definitely recommend that anyone looking for ‘a’ kitten should definitely take two. They spend hours together playing, and they SO love each other, it’s clear to see!
“Dio and Sab bring us many hours of happiness, joy and laughter. They’re two such different little personalities, and we just love them to bits.
“We’ll be forever grateful to CAAA for finding these two beauties for us – they enrich our lives every minute. They may need us, but we certainly needed them too!”
Almond (left) and Cashew
Yolandi Strauss shares Almond and Cashew – her adored rescue bunnies
“Almond, she was adopted because there were rumours that she would have been euthanised. We don’t know her history but believe she was abused, which caused her behaviour issues. Despite these issues, we shower her with love. Deep down she’s a loving bunny, sweet and kind. She free-roams our home and is as charming as a queen.
“Cashew was adopted to save him from a bad housing situation. He was kept in a small enclosure with a very angry rooster. The rooster frightened him into corners and kicked his food. Cashew also free-roams our home and is the most loving bunny we have ever met, full of energy and always looking for hugs.”
Ryan Eatwell shares Maddox, who was abandoned
“Maddox was abandoned at a coffee shop in 2012 because his family found out he was deaf.
“That’s when we met: he was a tiny little ball, and I was a farmer. He grew up in the bakkie and on the bike. He’s been with me almost 24/7 for the last eight years. Well, the last two years have been tough since we moved to town and he has to stay home all day – I think it’s tough on both of us.
“Maddox is fearless. And he’s stone deaf. This combination has gotten him into some hair-raising situations! He’s gotten stuck into snakes, cattle, a herd of zebra and a dozen hippos! The hippo incident was the worst; he was like a bullet as soon as he saw them (12 of them!) dozing on the riverbank. He caused such a commotion, and, of course, he couldn’t hear my screams!
“The last hippo left was a big old bull. Maddox grabbed him by the tail and got flung, spinning across the sand. But this didn’t stop him. When all 12 hippos were safely in the water, he dived in after them. There was nothing I could do, since he can’t hear a word! When he came trotting back with that proud look on his face, I could almost hear him say, ‘You saw that, right?’.
“Maddox, a brave little ball of muscle, a real Jock of the Bushveld, and my constant companion!”
Ezette Adao shares Levi, who was adopted from Spaniel Rescue SA
“Levi was suffering from mange when we adopted him, and he frequently had to go for injections at the vet as ongoing treatment. He recovered miraculously and has since had no sign of the mange; today he has a gorgeous coat.
“Levi is the boss in our household, which he shares with two female Boston Terriers, Dot and Dora, and Roxy, a very cheeky Pekingese.
“Levi is well known and adored by our Albert’s Farm Parkrun breakfast club. We, and everyone who meets him, love our Levi.”
My daughter, Tiffany, and Levi
Flo (left) and Felix
Jacqui Steadman shares Florence (Flo) Hamm Steadman and Felix Percival Steadman, who were adopted from Capetonians Against Animal Abuse (CAAA)
“Felix Percival Steadman (tabby) was adopted on the 4th of November 2018. My little boy arrived at CAAA as a feral kitten with awful snuffles. He had some health issues as a result but has been 90% well since he’s been with me. Felix is the most adventurous and talented hunter (I don’t encourage this but frequently receive ‘treats’) out there and was born to be an outdoor cat. He loves lying in the sun and watching the birds, bees and butterflies flit by. Though he appears tough and rugged, he’s a mommy’s boy through and through and is really MY cat only. He’s totally affectionate and loving with me but doesn’t take kindly to male guests and strangers.
“Florence Hamm Steadman, aka Flo (black-and-white), was adopted on the 5th of December 2018. Apart from a little sickness when she first arrived, she’s been a healthy chonk in the making since. She’s the most caring little girl and loves her brother dearly. She loves to lie by him and groom him, and although she isn’t the most loving with humans, she’ll sleep by me when I’m not well and sit in the doorway watching me if she’s concerned. She’s always nearby, watching over me. A cuddle from her is the highlight of my day; this usually happens when I’m sitting on the toilet – we take what we can get!
“These two are really my babies, and caring for them has given me a reason to get up and live day to day.”
Stephan Stone shares Patapon (aka Dixie), who was adopted from Winelands SPCA
“Patapon, aka Dixie, is actually my wife’s dog – it was her turn to choose a dog (we share our home with a few rescue dogs) – but she has an affinity for both of us. This was kind of love at first sight, because we’re both crazy about her.
“We live close to the sea, and the dogs get a walk on the beach almost every day. Patapon loves the sea; she just goes and lies in the water.
“Patapon still loves her ball playing; we have a little stretch in the house, which I call the Patapon-mile, for throwing a ball for her. She’s very energetic, always playing, always bringing a toy, demanding attention… and getting it! I truly believe she’s happy with us, and she makes us very happy.”
Patapon (aka Dixie) on our bed with Rosie, my eldest daughter’s dog
Anne Darne shares Lexi, who was adopted from Cape of Good Hope SPCA
“We adopted Lexi in 2014 from the SPCA when she was about six months old.
“She’s a very talkative, goofy girl and loves nothing more than sneaking up to give us a fright.
“With winter around the corner, she’ll reclaim her place IN the bed (head on my pillow), much to the annoyance of her Maine Coone brothers.”
Andrea Bronkhorst shares Shadow
“Shadow is a crossbreed Shepherd-Border Collie dog. She was abandoned as a pup; she couldn’t eat and was very frightened of people and other dogs.
“Today, she’s healthy and happy, eats with gusto, plays with her adoptive brothers and sisters, and is a real mommy’s girl. With lots of love and attention, she grew into a beautiful doggo.”
Sonia de Beer shares Cinnamon and Nougat, who were adopted from Mdzananda Animal Clinic
“Cinnamon and Nougat joined us at the beginning of the year, and it’s been one of the best decisions we ever made as a family.
“Nougat’s greatest skill is climbing the curtains as high as she can go. Cinnamon’s ‘climbing skills’ involve what has been left after the mad breakfast rush and having a quick lick of left-over oats! I’m not so convinced about their physical activities. Our son promises me they are just playing, but all I see is red-card high-tackle rugby shenanigans!
“The sisters have a very special bond and sleep together, curled up with paws around each other.
“They’re showered with love and attention, and I hope they feel they have found their special forever home with us.”
Samantha Burrill shares Violet, who was adopted from the Randburg SPCA
“Violet chose me; I was confirmed her human. She’d been found with her siblings abandoned in a house where the people had moved and left her mommy and babies behind.
“Violet is Spike’s best friend (featured in February) and they love to play. She’s still people-shy and will hide behind my legs, and she’s never shy to nip at ankles.
“She healed my heart after my Great Dane cross passed away very unexpectedly at the age of four. All I ever wanted was a little dog that would follow me everywhere, and that’s exactly what I got with Violet.”
Mizan Malan shares Baby Harvey, who was adopted from Raise ‘n Rescue
“Baby Harvey (as I still like to call him) is the most loving cat I’ve ever come across. He’s my shadow, permanently under my feet and following me wherever I go.
“Harvey is six months old now and is currently teething. I get woken up to him spitting his teeth out on either my pillow or on top of me for the ‘kitten tooth fairy’.
“Since the day I got him he’s always slept on my bed, in my arms, and he’s a proper purr machine. Harvey can purr for two hours solidly, non-stop!
“He’s our daredevil boy that has absolute no fear. He keeps the harmony in our house, as whenever his two bigger fur brothers are at it with each other, he just plonks himself right in the middle and starts being playful, calming the brothers and creating an environment for jolling and proper play time.
“He’s my special boy, my cuddling bear, with the softest fur and whiskers that could be seen from afar.”
Photo credit: Nat Gold ZA
Mumford (left), Rex (right), and Harvey (in front)
Photography credit: Beverley Anne Page
Etta van der Merwe shares Dolf Louw, neé Van der Merwe, who was adopted from SPCA Bloemfontein
“We love to call our animals by their names as well as surnames – they are, after all, family. We adopted Dolf, and he was my late husband’s “seehondjie” (as we call it in Afrikaans). Where Johan went, Dolf followed.
“He’s very intelligent and a little hostile towards strangers, making him even more loyal. He loves to dig stones out of the sand; he’ll carry a stone all the way home to show us his trophy, and then he’ll carry it to his food bowl, where he’ll add it to his food for safekeeping. Sometimes there are three or four stones in his bowl. He never eats them… he simply enjoys ‘hunting’ and ‘storing’ them.
“The tragic fact is that Dolf still waits for my husband to return home every day. There were so many times when Dolf refused to allow me to get into bed when he and Johan were already in bed. We had such wonderful times together, and now, without Johan, Dolf and Koos (Koos’s Happy Tale) are my constant companions.”
Danika Genade shares Litchi, who was rescued as a stray
“Litchi was found in the parking lot of Cape Gate Shopping Centre. Seeing that he needed urgent medical attention, I took him straight to the vet. Afterwards he came home with me, and, because he was covered in fleas, I gave him a bath (which he really didn’t enjoy!). The vet had told me that he was only about six weeks old.
“I called Cindy of Capetonians Against Animal Abuse, and she said for me to bring him in and he’d go into foster care. I put down the phone, looked over at Litchi, and decided there and then that it was too late… I’d already lost my heart! I called Cindy right back and told her that he wasn’t going to be joining her but that I needed their help in processing the adoption and getting him microchipped soonest and sterilised.
“Litchi now lives a life of absolutely luxury! Rescues rock, and Litchi has five cats, three dogs and three feathered siblings.”
Greta Wilson shares Sadie
“Sadie is estimated to be four years old. She was previously adopted by my neighbour from the SPCA and lived with them for three-and-a-half years. I used to stop my car and run over to her if I spotted her being walked at the lake across the road. My neighbour has since emigrated, and this dog, with whom I always felt a soul connection, is now mine.
“She fits in perfectly with my other two Boxers; Sadie was meant to be!
“Immediately after my Sophie died, my neighbour came to ask whether Boxers are good with children, as they’d seen a Boxer that they were told ‘has been here three months and is due to be put to sleep’. The rest is history!”
Left to right: Mango (15 months old), Sadie (estimated to be 4 years old) and Kerneelz (10 years old)
Jodi Schiff shares Ozzy, adopted from Capetonians Against Animal Abuse (CAAA)
“I already had Blue (adopted from Cape of Good Hope SPCA), and I thought, as an indoor-only cat, he was lonely. I started scouring the Internet for another Siamese/Oriental to rescue.
“After many months, I saw the photo of the cat who’d be Ozzy on the CAAA Facebook page and immediately applied to adopt him.
“To cut a long story short, we got Ozzy (Monster) as brother to Blue on the 1st of December. He fearlessly rules the house with an iron paw and squeaky meow. With his slight cross eye, he always looks vaguely surprised but couldn’t be more adored by us all – especially Blue, who’ll no longer play with us.
“P.S. Blueboy and Ozzy have their own Instagram page – it’s called blueboy_and_ozzy!”
Shreela Gupta Banerjee shares Max, who was adopted from the Boksburg SPCA
“We brought Max home from Boksburg SPCA on the 10th of February. He’s a bi-colour German Shepherd Dog who’s about one year old. Max had been found as a stray on the 6th of December 2019 and sadly never claimed.
“He seems very well-trained and knows basic commands; he was obviously someone’s house dog. He sleeps well, eats voraciously, and the vet confirms he’s just in perfect health.
“For me, he’s perfect in every way.”
Photography credit: Nat Gold ZA
Mike Anhauser shares Alexa, who was adopted because she was unwanted
“Alexa was adopted by us in November 2017 as a six-week-old kitten. She became unwanted by her previous carers, and we took in this tiny ginger kitten; Liam, our youngest grandson, took ownership of her and named her ‘Alexa’.
“At that time, the canine in charge of security at home was Fluffy, a Maltese Terrier who’d been with us for eight years at the time Alexa came on board. He was very aggressive towards strangers but took an instant liking to Alexa. The chemistry between the two matched perfectly, and soon they became inseparable. Then, in his tenth year, Fluffy moved on. Alexa found herself all alone, and one could see that she missed him as time went by.
“Enter Mopsy as the new canine on the block. At first glance, she ignored Alexa and showed no interest in her. Alexa tried to make friends by cuddling up to her, but Mopsy wasn’t interested. Mopsy then got a BFF named Ollie.
“All hell broke loose; they quickly became allies and decided to launch a dual ‘attack’ on Alexa, chasing her down the passage growling to scare her even more. One day, Alexa decided to put an end to this onslaught. They again chased her down the passageway, and Alexa stopped dead in her tracks and faced them head on, scratching Mopsy and Olle with her steely claws right on their jaws. This lady decided that she’d not be bullied.
“That was the last time they chased Alexa down the passage. Soon thereafter, a bond was formed; Alexa, Mopsy and Ollie are the best of friends.”
Tracy Whitaker shares Dobby, adopted from R.A.D.
“Dobby was kept in a tiny cage for the start of her life. When we adopted her there was concern that she’d never be able to walk properly due to a suspected deformation of her spine and legs.
“Everyone thought she’d be the size of a Min Pin… she’s now 23kg, with the heart of a lion and the body of a Great Dane. Life with Dobby is never dull, and she loves to test out the durability of her collection of tennis balls.”
Photography credit: Strike a Pose Photography
Kyla Blasyk shares Pixie, who was adopted from 4Paws
“Pixie was born in October 2018 at 4Paws Shelter. There were THREE mommy dogs that gave birth there in the space of two months, so it was very hard to choose as there were so many pups! This was to be my first dog – I had always wanted one, my whole life!
“I chose Pixie because she was the teeny-tiniest one and her paws looked like she was wearing little socks. She played with me and drank water from my hand; it was love at first sight! I went to visit her as often as possible until she was big enough to come home with me.
“From here onwards, Pixie became “Princess Pixie”. She’s lived a life of luxury and spoils, being my Number 1 Baby Girl. Now that I have Daisy, I have TWO princesses in my life. Pixie & Daisy are inseparable; they play all day long together and are the light in my life.”
Photo credit: Nat Gold ZA
Mizan Malan shares Mumford, who was adopted from Aid4Paws
“Mumford is indeed one lucky, lucky boy, and by luck, I mean that he is a survivor.
“Mumford joined our family in 2018 when he was only 12 weeks old – a beautiful, unwanted kitten who stole our hearts. We decided to adopt him and make him ours forever!
“Mumford sustained a terrible tail-pull injury when he was only eight months old. His injuries were severe, as he had a spine fracture that injured his nerve. This led to both back legs being partially paralysed, his tail was completely paralysed, and he had paralysis of his bladder and rectum. He was rushed for emergency care, as his kidneys were starting to be affected since he had no control of elimination anymore and his poor bladder was full.
“He was admitted to hospital and catheterised to help empty his bladder; he received laxatives, and after much treatment, he eventually stabilised and was discharged home… but his fight was not over.
“While at home, he was confined to a big cage to limit his movement. To see whether his nerves would regenerate and heal we had to take special precautions, as, if he damaged it again, it could have led to complete paralysis.
“Even though he was unable to use his back legs, he would still try and get around. He was fierce and determined to get out of his cage. Never in my life had I been so excited whenever Mumford made a wee by himself or was able to defecate.
“Eventually, with loads of therapy, time, patience, support from his brother Rex and our whole family, Mumford boy recovered 100% against all odds.
“He can walk again, and although restricted when it comes to jumping, he is such a happy boy who enjoys his freedom. He even showed our vet how he wasn’t going to allow his tail to be amputated: he regained full strength in that tail, his pride and glory – fluffy and upright. Even though he walks a little funny, it doesn’t stop him from doing anything. He is indeed a fighter and has overcome so much.
“We wouldn’t be able to envision life without our fighter who brings so much love, joy and happiness to our lives.
“PS. He even survived falling from a four-storey building thereafter with not a bump or scratch on him. He truly is a miracle baby; a proper survivor with seven cat lives left!”
Lauren & Greg Námer share Emmy, who was adopted from A New Hope Dog Rescue
“After losing one of our precious dogs to cancer, it took us a long time and a lot of heartache to even consider adopting another dog. We knew, however, that we could offer another rescue a great forever home, and with so many needing a home, we decided it was time to open our hearts. We chose to adopt a senior, because seniors have less chance of adoption and because our other dogs are senior.
“We started to look at profiles and came across little Emmy’s photo (named Tequila back then) and we fell in love. A few days later, we adopted her from A New Hope Dog Rescue, in time for her to experience a Christmas with us that included lots of treats, walks and love.
“She’s fitted in beautifully and is such a blessing, and we’re so thankful to be her guardians.”
Vincent and Sandra Jacobs share Dusty, whom they adopted after he lost both his owners
“We have known our very best canine friend for almost one-and-a-half years now; Dusty has been a fully-fledged member of our family for a whole year. He was welcomed into our home that included a very beloved and talkative Indian Ring-Neck parrot named Dr Kiss-Kiss, and two budgies named Toto and Beaky-Blue.
“Dusty, who’s a very handsome brindle American Staffordshire-Pit Bull-type breed, stands tall on his dainty feet. He’s a gentle giant with a loving nature. He welcomes all visitors into our home by presenting them with an avocado leaf from a little pile of leaves that he keeps close to him on his favourite rug in the living room.
“He was first rescued from the Margate SPCA when he was a year old. The couple who adopted him lived in a beautiful beach house, and so Dusty was often taken down to the beach where his favourite playmate was a Labradoodle.
“Sadly, both his human parents passed away when he was about 10 years old. One of our friends tried his best to visit Dusty and play with him regularly and also arranged for someone to stay on the property until the house was sold.
“One day, Paul phoned us in a panic to tell us that part of the fence enclosing the property had collapsed, and Dusty had been seen running towards a busy main road. We’d lost our beloved Paddy-Bear, a Labrador-Shepherd mix, a few months prior to this, and so we immediately offered to take Dusty into our home.
“After a week or two we’d completely bonded with him, and now he’s a permanent member of the family.”
Tracy Whitaker shares Sparky, who was rescued as “discarded rubbish”
“Sparky is literally our ‘spirit of joy’! He was rescued by my husband when he accosted someone taking a cardboard box to throw away in the skip that turned out to have a tiny puppy in it that was hairless and covered in vomit.
“Sparky is our smallest pack member who has an endless capacity for cuddles.”
Odette Joubert shares Molly, who was adopted from SPCA Vanderbijlpark in November 2019
“Molly is just the happiest little soul and brings joy into every room she enters. When we saw her picture on a Facebook post, she looked so worried. You could see her little tail was droopy and she needed a home. Her little face reminded us of Quentin, our dog that went missing on the 19th of October 2017. We searched high and low – and still continue to search for him. But we decided there and then to add little Molly to our group of other rescues from various SPCAs, as well as Sasha, from Tembisa.
“When I went to meet little Molly, she looked at me then disappeared into her sleeping quarters to bring me a tennis ball. There was no question: we were going to adopt her.
“People must realise that there are so many souls waiting to be adopted. I think little mixed breeds have so much character. All my dogs are a mix of breeds. No one knows what exactly their life stories are, but they are souls with lots of love to give. Each one of my rescues has a special personality, each with their own special abilities to warm our hearts.”
Aimeè Zermatten shares Ron, her rescue dog from Thailand
“From the very day I met Ron as a puppy, whilst working with an animal rescue organisation in Thailand, I knew that he’s my soul dog, and there was no way I was returning to South Africa without him. It was a challenging time, but, thankfully, it all worked out in the end.
“I take Ron to the local park for a few hours a day where he’s been able to meet so many new dogs and thoroughly enjoys swimming in the river.
“Ron celebrated his second birthday on the 8th of January 2020, along with my mom’s dogs whom he visits on weekends. He truly enjoys life in South Africa!”
Bianca Peens shares Odin, adopted from Place A Pup
“Little Odin and seven of his siblings were rescued by Place A Pup in Roodepoort in December 2019.
“Odin was three months old, weighed only 1.65kg, was badly abused, had had hot water thrown on him and an untreated eye infection that was left too long, causing him to lose his right eye.
“Today, he has the shiniest coat, his skin has healed, and he weighs over 5kg. He went from a withdrawn, scared little boy to a bouncy, happy and full-of-confidence handsome lad.
“He’s a typical puppy now, exploring, playing, chewing, and he absolutely loves lying on the grass stretched out watching the other doggies play. He has a habit of pulling his ears back, straightening out his legs, and wagging his tail all at once when he gets excited. He loves playing, and even though he only has one eye, it doesn’t stop him from being silly.
“Odie absolutely loves his sleep and his foodies, he snores worse than an old man, and still gets a bit overexcited with food, but it’s a work in progress.
“He’s a very small boy, but if he has to grow to the size of his heart, he’ll be a giant.”
Chris Williamson shares Lil Princess Bunny and Charlie, who were both adopted from Catz R Us SA
“My fiancée was looking at kittens when she came across this gorgeous five-month-old tripod cat with a bob tail and we were smitten. For some reason (possibly because she was shy and maybe because she’s disabled) nobody else wanted to adopt her.
“As soon as we saw her hopping like a bunny and with her little bob tail, we named her ‘Lil Princess Bunny’.
“Later in the year, Catz R Us SA contacted us to say they still had her brother, Charlie, so we spread the word, but nobody was interested. The reason he couldn’t find a mom and a dad at the shelter is that when people came to look, he hid at the back of the cage.
“At nine months old, we ended up adopting him too. They’re both still very scared of humans, but they come out for mom and dad.”
Robin Thesen-Smith shares Sherlock and Cleo, her precious rescue dogs
“Sherlock the Fox Terrier was rescued by PAWS (Plett Animal Welfare). He came in with a very badly broken leg, and when we adopted him, he still had his leg in plaster. He is super intelligent and loves playing ball games.
“Cleo the Rottweiler mix was adopted from KAWS (Knysna Animal Welfare) when she was a puppy. I took her to agility classes to give her confidence, and she loved it. She’s loyal and fiercely protective.”
Photo credit: Jackie Wernberg Photography
Helen Walne shares Joey, who was adopted from DARG (Domesticated Animal Rescue Group)
“We adopted Joey in 2007 when he was still a puppy. He was a small, scared boy who was getting bullied and picked on by his siblings, but when we brought him to live with us, he soon felt right at home.
“He’s now 12 years old and is slowing down, but still comes for a walk every day and loves swimming in the sea.”
Lauren & Greg Námer share Pinky, who was adopted from Kitty and Puppy Haven
“Our gorgeous Pinky is such a special, affectionate and, as you can see, vocal cat. We fostered her and her mum (whom we also adopted).
“She recently celebrated her tenth birthday but still acts like a kitten, and we absolutely adore her!”
Beth Partridge shares Hooch, who was adopted from Stellenbosch Animal Welfare
“What can I say about our new family member? Hooch is kind, gentle, smart and very funny. He absolutely loves to play with other dogs and enjoys any form of attention – he sits perfectly still to be groomed, have his teeth brushed or be bathed. And, of course, he loves to snooze too.
“He’s extremely loyal and trusting, and he brings me more joy with every new day.”
Ansulaine Spies shares Lily, whom she adopted from Cat Trapping in the Winelands
“Lily just jumped straight into our hearts the very first day she arrived. Nursing two litters of kittens is not an easy job, but Lily took it in her stride. The kittens of the second litter that we fostered with Lily will surely grow up to bring joy to all the homes that were lucky enough to adopt one of them.
“Motherhood came so naturally for this black beauty, and her loving and protective personality is the first thing you notice after her striking green eyes.
“After all her hard work, Lily can now finally just enjoy life and is now part of our family. While brother and sister Pips and Pooh are still adjusting to the new member, Lily is happily the New Kid on the block.”
Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography
Samantha Burrill shares Spike, adopted from CLAW (Community Led Animal Welfare)
“Spike was posted on CLAW’s Facebook page on the 30th of December 2014. He was dehydrated, malnourished, full of ticks and very weak, and they asked for good wishes so he’d pull through. And without a second thought I commented and said I’d have him as soon as he was well enough.
“I collected him from FORA on the 9th of February 2015, and he’s been my soulmate ever since. Everyone who meets him loves him.”
Guy Thesen shares Molecule, Irie and John, who were adopted from Sedgefield Animal Matters (SAM)
“I’m a cat lover. I’ve always had cats in my life from as far back as I can remember, except for a bad three-month period this year when our six-year-old tabby died. The house was not the same without that cat’s presence; it felt empty!
“So, when I found these kittens at Sedgefield Animal Matters, I told my wife I’d get two of the four… but fell for the black one as well! The garden is bursting with striped mice, rats, snakes, insects and birds... and yes, they will be trouble, but I’m aware that felis catus is identical in DNA to its original parents, felis lybica, better known as the African wild cat.”
Twanette Bronkhorst shares her new pup, Gidget
“Gidget is my Dobermann rescue pup. Previously, she was an abused and scared pup that wanted nothing to do with anyone, but when I started to love and care for her, I realised it’s all she needs.
“Now, she follows me everywhere, loves her daily walks and enjoys coming for a drive in the car. She’s my world, and we’re inseparable.”
Hermien Delport shares Lucy, who was adopted from SPCA Roodepoort
“I would like to thank the SPCA Roodepoort for my beautiful Lucy. She’s been an absolute Godsend, and from day one, she was already part of my family. She’s adorable, potty-trained, and gets along well with my Yorkie, Rocky.
“Over Christmas, she stole the hearts of my whole family. I seriously hit the jackpot; she’s already spoiled and loved and freely gives endless cuddles and kisses.
“She’s calm and loves being on my lap. I would definitely recommend adopting. I think Lucy rescued me, because her unconditional love is priceless.
“Thank you to everyone who made this possible.”
Lilian Schultz shares Maggie, who was adopted from Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre
“I came across Maggie on Facebook, and I thought: why not phone – she looked so forlorn. And that’s how the whole journey started.
“I’ve rescued many dogs, and I just want to tell you that Maggie is a wonderful girl. She’s slowly coming out of her shell and even barked once… it was a bit out of tune, but she tried.
“The others get along with her, and she’s settled in very well.”
Chanellé van Deventer shares Tex, adopted from Maltese, French Poodle & Yorkie Rescue South Africa
“Tex immediately caught our eye at the rescue. He had such beautiful brown eyes and a soft demeanour that resonated with us.
“Our experience with Tex so far has been one of pure love, joy and lots of cuddling. He even has his own Instagram page: tex_the_adventurer.”
Photographs by FourPawz Photography
Claire Shadbolt shares Mr Dorian Grey adopted from Mdzananda Animal Clinic
“I fostered Mr Dorian Grey for Mdzananda from four-and-a-half months old. I was there one day, taking kitties for sterilisations, and told them my first foster involved having to rehabilitate a kitty with spinal damage after kids had swung him by his tail – and he went to his forever home walking 99% right. The vet said, ‘Oh, can you go look at Mr Grey for us...’
“And so he came home with me that day. Sadly, the damage was too severe, so he stayed with me whilst he awaited his operation to remove his front leg that had irreparable radial nerve damage (hit by a car, they thought). He had absolutely no feeling in the paw and leg. It had to be removed as it was a dead weight, which threw him off balance. The risk of his catching it somehow, tearing it and causing infection, etc. was too great.
“At six months of age, he had the op and amazed me with both his quick recovery and how, within 48 hours, his balancing ability improved dramatically.
“After 10 days of pain meds and me sleeping upstairs in the granny flat, where all my fosters live, his stitches came out and I had ‘the conversation’ with my husband. His answer was: ‘Of course Mr Grey is staying; I was just waiting for you to ask!’”
Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography
Lesley Donnelly and Engela Calitz share Ares
“We are besotted with the Boxer Dog breed and, after having lost our first two Boxers, we decided to rescue two adult Boxers, Ares (male) and Kali (female). They lived together on the plots outside Pomona on the East Rand and their owner could no longer take care of them. They came to us skinny, unsocialised and very scared.
“From day one Ares decided that we were his moms and has been glued to our sides ever since. Kali was more independent and a truly strong dog in all ways; that’s why it was so hard to see her succumb to the spirocerca lupi infection. She was a beautiful Boxer, lean, affectionate and super-clever.
“Ares is luminous in his whiteness and he photographs beautifully. He’s an extremely sensitive dog and hates offending us in any way.
“Ares has mellowed a lot since Kali passed, and although he’s still sensitive, he’s embraced little Pearl (our newest rescue) as his new best friend. He loves running with her in our garden in the cool of the day and looks a bit like Pegasus when he runs. He’s gentle (mostly) with his toys and with Pearl but can also firmly reprimand her if need be. His love and loyalty are unsurpassed. Ares is the Greek god of war, but there’s nothing ‘warring’ about our boy – he should have been Eros, God of Love.”
Suzanne Thomson shares Magpie and Bailey, adopted from Sharon’s Foster Furries
“Magpie and Bailey were rescued in Athlone by Sharon’s Foster Furries and given so much love by their foster mummy until they came to us, their forever home.
“Magpie is our little feisty lady; she’s a big hunter and can get up any tree in a few seconds – and she also loves love!
“Bailey is a big-hearted snuggle bunny. He just wants to curl up in our arms and then he’s happy.
“They love each other more than anything. They run around and play together like absolute hooligans and then pass out snuggled on top of each other. Adopting them has been such a blessing!”
Olly (left) and Kai
Nicky Charlewood shares Olly and Kai, her recently adopted baby goats
“After being taken in by animal rescuer Marizanne Ferreira after their mother died, we couldn’t resist and immediately offered them a forever home.
“Kai has been ill (he ate something that didn’t agree with him but is on the mend). They’ve become part of our pack of seven dogs and love to meet and greet everyone who’s arriving and leaving.
“They are a delight and keep us entertained daily!”
Olly jumping out of the lounge onto the stoep
Kirsty Moyes shares Baby Girl, who was adopted from the AACL Johannesburg
“Baby Girl is our five-year-old Collie-mix baby. From what we can understand, she was at the shelter for just over a year. We don’t know her background, but that doesn’t matter as she came to her furever home on the 2nd of August 2019.
“Her beauty and gentle eyes caught our attention when we went past there to look for a fur child to join us in our new home. It was love at first sight.
“Baby just oozes love. She’s definitely a daddy’s girl but gives mommy so much love too.
“She loves learning new tricks and speeding up and down the garden with her ball! She loves fetch but with her own twist (we must try and fetch the ball from her). She makes our hearts glow and has brought so much love into our home. We have truly been blessed!”
Petal (background) and Helen with Harry
Photography by Nat Gold ZA
Helen Bastin shares her precious pigs, Harry and Petal
“Harry’s parents were rescued in a shocking state, emaciated and covered in skin cancer. The vet who was treating them said they wouldn’t breed as they were so sick, but he was wrong!
“Kim, the mummy pig, gave birth to two piglets only. One was very sickly and we weren’t sure she was going to make it. The lady who rescued them simply didn’t have space for more pigs, so I offered to take him. Luckily, Harry’s sister, Penny, lived, and she went to another loving home.
“Harry means everything to me. He’s so loving and adores cuddles and belly rubs. He can be stubborn, as all pigs are, but isn’t aggressive as a lot of pet pigs can be. As with any pet pig, there is NO such thing as a teacup pig. He needs a lot of space and mental stimulation, as they are demanding pets.
“Pigs do better with friends and Harry was getting lonely, so we decided to get him a companion. Always wanting to adopt a rescue pig, we went to Greyton Farm Animal Sanctuary and asked if there was a suitable lady pig that was sterilised (Harry is also sterilised).
“Petal was the suggestion, and my husband and I fell for her straight away; a beautiful little black pig both in looks and personality. Petal had been dumped in someone’s garden as a baby. We took her home, and although it wasn’t love at first sight, they’re firm friends now.”
Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography
Samantha Burrill shares Schlossy, adopted from Mama Kasi Rural Rescue
“Schlossy was found in the township when we were doing some outreach work. She had a terrible glaucoma, with the pressure in her eye measuring 68 when it should’ve been between 12 and 22. The ophthalmologist told us that she had such a bad migraine that if she were a person she wouldn’t have been able to lift her head, which would explain why she was so quiet and slept such a lot.
“Thanks to Mama Kasi Rural Rescue, we were able to book her in at Dr De Kramer at Rant en Dal Vet the very next day for enucleation surgery (eye removal).
“She just came alive the next day after her operation and showed me that dogs really don’t know self-pity like humans do – she was just so happy to be alive and pain-free.”
Sharon West shares Miss Moxxie (formerly Latte), who was adopted from Uitenhage SPCA
“Our Miss Moxxie is a beautiful chocolate colour and has the most gorgeous eyes. She’s settled in well with our other fur babies (two cats and a Jack Russell).
“She’s really cute and has loads of personality. She’s also known as Little Miss Attitude (my son says Miss Cattitude), but she can be so sweet when she wants cuddles and kisses.
“We love her very much and now can’t imagine life without her!”
Lily (left) and Mr Bean
Jackie Romanov shares her two special fur kids, Lilly and Mr Bean
“Lily is nine years old and was adopted from our local vet (Dr Koury). She’d been rescued from the streets and is the most gentle, loveable and darling girl.
“Mr Bean is two years old and was adopted from Oscar’s Arc. He’s a bundle of energy, and so loveable too. He’s always keen on an adventure or just getting out and about. He’s the cutest and sweetest boy ever, with so much energy!
“They really are the lights of my life, and we’re so lucky to have them around.
“Thanks, Happy Tails, for all your wonderful work and helping all the furries – you guys are truly very special and so appreciated!”
Leoné Walters shares Cooper, who was adopted from Pretoria Dog Rescue
“We adopted Cooper in 2017. His mommy had been neglected and abused for years and then abandoned just before having nine puppies. Luckily, she had a great foster mom who cared for her and her pups, finding good homes for Cooper and his siblings.
“Cooper is Level 4 Belgian Malinois, French Bulldog, Bloodhound, Rottweiler, English Springer Spaniel and Border Collie, according to MuttMix results, making him very special.
“He’s protective like the Belgian Malinois, intelligent like the Border Collie, loyal like the Rottweiler, charming like the Frenchie, enthusiastic like the Spaniel and able to sniff out treats from afar like the Bloodhound. He loves cuddles, but only by pre-approved family members.
“Due to his mom’s abuse and trauma whilst expecting the puppies, Cooper has a very nervous nature and distrust in humans. We decided that he needed a friend for emotional support and adopted Leah, a blonde Schnauzer from the SPCA (read more about Leah here). It was the best decision ever! Cooper is becoming more confident and trusting of people. They’re inseparable and love each other dearly.”
Photography by Jackie Wernberg Photography
Stacy Edwards shares Sam, Ben and Clyde, her precious rescue pack.
“Sam, our Border Collie mix, adores life, people and other dogs despite a rough start to life. He was a loved companion of a vagrant but was frequently found wandering the Constantia Main Road area; he was lucky not to get hit by a car and would often be handed in at Alphen Vet, who looked after him (including being allowed to sleep in the vet’s bed at home) until his human would come to claim him. He was found more than once tied up against a fence in the full sun without shelter or water when his human was staggering around drunk or moved off by Law Enforcement. Alphen Vet contacted AID for Animals in Distress, who put him into foster care with me, and he crawled so deep into our family’s hearts that he became our first foster failure. He now gets to spend EVERY night curled up in our bed cuddling with his humans.
“Ben the Aussie arrived at nearly two years old after being returned to his breeder by his original owner whose husband abused him badly. He was horribly underweight, his hip bones sticking out, and he was terrified, especially of men. We suspect that he’d been hit over the head, as he hates the top of his head being patted. He was also probably kicked, as he runs away when James swings his legs off the couch to get up. He’s been with us for about six years now and is the sweetest boy who ‘sings’ when excited about anything, whether it’s going for a walk (his favourite), his humans getting home, or getting treats after supper. He’s a super, cuddly, special boy.
“And, last but not least, Clyde the GSD mix was evacuated out of Mitchell’s Plain in a hurry. The lady with whom he ended up was a backyard dweller who rescued dogs in the area; one of the pups (that we fostered and lives in the lap of luxury in Gordon’s Bay) had mange – her landlord wanted to dip all of the pups in motor oil to kill the mange, and she, knowing that this is dangerous, contacted AID for Animals in Distress for help.
“Clyde’s story before he ended up with this lady is not known, apart from the fact that he was thrown over her wall as a 10-week-old puppy by a group of kids who’d been given him by someone else who no longer wanted him. He became a foster failure when our first Aussie, Jake, passed away from cancer in September 2018. Clyde and Sam had become the best of friends; we didn’t have the heart to uproot him and break up their friendship after all he’d been through.
“In conclusion, all three of my boys with a rough past are adored and repay us in laughter, cuddles and unconditional love each and every day.”
Leigh Page shares Atlas, who was adopted from Life is Rescue.
“Being of the belief that a home isn’t a home without a cat, as soon as I was settled in my new home, I put word out that I was looking to adopt.
“With the help of Happy Tails, little Atlas was drawn to my attention, and there wasn’t a moment of hesitation to make him part of the family. He’s thoroughly enjoying his new life with us.”
Eulogi Rheeder shares Nacho, who was adopted in June this year from the Spaniel Welfare SA.
“Nacho is two years and ten months old. She arrived at my house as a timid, scared little dog, but with daily training through games, patience and lots of unconditional love, I’m seeing her blossom into a confident little pupper!
“Lots of people think that she’s a boy with her name, but, as nachos (the dish) is so delicious and comforting, I thought to name her after it… isn’t she just delicious-looking? You can follow her daily adventures on Instagram at @life_of_nacho_”
Nicola Mullineux shares Ollie (left) and Lulu, who were adopted from Rescue is Life.
“I’d been searching for kittens for a while and fell in love with these two the minute I saw their photograph. I have friends who take their dog everywhere with them, so I thought I’d see if it was possible with kittens.
“Before I adopted them, I went shopping for everything I could possibly think they would need – I was determined to make their lives the best they could be. The little harnesses JUST fitted (the kittens were about six or seven weeks old at that stage), and the next weekend they went on their first adventure. They were timid at first but then discovered TREES – and that was them for the afternoon.
“I take them on adventures every weekend, from walking in the bush to hiking (where Lulu is an absolute ‘parrot cat’ and is in her element perched on a shoulder, taking in everything she sees) to walks in the park and their favourite spot of all – the BEACH!
“The best part about coming home is seeing their little faces and them bolting through the front door, running a few steps and looking back to see if I’m watching them.
“Every animal deserves only the best! What many people don’t realise, however, is they do as much for you, if not more, as you do for them. I’m looking forward to many, many more adventures with these two! They have a place in my heart like no other.
“For updates on their adventures, please follow them on Instagram @fuzzybuddies2019”
Marisa “eM” Louw shares Yogi, adopted from Parys SPCA.
“Little Yogi was found in the street on the 9th of September 2019. With thanks to the community Facebook Group, his owner was found… but the very next day he was surrendered to the SPCA.
“Being Peke fans, my husband, Stéfan, and I adopted him and welcomed him into our family.
“Yogi went from being a malnourished little dog to a happy chappy!”
Lily (at the back) and Bozi, her 15-year-old BFF
Ann Gmür shares Lily, who was adopted from Harties Feral Rescue.
“Lily was more than likely an abandoned kitty who returned to a feral state and found a home in Timmy’s Feral Colony in Hartbeespoort. She was trapped, sterilised, vaccinated and returned to her outdoor home by Harties Feral Cat Rescue almost two years ago.
“Then, in mid-July 2019, the call that every guardian dreads came: there’s an injured cat wandering around a car park. It was Lily, and for five days and nights, Harties Feral Cat Rescue sat with a trap, desperate to get her to a vet; on day six she was finally rescued!
“Lily had the most horrific snare injury, and the vet had no choice but to amputate her entire hind leg. But where to now… with Lily being feral?
“Being known as a cat whisperer, I immediately offered Lily a safe haven and recovery home. With unconditional love, devotion and patience, Lily has turned back into a homebody.
“Lily is living the life of a queen; she’s found a BFF in Bozi and will never have to spend another day fending for herself ever again. Lily is one of the BEST ‘look at me now’ stories EVER!”
Paulene Hardy shares Oscar, who was adopted from Humansdorp SPCA.
“I adopted Oscar three years ago after he’d been surrendered to the SPCA. He was just over a year old and looked pretty sad.
“After signing all the documents and paying for his sterilisation, vaccinations,
and yard check, etc. I was able to bring him home.
“Oscar is my boy! He’s definitely Schnauzer-cross; I think he’s a Schnoodle. I took him for training weekly for a good few months. He’s obedient and so affectionate, and I love him to bits!”
Kerrey Ann Baker shares Squidge.
“Squidge and her two siblings were rescued underneath the rocks on Clifton beach 17 years ago. They were very tiny and incredibly feisty, and Squidge wasted no time in asserting her authority over our pack of four very busy rescue Border Collies, who did their best to herd her.
“She’s been a real blessing and continues to reign supreme over her new pack of three rescue Border Collies, as their predecessors are now running free in doggy heaven.”
Marise du Randt shares Nicky, who was adopted from Happy Yappers.
“My own Ridgeback girl, Lila, went missing over a year ago, and it’s been a never-ending search for her (see Facebook article), so when I saw the post of a very old Ridgeback girl up for adoption at Happy Yappers Animal Sanctuary in Koster, Magaliesburg, I felt I needed to open my heart and give Nicky a home. She was found tied next to the road to a pole, just dumped.
“Nicky has been with me for a few months now and is such a gentle soul. She’s settled in as if she’s lived here her whole life; she gained weight and enjoys walks on the farm. She still gets spurts of energy and acts like a silly puppy sometimes, but due to a tumour she has, it doesn’t last long, then she gets tired.
“Seeing her content every day and her thankfulness makes it all worth it. She’s only a blessing to have, and I’m happy to be able to give her a loving home for the rest of her life.”
Tracy Whitaker shares Tinkerbell, who was adopted from Kitty and Puppy Haven.
“Tinkie – short for Tinkerbell – is a brown Shepherd cross who is food mad and SUPER smart. She’s never been keen on toys, but anything she can put in her mouth gets her vote!”
Mart-Marié Gouws shares Jacky, adopted from Feral Cat Assist Heidelberg.
“Jacky is the definition of a ‘cuddle bug’. He’ll be two years old next year. I adopted him from a photo, believe it or not, and only saw him for the first time when I drove quite a distance to fetch him. But it was a perfect match.
“Jacky cuddles every chance he gets, but, make no mistake, he wasn’t like that when we adopted him. He was this shy, scared little cat. It took him about a month to trust us and let us touch and cuddle him. I call him my awkward little baby! Jack loves his big sister, Shado, who’s also a feral rescue from Cats9Lives. Jack and Shado are both indoor kitties. I just felt their lives were already so hard on the streets and I didn’t want them to go through that again.
“To this day, if someone comes over, Jack immediately runs and hides; he doesn’t trust easily and comes across very scared, but once he lets you in it’s a whole different story.
“I think he had a very challenging time in the feral colony from which he was rescued. He has a skew leg – we have no idea why or what happened, but it doesn’t stop him. We also learned in the past year that he has floating ribs as well and, just the other day after a vet visit, that he also has a tumor that needs to be removed. Luckily the vet isn’t too concerned and thinks we caught it in time.
“Jack is really a gentle giant and weighs 5.8kg today. I’m so grateful to Feral Cat Assist Heidelberg for rescuing him.”
Photographs by B-you Photography
Simone Jones shares Nada, adopted from Critter Rescue SA.
“We were on holiday in Ballito in March 2019 when I came across the post on Facebook by Critter Rescue Rescue SA that this cute little bunny was looking for her forever home. It didn’t take long to convince my heart that I needed this bunny in my life, and it also didn’t take long to melt Charles’s heart when I showed him the adorable photos of her.
“So, while we were still on holiday at the coast, I got the paperwork done and emailed it as soon as I possibly could. After making some changes to the setup in our apartment, our home was approved and we were ecstatic!
“When she arrived, she climbed even further into our hearts and became our ‘little child’, never mind our pet.
“We love Nada so much that when we go to the shops we have to come home with something for her. We tell all our friends and family about her. We share all her little photos and videos with them of when she does something new or too adorable for words.
“She’s really become a part of our lives and hearts, and when we recently got engaged, Nada had to be part of our engagement shoot.
“Thank you, Critter Rescue, for giving us the chance and opportunity to give this bunny the perfect home and love she deserves, and thank you to Happy Tails for sharing our story.”
Debbie Smith shares Peanut, who was rescued from a family without the means to sterilise their dogs.
“Peanut is something else; as the smallest of six dogs he thinks he is the BOSS! He was the smallest of the litter and had been bitten badly by his littermates (Chow cross Sharpei). At only four weeks old I offered to foster him as he certainly wouldn’t have survived otherwise; and then of course, I just had to keep him.
“He doesn’t miss a thing and has to be included in whatever we do. He is high energy and very ball driven. Nothing can move in our garden without him knowing about it.
“And… just to add, we sterilised all the dogs at the home where Peanut came from, and so thankfully there were no further litters from them. I think our paths were meant to cross.”
Gretna du Toit shares Byron, who was adopted along with his brother, Ozzi.
“I saw a photo of Byron (ginger) posted up for adoption on Facebook, and something in his eyes just melted my heart.
“I was met with an appalling cat hoarding situation when I went to meet them and immediately handed over the adoption fee and hurriedly left with both kittens. I was already over my quota of allowed pets, but I couldn’t leave one of them behind.
“I took them straight to the vet for a checkup and the necessary dreaded disease tests, and thankfully, apart from snuffles, they both got the all-clear.
“When speaking to a neighbour in the block next to us, I showed her the little black-and-white kitten and it was love at first sight! She adopted Ozzi, and the two brothers still play together in the garden every day – Ozzi cannot work out how to use the cat flap, but he comes and bangs on mine to call Byron to come and play.”
Caroline Hartley shares Dakota, who was adopted from Stellenbosch Animal Welfare Society.
“Dakota’s mother is a Boxer (I met her) and her father is apparently a Boerboel, but she looks more Ridgeback. She is my mix; she’s very bouncy and full of life, and if she barks, the whole house shakes.
“She’s pretty much in charge of the whole household. She’s now two and is just a big baby who thinks that she’s a lapdog!”
Quinn (left) and Harley
Michelle Raath shares Harley and Quinn, who were adopted through a private animal rescuer.
“Harley’s face jumped out at me from my Facebook newsfeed. I was determined not to get any more cats after losing two cats within a week but simply couldn’t resist her face.
“Harley was not well accepted by the older cats in the house and was lonely. Because I don’t believe a cat should be alone all day, when another cute face appeared on my timeline, I queried and the lady sent me photos of a few cats. Little Quinn had the same effect, instant love, so off we went to collect her. These kittens are not related in any way, but one would never say so.
“Now both kittens tear around and wreak havoc, and both want to know nothing about cuddling with us humans anymore, but I’m so happy for them!”
Marilyn Pillay shares Little Lucy, who was adopted from Virginia SPCA.
“Lucy was adopted at seven weeks old. We always wanted to give a loving home to a dog from a shelter, and Lucy is perfect in every way. She’s already settled into our hearts. Our little Lucy is a sweet baby girl to us, her parents, and a loving and doting sister to her big brother (our two-year-old son), Kade. Our family is now complete.”
Professional photography by Nelia Schwim-Cornelius Photography
Lizanne Penderis shares Kedi.
“Kedi was adopted from the SPCA 10 years ago, but when his owners had to move overseas and were unsuccessful in taking him with them, I became his mom. He has three cat siblings and one human (a six-year-old girl) to hang out with.
“Kedi is an excellent soccer player and can play with his ball and mouse for hours when he isn’t lounging in the sun or reaching out for cuddles. He’s a perfect addition to our family.”
Kerrey Ann Baker shares Mei Mei, who was adopted from Anti-Animal Cruelty League Bellville.
“Mei Mei is the most adorable, beyond naughty, most crazy, funny and different dog I have ever had. She arrived a shivering, nervous wreck, BUT not for long!
“She’s feisty, determined, shouts very loudly if she wants something, and feels absolutely nothing to climb on the kitchen table in pursuit of our cat, Squidge’s, food!
“She’s so lovable and definitely the lickiest dog I’ve ever had. She adores people, her siblings and ‘her’ cat (even though chasing Squidge is done when she thinks no one is looking).
“She was one of the millions of black dogs that are overlooked, and her time was nearly up. Mei Mei (pronounced ‘May May’) is Chinese for ‘Little Sister’, and she’s enriched our lives hugely.”
Elsa van der Merwe shares Lucy, who was adopted from A New Hope Dog Rescue.
“I’d lost my Dachshund baby, Nicky, last year in October, and my heart was absolutely shattered. I’d been looking for the missing piece to my heart for a couple of months when I saw Lucy’s picture on the Facebook group, Dachshunds in SA. I saved her post as a possible candidate, and, upon meeting her, I fell in love.
“She has exactly the same personality as Nicky, and I knew she’d fit right into our home situation. When I went to collect her, she was overwhelmed with joy.
“She was so happy to be going home. The whole family loves her, and within the short amount of time she’s been with us, she’s already made it very clear that she’s not going anywhere.”
Photographs by Jackie Wernberg Photography
Lyn Barker-Veary shares Jake, who was adopted from TEARS.
“Jake was born at TEARS to an extremely anxious mom, and, sadly, he’d inherited her anxiety. He was eight months old and the last of the litter. He was so nervous that he wouldn’t even let me touch him for the first two months.
“Our journey together was initially really difficult, and I wasn’t sure I could cope with his anxiety issues. But, with loads of perseverance, it’s four years later and he certainly has gained so much confidence. He loves his cuddles and being chased around the garden. Jake always has a wagging tail and a smiling face.”
Photo credit: Pet Portrait Photography
Darryn Rodwell shares her daughter, Abigail (9), and her “baby”, Daisy (12 weeks), who was adopted from Pietermaritzburg Kitten Fostering & Rescue.
“When we saw Daisy, it was love at first sight. Already inseparable, Daisy and Abigail sleep cuddled up together every night and spend hours playing. Daisy has also formed a bond with our two little dogs and regularly pounces on them, instigating playtime.”
Abi shares… “Daisy is very special to me. We love cuddling on the couch… she walks all over me, purring loudly, and then snuggles up to me.
“When I first saw her, I was already in love with her, and she loves me because she only purrs for me. I love her very much!”
Photo credit: Christopher Grobler
Linda Smit shares Logan, who was adopted from Wollies Animal Shelter.
“Logan was just a pup when he was rescued by Wollies Animal Shelter. He spent most of his puppy years with the other dogs at Wollies until the day we saw him and fell in love.
“He settled quickly into our family; he loved having a whole house to play in, alongside his fur sister, Izzy.
“He spends his days chasing birds, playing with Izzy and cuddling with us!”
Caroline Hartley shares Leah, who was adopted from Tin Can Town.
“Leah and her two sisters were found in Blikkiesdorp at 10 days old, weighing only 250g each. Leah had to have a blood transfusion and had to be bottle fed.
“I met her when she was about three weeks old, and I told my friend who was fostering her that I was going to adopt her. And, well, I did!
“She’s now three years old and the fluffiest bundle of joy; of our cats, she has the most fluff, and she’s the one that feels the cold the most. She’s also very affectionate and cuddly, and she’s the princess of the house.”
Laetitia Genis shares Mia, who was adopted from Mnandanza Animal Clinic.
“Mia is a great addition to our family. Not only does she get along with Eyevy (read Eyevy’s Happy Tale here) but Leela (our daughter) loves her to bits.
“She’s always up for a snuggle, regardless if it’s with myself, Leela, Marius or Eyevy!”
Gey Van Pittius shares her most recent rescue, Roady.
“At the beginning of July 2019, a friend forwarded me a Facebook post of a kitten that had been found in the road; he’d been hit by a car and had broken his leg badly.
“He was taken to a vet; he’d be put to sleep within three days if no one came forward to pay for the surgery and give him a home. So, of course, I went to collect him, brought him home and named him Roady.
“A long story short: after a three-and-a-half-hour operation to put seven pins in his leg to save him, he’s now home with me, my hubby and our other rescued furry children.”
May (left) and April
Elsie Went shares May and April, rescued as orphaned pups.
“April and May are six years old. We were looking for a new dog, and our local vet called me and said they had puppies whose mother had died in an accident after she’d gotten out of the yard.
“My husband decided we’d take two; April’s eyes were already open but not May’s. We had to feed them with small bottles, and my housekeeper, Gracie, looked after them during the day until we came back from work.
“Casey, our ‘ouma’ of the pack, helped raise these two teeny-tiny girls and taught them to be just as playful and kind as she is. And these days we have our other rescue, Lilly – making up a very happy family of four fur kids.”
Kerrey Ann Baker shares Kai, who was adopted from Border Collie Rescue (Cape Town).
“Kai is six years old and has to be the fastest and strongest Border Collie I have ever had. He is highly intelligent and extremely lovable. He’s amazing with ‘his’ old cat and absolutely adores his fur sisters, Mei-Mei and Sophie-Li, who are also both rescue Border Collies.
“He loves being on the bed and enjoys a cuddle with his sisters and me every morning to start the day, followed by licking the remains out of our coffee mugs!”
Zhané Mills shares Jemima, adopted from a foster mom in Johannesburg South.
“I adopted my Calico Love, Jemima, from a foster mom in Johannesburg South in 2017. She’s a princess and a hunter of note. She loves cuddles and kisses but will tell you quite loudly, with claws, when she’s had enough love.
“My home is full of sloppy kisses, paw prints and cat hair, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I just have to convince my hubby we have space for more fur babies...”
Laura and Brent Dodd share beautiful Bella, who was adopted from Labrador Lifeline South Africa.
“Bella was surrendered by her owners, who were unfortunately leaving the country. She came from a loving home, and she now lives a continued life of luxury filled with love. She loves swimming, and her stuffed unicorns, and we absolutely adore her!”
Brenda Diamond shares Evie (left) and Bowie, who were adopted from Raise ‘n Rescue.
“In May 2019, we adopted Evie and Bowie from Raise ‘n Rescue. By some fate, although they weren’t siblings by birth, within a day these two were causing utter mischief together as if they’d known each other forever and being were utterly adorably cute.
“With guidance from Raise ‘n Rescue we slowly introduced our older rescue cat, Leia, to them. It took some time, but they now all play together and even sleep together (sometimes!). In fact, Leia has taken on a mothering role; when she’s not tumbling around with them, she watches like a proud mother.
“They say every cat has a different “purr-sonality”, and never have we experienced such mischief makers! Of course, that means there’s never a dull moment in the house, whether it’s Evie trying to “help” with cooking supper or Bowie trying to catch a hadeda in the garden! And when all the mischief making is done, they couldn’t be more affectionate, purring for attention and snuggling up close.
“They’re now both six months old, and we cannot wait to see what more craziness they get up too. Follow the daily lives of Leia, Bowie and Evie on Instagram: @leiabowieandevie.”
Photographs by Alicia Thomas
Angelique Nefdt shares Misty, who was adopted from SPCA Louis Trichardt in 2017.
“Bubbly, energetic, kind, happy-go-lucky Misty joined our home in October 2017, and life has been a blast with her ever since.
“She was rescued from the Thohoyandou streets, where she seemed to have been in some sort of accident that left her with an amputated leg and scarring on her back. However, this has never stopped her love of fun and play.
“She’s our daily inspiration and has taught us that your outlook on life is more important than your circumstances. Misty spends her days bathing in the sunlight, napping on comfy oversized beds, playing with her canine siblings, patrolling the kitchen for snacks and filling our hearts with joy.”
Anneke van Vuuren shares Jan, who was adopted from Raise ‘n Rescue.
“About 19 months ago we were ready to adopt a new kitten and asked a volunteer at Raise ‘n Rescue to look out for one for. Within weeks they let us know that a new litter had arrived and that they had the ideal little one for us.
“In the beginning, Jan was very skittish, as he wasn’t used to human touch, but he soon surrendered and became a very loveable and happy kitten.
“Today, he’s extremely fat and fluffy, enjoying the garden with all the hideaway corners and nooks!”
Andrew Prince shares his pack of precious rescues – Skollie, Stevie Nix and Athena.
“Skollie Boy, my Scottish Deerhound, joined us in 2014. I was visiting my parents and came across a gangly young pup that had been found on the side of a national road by a road builder. He was only the size of a boot and was bleeding from all openings.
“He was the oddest-looking hound I’d ever seen that blossomed into a magnificently handsome boy. Whilst his looks have changed he is a proper goofy, and I’m constantly laughing at his behaviour and antics.
“Stevie Nix, my Africanis (and aka my first wife), came into my life in 2012. It was love at first sight. After visiting a friend in hospital, I came across an individual selling this tiny puppy on Bree Street. After a firm chat, I convinced him to let me have her and, after a snack and a widdle, I realised that Stevie Nix was all mine.
“Athena(kie) the Pit Bull was rescued from a terrible life; she’d been the victim of dog fighting and had literally been left for dead. When I saw her post on Facebook I was drawn to her, and, after visiting her at the vet where she’d had an op to save her leg, there was no turning back.
“I must be honest, she came with a few challenges for all of us, but, with perseverance, positive training and much love, she’s one relaxed girl who is happiest when she has a ball in her mouth.”
Timo (left) and Anna
Ernestine Strini shares Anna, who was adopted from A New Hope Dog Rescue.
“After loving her family for nine years, they felt Anna was ‘no longer needed’. She was surrendered to A New Hope Dog Rescue where her shelter mom, Olivia Stirling, made her feel at home and much loved.
“Of course, nothing compares to a real home, and we fell in love with her the moment we saw her. Timo (another of our adopted dogs) adores her and has taken on the role of her ‘Big Brother’, and they’re never far apart from each other.”
Left to right: Keanu with Gucci, Chloe with Ella, Roxy with Ginger, Wayne with Coffee Cat, and Desiree with Bear
Photography by Jaqcui L. Photography
Desiree Palos shares her family’s precious rescue cats.
“On the 20th of March 2017, I sadly lost two beloved pets, my Maltese Poodle, Candy, and my Russian Blue cat, Max. I was left with Nixie, my skinny ginger cat who’d been found in a box with a puppy on a vet’s doorstep; she was adopted through Heidi Tietz, who was involved with rescues eight years ago. My husband said: ‘NO MORE PETS!’
“This was not to be – obviously. I thought Nixie was lonely and needed a friend, so I adopted marble tabby Ella. She was a feral kitten born in a builder’s pipe in Aspen and is very shy and timid. Unfortunately, Nixie hated her from the start.
“A few months later, my friend Jacqui saw some kittens that had been abandoned at a house in Walkerville and taken to Dr Erasmus. Ella needed friends as Nixie was horrid to her, so we soon welcomed Bear and Gucci, my other marble tabbies who often get mistaken for Bengals.
“Aspen Hills has a feral cat programme, so when my friend Zia, who’s one of the ‘nursery’ moms, got yet another intake of kittens, I spotted stripey tabby Sassy and beige fluffy Maine Coone-look Wolfe and I couldn’t resist... again! They are a year old now.
“During this two-year period, Ginger – aka Fatty Boom-Boom – and Coffee Cat also rocked up to join the gang (read Coffee Cat’s Happy Tale here).
“Eight really is enough now!”
Cheryl Price shares Asha, who was adopted from Animal Welfare Society Port Elizabeth.
“We lost two dogs this year and we have one old girl who has cancer, and so our last year’s rescue, Mac, will probably be an only child in the near future. But my daughter, who regularly checks the AWS Facebook page, said that there was a GSD that we should go and have a look at. I’d decided that we only wanted to adopt an adult dog, because they’ve already done that high-energy puppy stage.
“There were plenty of young, funky puppies and teenagers… and one very sad and depressed German Shepherd girl. We went home to think about it. As we had experience, having owned dogs for well over 30 years, we decided to take her despite her few little issues. We knew youngsters would find homes very quickly, and our very thin, unhappy-looking girl probably wouldn’t, and we really felt that we’d be able to give her the chance of a good life.
“We’ve called her Asha – Sanskrit Indian for ‘hope’ and Swahili for ‘life’. We felt that this was fitting as she’s been given hope of a good life. She’s adapted very well, and brother Mac has a playmate (they both behave like puppies).
“She’s gentle and she’s kind, and she loves us from the bottom of her heart, as do we, her. A rescue dog has such a sense of gratitude and appreciation, because I believe they know that we’ve saved them and given them hope for a better life.”
Lauren Donald shares Killer (aka Monkey)
“We suspect that our tabby girl belonged to one of my in-laws’ neighbours; when we were still living with the in-laws, she always slept in our house but left before any of us got up, and she was always in our yard.
“We were on leave one week and saw her hiding in the garden and started feeding her biltong from a distance. She slowly came to trust us, and we started leaving bowls outside our bedroom window and a little warm covered place for her as she was still skittish.
“When winter hit, my hubby went outside one day and found her sitting on the patio trying to hide from the rain, so he brought her inside to sleep on our bed. After that, she never left. We had her spayed, vaccinated and microchipped. We tried collars, but she lost every single one of them!
“She became Daddy’s girl, slept on our bed, and even stole food off Daddy’s fork when he was eating and not paying attention, and had breakfast with Granny every Sunday in the lounge. Granny always made her her own piece of toast with liver or fish paste, which she’d cut into little blocks, and they’d eat breakfast together. She still wandered a bit but always came home for food and sleep.
“We moved into our own house in 2011, and Monkey decided to be a stay-at-home girl. She loves sweetcorn, peas, mashed potato, and anything spicy. Our vet says she’s the healthiest-looking 12-year-old cat he’s seen in a long time! Although she was diagnosed with the beginning stages of kidney disease three months ago, you wouldn’t say so, because she still looks great for her age.
“We call her Monkey because, when she was younger, she clambered into the trees and literally hung off branches that were too thin or small to hold her weight – and then meow at you to take her down. She’s such a character!”
Photo credit: Alicia Thomas
Lesley Gaigher shares Elvis, who was rescued during an Outreach in May 2018.
“Elvis’s previous owner surrendered him to us because he couldn’t provide him with the necessary veterinary care as he’s a special needs dog. He most likely contracted distemper when he was a puppy, which caused damage to his central nervous system, severely affecting his balance. He shakes, rattles and rolls day in and day out.
“Once back in town, we had him thoroughly checked by a vet who assessed that, despite the ‘great shakes’, he’d definitely be able to lead a relatively normal but unquestionably happy life in a home where he’s loved. He became my foster baby, and, not long thereafter, once we’d established without a shadow of a doubt that our dogs wouldn’t harm him, we submitted the paperwork to officially make him a part of our family.
“Just over a year later, I’m still just as smitten as day one – if not more so. I find myself purposely lying awake in bed at night so I can pet him a little longer. Elvis is the embodiment of positivity. His condition has never held him back – once he gets going, you need to be ready to race to keep up! Sure, he trips and pops wheelies, but still he runs with such gusto that all you can do is stare in wonder with the biggest, cheesiest grin on your face!
“P.S. I know that his previous owner loved him too and wanted more for him than he could offer, and I wish I could show him how happy Elvis is today. His goodwill towards a little broken body has meant the world to us, and I’m so grateful that by a stroke of luck the universe chose HIM to be MINE!”
Zhané Mills shares Molly, adopted from the Sandton SPCA.
“I went to Sandton SPCA looking for a Calico kitten in October 2015. But in the end, I fell in love with my adorable Molly, who is white, not calico.
“Molly is a real Tomboy and loves climbing trees and hunting. She resists my kisses and hugs, but when she’s curled up asleep, she allows me to kiss her and love her (such special moments).”
Tanja Henderson shares Cassie, whom she adopted in September 2014 after she was dumped at the Virginia SPCA.
“This amazing SPCA, which operates on such limited resources, made sure she was sterilised, vaccinated and microchipped before she was adopted.
“Cassie has blossomed over the last five years into a beautiful, wilful, chatty girl who rules my life. She loves to snooze on top of the electric blanket at night in winter and basks in the sun in her catio during the day.
“I’m so grateful to the SPCA for giving Cassie a second chance in life and allowing me to be her mom.”
Photo credit: RailTime Photo
Elizabeth King shares Sally, her adored rescue Border Collie.
“Sally didn’t have an ideal life; she was bullied by other big dogs and didn’t get the attention she craved. Truthfully, Sally ‘adopted’ me rather than the other way around.
“She came with a few challenges: she had ‘no ears’, no manners and chased everything that moved, but she’s now a big help working sheep and helping me train our latest rescue, Duke (read the Happy Tale). She’s the most loving and most expressive dog I’ve ever met – it was up to her acceptance of Duke as to whether we’d adopt him or not.
“Duke is her best mate, and she refuses to share him with others; she’s quite a jealous girl. They play like mad things and are a perfect match, loving the same games and having the same overdose of energy.”
Lauren Donald shares Yoda, who was adopted from Animal Anti-Cruelty League Bellville.
“In 2011, when we’d decided to buy a home of our own, I started looking for a sibling for our other rescue cat, Monkey, as I felt she needed some company while we were at work. I told my friend Alma Schaap, then working in the adoptions department at AACL Bellville, that we were looking. In early September, she let me know that they had a mommy cat which had just had kittens and that we should come and meet them.
“We fell in love with a little black soul who looked like Yoda from Star Wars! I visited him every single weekend until October, when we moved into our house. We moved in on the Saturday, and on Monday I went to collect him.
“With all our furniture being black, it was and still is often hard to spot him, unless he has his eyes open, and as a kitten he’d always sit on hubby’s favourite spot on the couch and was almost sat on a few times!
“He grew up into a gorgeous, big mommy’s boy. He sleeps in my arms every single night and actually calls me to bed at 9pm, as that is his bed time – he set it himself, not my training at all. I call him my cookie monster, because if you mention cookies, his eyes go huge and he meows and licks his lips.
“He’s a very talkative boy and doesn’t wander at all. He loves playing with Rascal, our other cat; the two of them do circuits around the garden and through the house every single day. Yoda doesn’t like getting his paws wet and hates the feel of grass under his paws, so if he follows me into the garden, he only walks on the stepping stones, and if he has to walk across the grass, he usually moans the whole way!”
Hendrik and San-Mari van Rooyen share Savanna, who was adopted from SPCA Randfontein.
“This adorable pup entered our home on the 27th of June 2019, although she entered our hearts long before that. We have lovingly named her Savanna due to her brownish colour, and she happily shares her new home with Pit Bull-mix ‘sister’, Lexi.
“Sadly, Lexi lost her Scottish Terrier ‘brother’, Jack, earlier this year to cancer, so she’s extremely excited to have a friend again.
“Savanna has adjusted well and is a lively new addition to the Van Rooyen family.”
Paul Marincowitz shares Billy, who was adopted from Friend of the Rottweiler Rescue & Rehome South Africa.
“Billy was born on the 28th of June last year in Rustenburg. His owners were backyard breeders, and they advertised him for sale on Facebook. He was eventually confiscated by the SPCA and Friend of the Rottweiler Rescue & Rehome SA due to the poor conditions he’d been kept in by the ‘breeder’. They’d clearly thought that breeding was just an easy way to make some extra money.
“In November 2018, Friend of the Rottweiler Rescue & Rehome SA flew him down from Johannesburg. He’s been at my side ever since.
“He has two bursts of energy per day where he runs up and down my house and in my garden. The rest of the time he’s quite relaxed, and he also gets on well with my cats.
“I will forever be grateful for the work Friend of the Rottweiler Rescue & Rehome SA does – it’s quite unbelievable how many dogs get surrendered to them – they have more than 50 in kennels in Johannesburg at the moment!”
Linda Smit shares Whiskey, who was adopted from Bunny Tales Rescue.
“Whiskey had been found dumped in a box with two other baby bunnies. My partner, Christopher Grobler, and I designed and hand-built her cage over a period of a week.
“She has free roam of our garden and house at all times, and she sleeps indoors. After only three days of being home, she was eating snacks out of hands, bonding with our two dogs and even sitting on our couch.
“She’s a happy bun; she’s extremely playful and loves jumping, hopping and bolting around the garden, and we’re so happy that she’s part of our family.”
Geoff (left) and Petal
Vanessa Nicholls shares Geoff and Petal, who were both adopted from Springs SPCA and Kempton Park SPCA.
“We had a Maltese Poodle for 17 years and, sadly, we had to put her down due to bladder cancer. I was heartbroken, so, in her memory, we decided to get a dog from the SPCA who needed a loving home.
“We adopted five-month-old Geoff from the Springs SPCA. We don’t know his story but sense he was abused; today he rules the house and is a lovely little boy. He’s now almost three, and we’re so glad we adopted him.
“We recently had to put our Toffies, a Dachshund-mix girl who was almost sixteen years old, to sleep as she had kidney failure. Again, I was heartbroken and the only way to heal was to adopt another doggy needing a loving home. We adopted three-year-old Petal from the Kempton Park SPCA in Toffie’s memory. She’s settled in so well and has such a gentle, sweet soul, and we’re so glad we adopted her too.
“We’ve been blessed to share our lives with so many beautiful doggies, and I firmly believe in adopt, don’t shop.”
Ros Nightingale shares her rescue cat, Fuzi (aka The Fuze).
“Fuzi was rescued as a five-week-old kitten from a stormwater drain at my place of work. He was covered in ticks and almost dead. He literally couldn’t stand up and was freezing cold.
“I took two empty milk bottles, filled them with hot water, wrapped them in towels and gently lay him in between them. His first poo was just cockroach wings and legs, showing what he’d been eating to survive. Over a few hours he warmed up enough to eat a little food and drink a few drops of liquid.
“I fell in love with him and, long story short, I still have him. He got really sick, and we discovered he suffered from stomatitis and Calici virus. We had to remove all his teeth nearly two years ago, but he’s done so well – his gums hardened and he has a good appetite and is so much better now.
“He’s eight years old, still going strong and the vet reckons he’s a Maine Coone cross. Whatever he is, I love him endlessly!”
Photo credit: FurEver Photography
Samantha Lledo shares Oliver, who was adopted from Spaniel Welfare SA.
“Oliver was only five months old when he was rescued by Lesley-Ann of Spaniel Welfare SA.
“Oliver was the tiniest of bundles (only 4.7kg) when I first fetched him from his foster family in February 2019. He was very nervous and growled at everything, and when I took him to meet his new sister, Daisy, he wasn’t at all sure about her!
“But very quickly, love blossomed between the two of them and he started initiating play with her.
“He stayed at home with me for around two weeks to bond and then went to join his sister at doggy day care for a few days a week. Initially, he was really nervous and didn’t want to play much unless his sister was in his section and, even then, didn’t want other dogs to approach him. But about two weeks later, one Monday morning, it was as if a lightbulb came on and he started being the life and soul of the playground!
“Now, he cannot wait to get into the car in the mornings to go to day care. When he gets there, he doesn’t even look back – just slips inside quickly to go and see his friends.”
Maureen and Allison Andreka share Hazel, who was adopted from Animal Welfare Society Port Elizabeth.
“We adopted Hazel in December 2015. When she arrived, she had a runny tummy, which was worse the next day. We took her back to AWS PE for help as per the adoption arrangement.
“She was treated for worms and came home with us, but she just got worse and was losing weight fast. On day three, we took her again and the vet started treatment for parvovirus; she stayed at the rescue centre for a week on treatment.
“We were terribly worried about our little girl and weren’t sure if she would make it… but she did. I can only commend AWS Port Elizabeth as I know the treatment is expensive, but they treated her at their cost (for which we gave them an additional donation above her adoption fee).
“And just look at her now! She’s so loved by all, especially by our rescue cats – she’s their favourite go-to pet.”
Hazel sharing her bed with Siam-I-Am, our rescue from Animal Outreaches
Photography by Strike a Pose Photography
Left to right: Bailey, Shumi, Charlotte, Shae, Monty, Kim, and Dudley in front.
Charlotte Brennan shares some of her bevy of rescue dogs.
“Bailey is a beautiful white German Shepherd-mix dog. She was at the Sandton SPCA after having been living rough on a golf course for months. I saw her picture online and I couldn’t get her out of my mind.
“She was absolutely petrified in her pen; she was shaking from head to toe and was skin and bones as she was too stressed to eat. Our eyes met, I went inside her pen... and straight away she jumped at me, wagged her tail, bowled me over with affection, telling me to pick her!
“And of course, I did.
“Shumi, is our five-year-old German Shepherd-mix boy. He was left at Barking Mad/Dogtown at the age of just four months old as his owner couldn’t keep him. The day he arrived, I was told to sit with him. I think that was orchestrated… It worked, and within ten minutes I phoned my husband and signed the form.
“Shae was adopted from PAWS R Us (link to her Happy Tale). She’s a German Shepherd-Husky-mix girl and has come a long way from being very shy and mistrustful of humans. She was not very confident around men, even walking wide detours around my husband, Kevin. With a lot of patience, Kevin eventually gained her trust. It took a couple of years for her to be totally at ease, but now she happily goes to him for cuddles.
“Shae has lived most of her life within a pack of ten rescue dogs.
“Monty is a Shiba Inu mix (according to my husband! I had to Google the breed…). His mum and her litter were found in a derelict house in Pretoria that had been occupied by some drug addicts. They’d abandoned the dogs without any food or water.
“A very kind lady left food and water for them until they were eventually caught by the SPCA and relocated to Roodepoort. But Monty escaped – something he’s very good at. He lived rough for about three months; there were sightings of him, but by the time I got there of course he’d moved on. Once, he was spotted fast asleep on the grass at a big intersection, unfazed by the busy traffic around him; we nearly had him, but he disappeared again until he was caught after going into someone’s garden. I took him to Barking Mad/Dogtown SA to stay for a couple of weeks until I had a plan for him.
“Guess what the plan was? I adopted him.
“Kim is one of our two red-haired twins; they’re Chow Chow-mix girls. They’d been at Barking Mad/Dogtown SA for quite a while after having lived in a feral state on a dump south of Johannesburg. They didn’t interact with people, preferring each other’s company only. Many hours were spent sitting with them in their pen to no avail, and we had no idea if this adoption was going to be a success or if they were just too wild.
“But it was like magic: it took only a few days for them to come around and to enjoy mountain walks with us. As unsocialised to humans as they’d been, once at home they adjusted very quickly, and it was only two weeks before they went for long off-lead walks.
“Dudley was a misunderstood and temperamental Cocker Spaniel whose family found him too much to handle and posted a desperate plea on Facebook.
“He has been a challenge at times; for example, I remember my dad having to sleep in an armchair as Dudley had taken over his bed and wouldn’t get off. But now, at 14 years old, he’s mellowed and has been such a lovable dog. I’m so glad we saved his life!
“Nearly all my dogs have gone to obedience training – they enjoyed the stimulation and social side of it. They’ve also enjoyed hiking and long walks in the park every Sunday. People would give me a strange look when 10 dogs get out of the bakkie, almost like the ‘mini trick’: how many people/dogs can you fit in a Mini? (Answer: as many as possible!)”
Anna-Marié and Daniel Schoeman share Gingi, who was adopted from Cat Trapping in the Winelands.
“We feel so privileged to have been approved to adopt little Gingi. We experienced the most amazing service from this organization, and their dedication to find the best homes for their cats is incredible!
“Initially, Gingi was very nervous and sought refuge under our couch, but he slowly learnt to trust us. He’s settled in and literally took over our home (and our hearts!).
“Gingi has brought a whole new dimension to our lives, and he certainly is a blessing in our home!”
Photo credit: Maxine Richards @maxine.richards.photo on Instagram
Geraldine Bruce shares their Spaniels, Harley and Lulu, who were adopted from Spaniel Welfare SA.
“We had one Spaniel and were considering giving another a home. I saw a post on Facebook featuring two Cocker Spaniel pups which had been surrendered and immediately contacted Spaniel Welfare South Africa. After a prompt home-check and approval, we agreed to foster both pups but then proceeded to fall madly in love with both of them!
“I would love people to recognise the wonderful work the animal welfare organisations do. Lesley-Ann and her team at Spaniel Welfare SA are amazing and work tirelessly for the Spaniels (and, occasionally, other animals too). I also want your readers to know that specific breeds and puppies are available through these organisations. Adopt, don’t shop… I’m so glad we did!”
Maureen and Allison Andreka share Raven, who was adopted from Cat Rescue-PE.
“We adopted Raven in January 2017. She and her siblings were living on the streets.
“She’s grown into the biggest, fluffiest cat we have ever had and is the last of five rescues we now have in our family.
“Her favourite ‘sibling’ is Hazel, our rescue dog.”
Lauren Cooper shares Bobby, her precious “foster failure”.
“I agreed to foster Bobby after his very sad start in life. He’d spent his puppy years locked in a garage where his young owner left him day after day. Naturally, I failed completely as a foster parent because I fell head over heels in love with him.
“He settled in immediately with his big sister Rosie (adopted from Animal Welfare Society Philippi) and became a total Mommy’s boy. He’s never very far from my lap, if not on it.
“He has the most beautiful manners and is, all in all, the best boy ever.”
Kyleandra Neal shares Suika (the dog) and Yukino (the cat), who were adopted together from FORA two years ago.
“They are now inseparable and extremely spoilt.”
Gey Van Pittius shares Penny, who survived against all odds.
“Penny had been dumped in a car park in Johannesburg as a little puppy and taken to a rescue centre. Because she was born with a few complications – hydrocephalus, spina bifida and syringomyelia – she wasn’t advertised for adoption. We found her wobbling around in the background at the rescue centre and scooped her up.
“Onderstepoort’s vets gave her a very poor prognosis: six weeks to six months at the most. But, five years on, she’s our little joy. Her body shakes and twitches come and go, and she wears a diaper as she’s incontinent, but it doesn’t bother her, and we’ll love her unconditionally forever.”
Lauren Donald shares a bit from her rescue cat, Indy.
“My name is Indy, but my human parents call me Rascal. My mom was a feral cat living in a factory when I was born. My dad works there, and I met him when I was a few months old – he was leaving work and spotted me, so I went up to him to get some petting. He tickled my chin and rubbed my head and ears. I’d never felt love like that. Not everyone in the factory was like him…
“I followed him to his car and saw him open his door to get in, but just then a friend called him. While they were chatting, I decided that it would be great if I could always be loved... so I hopped into his car while he wasn’t looking. When he got into his car and saw me sitting next to him, he laughed and called mom to tell her. She said to bring me home!
“When I got home, they gave me all this yummy food, and I didn’t know what to eat first – the delicious wet food in gravy or the tasty biscuits! Mommy said I’d never go hungry again, and she’s taken care of me.
“The rest is history now, and I’m living a life of luxury! I’m still a little wild, but mom and dad love that about me. I have a big sister and brother and I love playing with them. Brother and I often get up to nonsense, but it’s part of living life, and it makes mom and dad happy, which is the best part.
“I hope that by reading my story it will convince other humans to save more kitties like me.”
“This was taken on the day I came home; mommy gave me lots of cuddles.”
Diane Miller shares Potato, who was adopted from Witbank SPCA.
“My daughter desperately wanted a Toy Pomeranian for her birthday. For months I kept on checking all the local SPCAs. I was looking for a male, as I already have a female Collie cross.
“Well, you can imagine my excitement when I found a little boy Toy Pom at Witbank SPCA. I called immediately, only to be told – to my dismay – I was number five on the list of people who wanted to adopt him. But, three days later, they called me back: he was available if we wanted to meet him. So, we drove the 150km from Alberton to Witbank to meet him and complete an adoption form.
“Long story short, we collected him a week later.
“He’s such a very happy boy who follows us everywhere (I cannot even go to the bathroom without him following me!).”
Brenda Meyer shares Cody, her rescue all the way from Kenya.
“We lived in Kenya while on a work contract and had adopted two other rescues, Galen and Aisha (their story will be featured soon as a Happy Tale), and then decided on a third, Cody, an English Sheep Dog from KSPCA (Kenya Society for the Protection & Care of Animals).
“When we returned to SA, these babies had to come too. Cody and Aisha flew to South Africa together and have been home now for over two years. He’s the cutest boy ever and loves playing.”
Galen, Aisha and Cody relaxing on the bed
Alfred (left) and Eddie
Photograph by Strike A Pose Photography
Candice Lipchick shares Alfred and Eddie, who were adopted from Kempton Park SPCA.
“I adopted Alfred and Eddie in July 2017.The second I saw them both in their cage I fell completely in love with them. They had arrived at the SPCA together; they had been found in a drain. They shared a cage and were inseparable. When I went to the SPCA to look for a doggie, there they were – Alfred jumping up at the gate of the cage and Eddie sitting behind him. And that’s how it still is.
“Alfred is the boss; I have nicknamed him “Paw Patrol”. He’s the most lovable, amazing, intelligent little dog who gives kisses to everyone he meets. Eddie has got the most beautiful nature and personality. He likes his alone time, and I will often find him sitting under a tree on his own. He’s also such an affectionate little boy; I call him my special soul child. Alfred and Eddie love to play ball, go for walks and, most of all, playing with each other. They’re the best of friends and cannot be without each other for a second or Eddie cries.”
Bernice Mong shares Sokkies, her new rescue baby.
“On a Wednesday morning a friend called me and told me he was on his way to Rosslyn to see a client and had seen something fluffy lying in the middle of the road on the white stripe. At first he thought nothing of it, but then something told him to turn around and go check. What he found was this little fluff ball lying there, shaking and scared. Had he not turned around she could very possibly have been driven over, as she is so tiny and it was a very busy road.
“My friend said he unfortunately couldn’t keep the kitten and wanted to know where he could take it to a safe place. At first, having seven cats already, I thought I couldn’t take this baby, but my boyfriend had been saying for a while that he wanted a kitten. Since he was new to the cat world he’d grown to love all my cats but had never experienced having a kitten to raise. So I took this as a sign and told my friend I would take her.
“He met me at Old Chapel Veterinary Clinic where they did a checkup and aged her at approximately five/six weeks old. The vet said she was a healthy kitten, very clean and tame. This drew us to the conclusion that she was not a feral kitten that had got lost but that someone had probably dumped her there.
“We have named her Sokkies, as she has the cutest white paws. She has the sweetest personality with a lot of spunk and attitude for her age; a real busybody wanting to explore everything. She now has a loving home with us with three doggy and seven kitty siblings to play with. She brings us so much entertainment and joy in the home, and we are so happy she was rescued and found us. Rescues are the best!”
Bridgette Allan shares Abbye, adopted from Spaniel Welfare SA.
“In March last year, Spaniel Welfare SA posted a photo of her as a forlorn little stray. She’d been handed in at a vet, and they were looking for her owners – who never came forward.
“I applied to adopt her immediately, but she was in Cape Town and placed in foster care. The foster mom decided that she would keep her, and I was terribly disappointed.
“Then, a month later, I received an email from Spaniel Welfare SA asking whether I’d still be interested in adopting her as the foster mom was finding having four dogs hard to manage. Of course I jumped at the chance and Abbye was flown up to Durban a couple of weeks later once she’d completed her course of vaccines.
“Abbye is definitely not 100% Spaniel – we’re sure she has terrier of sorts in her, so we’re keen to do a MuttMix test sometime just out of curiosity.
“Abbye settled in immediately. She’s an independent little soul so was not really interested in the other dogs. She’s very demanding of affection from her humans, though. I think, given a chance, Abbye would literally climb under our skins.
“She’s a very well-behaved dog generally, but she’s caught on to barking furiously at the local troop of monkeys, and she let Bailey, our little black Spaniel, teach her how to dig for moles in the garden!”
Lucy Brennan shares Scarlett, who was adopted from Aniwell South Africa.
“Scarlett was abandoned as a kitten in a warehouse where she survived for two years before being rescued. When I adopted her, she wasn’t very domesticated and had clearly been badly abused; she was frightened of everyone, even voices on TV.
“Fast forward four years, and for the first time she worked up the courage to sit on my lap for a cuddle – she’d been working up to it for months. You can see now that she finally has found some peace and safety, and she’s my absolute love!”
Wendy Groenewald shares Max, who was adopted from Roodepoort SPCA.
“I adopted him on the 13th of April. He was extremely scared; he used to hide in the kennel and face the wall and wouldn’t even look at me while I sat and spoke to him in his kennel. The staff members couldn’t take him out of the kennel as he would not walk on the lead; he’d bite at it to get loose, which he did at our first meet and greet. It took them 40 minutes to catch him again on the premises.
“I visited him constantly to gain his trust over four weeks. I took him treats, spoke to him and showed him that not all humans are bad, and I finally got Max to look at me and not the wall when I came to visit.
“I took Max home on the 13th of April after all the paperwork, relevant meet and greets and home inspection and neutering were done. It took me two hours to get him out of the car once home, then another 40 minutes to get him to move on the harness to the back yard. Once there, he buried himself away under the plants (13h00), I put his food down right next to him, which he ate only once I left, and he finally came out of hiding at 18h30 that evening and started smelling around the yard and saying hello to my other two GSDs.
“By the second day he warmed up to me and didn’t run away when I called him, and by the third day Max was a completely different dog! He’s very gentle and loving; he loves getting rubs and kisses and very slow movements with your hands so as not to frighten him. He soon realises that you want to love and rub him and not hurt him.
“He’s gained a lot of confidence, now walks on a harness, sits on command, fetches the ball and brings it back. I recently introduced the brush to him, and he’s now allowing me to brush him for short periods of time. He’s become part of our family. He still has a way to go with trusting humans, but he’s getting there. He’s also picked up some weight, and most importantly, he has a loving home and a second chance in life. With his confidence growing daily, Max the Greatest is evolving...!”
Gey Van Pittius shares Odi, who was adopted through Cast Aways Sanctuary in April.
“This little old man captured our hearts when we saw him on a Facebook post. Left behind when his owners emigrated, this little 13yr+ boy was lost and confused in a kennel.
“The very kind and supportive Cast Aways Sanctuary carers found him a foster home until we found our way to him. Odi (wan-kenobi as we like to call him) has now found his forever home with us and our furry family.”
Odi in between his new sisters Penny (left) and Hannah, and on his way to his forever home
Billy Scheepers shares Halo, who was rescued as a stray.
“I rescued this gorgeous girl from the Hout Bay area in 2016; she was a stray and had got into trouble for catching and eating chickens in the local township. I named her Halo.
“I took her to our boarding kennels and then collected her two days later for a fundraiser walk at Rhodes Memorial. While at the walk, I realised that Halo had imprinted on me, and when I returned her to the kennels after the walk, Halo decided that there was no way she was ever going to leave my side again. I put her in her run and was speaking to the other volunteers when Halo came over the roof of the kennel building, came to me and stood firmly at my side. I listened to her plea, put her in my car and brought her home.
“I contacted a behaviourist who informed me Halo suffers from separation anxiety, and in her mind I’d become her safety net. After some training and research I learned about her anxiety, and today I’m a proud mom of a beautiful girl that totally completes me. She is my wing lady, my shadow, my heart – she is my Halo!”
Michelle Smith shares Oupa Frik, who was adopted from Love-A-Bull SA.
“My son Christo was looking for a senior to adopt, and Frik had been taken in by Love-a-Bull SA after the Purrpaws for Life fire at the perfect time. We’re so happy that he walked straight into our lives and hearts after his ordeals.
“He’s adapted so well, and we’ve fallen completely in love with him. He’s the most gentle, loving boy who’s enjoying his lazy peaceful days, loves his food, sleeping in, and most of all, his ball! For a boy of approximately 10 years old he still has loads of vooma when he knows it’s time to play.
“It’s been such a blessing and honour to make him part of the family, and though we don’t know anything about his yesterdays, we sure know his tomorrow and the rest of his days are in the centre of our lives and hearts. His body may be scarred, and we don't know from what, but his heart for sure is still pure as gold. We love you, Frikkadel!
“We also want to thank Judy Meyers and Love-a-Bull SA for the wonderful work they do, in rescuing Frik and blessing us with the rest of his golden years. Please remember the oldies and consider adopting them; they have the kind of love and wisdom no other dog can offer! If anyone would like to sponsor one of the precious rescues just like Frik still waiting, or if you would like to donate towards the amazing work done to give a Pit Bull a second chance at a happy tale, please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Linda Piegl shares her Little Luna, rescued from a feral colony.
“Little Luna has many fond nicknames. ‘Tail-less Wonder’ is because she was born without a tail, the result of interbreeding in her feral colony. But her lack of tail isn’t a lack as far as she’s concerned. She’s fearless – climbs and jumps higher than my tailed cat and is such an inspiration. She has two tiny vertebrae where her tail should be, covered in fluff, and from the back and when she runs, she looks like a bunny rabbit.
“She’s also ‘Kitten Face’ – as the runt she’s remained small with the cutest kitten face right up until now – her 13th year on earth. She also has a tiny heart.
“Finally, she’s ‘Cujo Cat’ (after the Stephen King novel about a rabid dog) – ask the vets who have been clawed on the cheek after looking into her mouth or ripped to shreds after they attempted to remove stitches. It took two people to restrain this kitty of 3kg that time.
“The wildness of a feral is in their DNA. Luna taught me this. Who could guess that at home she is snuggly and loving – she adores being under the duvet in winter lying in the crook of my arm with her head on my shoulder. Her other favourite position is sitting on my shoulder like a monkey and being carried around.
“I’m so grateful for the miraculous day a very snuffle-sick, two-month-old Luna chose to leave her mom and the colony to go home with me. I’d crouched down by a palisade fence to greet her. I didn’t know at the time, but it was Mom next to her. A pretty, teenage tabby girl. Luna squeezed through the palisade and stepped onto my lap. I hope Mom knew I’d make her baby better, but my heart still breaks when I think back to taking Luna from under her nose.
Months later, in the sunlight, I saw the tabby stripes in Luna’s black fur...”
Luna and Karma (her older “sister”)
Andrea Trollip shares her precious boy named Blue.
“I took Blue in as a near-dead foster weighing 720g. He was worm-infested and couldn’t drink or eat without assistance. He and his sister were found on the road with no mom in sight.
“He became a foster fail after an adoption fell through and is now a boisterous eight-month-old, weighing 22kg and living the good life.”
Photograph by Alicia Thomas
Kotie Jacobs shares Chloë, who was adopted from SPCA Louis Trichardt.
“I’m so grateful to have found Chloë. She is the cutest, darling little dog, and I’m besotted!
“And she’s so very protective of me. She lies across my table at work, sometimes so stretched out that I can hardly get anything done!
“She enjoys car rides with the window down, feeling the wind blow in her hair. I absolutely love having her around.”
Tracy Barlett shares her latest golden oldie, Shayla, who was adopted from Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre.
“We were NOT looking to get another dog as we already had five golden oldies – plus a cat – but Shayla captured our hearts and arrived last Monday, very shy and unsure of her new surroundings.
“Our daughter, Lily, quickly made her feel at home, and it’s been so amazing to watch her come out of her shell and blossom. She is now running up to us to greet us when we arrive or wake up in the mornings and has cheekily nicked Rusty’s bed too.”
Julia McCarthy-Page shares Bailey, who was adopted from CAAA (Capetonians Against Animal Abuse).
“I had been looking for a cat for a while before I contacted Dee of Happy Tails, and believe it or not, within minutes she sent me a photo of a kitten that immediately stole my heart.
“I named her Bailey, and she is the sweetest, kindest, and most gentle Calico who loves a good cuddle. I can’t wait to get home from school every day to see her.
“The bond we share is like no other!”
Noleen Fourie shares Jessie, who was adopted three years ago after she’d been rescued from a horrific puppy mill.
“It took a lot of work and patience to increase her confidence, and while she will always be a sensitive soul, she is filled with so much joy today.
“Some might say that Jessie was lucky to find a home with us, but the opposite is true: we are the lucky ones.”
Sarah Bernhardt shares her new best friend, Nibbles, adopted from Critter Rescue SA.
“My mom and I moved from George to Johannesburg, and I kept on asking her for a pet, as she works hard to support us and I get lonely.
“On 3 December 2018, I walked into my room and I found Nibbles, my new hamster. My mom adopted him from aunty Karien from Critter Rescue SA.
“I love him so much, and he is my best friend in the world.”
Viv van Rensburg shares Marley, who was rescued from a puppy mill.
“Marley is four years old. She has such a stunning nature and simply adores attention. She and my granddaughter, Morgan, love to spend time with each other.”
Johné de Coning shares little Fergie, who was recently adopted.
“Fergie was a stray and was taken in by an elderly lady who couldn’t keep her. Nobody came forward to claim her, and I couldn’t resist when I received the email from Jeanne Louw looking for a forever home for her.
“I’m absolutely in love! She licks my face like a lollipop and purrs like a Ford tractor. She was meant for us!”
Photo by Caroline Hartley Photography
Beth Dewar shares Bandit, who was adopted from TAR (Township Animal Rescue).
“Bandit is the baby of the family at just two years of age. He was rescued by an animal welfare organisation as a tiny puppy with his 11 siblings, 10 brothers and one sister, after they were born at the bottom of a garden. His mother was well cared for enough that she was allowed to stay with her family after being spayed.
“We got him to be company for one of our other dogs, Snowy-Bear, as his brother Mason, with arthritis, is not up to keeping up with him, and Snowy-Bear was getting very lonely.”
Caroline Hartley shares Leo, who was adopted from Paarl SPCA.
“I adopted Leo and his brother Felix; unfortunately, they both had leukaemia and Felix, sadly, passed away in December 2017.
“Leo has just turned four and is still going strong, and I cherish every moment I have with him. He is the kindest soul. He loves his hugs and he will stand up against ANYONE to be picked up and cuddled. Leo is a very serious cuddle bunny!”
Photograph by Alicia Thomas
Corné Redelinghuys shares little Jules, who was adopted from SPCA Louis Trichardt.
“Jules changed by my life after all the things I went through. I was looking for a baby girl, especially a Jack Russell. I’m recently divorced and needed someone to love and to cuddle. While on holiday, I scrolled through Facebook posts, and ‘BOOM’, this little face popped up on my screen, and I told my friends there and then that this was ‘the one’!
“I get so emotional when I think of her that day. She is the happiest baby ever, and my light, my travel partner.
“We are planning to travel to Namibia this year; I think she needs her own passport! Together we are better!”
Photography by Jackie Wernberg Photography
Lyn Veary shares Kitara, who was picked up as a stray on Kommetjie Road near Oceanview, Cape Town.
“Oceanview [an impoverished township] is renowned for dog fighting. Kitara was found nearby and dropped off at Noordhoek Vet, where my friend worked. I wasn’t looking for another dog as I already had two, but when I got the call to come and look at Kitara, I’m sure my friend knew exactly how this story would pan out.
“When I got there, my friend let her out of the cage, and I immediately recognised her as a Pit Bull. Admittedly, I was wary at first – I had my seven-year-old son with me. She came rushing out of her cage, straight at my son; she was wagging, kissing and smiling (I’ve never seen such a smiley dog). Needless to say, the decision was made: I would foster her until we could find a suitable home.
“Nine years later, I concede defeat; this is definitely a foster fail story. Kitara won me over very quickly. Apart from a few adventures (like scaling an eight-foot wall after a troop of baboons), life with her has been amazing.
“She has completely changed my perception of the Pit Bull breed. They really are the most intuitive, sensitive and loving dogs I’ve ever come across.
“Kitara is a real princess and sleeps on the bed with her head on the pillow. She has to taste everything I eat. Her morning routine consists of licking out either my kefir or smoothie glass (kefir is her favourite). She’s on cannabis oil twice a day to help manage her arthritis aches and pains, as she’s about 11 years old now. Kitara really is such an amazing companion – I can’t imagine life without her.
“I’m a very happy Pit Bull mom and I’ll definitely be adopting Pit Bulls again in the future.”
Carroll and Eddie Dantu share Lucky May, who recently joined their family.
“We are thrilled to have been able to offer Lucky, who is 27 years old and a former show-jumping pony, a retirement home with Squiggles, our 20-year-old rescue horse, who’s just as happy to have a companion again (her long-standing partner passed away recently from old age).
“Within 24 hours, Lucky and Squiggles were walking all over the plot together. Lucky has a gentle nature. With thanks to my niece Dee and Happy Tails, we were fortunate to find him and we hope for a long and happy life for both him and Squiggles.”
Joanne Kontaxopoulos-Rabe shares Goggo, who was rescued during a marathon.
“My husband and I were running the Bronkhorstspruit 32km race in February 2017. 90% of the marathon route is in a remote area with large spreads of empty land. About 10km into the race, my husband heard a faint cry for help.
“There, in the middle of nowhere, we found a little ginger kitten, all alone with no food or water. He was emaciated, covered with ticks and fleas, and in a very bad state. Being an animal lover and even greater lover of cats, we promptly collected the kitten, which had obviously been very cruelly dumped where he didn’t even have access to water or anyone to notice and rescue him.
“Fortunately, as founder of Harties Feral Cat Rescue, I drive around with cat food in my car, so we could feed him on our way to Harties. He just gulped down those pellets; he was too hungry to chew!
“Goggo is now part of the family and big brother to all the rescues that I bring home to foster. My other cats usually give them the cold shoulder, but Goggo showers them with love and attention. He has the most stunning personality, and we have a very special bond.”
Nikki Pietersen shares little Tekoda (Koda for short), who was adopted from Kleinmond Animal Welfare Society.
“I had absolutely no intention of adopting another pet in the near future. But after seeing her little black-and-white face and hearing her screams for company, my heart was breaking.
“I decided to take her home, intending to foster her and to see if our other rescue dog, Visla-German Shorthaired Pointer Lili, would accept her. Well, it was a complete foster fail – we adopted her after only two days. She’s slotted right into our family, and we love her to bits!”
Tekoda with her big sister, Lili a rescued Viszla/GSP
Ros Nightingale shares little Lucky, her latest adopted cat from Nicholson’s Rescues.
“My boy Lucky is a long-haired Siamese-mix cat. He was only 12 weeks old when I heard of Lynette Nicholson through my daughter, Lauren, who has fostered many kittens and found homes for them (and kept the ones they fell in love with).
“I decided to adopt Lucky because, aside from being absolutely gorgeous, he was old enough to use a litter box and young enough to integrate well with my other two rescue cats. He’s now four months old and they all play up a storm together!
“Lucky has certainly brightened all of our lives, making adopting him the best decision ever!”
Claire MacIntosh shares Maggie, who was adopted from Animal Ambulance.
“Meet the new addition to the family: Maggie!
“Maggie is a timid Boerboel (with maybe a little bit of Boxer in her) of about seven or eight years. She was used for breeding over and over again and brought to me so that she could get the chance to have a proper home for the first time in her life.
“Before coming to me, the Animal Ambulance vets checked her over, vaccinated and dewormed her, treated her for the many ticks and fleas that plagued her – and, most importantly, spayed her.
“Maggie took about a week to settle in and find ‘herself’ – and her voice! She did give me a scare last week when she didn’t want to eat, and I whisked her to my vet; fortunately, there was nothing wrong – I was just being paranoid.
“She’s now perfectly fine and bounces around barking for her supper!”
Laura and Brent Dodd share Fenton, who was adopted from the Pietermaritzburg SPCA.
“After one of our dearly loved Labradors passed away, I asked the SPCA to keep us posted for anything that even slightly resembled a Labrador, and we were very blessed when we received a call to say that Fenton was available for adoption.
“We’ve had him for only a short few months, and he’s grateful for every piece of love and attention, especially when he’s allowed to sleep in our bed. He fills our lives with so much joy.”
Photo credit: Ashleigh Pienaar
Stephanie Pienaar shares Fly, who was adopted from Animal Welfare Helderberg in 2009.
“I was fostering for PETS and they sent out an alert that Animal Welfare Helderberg was overloaded with cats and kittens; they were in desperate need of fosters. I was planned to foster two adult cats (I already had two at home), but when I heard Fly’s story and saw her, I knew I needed to take her. Fly had already been rehomed three times – before she was even six months old.
“The timing was perfect, and I was about to move into a townhouse in Thornton. She fitted in perfectly with my other rescue kitties, Sparrow and Pearl, who adored her and made her feel right at home.
“She sleeps wrapped in my arms every night (just on my hand if it’s too hot) and goes everywhere I do. She rules the roost at home – all three dogs will not walk through a doorway if Fly is on the other side! Fly is also a bird catcher (fortunately, as she has aged, this has decreased).
“When I lost Sparrow, Fly was devastated – he was her best friend, and the two of them were always cuddling together and playing. She’s never fully recovered from the loss, even though it was seven years ago, but has adapted and plays with the other cats when she feels like it.”
Anne van den Berg shares Harley-Blu, who was adopted from Grace Animal Sanctuary.
“From teenie-tiny freckled rescue pup to fully fledged ‘Domino~Diva’ – that’s our Harley-Blu!
“Having just lost my dad to cancer, all it took was a shared Facebook post from a friend saying ‘What’s one more?’ to get me to apply to adopt Harley-Blu. Her name was inspired by my dad’s blue Harley-Davidson motorbike. He’d always wanted a blue-eyed Dalmatian, and it was as if he’d sent her from another realm to help us heal.
“She’s slotted in beautifully with her Dalmatian sisters, who are twins two years her senior; in fact, the three of them are inseparable!
“Harley-Blu came with an abundance of love, toothie grins, snoring and farts!”
Pat Deysel shares little Duke, who was adopted through animal rescuer Kerstin Fuchsloch.
“Duke is our albino Yorkshire Terrier-Pekingese mix dog, and he’s the love of our life.
“He’s such a cutie pie and just loves to be cuddled all the time. He’s a very special and affectionate little boy.”
Jen Hopping-Mills shares little Roxy.
“Roxy is a ‘Daxi Taxi Fail’ from almost a year ago. I was only supposed to pick her up and take her to her foster Momma, but she didn’t make it to her foster Mom... she decided to stay with me instead.
“She came into my life for a reason, as I lost my 12-year-old little girl in October last year, so God had a plan.
“She’s come such a long way in the 11 months we’ve had her... From a little frightened fuzzy bag of bones to the brave Ball Bonkers Baby that she is today (balls are her life). And she is mine! #blessedbeyond”
The day I picked her up... She stared at me all the way to her foster, and that’s when I realised I couldn’t go through with it and we drove all the way back home – to her new home.
Zelda Wiltshire shares Ziggy, a toy/miniature French poodle who was adopted from Poodle Rescue SA in September 2018.
“We wanted a friend for our three-legged poodle, Mr Marley (also adopted – see October 2016 here http://www.happytailsmagazine.co.za/look-at-me-now/). When we got him, Marley looked like Bob Marley with his dreadlocks; we decided to name our new poodle after Bob Marley’s son, Ziggy Marley.
“From the time we took him out of the cage at the airport he was just this little happy bundle of joy. He never cried once and we all just fell in love. He’s got the cutest teddy bear face you’ve ever seen and has the funniest little crooked teeth.
“It took Marley a little over two weeks to get a liking for this white fluff ball, but now they are just best mates. And, of course, my husband has fallen in love (for the second time) with this new Poodle boy. I cannot imagine our life without our two adopted Poodles.”
Peroni (top) and Pelforth
Jean de Groot shares Pelforth and Peroni.
“Pelforth and Peroni were born in the bush to a cat owned by a lady who had fallen on hard times. SAM (Sedgefield Animal Matters) fostered them initially until we adopted them.
“My husband, Frank, is a vet and I am a vet nurse, and the kittens have joined our household of two Hong Kong streets cats (where we lived previously), a dog inherited from my mother when she passed away, and four rehomed birds: an African Grey, a Senegal Parrot, a Ring-neck Parakeet and a Lovebird. So we have quite the menagerie.
“They have settled in well and are playing up a storm with Biddy, our dog; they are eating or playing with each other non-stop. They have certainly brought more joy to our lives.”
Alicia Thomas shares Lily-Mae, who was adopted from SPCA Louis Trichardt.
“Lily-Mae arrived at our SPCA quite worse for wear!
“For the first two weeks I had to put splints on her front legs, as she was so underfed her legs were buckling but, with the right meds, good food and lots of love she bounced back quickly!
“It was a sure-fire foster fail, and Lily-Mae was going nowhere; we adopted her and have not looked back once.
“She keeps us very busy and goes everywhere with me. She will protect us with her life, and her unconditional, grateful love is unmatched. She teaches me so much about life every single day!”
Carolyn Malan shares Toby, who was adopted from Hermanus Animal Welfare Society.
“I saw Toby on HAWS’ Facebook page around November 2018; I contacted HAWS and started the adoption process in December 2018.
“He arrived at our home in Vredenburg on the 29th of December 2018 after some very kind people, Victoria Bedritskaia and her good friend Mariechen Du Toit, transported him from Hermanus.
“Toby is a very dear boy and he has settled so well into our home; a lovely dog who likes to always be close to us.
“We live very near the Berg River in Velddrif, and he loves a trip on our boat!”
Anoux Massey shares Liebe, who was found on a dumpsite 12 years ago.
“Liebe is my oldest right now and has her own bed in our bedroom. She is the alpha female, and my brood has much respect for her. Besides her love for us, she also LOVES apples!”
Lisa van der Westhuizen shares Sherlock and Grayson, who were adopted from Capetonians Against Animal Abuse on the 6th of July 2018.
“Sherlock and Grayson are the most loveable boys ever. They love to be close to me all the time and have me wrapped around their little paws.
“Sherlock is very much a mommy’s boy; he comes for loves and kisses every evening before bed time. Grayson is my little mischievous naughty boy who, believe it or not, absolutely loves to bath with me!
“They both enjoy waking my husband and me up in the morning by nibbling our toes – then we know it’s food time. They are our children and rule the roost in our house.
“They are extremely playful yet unbelievably loving and want to be with me 24/7. They bring incredible joy to our lives.”
Neldi Vergers shares Bruno, who was adopted from Hermanus Animal Welfare Society.
“When I saw the post on Facebook highlighting Bruno at HAWS, we instantly fell in love with that sweet face.
“When we first met him, he was a little shy and didn’t want much to do with us. We collected him on Wednesday, the 6th of February, and now he is much happier. Bruno loves attention and giving and receiving love.
“He is part of our family now and we are very lucky to have this gentle giant with us.”
Allison Spolander shares Kodi (previously named Yuki), who was adopted from Cape of Good Hope SPCA.
“Adopting Kodi was the best thing we could have done – he fitted in perfectly right from the beginning. His first night with us went extremely well; he was calm and happy, slept by my bedside all night, and joys, no oopsies (a great relief).
“He has bonded with every member of my family; my hubby, Selwyn, our son Josh, and of course his new mamma, me. And we regularly Skype with my eldest son, Ryan, and his fiancé, Katie, in the UK, so they got to meet him too!
“He loves his toys and seems to have a fetish for soft blankets and slippers.
“Kodi has settled in beautifully, and he gets loads of attention from friends who have come to meet him. Even taking him on his walk, the kids we meet adore him (he is very handsome). He has even met a few horses on his walks and he isn’t too fazed. We’ve had many offers to doggy-sit from friends who just love him!
“So, all in all, a very happy family has been blessed with a very special boy.”
Sharon King shares Olivia, the latest addition to her family.
“Olivia and her two sisters were rescued from an Eastern Cape backyard breeder. They were malnourished and suffering from rickets. I found homes for her two sisters here in Napier, where we live, and organised a lift for them so all three arrived here together. They were no more than eight weeks old.
“Olivia, Grace and Lucy are all blue in colour, and when they arrived, they all had blue eyes. Olivia is the only one that has retained the blue eyes; the others now have pale-olive eyes. They are the most gorgeous hounds, and my guess is that they are Boerwindhonde (South African Greyhound) – they all have huge paws, and at six months old, Olivia is already bigger than my smallest Greyhound.
“Olivia regularly has playdates with her sister, Grace; her other sister, Lucie, joins in when her mom is able to bring her.”
Photography by Kym Clayton Photography
Johan du Toit shares Nols, adopted from Animal Anti-Cruelty League Bellville.
“Nols was caught in a cat trap at a factory in Parow. They phoned us as she was really bewildered and scared; we collected her immediately and Lolly became Nols in the Du Toit Household.
“She has been with us for three months; about three weeks ago she suddenly came out of her shell and is just a joy with all the other dogs. She adores her mommy, Stephenette, to bits and always sits behind her, even at the dinner table.”
Anoux Massey shares Grietjie, who was a township rescue.
“Grietjie was saved from an abusive group of young boys. It didn’t take long for her to settle in and now she is the ruler of the roost in our home.”
Jade Dickson shares Koda.
“Koda is two years old and was found in a Tshwane township with his mom and siblings around a hot fire. I adopted him when he was just eight weeks and he’s come a long way since then.
“Koda brings such happiness to my life – his smile brightens up everything!”
Annemarie De Beer (founder of Cat Trapping in the Winelands) shares little Coco, who was trapped at a restaurant on a wine farm in Franschhoek where we TNR-ed (Trap-Neuter-Release/Return) the whole colony.
“Coconut is a foster fail. He decided that he’s not leaving me and, so, he didn’t. He loves to talk and answers me; he listens so well when spoken to.
“I love Coco and he lies on his Mommy all the time just purring and licking away. He also never wanders off far and stays close to home so that he can see me. He’s my best reward ever.”
Dr Erika de Jager of Zuri Orphanage shares little Spokie.
“A woman brought a Fox Terrier to my practice to be spayed. She was already heavily pregnant and I said I’d take one of the puppies.
“Three puppies were born and she brought all three to me to choose. Spokie was the middle-sized puppy and I chose her – and the rest is history.
“Spokie is always happy and loves all the animals on the farm, from cats to aardvarks. When she was a year old, to our horror she disappeared, returning a day later with one front leg almost without any skin. She’d been caught in a snare. After many weeks of treatment, although her little foot is misformed, she’s running around on the farm, watching over the other animals as if nothing ever happened.
“Spokie sleeps on the bed every night with me and I love her very much.”
Jaco Sapet-Nel shares Jasper, who was rescued in 2013.
“At two years old, Jasper had already been rehomed a few times. But, with us, he has now found his forever home, where he lives in harmony with his two kitty ‘sisters’, Marmite and Tequila.”
Gaby Drews shares Mamma Mia (Mia for short), one of three puppies rescued from a farm.
“Mia’s siblings all found good homes, and whilst Mia had to be rehomed away from us for six months at first, she came back into our lives and we felt the need to build a home – aptly named Casa Mia – so that we could keep her. She’s been back with us for two years now.
“She’s still a little untrusting of people, but we’re making good progress. Mia’s favourite place is on the bed. She’s a lovely dog and life is good having her with back with us.”
Tracey and Stephan Burke share Darwin, who was rescued as a newborn.
“Darwin has turned heads and captured hearts all through his nine years in the Burke household.
“Diagnosed with cancer as a one-year-old younster, it was touch-and-go for a while, but the chemo worked, the hair grew back and Darwin has ambled through life ever since with the most loving disposition and friendliest nature a dog could possess.
“Raised in a home of four rescue dogs and six cats, this adorable mutt with his pot belly, turned-out feet and scraggly fringe definitely rules the roost and occupies prime spot in the heart of the Burke home.”
Photo credit: Ashleigh Pienaar
Stephanie Pienaar shares Bean, who was adopted from TEARS in 2016.
“Bean (Caribbean) is our youngest rescue cat, and he was adopted at eight months of age. He adores our rescue dogs (see Look at me NOW! July 2018); they cuddle, play, chase and lick each other.
“He’s very playful and will play with anything he can find, even paperclips. He doesn’t enjoy being on his own for long and will go over the roof into the back garden to play with the dogs while I’m at work. Like our other two rescue cats, he loves going to visit my gran in Betty’s Bay, which has an open space on the mountain and many creatures to play with.
“Bean is a great hunter but knows better to bring his catches into the house. I tried getting him to sleep in our bed, but he’s just not interested – he loves sleeping on the beanbags in the lounge or sharing the dogs’ beds with or without them.
“Life with our Bean is wonderful!”
Photo credit: Natalie Russell
Saskia Spagni shares Anto, Timmy and Jack (left to right), who were adopted together from Animal Welfare Society Stellenbosch.
“When I was still a student at Stellenbosch University in May 2008, I volunteered for the Animal Welfare Society of Stellenbosch (AWSS), running their first website and taking photos of the dogs every week. On a cold public holiday weekend in May 2008, I was taking photos and noticed three little black pups that had just arrived. They reminded me of the three monkeys – don’t speak, don’t hear, don’t see.
“They were in a terrible state: barely any fur due to mange, skinny to the bone and infested with fleas. Elmarie, the lady who runs the cattery, told me that they were found wandering along the road, eating leaves.
“That night, I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned, constantly thinking of them. The next morning, I took them flea and mange treatment; I returned the following day, too.
“I posted a ‘foster needed’ ad on Gumtree; someone in Table View volunteered. I took the trio of stinky pups to the sweet young lady (probably in her early 20s) who had a toddler, and, after a week, she called me saying that it was just too much for her. It was winter, cold and rainy, and the kennels at AWSS were open to the elements.
“At that time, I only had one rescue dog, Chico (who passed away at 16 years of age in January 2018), and we lived in a two-bedroom, third-floor flat. I decided to foster the pups until they had enough fur to be ok to go back to AWS.
“I took the pups in and built a makeshift kennel with my bed base. They were a lot of work. Timmy had damage on his cornea and needed eye ointment four times daily; they all needed to be bathed regularly for the mange and, of course, they were three very rambunctious three-month-old pups – and I was a full-time student. I remember at our early walks on the rugby field, Jack and Anto ran off after Chico, but Timmy was still too weak, so I had to carry him.
“But I managed, and when it was time to take them back, I just couldn’t do it. That’s how I ended up with four dogs. The ‘pups’ are now eleven years old and have already gone grey, but they’re still very much loved.”
Photograph by Kym Clayton Photography
Johan du Toit shares Missy, adopted from Animal Anti-Cruelty League Bellville.
“Missy – or, as we call her, Bobbejaan – was rescued in Mitchells Plain with her babies.
“She became the office dog at AACL and was adored by everyone. When mom Stephenette went to adopt Jazz (another one of our family) they fell in love with each other and Missy came home to join our family.
“She loves cuddling and is a very special soul.”
Jessica Morgan shares Sebastian, who was adopted from Cat Rescue-PE.
“Sebastian was rescued with his mother and sister; he and his sister were each missing a back leg.
“Sebastian has opened up my eyes and heart; he is so special to me because his disability hasn’t stopped him at all. He walks, runs, jumps and plays like a normal kitty, which he is to me.
“He settled into the domesticated lifestyle so beautifully. Even though he was initially feral, his little heart was open to love, and within an hour of arriving at my home, he was in my arms. He loves cuddles and snacks and is one very curious kitten. He has potty-trained himself, which is mind-blowing to me; I put him in the litter box once and he’s been going there on his own since.
“And he’s so intelligent! He loves to talk (and loves to scratch my couches too). He is such a beautiful soul and I am so lucky to have him.”
Tatum van Rensburg shares Sarah Bear, who was adopted from Project Dog.
“Sarah Bear was rescued by Project Dog after being found abandoned in a field at the age of just five weeks. A few weeks later, our beautiful bear came to live at her forever home with us. After getting her hernia fixed and some good old-fashioned loves and cuddles, she settled in quickly with her new cat and dog siblings.
“Sarah Bear came to us filled with anxiety and nervousness. But, through training and constant love and affection, she is slowly becoming more confident.
“She’s a friendly, fun-loving young lady who enjoys chasing her kitty siblings and barking at birdies. She also enjoys long walks on the beach, stealing her daddy’s pillow and playing with her sister, Xena Weiner the sausage dog.
“She is our whole world and together we are a family.”
Tyler Vivier shares her newest family member, Maui-Maui.
“Maui-Maui joined our home after the loss of a beloved family member. He is a 12-year-old ‘kitten’ with a heart of gold and a thirst for ankles at 3am; he even wears an ‘ankle biter warning’ tag. He loves cuddles and has the loudest purr that lulls you off to sleep.
“We never knew that having him as part of our family would fill our home with so much more love.”
Charlotte (left) and Frankie
Carien Eloff shares Charlotte and Frankie.
“In 2012, I moved into a pet-friendly flat with a small garden area and was working from home, so I felt the time was right to get a dog. I found Charlotte through Adopt-A-Dog.
“She had been picked up at the DuNoon dump as a newborn, where she lay next to her dead mother; she was fostered until she was around seven weeks old. When I fetched her, she was so tiny that a friend of mine made a jacket for her from a sock. Today, Charlotte is a hooligan and absolute clown, and I love her to bits.
“On a freezing winter’s morning in 2014, Charlotte and I were snuggled under the duvet when I saw a Facebook post from Cape Dachshund Rescue about a little black-and-tan boy at the Winelands SPCA.
“His owner had left the farm and just abandoned all the animals: chickens, a goat, a Labrador and three Dachshunds. Frankie’s beautiful eyes stole my heart and Charlotte and I raced to Ashton to go and fetch him.
“He was just skin and bone and very depressed. Today he’s known as Frank the Tank; the sweetest, gentlest dog you’ll ever meet, and in stark contrast to Charlotte, a real lapdog and cuddle bunny.
“The two of them love each other very much and, needless to say, I adore them both!”
Lauren and Marissa Rembach share little Frankie Milkpaws, who was adopted from SPCA Vereeniging & Vanderbijlpark.
“What a privilege to be approved by the SPCA Vereeniging & Vanderbijlpark to give a forever home to this little bundle of energy.
“Frankie has brought love and light into our home and is a companion for our lonely three-year-old rescue, who sadly lost her two 17-year-old ‘brothers’ this year – they crossed the rainbow bridge within five weeks of each other.
“We are truly blessed to have Frankie as part of our family.”
Photograph by Alicia Thomas
Ronel Roux shares Dempsey, who was adopted from SPCA Louis Trichardt.
“We fell in love with a photo on Facebook – a little doggy with a beautiful face, and the name Dempsey.
“We assumed we’d never be so lucky as to become Dempsey’s family, but, as they say, you never know if you don’t try. We contacted SPCA Louis Trichardt all the way from our home in Hartbeespoort (four hours away). To our joy, they were happy to do a home inspection. We were hoping it would go well because that face cried out and said: this is his forever home.
“SPCA Louis Trichardt were amazing, and, less than a week later, they brought Dempsey home to the eco-estate in which we live in Hartbeespoort.
“Dempsey fitted in from the first moment he saw his new Dad. He loves all his brothers, four- and two-legged. And, of course, Mom is his favourite as she’s the only girl in the house. We had to teach Demspey to climb the stairs, but sleeping on the bed came naturally to him.
“We can’t imagine our lives without him. He made our family whole, and, needless to say, he is the most spoilt.”
Lalie Van Dyk shares Lola, who was adopted from BARC (Benoni Animal Rescue Centre).
“Twelve-year-old Lola had been taken to the vet to be euthanised as her owner was moving into an old-age home. The vet just couldn’t do it and surrendered her into BARC’s care, where she remained for eight months.
“I’m a long-time supporter of BARC and regular visitor to their charity shop, which is where I first met Lola. The moment I laid eyes on her, I felt like I’d known her for years; we had a bond straight away. When I talked to her, she would communicate in her own little way – rubbing her head against my hand, following me around the charity shop, rubbing against my legs and, when I picked her up, a big ppppurrrrrr. I got to know her better with every visit and finally knew I had to adopt her.
“On the 29th of November, I saw a Facebook post where someone asked what our Christmas wishes would be – I commented that I’d wish to adopt Lola!
“The very next morning I took my husband to meet Lola. I had the form in my hand when Charmaine came to me and said BARC would love to grant my wish! Someone had tagged Lauren from BARC in my comment about my wish! I was completely out-of-my-skin excited, with happy tears running down my face.
“They visited us for a home inspection and immediately told me that Lola had found her forever home… with us. I was jumping around like a mad woman because I was just so happy, and the very same day, we brought her home.
“Lola is just such a blessing. She loves lying in bed or on the couch with us and enjoys playing ball with the kids and housekeeper. She adores walks outside on the grass and rolling in the sand – I always towel her down and brush her after a sand-rolling session, which she loves.
“She is such a gentle kitty-cat and just has so much love to give and loves receiving it too! She loves it when I get into bed and jumps up to snuggle, either lying on top of me or right next to me – she’d sleep for days if I didn’t get up. I think she just needed our family to find herself again and feel happy and loved; she needed to be somewhere where she belongs.
“I couldn't have gotten a better Christmas gift. For that I would love to thank everyone at BARC, especially Lauren and Charmaine, as well as for all the things you all do for the fur babies out there! My heart is happy and I am all smiles – and so is my Lola.”
Photograph by Kym Clayton Photography
Lara Portlock shares little Ozzy, their precious Maltese.
“Ozzy was rescued on the Milnerton beachfront when he was only about two months old. The family that found him took him in, but, unfortunately, their German Shepherd had other plans and attacked him. They decided that the responsible thing to do was to rehome him.
“Coincidentally, my husband, Simon, had visited them just a few days prior to the attack and had told them he’d happily give Ozzy a home if things didn’t work out. So, when he was bitten, luckily for us they contacted Simon and asked to take him up on his offer to give Ozzy a home. And this is how our precious Ozzy came into our lives.
“Ozzy is quite a character; he is spunky and full of life. He has the cutest quirks, like getting so excited for his dinner that he twirls in circles, or taking his kibbles one at a time to his bed, where he nibbles them quietly. He also is a very good watch dog with a brave little heart and is always on the alert.
“He is now almost nine years old and his favourite pastime is to lie quietly under my desk, curled up in his little bed snoozing the day away. We are truly lucky to have him in our lives.”
Sven Finkeldeh shares Erik and Maddox, who were adopted from Aniwell South Africa and moved to Vietnam with them.
“We brought Erik and Maddox all the way with us from Cape Town, South Africa, to Hoi An, Vietnam. In December 2018 it was our four-year adoptaversary.
“They have settled into their new home nicely and are enjoying the tropical climate. There are lots of butterflies and dragonflies that they love to chase after.
“When they’re not getting up to mischief, they like to try out new napping and grooming spots.”
Photo credit: Brendan Bromfield
Taryn Murdey shares Sushi, who was adopted from Kloof SPCA in 2015.
“Sushi loves showering me with lots of living presents (13 bats, five snakes, two or three blue-headed lizards – the list goes on). He is very affectionate one minute, often purring and drooling lying on my chest, and then the very next minute he’s tackling and biting me, especially when he’s hungry.
“He often sits on the edge of my bath and laps up my bath water or jumps into the empty bath when I walk into the room, and then he waits for me to put the cold water tap on so that he can drink fresh running water – he’s quite the spoilt cat. And I’m quite the proud mom!”
“The first photo I took of him the day I met him – how could I resist!”
Linda Piegl shares Edie and Danté, both of whom were rescued by her from puppy traders when they were just two months old.
“Edie and Danté are my ten-year-old precious pups. They’re siblings – I know, it’s hard to believe; clearly, they had different sires.
“Edie is the female ‘Half Jack’ (half Jack Russell, although she acts like she’s a 100% JR) and it is her doing that we are family today. After rescuing them, they were in the footwell of the passenger seat in my car. Edie jumped onto my lap while the male was cowering behind the gearbox, looked me in the eye, imprinted on me and promptly fell asleep.
“Danté looked at this and decided to be brave and join her on my lap. I was well and truly done for. Even though the vet we were en route to said he would find them homes, it was my home they came to.
“Edie is my little diva. She has to be the centre of attention or she goes off in a sulk. She’s a goat in dog’s clothing – eats anything and everything, from licking shampoo right off my head to loving lettuce.
“Danté is a mishmash that turned out simply gorgeous. The vets reckon there’s Labrador, Dachshund, Ridgeback, Jack Russell and who knows what else in his mix. My protector, he’s always nearby, incredibly attached to me and feels my every mood.
“He has bandy legs, and when he was six months old, one of them was completely bowed (apparently a Labrador ailment). He became the Bionic Pup after corrective surgery and a steel plate that’s still there.
“They have enriched my life beyond measure and I’m grateful every day that they put their pawprints onto my world and into my heart.”
Brendon Thorpe shares Beetle and Yogi, their beloved rescue hounds.
“We’ve always been a rescue-pet household. Yogi, our furry ball, was rescued from a building site by my son about eight or nine years ago. Poor little Yogi was being tormented and stoned by the labourers; my son immediately intervened and Yogi came home with him – and never left.
“Our other hound, Beetle, came from Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre as a puppy. She’d been rescued in Fisantekraal township, malnourished and beaten. Although advertised as a “medium dog” she’s turned into a 45kg brute, but she still thinks she’s a lap dog.
“Unfortunately, Beetle is ‘socially awkward’, so we’ve not been able to bring another mate into the pack as such, although my wife, Belinda, threatens to adopt every time she reads one of the rescue stories. Our compromise always ends up with another donation!”
Sawyer (left) and Josie (right)
Megan-Jayne McFall shares Josie and Sawyer, who were both adopted from Animal Anti-Cruelty League (Epping Branch).
“Neither my husband nor I had ever had cats before, but they’ve just changed our lives.
“Tortoiseshell Josie and white-and-ginger Sawyer are both so loving; they just love to be near us all the time (and in winter, they love to snuggle with us on the bed). They are indoor cats but are harness trained, and we sometimes take them for walks in the local park.”
Kerry MacDonald shares Kong, their new addition to the family.
“This little prince arrived in our lives to help us heal after an incredible loss of our gorgeous boy. Kong is a Visla-Border Collie mix and he’s already filled our home with unconditional love and laughter.
“His massive paws and puppy eyes are so adorable; he’s still so clumsy, being only three months old. Kong is already adored and totally spoilt. Guess where he sleeps (the bed!)… problem is, he’s going to be massive.”
Helen Jones shares Oliver, who was adopted from Angels Refuge in Mafikeng.
“I’d been trying to persuade my husband for three years to adopt a cat. Finally, he agreed and Oliver joined our family.
“Oliver is five-and-a-half years old now, having spent the first five years of his life in a shelter. He weighed in at just 2.9kg and had a horrible case of faucitis (inflammation of mucosa in the mouth) and really bad teeth. He now weighs a healthy 4.7kg, and although he has only four teeth left, he still loves his crunchies.
“He’s the most loving cuddle-kitten there is. He’s also very chatty and we often have long conversations. We love him to bits and call him our Fuzzball, or Olliepops.”
Jürgen Buchelt shares his latest rescue named Zena.
“Zena is my two-year-old tan German Shepherd. I was made aware of her in late December 2017 when she was about 18 months old and had been surrendered half a year earlier.
“When I saw her the first time she was in very bad shape; she was quite underweight (only about 75% of her ideal weight), badly traumatised, sporting a recent bite scar on her nose and – sorry to say – she was sorely in need of a bath.
“I took her home, gave her a good bath, had her checked out by my vet, and the very next morning, she went on her first hike to Myburgh’s Waterfall in Hout Bay.
“Zena has since overcome her fear of other dogs and strangers; she just needs a little bit of work to be more confident walking in a crowd of people. She and I love walks on the beach, hiking and forest walks, and we’re currently training to become a K9 Search and Rescue dog-and-handler team.”
Teddy and Summer
Nola Payne shares Teddy, who arrived as a stray in March 2018, and Summer, who was recently adopted from Critter Rescue SA.
“Teddy was found on someone’s pavement; the people didn’t know how to look after him and, via the animal rescue network on Facebook, he landed up with me.
“He was still a youngster of about four months old and slotted in quickly with my older female. Unfortunately, she had to be put to sleep in July, so Teddy had been alone since then; he became quite skittish and preferred the safety of his hutch. Guinea Pigs are herd animals so don’t like being alone.
“I recently adopted little Summer, who’s still learning to trust me to be handled and to settle in. Teddy is so happy to have her as a new friend.
“Their favourite foods include small snacking cucumbers, and they also love their special Guinea Pig kibbles.”
Photo credit: Mariaan Browne
Kathryn Schmelzer shares Luna, who was adopted from Animal Welfare Society Port Elizabeth.
“Luna, a Pitbull-Jack Russell mix, is the love of my life. She was just a pup when I spotted her sharing a kennel with three other smaller dogs, looking very confused and overwhelmed. As we looked closer we saw her tiny little body and one bright-blue eye; she was about five months old. We had no idea what breed she was – a Pit Russell? She was absolutely perfect, and we knew she was The One.
“The moment we saw her we knew she would be our new fur daughter. She came home the very next day and was welcomed by her new sister, Rottweiler Nala.
“There hasn’t been a day that goes by when I don’t look at Luna and feel so lucky to have such a character as part of the family. She looks unique, has the best smile, loves meeting new dogs, is the best travel companion, loves her walks and just adores being the cute girl she is.
“I’m so proud to say that Little Luna was adopted from Animal Welfare Society Port Elizabeth. Having been the adoption specialist at AWS PE for the last four years, I cannot encourage people more to look at their local shelter. You will find the perfect pet when you least expect it. I never thought that day when we visited would I find my little Luna… but I’m glad I did.
“Last year we welcomed a new addition to the family: Jonty, an older rescue Boerboel-mix male that Luna has bonded with. They’re best friends and I often catch them in action, rolling and playing in the garden. They snuggle together at night and have an amazing bond. I’m sure they both know they came from the same shelter.
“Luna often joins me for school visits when I do educational talks, and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner to join me. She loves the attention and is a great little ambassadog for AWS PE.
“Luna has brought me so much joy, happiness, love and memories to treasure. She really is one of a kind, my Pit Russell.”
Petula Goliath shares Crystal, who was adopted from Oscar’s Arc.
“Crystal stole our hearts when she rolled on her back for a tummy rub! She goes everywhere with us.
“She’s an expert at ignoring you when called but is quick to respond when she hears a crisp packet opening.
“We love her to bits and are so glad she chose us as her family.”
Photography by Pet Portraits
Dana Wainman shares her little Sanchez, who was rescued from a puppy mill four years ago.
“Sanchez is 20 years old! When I rescued him, he didn’t have a single hair on his body and was named Pinky because of his appearance. Much to my surprise, once on good food and tick and flea treatment, he has turned into the most beautiful swan. He has no bottom jaw and no teeth, and that is the reason his tongue hangs out.
“My pride and joy; my little man.”
Roxanne Hugo shares Rosie, who was adopted from HART (Helderberg Animal Rescue Team)
“My son, Oliver, and Rosie the cat were best friends at first sight.
“Although she’s still not sure about her new furry brother and sister, she’s very inquisitive to find out more about them. She loves giving morning kisses before food time and enjoys being tickled with lots of cuddles.
“She’s such a lovable little girl and is full of energy. We are so happy to have her be part of our family.”
Sasha-Lee Feller shares Bugsy, her rescue bunny.
“When I adopted Bugsy from bunny rescuer Blaise Canham, he was called Charlie Brown. I wasn’t too sure of his past so I thought I’d give him a new name to go with his fresh start by having a second chance at being loved, cared for AND having a loving new home.
“When I did bring him home with me, he had Gastrointestinal Stasis and was very lethargic and didn’t want to eat. I took him to the vet and he was treated; he’s since recovered and now his health is perfect!
“Bugsy is a pure-bred Jersey Wooly Rabbit. He needs regular brushing and grooming as his long hair can get matted and it all just lands up being like a big ball of hair – almost like Bugsy himself – a ball of cute fluff.
“Bugsy has a girlfriend, Coco, who also has white fur; he also has two other friends – Bentley and Daisy.
“He enjoys the heater in the winter, and in summer, he’ll lie in the sun all day. He has free roam of my flat with his girlfriend and two other friends (they are all sterilised). I live in a flat, so, on nice days, I take all four of my bunnies to my parents’ or my boyfriend’s parents’ house for some nice run-around time in the garden.
“Bugsy is just my cutie-patootie! He has such a soft, loving nature and just loves to be cuddled.”
Left to right: Bentley, Daisy, Coco and Bugsy
Sarah Oxley shares Lexi and Hayley, her precious rescue cats.
“Light-grey Lexi and dark-grey Hayley were rescued from a mine in Rustenberg while my brother was working there. They were about two months old, and both had very bad snuffles, so their eyes were in bad condition.
“After lots of tender loving care, they both recovered well and are now extremely happy and healthy ten-month-old cats. They’ve been inseparable from when we got them and chase frogs, attack the broom and even nap together. They are fascinated by everything, including the bath.
“We can’t imagine our home without these two playful and loving fur babies.”
Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/Kritzography/
Sharon Blackwell (“Oliver’s spare mom”) shares Oliver, who was adopted from Boxer Rescue South Africa by his other mom, Renee Rossolimos.
“Oliver celebrated his second adoptaversary with us on the 20th of October 2018. He’s our mischievous boy and we simply adore him.
“I cover for him a lot and see life through his eyes where I get to relive my childhood with a dog, my best friend and one who pulls me through my darkest of days.
“Oliver is love – he is innocent, pure joy, exhausting and a reminder of the goofball that lives within us all.
“I know our boy well enough to say he was thinking ‘if anyone touches the worm I will pull the stuffing out!’”
Left to right: Scrappy Doo, my husband, Jon, Lilly, Sandy and Mouse
Photo credit: Vision Point Photography
Sandy Head shares Scrappy, Lilly and Mouse – her little rescue pack.
“Scrappy Doo was first; I adopted him from Adopt-a-Pet a few years back. His mommy and siblings were dropped at their gate. He is my soul dog. He’s a Corgi, believe it or not, considering he’s black in colour. He went to granny each day when we went to work and we decided to get him a friend. So along came white-and-black Lilly, whom I adopted from a small organisation in Malmesbury.
“The story behind her rescue was that there was a man walking with her and he said he was going to stone her to death because she was annoying him. Thankfully, she was saved and we got to adopt her.
“Mouse was the runt of a litter that I fostered for PETS. She and her two siblings were found in a township in quite a state. I had a rough time with her health in the beginning; her tummy was full of stones that she’d eaten as they’d been so hungry. The pups had faeces caked so thickly and deeply in their feet, it took me a few days to get it out without hurting them.
“When it came time to home her, we just couldn’t bear to let her go. She’d formed an important part of our little family, and even though she was so small, she ran circles round the other two. They are the loves of our lives.”
Photo credit: Alicia Thomas
Linda Breytenbach shares little Ruby, who was adopted from SPCA Louis Trichardt.
“Ruby had arrived as a stray and no one came looking for her. She was just skin and bone, covered in fleas and ticks, and was filthy dirty. After some TLC and good nutrition in the care of the team at SPCA Louis Trichardt, she blossomed.
“I couldn’t resist and applied to adopt her immediately. Little Ruby is an absolute darling and is now living the good life with our little family.”
Photo credit: Alicia Thomas
Moraig Henning shares Princess, who was adopted from SPCA Louis Trichardt.
“There was no way I could resist her when my friend Coral showed me the photo of precious Princess; to say I was smitten is an understatement.
“Princess has settled in very well in her new home with us. There were a few firsts in her new abode the first week for our Princess. The capture of a mouse (which was a short-lived playmate), the endless delight of hunting a small gecko, and the fierce dispatching – in no uncertain terms – of one of the few feline prowlers who’ve had the run of the garden for some time now.
“Princess is an absolute delight. She’s all we have ever desired in a cat. She’s extremely affectionate and well trained – all kudos to her previous owners.
“A big thank you to Yolanda and all the people involved at the SPCA Louis Trichardt who run an excellent home for animals. This town is really blessed to have their dedication. I can honestly say that Princess is now Queen of our Hearts!”
Linda van der Walt shares Tina, who was adopted from a shelter in Durban.
“We adopted our beautiful three-year-old Labrador, Tina, in August 2018 from a shelter in Durban. When we collected her from the airport, we struggled to get her out of the crate as she was so scared. With the help of biltong, we got her out; we were shocked to see such an emaciated and flea-ridden dog.
“We drove her straight to our vet where she received a bomb of a pill and cortisone tablets to get her through the weekend with her manic scratching. Poor Tina was so traumatised that our vet told us to only bring her in the next week for a full check-up. Her first night involved gentle cuddles and wholesome dog food three times a day – she was starving!
“The next week we took her to our vet, where it was revealed that she had an ear infection, teeth worn down from trying to eat cement from hunger and no fur on her back. We work from home and could provide 24-hour attention. Toys and beds were unknown to her.
“However, within five days, Tina was ‘as to the manor born’. She loves her two walks a day, having only just discovered water and squirrels. She’s nervous of men, but everyone is being so gentle with her that she’s now gaining great confidence in herself. And she loves her COOL DOGS Ice Creams.”
“We think that she started life in a puppy mill and, when she could no longer have puppies, was given away.
“She’s an absolute joy, and we couldn’t love her more.”
Cherie Sindall shares Holly, who was adopted from HART (Helderberg Animal Rescue Team).
“Holly is having the time of her life. She is simply adored by the other dogs and fits in like a hand in a glove.
“She’s growing into a confident and loving happy girl – and a great guardian of her ‘momma’ (me) too. It’s with huge thanks to Dee of Happy Tails, who was instrumental in connecting Holly and me, and I’m so glad I could offer her a place in our little fur kid family.”
Jessica Perrins shares Thumbelina (or Piggy to her friends), her precious rescue dog.
“Thumbelina was one of four tiny, adorable puppies found dumped in a cardboard box. They were emaciated and severely neglected, and as I assisted with the paperwork, one of the puppies let out a heart-wrenching pining cry. As an absolute animal lover and novice in welfare, I gathered her up into my arms and she immediately crawled under my jacket, snuggled into the crease of my neck and quietened down. It was love at first sight.
“Needless to say, I claimed her as my own. At only four days old she had to be hand-raised, but I took on this responsibility full-heartedly; I named her Thumbelina. Over the coming weeks, she went from strength to strength; we became inseparable best friends.
“Thumbelina has brought nothing but joy to our family, especially into my life. She is a real character and very often forgets she is a dog! No matter how bad your day or the circumstances, Thumbelina never fails to make you smile. She’s always thrilled to see people, especially if you join her in a game of catch or a cuddle on the new day bed (which was, of course, bought for her).
“My love for animals and bond with Thumbelina inspired me to follow my dream to ‘be the voice for those that cannot speak’. Nine years later, I still proudly fly the flag for the welfare of animals, specifically rescues. If by reading this, one person adopts a shelter animal, my and Thumbelina’s job has been done!”
Denny Sheingold shares Zippy her new little rescue.
“This little ball of yellow-and-brown fluff wobbled, all alone, into a friend’s garden. With no adult ducks around, my friend immediately brought the duckling to me to keep it safe. I had to learn so much in a short time about how to care for ducklings!
“I’ve fallen head-over-heels in love with this little feather baby which follows me everywhere.
“Once ducklings latch on to you, you’re friends for life. So, I guess I’ve been adopted and not the other way round!”
Photo credit: Luc Hosten
Marizanne Ferreira shares her precious rescue pack.
“I adopted LucyJordan (Jack Russell-Chihuahua) from Animal Welfare Society Port Elizabeth almost two years ago. She was this pathetic little white-and-tan scrap that I just wanted to hold and protect. Rude was both Yanka and my awakening when we realised that that subdued little attitude was her ‘marketing side’, and we soon both took a backseat, allowing LJ to become the mêrrim of our home.
“A year ago, I adopted a sad, troubled little black mixed-breed, DannyBoy. He was at AWS for seven months. It has not been easy; he is an old, frightened and very sensitive soul in a young body. LJ, Yanka and I never gave up on DB, and today he is a fully-fledged, albeit quiet and mature, member of our family.
“Yanka, who thinks I flew her in from Paris, France, at the age of five weeks (she has no idea she was illegally bred and was destined for a life of hell), is super proud of her two siblings, as they assist her with all the livestock and wildlife fosters we take in.”
Read Yanka’s Happy Tale here: Living Life Sheepishly (http://www.happytailsmagazine.co.za/happy-tales/living-life-sheepishly-yanka/)
Jaco Sapet-Nel shares Tequila and Marmite, who were both adopted from SPCA Durban.
“We adopted Tequila first, and, true to her name (and nature as a tabby), she’s the wild one of the duo. She’ll happily lick your hand one minute and dig her claws into you the next.
“Marmite was adopted a year later and is a little sweetheart – full of love and very attention-seeking. We cannot imagine our lives without these two girls.”
Photo credit: Alicia Thomas
Jaco and Sunette Lyon share little Mia, whom they recently adopted from Louis Trichardt SPCA.
“On Saturday the 1st of September 2018, I took my son George to pick up Monty, a Labrador he’d adopted from the Louis Trichardt SPCA. It was overwhelming, and I just wanted to take all the dogs home! I was drawn to tiny white-and-tan Mia but didn’t want to set my heart on her just in case we couldn’t adopt her.
“After we left (with me in tears) I couldn’t get the pup out of my mind. I spoke to my husband, who, without hesitation, said: ‘We must let the SPCA know that we want to adopt her.’ Two days later, our home was approved, and the next day Jaco collected our little girl.
“And what a cheeky girl she is! Don’t let her fool you with that pretty baby face and teeny body! She barks fiercely and ambushes her new brother (Sparky, our Min Pin-Yorky boy), stealing his treats and toys and jumping into his bed. (Oh yes, she does have her own bed and toys, and gets exactly the same treats…)
“She eats and drinks with joy, then runs outside and plays with everything that moves. Just five seconds later you’ll find our girl, exhausted, fast asleep in her bed. Mia isn’t just cute but ever so clever.
“She’s a little rascal that brings life and joy to us. Thanks to all at the Louis Trichardt SPCA.”
Nelia Joubert-Hartman shares Lupo, who was adopted from Animal Protection Network.
“My husband and I have two Huskies, and when I saw the shared post on Husky Rescue South Africa about three abandoned pups, this little white face stole my heart. I knew we had to give him a home.
“We already had a three-week travel/work/holiday planned and couldn’t leave Lupo on his own with the bigger dogs, so we moved everything around so that we could take him with us. What better way to get him socialised and confident!
“He’s visited Calitzdorp, Stellenbosch, Cape Town, Struisbaai, Mosselbaai, Paternoster, Keimoes, and a farm in the North West. He returned a happy and confident pup!”
Alma van Zyl shares little Phoenix Blue, who was adopted from Poodle Rescue SA.
“Our Bearlemo prince, Phoenix Blue, joined our family recently. He’s perfect in every way and will certainly help to heal our hearts after the passing of our previous Poodle, Luca Love.
“We look forward to getting to know Phoenix Blue better and to enjoy many wonderful years together!”
Chantelle Murray shares Ninja, who was adopted from Heidelberg SPCA in 2011.
“I adopted Ninja when she was just a few weeks old. She was the fluffiest, tiniest little bundle of love. She is a BIG girl now – both because of sheer bulk and because of the fluffy explosion. She definitely has some Main Coon in the mix and has a VERY healthy appetite!
“She’s called Ninja because she literally used to climb up my trouser legs, using her nails as harpoons to get footholds on the way. Needless to say, the human was used as a pincushion during those growing-up months.
“Ninja is now around six years old and she likes to talk – something that I find very endearing in a cat. I’m generally more of a doggy person, and Ninja has had to learn to navigate her way around quite a number of crazy hounds, but a cat brings a unique magic to one’s life; I am blessed to have her in my family.”
Roxy, left, and Cassie and their adoring “dad”, Nicolas
Dominique Tricerri shares her precious rescue pooches, Roxy and Cassie.
“Roxy was literally dumped on our doorstep by a family who didn’t want her anymore. Lucky her as she got herself a family who loves her, spoils her and cannot do without her goofy gazing. She loves her dad so much that she tries to sit upright just like him every night; she can gaze at him for hours, too, when she doesn’t manage to cuddle up as close as possible!
“At around nine years old, she has loads of energy, and her much younger sister, Cassie, keeps her in shape. They’re currently getting their summer bodies ready with regular laps around the garden, rolling in the grass, gecko chasing and, of course, lots of beauty sleep.
“Cassie came to us as a scared little girl who’d been picked on by bigger dogs and neglected by humans. Just a tiny bit of affection was all it took for her to come out of her shell.
“Now she’s either smiling or up to something. She buries everything – if you’re missing something, there’s a 90% chance she’s stolen and buried it. It will surface again after at least a week of marinating, completely transformed into a mangled goop of soil. She loves her squeaky ball (heaven forbid a dog on the TV, or the dog next door, should have one!), which she either uses to get us to play with her, Roxy to play with her, or happily plays with it herself.
“She also loves huge bones (carefully supervised, of course!) – they are excellent for keeping those shiny chompers shiny and the weight-lifting benefits are self-explanatory.”
Photo credit: Alicia Thomas
Yolanda Cronjé (Chairlady of SPCA Louis Trichardt) shares little Tucker, who was adopted from SPCA Louis Trichardt.
“Tucker is just such an amazing boy! He was surrendered as unwanted and was meant to spend only one night with us before he’d return to the SPCA to be put up for adoption… But who was I kidding?! Our other Pekingese accepted him as part of the family as soon as he set foot in the house.
“He’s a ball of energy and keeps me on my toes! I wouldn’t have it any other way...”
Photo credit: NC Photography
Jenny Mauchan shares Bilbo Baggins, who was adopted through Poodle Rescue South Africa.
“Bilbo Baggins, our gorgeous Miniature French Poodle, has been an absolute delight from day one and has fitted in with our family so well. Bilbo spent the first few months of his life coming to school with me when I taught, and the children in my class loved having him come to school every day.
“Bilbo is probably the happiest and most social little dog you will ever meet. He thinks that everyone is his best friend.”
Suzette van der Merwe shares Archie, who was adopted from Woodrock Animal Rescue.
“My partner, Patrick Hulley, stopped in at Woodrock Animal Rescue on his way home from a bike ride around Hartbeespoort. He just happened to arrive at the same time as Archie and his owners, who had to give him up for adoption.
“Patrick immediately fell in love with Archie, and the rest, as they say, is history.
“Archie is a bundle of joy with the most beautiful personality. He loves taking long walks and especially driving in the car with the family. He is the light of our lives!”
Allan Perrins shares James, his special boy who hails from Atlantis on the West Coast.
“James may be tiny, but he has a huge presence. He struts around the place like the lord of the manor. His favourite pastime is herding the cattle, sniffing for moles and stealing the cat’s food.
“He has acquired the taste of raw olives and eagerly competes for his share with the many Guinea Fowl that share his space. He has Cum Lauded all feats and lives life as though every day is his last.
“He is joy on four legs.”
Jordy and Bo, and Cole holding little Cody
Sue-Ann Connelly shares little Bo and Cody, who were both adopted from Animal Anti-Cruelty League Bellville.
“Our children, Jordy and Cole, share Bo and Cody, and believe me when I say that bringing our ‘kids’ total up to six – two human and four canine – our home is filled with love, laughs and puppy dog licks!
“It was love at first sight when we saw them at the shelter. Cody was rescued from being sold at the traffic lights, and he’d had a bit of a rocky start to his life. Little Bo had been surrendered as unwanted.
“We intend to make sure that they both feel loved and cherished every day from now on. They’re an absolute delight, and we’re all smitten. Huge thanks to Helen Sadler and Jolanda Spies from Animal Anti-Cruelty League Bellville for their efforts in homing these beauties with our family.”
Kelly Hunt shares Beauty and Blacky from the Polokwane SPCA.
“Beauty and Blacky have been part of the family since they got here. We are all so in love with them, and we can’t wait to give them a really great and happy life. They’re overjoyed to have a big garden to play in and lots of new toys to play with. We love them and are so glad we were given the chance to provide them with a great home.”
Left to right: Lacey, Lily, Helen and Skippy, Lexie and Iggy, Colin and Molly and Blu
Helen Mentzel shares little Iggy, whom she adopted from animal rescuer Marizanne Ferreira.
“We live on a smallholding not far from Marizanne’s home and have a menagerie of animals. When we saw her post on Facebook about little Freeway, as he was then known, we had no doubt that he needed to be a member of our household.
“We immediately called Marizanne – and the rest is history! Iggy follows my daughter, Lexie, all over the property. He has learned to speak ‘Lamb’ and is best friends with Blu, our rescued Pit Bull Terrier.
“He’s been sterilised, and we’re looking forward to a long and happy relationship with our latest and dearest little family member.”
Lexie, Iggy and Molly
Sally Montgomery shares Zak, who was adopted from Kitty and Puppy Haven in July 2014.
“Zak was only 12 weeks old when he came home with me. He’d been adopted as a companion for my older Labrador, Maia, and partly to help me deal with the grief of losing my father to cancer earlier in the year.
“Zak is very loving and very smart. He learns very quickly and is a joy to train; he loves learning and trying out all sorts of new things.
“He can be a little nervous of strangers, and we’re constantly working on his confidence.
“He’s been a wonderful companion for Maia. They play constantly and can often be seen pulling on either end of the same toy. They have a grand time and often snuggle together.”
Ann and David Rossouw share Lexi, Jess, Nougat, Chaps and Nushka, their adored rescue dogs.
“First up is Jess, our black Labrador, whom we adopted from Ark Animal Centre in May 2013. She’d been rescued from an informal settlement and was four months old when she joined our family.
“Then came Lexi n March 2016; we adopted her from The 9th Day. She was a pregnant stray and had spent 11 months at The 9th Day before she came home to us.
“Nougat came along later that year, in November 2016, from FORA; he was surrendered due to a couple breaking up and had spent 19 months there before he came home.
“Chaplin, our blonde Labrador, was rehomed from a farm because he was killing the chickens. He was only 18 months old when he joined our rescue pack.
“And last but not least is our newest family member, 11-year-old Nushka, whom we adopted from FORA early in 2018. Sadly, she’d been returned to them after four-and-a-half years, as the owner was moving. Our hearts went out to this dear soul who was now back in a shelter. It already feels as though she has always been here.”
Left to right: Lexie, Nushka, Nougat, Chaplin and Jess
Shontell Egan shares Fish, who was rescued from a traumatic and cruel incident.
“I used to live in St Francis Bay in the Eastern Cape. There’s a township called Sea Vista there. I was driving through this area one day and spotted some kids holding a tiny black puppy by the neck and enticing a Pit Bull to attack her!
“I was absolutely devastated. I couldn’t leave this, so I screeched to a halt and shouted at the kids. They laughed at me and demanded R50 for her.
“I refused and got out of my car, ready to do battle! They then threw her across the road and ran away. I was I tears. Dog fighting is a serious problem in this area.
“I scooped up her little body and went straight to the vet with her before taking her home. She was only about four weeks old and was severely dehydrated and malnourished. A short while afterwards she developed mange and was on a course of injections for six weeks. But I never gave up on her.
“Today, her little broken body is perfectly healed, and she’s just a wonderful, beautiful, happy girl.”
Cobi Mostert shares Jessie, who came into her life in February 2016.
“Jessie was adopted late in 2015 by someone who lived in a housing complex in Port Elizabeth. Three weeks later, the complex’s body corporate ordered the owner to get rid of him due to his excessive barking.
“Jessie was then passed over to new owners, and by mid-February 2016, they moved in with my then employer, who also had dogs. Sadly, they didn’t like Jessie coming into ‘their’ home and wanted to fight with him. Jessie was very scared and confused, and had to be separated.
“The Tuesday after they’d moved in I saw Jessie for the first time. He was in a sectioned-off ‘camp’ and slept in the garage; he didn’t get the attention he required, so I asked I could have him. At first they refused, but by the Friday Jessie had stopped eating and they agreed.
“Jessie was so afraid and unsure of himself, but since then he’s come a long way. He can be naughty sometimes and is really full of life. Although he looks like a Poodle, he sometimes acts like a Labrador; he carries stuff around in his mouth, always has a happy smile and can be so jolly. He brightens every day of my life!”
“PS. He loves sitting on this table as it’s where we feed the birds. Here he is with ‘his’ cat, Soekie. He loves her and is always close to her wherever she is!”
Photo credit: Shuttermutts Pet Photography
Bianka Lerm shares little Leentjie, who was adopted from TEARS Animal Rescue.
“Leentjie is our Fox Terrier-mix dog and the latest mixed-breed addition to our furry family, which now stands at six in total.
“We adopted her earlier in 2018 and she is just the cutest little thing ever. Such a handful, but completely worth it!
“Both she and her adopted sister, Sassa, will be starting doggy daycare this month to give mommy a much-needed break. We love them all to bits!”
Keri de Waal shares Wicket and Smudge, both of whom were adopted from Kitten and Cat Rescue in 2017.
“Wicket had been closed in a box covered with cling wrap and left on the doorstep of a local vet. The kind ladies at Kitten and Cat Rescue, from whom we’d previously adopted my handsome Smudge, asked if I would take the little teddy-looking kitten. He’s named after the Ewok from Star Wars as he looked so much like a teddy bear!
“Wicky, as he is known for short, is rescue kitty number 15 in our house. He rules the house and is definitely a mommy’s boy who loves to cuddle and play in the bath with me, believe it or not.
“Smudge is my gorgeous Snowshoe Siamese; he was found in an open veldt where someone was shooting at some feral cats. I saw him on Facebook and it was love at first sight. I convinced Mia from Kitten and Cat Rescue that ours would be the perfect home for him, and, needless to say, one year later he’s my shadow.
“If Smudge can’t find me, he sits and cries until I come and look for him. When I adopted him, he came with a small pink blanket. His blanket is between my hubby’s and my pillows, and that’s where he sleeps at night.
“These two are my big loves, and I think I might be theirs too!”
Tyler Vivier shares Barney, who was adopted from Maltese, French Poodle & Yorkie Rescue South Africa.
“When I first saw Barney on their Facebook page, I just knew I had to meet him. He is the sweetest, most polite little man, and I fell in love with him the moment I set eyes on him. We spent 10 minutes together and I just knew he was the one for me.
“He blossomed within a few days and now he’s my little shadow; he goes with me everywhere and loves being showered in cuddles and affection wherever we go
“Barney is the first dog I have ever had all on my own and I’m converted to rescues. His sweet nature is infectious, and he’s already the most popular dog at the dog park.”
Sian Huyser shares Flapjack, the Spokesbun who was rescued as a stray.
“Flapjack, or Flappy as he’s lovingly called, hopped into our lives via a friend who found him roaming the streets of Kenilworth. As the founder of Noordhoek Bunny Rescue, I’m used to being called by people asking me to take in ‘street buns’, but as soon as we clapped eyes on this bun, I knew he was going to remain at the rescue and be our ‘Spokesbun’.
“He’s a wonderful regal figure who presides over all the rabbits that come to the rescue. He’s full of personality and roams freely on the smallholding although he prefers to come inside at night to sleep in our room; sometimes he wakes up by hopping onto our bed to remind us that it is morning. He is friends with our dogs and chickens and takes his role as spokesbun for Noordhoek Bunny Rescue very seriously. He likes a clean space, is litter trained and was seen recently sleeping next to a mole snake that had found its way into the garden!
“His favourite greens are kale and broccoli leaves, and he’s also partial to a carrot or two. Pictures do not do him justice as he is a very large bun at 4kg. He has Dutch markings, but we believe he is half Chinchilla Gigantica as his bone structure is large. (He reminds us of a rhino!)
“This beautiful boy has totally wormed his way into our hearts. We don’t know where he came from, but we sure are glad he made his way to us!”
Ethel Sleith shares George and Emily, adopted from Feral Cat Assist Heidelberg.
“George and Emily – previously known as Cheddar and Bowie – are our two absolute darlings. They’re creating havoc in my home, leaving three older sisters, aged five, six and ten, completely bewildered.
“They’re estimated to be around the same age; little ginger boy, George, is much bigger than Emily already and I suspect he’s going to be a BIG boy.
“George is shyer, with Emily definitely taking the lead in EVERYTHING, but he’s also very lovable and stands on his back legs to reach my fingers.
“They’re a bit of a handful at the moment, but – oh! – what a delight.
“P.S. Their actual ‘mum’ is Gabriella, but she’s only eight years old and can’t type a letter yet.”
Colleen Harris shares Lassie and Bonnie.
“Lassie, my beautiful Dachshund, has been with me for six years; she was left alone at an unauthorised pet seller for over a week because ‘nobody wanted her’. Well, I wanted her! She is my angel and saving grace.
“Bonnie, her two-year-old Scottish Terrier ‘sister’, came to me as the runt of the litter and is now a happy, comical girl that gives love freely.
“They are not unwanted dogs. They are my family and my children!”
Photograph by Strike a Pose Photography
Sara Zarrebini and Benjamin Gurr share Archer, who was adopted from Border Collie Rescue SA.
“Archer was adopted from Border Collie Rescue SA at the same time as Pingu (http://www.happytailsmagazine.co.za/happy-tales/pingu-the-pocket-rocket/).
“When we first met Archer, it took him an hour to come and even sniff us, and he was generally very wary and scared. Julie Morris of Border Collie Rescue said that his previous owners had kept him locked in a back garden and he’d been terrorised by five Pit Bulls who lived next door.
“Ben instantly fell head over heels in love with Archer as he’s the spitting image of his childhood dog, Tuli. The day we brought him home he was like a totally different dog – running around and playing with Pingu.
“He’s an incredibly intelligent dog who now lives the pampered life as the apple of his human dad’s eye.”
Christna du Plessis shares little Millé, who crept into her heart at first sight.
“Millé had been brought into my partner’s pooch parlour by her breeder – sadly, she was no longer wanted.
“Of course, when Gillian brought her home, we fell in love with her and she was welcomed into our little family with open arms.
“When Millé arrived, she barely had any hair left on her body due to a severe allergy and scratched non-stop. We spent a fortune getting her allergy tested, and it turned out she’s allergic to willow trees, wheat and grass. After a course of injections, she has improved tremendously; we still watch her diet and she only eats a specialised vet food now.
“She is a sweetheart and we cannot imagine our lives without her!”
Celeste and Jaco du Plooy share Buttercup, who was adopted from Bulldog Rescue Angels.
“Buttercup was sort of chosen for us by the lovely ladies at Bulldog Rescue Angels. It was literally love at first sight (of her photos) and, after quite a process, which had us anxiously waiting our new baby, she was placed in our care.
“She was really overweight, weighing no less than 40kg. We were placed under strict orders in respect of her diet, and she’s lost 6.1kg since April.
“Buttercup is our first dog (child) as a couple. As an only child, she can do little wrong. (Except for chewing mom’s expensive shoes – only worn once. Who can blame her for having such fabulous taste?)
“She’s also like our personal bodyguard and hates being left alone in a room, even just for a second, because, well, then she’s not the centre of attention. She’s always ‘up in our business’, e.g. the shower, the bath or when I’m studying. According to Jaco, she’s strong-willed and stubborn, like her mom.
“We hope that people see what wonderfully amazing animals dogs are and how their connection with people shapes our lives. We are never bored with Buttercup around – not a day goes by that she doesn’t make us laugh.
“We hope people take away that sometimes, without us even realising it, dogs fill an empty space in our hearts.”
Paula Silva shares Kimi, who was adopted from Animal Anti-Cruelty League Epping in 2014.
“Kimi was rescued from the streets of Montana in Cape Town, and we were told by AACL that he could be a Collie-cross, although we thought he was a Labrador-cross.
“As he grew up we also noticed some Staffordshire Terrier or Pit Bull in him. But whatever he is, he is ours, and he brings us so much joy and laughter every day!”
Photograph by Strike a Pose Photography
Paul Bruns shares Muschie, whom he adopted from Sandton SPCA in 2017.
“How my life changed for forever… I had decided to downsize with the passing of my two large dogs. Very soon I found that staying in this smaller accommodation was like staying in a hotel – cold and impersonal – and I needed to change this.
“Muschie and I met at the Sandton SPCA in January 2017, and she literally changed my life.
“I was unaware that I had so much love left in me. Equally, she showers me with love and affection and protection; she is quite jealous if other dogs approach me, particularly when seated.
“Muschie is well known at the Lonehill park where we go twice a day. She is, in fact, the queen of the park and has her own WhatsApp group with more than 30 members.”
Karen Kouari shares Rocky-Fluffy-Pants, who was adopted from Grahamstown SPCA.
“His full name is Rocky-Fluffy-Pants, but he’s also known as Rockstar. He’s nearly four years old and is a biltong addict. He will take it right out your mouth given half the chance. He doesn’t meow like a normal cat; he half purrs-squeaks instead. He shares our family with six other cats – Luna, Sox, George, Sparky, Lilly-Pudding and Charlie; two Dachshunds – Miley and Gypsy; and one ‘human’ sister, Amina.
“He can be very lovable – he will happily sit on your lap and ‘knead’ if you have a blanket over you. He is just gorgeous – and he knows it too! I just love him to bits.”
Sarah Hubbart shares Mumble, who was adopted from FORA (Friends Of Rescued Animals).
“I was at FORA with a friend to help her find a dog. FORA team member Shayne took us to the back to show us some adorable puppies that had just arrived and I just got this feeling… And when this little fuzzball waltzed out and started chewing my shoelaces, that was it! I simply couldn’t resist that face.
“Mumble got his name because he’s been mumbling at me since I got him – he’s a very chatty boy. I’ve no idea what his breed mix is – he’s my Lucky Packet Dog.
“He’s well aware of how cute he is and uses it often to get out of trouble. But my dogs are my kids and I don’t know what I’d do without them.
“We share our home with three other doggie rescues. I think people are often worried about adopting because you never really know what you’re getting, but there is one thing I do know: there’s no such thing as a bad dog. If you love them as unconditionally as they love you, then you’ll have the best friend you could ever ask for.”
Kate Valasis shares Miso, who was adopted from Kimberley Animals in Need (KAN).
“We thought it was time to get Sakura (our other rescue kitty) a friend. When we went to our local shelter, Miso just stood out to us immediately!
“Other than her beautiful mixture of colours, she was the most loving, affectionate kitty. She’s a perfect addition to our family. (And there were so many other amazing kitties there too, just waiting for a loving home.)”
Lisa Fawkes shares Zack, who was ADOPTED from Kempton Park SPCA in February 2011.
“Zack had spent three months at the SPCA when I adopted him on the day he was scheduled to be put to sleep.
“Zack is kind, loving, hates conflict, and when I brought him home, he fitted straight in with the rest of my pack. He is a qualified Therapy Dog with Top Dogs. He passed an assessment with NO TRAINING (you can’t train Huskies to do anything they don’t want to do!). Therapy dogs are born like this – no amount of training would make them do what they do if they hated it.
“Zack has a love for elderly people and will happily sit next to them for cuddles and lie beside them and doze off. He also loves children, and his favourite hospital visit is the paediatric ward.
“He is lazy, and even though we live on five acres, he would happily live in a town house. And when it rains… Zack hates getting wet and dirty, so you’ll find him fast asleep in his bed; he hates water and cannot swim – definitely not a typical Husky – but he is the love of my life!”
Mango (left) and Tovah
Toufieka Fortune shares Tovah, who was adopted from Noordhoek Bunny Rescue.
“We adopted our first bun, Mango, from Douglas Bean, a volunteer at Noordhoek Bunny Rescue, in October 2007. About a month later, Douglas picked him up for neutering and, when we called to check up on him, Douglas mentioned a white bunny that had been brought in to the Noordhoek Bunny Rescue.
“He explained how she’d become his little companion in the mornings and how he’d try to do tasks with her on his shoulder, since she’d cry as soon as he put her back in her cage. She’d gone through so much in such a short amount of time: the poor thing had originally been bought for toddlers, left outside when the novelty wore off, sold to a pet shop, bought, and then spent months running away from dogs in her owner’s garden.
“The next day I couldn’t stop thinking about her and, finally, called Douglas just as he was on the road bringing Mango home; I told him we’d love to take care of her. He turned the car around straight away and went back to fetch our little missy. When we got her, she was full of knots (and this is after Douglas had cut a bagful of knots off her, finally releasing her tail, which had been knotted to her back). She was partially bald and extremely skittish, clinging to Douglas when taken out of the cage. I didn’t expect her to be as sweet as she was.
“I’m a first-time bunny mum, so I had no idea about any bonding process. However, to my surprise, as soon as Tovah was put on the ground, Mango began grooming her – and she let him. Douglas raised Mango (who is the son of a therapy bunny) so he knew how kind and calming he is.
“Tovah didn’t allow us to touch or cuddle her; she ran away as soon as we stood up, since she was used to constantly running away from dogs. She was washed, fed, cuddled, and given more kisses than she liked. Now, they are inseparable.
“She’s become such a lovable bun – sassy but lovable. Full of attitude and energy, she’s constantly starting little ‘projects’ around our apartment, which has only become a home since she’s gotten here. She’s grown all her luscious fur back and is chubbier than ever. That’s our Tovah.”
Shannon Fennell and Marko Cowley share little Rocco, who was rescued from a flea-market seller.
“When we first met little Rocco, he was living in a pen with a goat, rabbit, tortoise and two kittens. It was cold and he was so scared. It was on this day that his and our world changed forever.
“He lives such a happy life with us, gets a fair amount of spoils (how can we resist!), and is the most precious little dog anyone could ever ask for.
“He even has his own Instagram page, @roccos_life031, where all his adventures are posted. He is so loved and we cannot imagine our life without him!”
From the left – Ziggy, Princess and Star
Photography by Shuttermutts Pet Photography
Stephanie Pienaar shares her precious pack with which she shares her life, along with three rescue cats.
“Star is the oldest of the dogs and the first one I adopted (from Helderberg Animal Welfare in Gordon’s Bay); she was eight to 12 weeks old and looked like a Labrador-Collie mix. Actually, it turns out that Star is over 80% Doberman with some Belgian Malinois!
“She’s very intelligent and obedient, seemingly born house-trained, and went through nine months of training (despite being bored with most of it) while making me look like a professional trainer, learning quickly and correcting my mistakes. She’s also gentle, soft and very sensitive. She never dug or chewed anything, and it was a dream raising her. She’ll be two in June 2018.
“When Star was about 10 months old, a neighbour complained about her barking ‘intermittently’ while I was at work; my vet recommended finding her a friend. I decided to look for a young dog rather than a puppy but finding a cat-friendly dog turned out to be harder than I’d imagined. While looking at TEARS, I was introduced to Hilary, who was fostering a dog she believed would be perfect: a black-and-tan male named Ziggy.”
“I met Ziggy, decided he was perfect, and on the same day the home check was done; a day later, Ziggy came home with me. To my joy, Ziggy and Star bonded immediately, and he quickly wormed his way into our life – even the cats tolerate him.
“Ziggy will be two years old in July; he has survived distemper and, despite having slight brain damage resulting from seizures when he was ill, he is very good. He’s a bit of a chewer and digger, though.
“When Ziggy went missing (http://www.happytailsmagazine.co.za/happy-tales/finding-ziggy/), I lost two dogs as Star turned into a completely different dog.
“Star went off her food (even vienna sausages and cat food – her favourites), refused to play with her doggy friends and went into a state of mourning. She became difficult with the cats – she wouldn’t let them leave the house and started picking up my middle cat, Davy, and putting him in the car when we went to walk or look for Ziggy. One evening, my youngest cat, Bean, tried to go out the window, and Star smashed through the large front window trying to keep him in. At that stage, Ziggy had been missing for about three weeks.”
“I contacted Hilary to see if she had any dogs needing fostering, hoping that would help. We met at the beach; she brought two young dogs and two puppies and asked if I would try with Collie-Shepherd mix Princess, because she was a difficult case to rehome as she had mange, was very skittish and was almost 10 months old. Princess herself made the decision when we were getting ready to leave – she hopped right into my car and settled on the front seat.
“When I got them home, Star ‘attacked’ Princess (lots of crying from Princess) over a bone. By the end of the afternoon, I’d learnt that Princess cried over nothing/everything: if the cats came close, if a door slammed, if she heard any strange noises...
“But the following morning it was as if a switch had flipped in Princess overnight: she was prancing around, looking for attention and enticing Star to play. Star soon calmed and wasn’t as miserable, and Princess settled in well; about two months later, she recovered from her mange. My concern was: could I keep her when Ziggy was found – would they accept each other?
“The night we got Ziggy back, I had to put him in the car with Star and Princess. Princess growled a bit when Ziggy climbed into the front, but nothing after that. Within days of finding Ziggy, Star returned to her normal self and, today, the three dogs are very attached to each other.
“There is a saying that anyone who believes money can’t buy happiness has never adopted a pet. And it’s true!”
Nicky Stewart shares Miya and Mowgli, who were both adopted from Kitty Care Durban.
“Miya, my little drama queen, was born on the 16th of April 2016, and she loves to be the centre of attention. When she’s not, she does things to make sure we notice her. She also loves sleeping in the garden. We love her so much.
“Miya has helped get me through some of the hardest times in my life, and I wouldn’t change her for the world.
“Mowgli was born on the 16th of November 2017, and he thinks he’s a human; he eats absolutely anything, has a strict routine and loves his mama. He’s been the light in a very dark place for me.
“He’s got such a beautiful nature and has so much love to give. He loves to cuddle and play and is obsessed with his toy mice. He loves to play outside with his big ‘sister’ and is obsessed with water. He’s such a mommy’s boy.
“Rescue cats really are so rewarding, and I don’t think I would have gotten to where I am without my little fur babies. They both bring so much joy to our family, and if I had space for five more, I’d get them in a heartbeat.”
Robyn Pretorius shares Baxter, who was adopted from Oudtshoorn Dogs in Need.
“Baxter was found in a township, and his rescuers took him to Oudtshoorn Dogs in Need (ODIN). I went there just looking for a doggie, hoping one would ‘speak to me’. I didn’t have any preference; I just went to have a look.
“He was in one of the large cages with a couple of other dogs; I don’t know what attracted me to him, but I was instantly drawn to him. I went home to think about it.
“I returned the next day with Colleen, ODIN’s founder, and told her about the black-and-white doggie. She admitted that she wasn’t sure who I was talking about because he was always just so quiet and in the background.
“As soon as I went to the cage, he jumped up against it to lick me and Colleen immediately said he had chosen me. She said there was an instant connection – the way he made eye contact with me gave her goosebumps.
“A couple of days later I went to fetch him, and the rest is history. He’s so happy and I’m so glad that our paths crossed – it’s like he’s been living here his entire life.”
Michelle Reinhard shares Kayla, who was adopted from PETS JHB.
“Kayla was handed in as an unwanted pet. Of course, I couldn’t resist her! She is the sweetest, happiest little dog, with an attitude far larger than her size.
“Adopting a dog not only saves their life, but the life of the doggie that takes that spot in the shelter.”
Jenni Davies shares Ziggy, whom she got 16 years ago when she was just a tiny five-week-old kitten.
“Ziggy was in a cage with her three identical siblings but we immediately noticed her as she sat bolt upright and stared at us very intensely. She hypnotised us into taking her…
“Ziggy is a music-loving cat and goes bonkers when my mom plays the piano and sings; she winds her way around the chair, jumps onto the piano (to make her own music, of course) and head-butts my mom to keep playing.
“When she was much younger, she went out one evening and returned with a broken leg. So, although she never leaves the garden now, she has a ‘curfew’ – by 21h00 she has to be inside, which she usually is. And if she’s late, my mom just plays piano and in trots little Miss Ziggy at top speed.
“She’s as stubborn as the day is long and a bit of a weirdo, but we love her and are so glad she’s in our lives.”
Jacques Smith shares Lara (left) and Lisa, both of whom were adopted from PETS in 2013.
“Lara is a brown-and-black Africanis and turns five in June. She absolutely loves her ball; whenever you see her, it’s either in her mouth or she’s guarding it with her foot.
“Lisa is a white Border Collie mix and she turns five in July. She loves water and big sports balls; she can destroy a soccer ball in 15 seconds and even managed to break her ‘forever ball’, which is lion- and elephant proof!”
Batman (in front) and Robin
Kym Clayton shares Batman and Robin with us.
“Batman was brought to me as a kitten in December 2016 by our then-receptionist; he’d been given to her by a neighbour in Mitchells Plain for her daughter – who is severely asthmatic. When she decided to give him away, I offered to take him and find a good home.
“When I saw his huge ears and black ‘mask’ markings, I knew Batman was the perfect name. Needless to say, he was a foster fail!
“Our other cats were way too old to play with him, so when my daughter went overseas, I realised that Batman needed a sidekick. I found an amazing organisation – Raise ‘n Rescue – and, night after night, I scrolled through their Facebook feed looking for Batman’s sidekick, until ‘Quattro’ caught my eye.
“He, his mom and some other feral cats had been trapped in Elsie’s River for sterilisation. Madeli, one of the volunteers, tells me that it took four attempts to trap him, hence the name Quattro. He went to a foster mom, Jess, until he was ready for a forever home – my home. Of course, his name had to be Robin…
“Batman and Robin ‘reconnected’ in April 2017. While Robin is still a little skittish, Batman is confident. They love nothing better than a good snooze in the afternoons, and when the sun goes down, playtime starts.
“They have three doggy fur friends and two older kitty friends. Robin has a love/hate relationship with Bailey, from Oscar’s Arc; when the humans aren’t looking, Bailey licks Robin’s face, but the minute Robin realises the humans have seen this, he acts horrified – it’s really rather comical.”
Michelle Raath shares Rango, who was rescued as a puppy, and Lovey, who was adopted from Catz R Us SA.
“Rango is our special boy with a ‘headband’ of missing hair on his head; he was rescued from being stoned as a puppy. He has the most unique personality and makes us all smile often.
“Lovey was adopted from a haven and is FIV positive. Unfortunately, she kept getting gingivitis (gum inflammation) and had to have her teeth removed, but it doesn’t bother her at all. She’s the most loving cat I’ve ever met and will always dish out love to whomever visits.
“Both these souls bring so much happiness and love into the home.”
Alicia Tewson shares little Kiah, who, at just ten weeks old, was dumped because she was deaf.
“Kiah is an absolute treasure; I love her so much. She is sweet and very smart but, hey, she is a Cattle Dog so I wouldn’t expect anything less!”
Tarry Reddy shares Milo and Zoe, who were adopted together from Kempton Park Feral and Abandoned Cats.
“We adopted a little kitten in December 2017 but, five days later, he had to be put to sleep due to a rare kidney condition. We were heartbroken!
“When we were finally ready to adopt another little kitten, I came across Zoe on Facebook; that same afternoon my fiancé and I went to see her. While we were there, a little black kitten (Milo) came up and gave us so much love and many kisses! They were so attached to each other that we decided then and there to adopt them both.
“We have absolutely no regrets as the two of them are inseparable. Milo is absolutely loving and trusting. Zoe was quite skittish at first; however, only a week later and she was already crying to be picked up and cuddled. They both love to play Cat Alone games on the iPad and Zoe loves to watch TV (and chase Milo’s tail!).
“Adopting two kittens has been a blessing – they keep each other company, cuddle together when it’s cold and wrestle and play all day. In addition, when one is asleep, you still have another one to play with!
“Thank you for wanting to feature them in your magazine. Hopefully their story will encourage more people to think about adopting two kittens.”
Carmia le Roux shares Yoda, whom she adopted from AACL Bellville almost nine years ago.
“Yoda is super intelligent, never puts a foot wrong, and shadows me wherever I go. Being black, he was overlooked and growing up at the shelter, which I now know happens to many.
“Alma Schaap (from African Tails) actually chose Yoda as our first foster dog, but I was a foster failure instantly. He goes with me daily to the doggie daycare I run, along with my other two fur kids, and rules the pack.
“His only vice is digging for moles… and there are moles everywhere!”
Photograph by Kym Clayton Photography
Bianka Lerm shares Sassa, whom she rescued when doing an outreach with Peanut Animal Welfare (PAW) in Melkbosstrand.
“I noticed a little white-and-black doggy scavenging for any type of food in the streets, or lying in the dirt and sand; she was filthy and hungry and seemed so timid and filled with longing for something more. I’d seen her several times when I heard that there was a Canine Parvovirus (‘parvo’) outbreak in the area and that many dogs had already lost their lives.
“I immediately went and spoke to the owners and had her vaccinated, dewormed, deflead, etc. The dangers of her staying with her previous owners were clear: she could contract parvo, get run over, stolen, hurt, etc. and, due to her pinkish nose, she was at risk of skin cancer if not managed correctly. I explained all of this on more than one occasion to her owners and they agreed to surrender her to me.
“She loved her first visit to the beach, and going camping with us was wonderful – she fitted right into the pack and thoroughly enjoyed herself.
“She is such a sassy little character, and I absolutely adore and love her to bits. I cannot imagine my life without her!”
Karin Heydenrych shares Fudge, who was adopted from Noordhoek Bunny Rescue.
“We never thought we’d adopt a bunny but we’re all so in love with Fudge!
“My daughter, Chloe, was super excited to adopt a bunny and although she’d planned to adopt a younger one, as soon as she held little Fudge she fell in love with her. Having four male dogs, we’re thrilled to at least have a girl fur baby in the house again!
“Fudge lives in our garden in a wooden Wendy house (cottage) of her very own which is fully enclosed so she’s safe and can’t dig out. She can go in and out as she wishes and explores inside our house, under strict supervision. And, obviously, she is very much part of the family.
“Fudge is a super-cute, very happy, friendly little girl and is quickly getting used to all the kisses and love from us.”
Lucy Purdon shares Cade, who was adopted from FORA (Friends of Rescued Animals).
“We didn’t choose Cade, he chose us! My fiancé and I visited FORA on a Saturday morning in February and his puppy pen was the second one we looked at. Cade literally wouldn’t leave our sides – it was as if he knew we were his humans.
“We learnt that his mom was a pregnant rescue and had tragically passed away just after giving birth. The name Cade came to us on the way home that day and a friend of mine looked up the meaning – we were surprised to find out that Cade means ‘young animal abandoned by its mother and raised by hand’. We were convinced – it was meant to be!
“Life with Cade since then has only been with joy and smiles. At home he enjoys playing in the garden with his friend Bella, taking walks and on the weekends he attends puppy school where he’s one of the best in his class!
“We’ve never had such a wonderful companion with such a loving nature! Wherever we are he is there – like our real-life shadow!”
Nicole Phillips shares little Leia, whom she rescued as a five-week-old pup and bottle-fed; Leia was separated from her mother and then, once reunited, her mother rejected her.
“Being a bottle-fed baby, she is quite cheeky and has since been ‘adopted’ by my mom’s dog, Bella (aka the nanny), who’s been staying with us to keep Benji, our other adopted Spaniel, company, while we waited for a puppy. Benji has taken it upon himself to teach her how Spaniels bury treats and she’s very excited to find any sort of feather in the garden. Any found treasures such as feathers, rocks and leaves are very proudly taken back to her basket for safekeeping.
“Leia is very keen to be a part of anything the big dogs are doing and is most pleased to run in between them during a walk and to be ‘part of the pack’.
“We are so lucky to have been given such an amazing little girl.”
Dr Erika de Jager, founder of ZURI Orphanage, shares her recently adopted kitten, Leo.
“Leo came to us at the end of March. He was found all alone in a scrapyard and his mother did not come back for him.
“I was working in the practice when a lady brought him in. I bravely said that ZURI Orphanage can’t take any more kittens as we already have 14 cats. And then I peeked into the box… and the rest is history!
“Leo has settled in completely and is of course totally spoilt.”
Photograph by Keith Lotz Photography
Telana Lezar of Namaste Horses shares Harry, who was adopted from Grassy Park SPCA.
“Harry was rescued by the Cape of Good Hope SPCA in Grassy Park and I fell in love with him the moment I saw him.
“He is the most amazing horse and works with special needs children. He is my best therapy horse and he truly has a heart of gold.”
Editor’s note: Read more about Namaste Horses here (http://www.happytailsmagazine.co.za/happy-tales/namaste-a-happy-home-for-horses-and-other-homeless-souls/)
Cynthia Doran shares Lucky, whom she adopted from FORA (Friends Of Rescued Animals).
“I got this little boy from FORA last year just after my husband passed away. When Linda Scrace took him out of the cage, she said: ‘Today is your lucky day!’ and so that was the name I gave him.
“I also have a Pug and a Jack Russell, and when they go to the doggy parlour, I bath Lucky at home. When they come back from the parlour, Lucky gets jealous of their bandanas and tries to rip them off. So now, as soon as I get a bandana and put it on him, he’s ‘as happy as Larry’.”
Johnny on the left and Clegg.
Aidon Lippstreu shares Johnny and Clegg, who were orphaned at birth, fostered by Marizanne Ferreira and adopted through ZanneWelfare.
“My wife, Cardel, and I had a lovely flock of 25 sheep a few years back but sadly had to rehome them to make provision for the arrival of our youngest of three children, who is now two years old.
“We have certainly missed having our own flock and the lambs dancing around here, and thus, when we saw that these two needed a home, we thought: ‘Hey, why not? Let’s start again!’
“The children, Caleb, Rebecca and Milah, and even our two dogs, Golden Retriever Cola and our rescue Pit Bull EllaT, have enjoyed and been amused by Johnny and Clegg, often coming to help Dad bottle-feed and check on them.”
Houdini on the left, Copperfield on the right
Sharon Margon shares Houdini and Copperfield, who were adopted from Kempton Park Feral and Abandoned Cats.
“In November 2017 we adopted these little ginger kitty brothers, about 11 weeks old, who’d been rescued by the amazing Kempton Park Feral and Abandoned Cats team. We decided to get two so that they could keep each other company during the day while their humans have to work.
“Their names were eventually decided on as Copperfield (long-haired) and Houdini (shorter hair) as they both do great escaping/disappearing acts, and also magically stole our hearts.
“They were initially really scared as they’d been abused wherever they were rescued from; one’s tiny tail was broken in about four places so he now has a permanent curly ‘question mark’ in his very furry tail.
“They’ve grown from hissing and scratching babies into loving teenagers. Both of them purr like tractors in need of a service and love cuddling and napping on our laps when they’ve exhausted themselves by their mad playing.
“We absolutely adore them – even my husband, who previously didn’t like, or want, cats!”
Dalaine Nel shares Isis, who was adopted recently from Sighthound Rescue SA.
“Isis is doing so well. She’s come from being a terrified, tail-always-between-the-legs baby to being so happy to see you when you get home. Initially she was literally scared of EVERYTHING – even a treat!
“Now she happily takes her treats and chews and comes out to meet the visitors, which, to me, is the greatest improvement of all. She even started standing up against their legs; she still tucks her tail under when they touch her but, in general, I think she’s doing amazingly for the short time she’s been here.
“Play is still a work in progress but she has approached the toy basket. She seems to have chosen two favourite toys that she plays with now and again, but mostly she just enjoys sleeping on top of all the toys.
“Isis is coming into her own more and more each day. She’s incredibly loving and gentle and I’m ever so grateful to have been able to adopt her.”
Photograph by Luc Hosten
Claudia Barnard shares Bailey, who was rescued from a backyard breeder.
“Bailey came from the classic backyard breeder where her half-brother from the previous litter ended up being her father. When a friend posted on Facebook that they’d rescued a breeding pair and one little puppy needed to find a home right away, I knew she was mine.
“I’ve never looked back. She changed my life for the better. She forced me to get off my behind and take a walk. Now, we walk every day and have joined a Sunday walking group. Training was something we both enjoyed! The best feeling is when you’ve finally nailed something you’ve been working on for weeks. It made our bond so much stronger from day one.
“Proud to be a responsible Pit Bull owner.”
Fern Yates shares Eeyore the donkey, whom she “adopted” from Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary.
“In March, I drove to Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary to adopt one of their oldest residents – Eeyore.
“He’s estimated to be around 45 years old and I first met him in 2009 when his coat was shaggy and brown. Time has taken its toll and his shaggy coat is now grey and weak neck muscles don’t allow him to lift his head.
“Despite his rough start in life filled with abuse, he is so gentle and friendly to visitors to the sanctuary and lives out his retirement surrounded by people who love and care for him.
“The adoption fee helps with the maintenance of the donkeys, sanctuary, outreach projects and education.”
Photograph by Strike A Pose Photography
Allyson Towle shares Angel, who was rescued from being sold at the side of the road.
“Angel was gratefully rescued by a good friend and her boyfriend; she was very dehydrated and starving and was immediately taken to the vet for emergency treatment. She was riddled with worms and covered from head to toe with ticks.
“I immediately made plans to bring her home and after a couple of days recovering at the vet, we welcomed her home with a puppy shower at Lonehill Park, where she got to meet her new best friend, Tommy, a Yorkie we adopted from Ark Animal Rescue Centre, and was spoilt with lots of toys, blankets and food.
“After losing my little Spaniel puppy last year, I knew I’d found a fur kid who would fill the aching hole in my heart and help me heal.
“Angel has a problem with walking, most likely from her bad start in life, and, sadly, the worms affected her neurologically. She falls over now and again but goes to hydrotherapy once a week, which she thoroughly enjoys. She also goes to puppy school, where she has a whole bunch of doggy friends.
“I tell her every day how much she is loved and I’m so happy that she came into my life.”
Photo credit: Emma O’Brien Portrait Photography
Michelle Reinhard shares Mia, who was adopted from Nelspruit SPCA a few years ago.
“I was spending a lot of time in the Lowveld (Mpumalanga) and would stop by the Nelspruit SPCA every so often to drop off food. One day, I had some time to spare and I went to the kennels to give the doggies some attention. My heart broke at all those sad, desperate little faces just waiting for some love and a home of their own.
“I almost missed her: she was right at the back of the cage and all I could see was a little lump and a pair of huge, dark eyes peeping out from under a blanket. I asked to go into the cage, sat on the floor, and put her on my lap. Just holding her for a few minutes and she transformed from a pair of terrified eyes in a cowering, trembling little body to giving a little wag, and a lick, and even trotting a few laps around the cage... That was it – she was coming home with me!
“I hated having to leave her but needed to go through the home-check process. Once I was given the all clear, and after she’d been spayed, I made the eight-hour round trip to bring her home.
“Today she’s now the happiest, friendliest, comical, joyful dog ever, with a love of walks, and snacks. She accompanies me when I collect for Animals In Distress (I’m a volunteer tin collector at shopping centres). She adores the attention and is a great doggie ambassador for those who are a little nervous of dogs... and she’s an excellent fundraiser!
“Adopting an animal saves two lives: the life of the animal you adopt and the life of the animal who takes that spot in the shelter. I can’t recommend it enough: please adopt, don’t shop.”
Photo by Mariaan Browne
Carin Cornelius shares her precious pack: Blaze, Zoe and Iris.
“My happy trio are all well-socialised and love going on Sunday walks with the other dogs in our walking group.
“Blaze, the Jack Russell, is our oldest – he will turn six years old in September and is the only boy in the family. I adopted both Blaze and his younger sister, Jazzi (who, sadly, passed away in 2016 due to complications with Addison’s Disease), directly from their irresponsible owners. He’s the old man in the house and has a tough time laying down the law with his ‘sisters’. Blaze is a super-chilled boy who loves to curl up under the blankets irrespective of whether the temperature is 30°C or 10 – he just loves his comforts.
“Zoe turns three in July and we recently adopted her from Animal Welfare Society Port Elizabeth. She’s just one big lapdog and never passes up an opportunity to share the couch or bed with you; even though she’s a big, strong dog, she is super gentle, including with children. I was supposed to rescue Zoe but, instead, she rescued me; she gave me purpose in life and got me active again.
“Iris, our black Staffie, turns two years old in August and was born on the same day as Jazzi, so she’s extra special to me. She loves adventure, posing for photos and chatting up her rescued Pit Bull friend, Levi, on our regular Sunday walks. She’s super energetic and if there’s mischief afoot, you can bet Iris was the cause or instigator.
“All my dogs are, of course, sterilised, so as not to add to the ever-growing population of unsterilised and unwanted pets.
“I urge people: please adopt and don’t shop; you WILL be saving a life!”
Marizanne Ferreira shares Dalmacija, who was adopted from Animal Welfare Society Port Elizabeth.
“After losing my beloved 16-year-old cat, TiAmo, to cancer, I was devastated and heartbroken to find myself with a kitty-gap in my household. On a visit to AWS PE with my friend Almayne’s two children, Stefan and Nicola, I laid eyes on the ugliest, the smallest white-and-black thing just hiding in the corner. She was the one. I took her in my arms, paid her adoption fee and home we went.
“Initially, it was not smooth sailing; she had to share her home and new mom’s love with two Jack Russells, HeyJude and PenniLaine. For the first couple of days she lived in one of my boots on the second shelf in my wardrobe. But it wasn’t long before she settled in and, ten years on, the entire household (which now includes buck, goats, sheep, dogs, etc.) feels very privileged and grateful to be living with her.
“From being a city slicker at first, over the past decade she’s become a real farm girl and hunter of note. No mouse, nor rat survives her quick eye and lightning-fast paw.
“Dalmacija got her name from the Croatian province where Dalmatian dogs were bred; she looks a bit like a Dalmatian with her black patches. Her moustache renders her to look like Charlie Chaplin when in a good mood and Hitler when in a bad mood.
“Oh, and did I mention that whilst we lived in the city, she joined the dogs for walks on the golf course, sporting her own harness and leash, much to the entertainment of the golfers!”
Avis Matheson shares Jessie, who was adopted from Oscar’s Arc.
“We celebrated our first year of having Jessie on the 25th of March 2018. She has such character and so much love to give. She’s become very attached to my husband and me.
“Jessie is truly a blessing to us. And we are so grateful to Oscar’s Arc for her and for doing the amazing work they do.”
Christine Kuch shares Sparkle, who was adopted from Roodepoort SPCA.
“Sparkle was found as a stray by a concerned lady who’d spent days coaxing her closer so that she could help her. Judging from her injuries, she must have been caught in a snare and somehow managed to get loose; she’d been suffering for quite a while already and was very thin.
“Sadly, no one came forward to claim her and no one offered to adopt her – so I did.
“When I met her at the SPCA, she was undergoing treatment for her injuries and was still very frightened. Yet she did the little ‘head bump’ towards me as a sign of affection and purred happily.
“The usual procedure was followed. A check of the property where she would live was undertaken and it was with great joy that I learnt on the 12th of February that ‘the new addition to your family can go home’.
“Injuries of that kind take time to heal, so she’ll spend a while confined to the house. She still needs small regular nutritious meals to build up strength and weight, but it’s going so well and she’s filling out nicely.
“I named her ‘Sparkle’, which suits her personality.”
Enid and Zoey
Charmaine Swanepoel shares Zoey, who was adopted from Middelburg SPCA.
“Zoey was rescued in June 2012 at the industrial area in Middelburg by Inspector Ian Lombard of Middelburg SPCA. I first saw her on the Facebook post of her rescue.
“When I showed my vet the photograph, he said that for hair to get like that she must have been there for two years. It’s very difficult to understand that people just walked past her on a daily basis, doing absolutely nothing until someone eventually phoned the SPCA to say ‘please come and fetch this thing that’s lying here’.
“I remember seeing this scared and broken little soul and just thought to myself: ‘There’s no way that I’m going to allow her to ever go through any kind of suffering again.’ I immediately phoned the Middelburg SPCA and said I would like to adopt her. “I got in my car, taking my dog kids with me, and headed straight there to meet Zoey and pay the adoption fee.
“When I saw her she immediately stole my heart. I so badly wanted to take her immediately because it was winter and she couldn’t stop shivering, but they first needed to do a home check and she had to be spayed.
“Two days later, I was back to fetch our little girl; my daughter, Enid, went with me and Zoey immediately slept on her lap. They’ve been inseparable since then.”
Photograph by Strike A Pose Photography
Nicole Ham shares Ashley, who was an unwanted little dog who came in as one of the community spays from the squatter camps.
“Ashley was only about three months old and a skinny little thing. I saw her and it was love at first sight for both of us. I’ve never looked back.
“Nothing says ‘I love you’ quite like her greeting you back home at the end of each day. She’s the joy and light of our lives.”
Shontell Egan shares Roscai, whose world she changed after years in the service.
“Gentle Roscai is a Dutch Shepherd and she used to be a bomb and ammunition detector dog.
“After many years serving our country, she decided she wanted to hang up her special nose for a more relaxed retirement. I heard about her through a friend and immediately offered my greener pastures and comfy bed for her in place of an airport atmosphere!
“She’s living out her retirement, going to the park every day, playing with her ball, enjoying time with her brother and sister and giving us all an incredible amount of love and devotion.”
Photo by Luc Hosten
Yolandi van Rensburg shares Levi, who, with the help of Marizanne Ferreira, was adopted from ZanneWelfare.
“Levi, adopted at just six weeks old, is now one-and-a-half years old – and is the best thing that could ever have happened to us. He is our piece of gold and his mommy’s oog-appel (the apple of my eye). He’s a well-mannered boy because we took him for puppy training and socialisation classes when he was younger. He even has his own Facebook page: Levi Doggo.
“Although Levi is an only dog, he has three kitty ‘sisters’ at home; he gets along super-well with them, even if they are a bit unpredictable sometimes (like most cats).
“Levi loves to go for walks and LOVES playing ball; during the week, from 7:30 to 4:30, he hangs out at doggie daycare (http://www.happytailsmagazine.co.za/articles/features/all-in-a-days-work) where he spends his days playing and socialising with different dogs of all shapes, ages and sizes. He absolutely loves it there!
“Every Sunday morning, a group of us and all our dogs meet up at different locations so the dogs get to mingle a bit and go for nice long beach- or bush walks; the group is mostly for rescued or adopted Pit Bulls, but, of course, any dogs are welcome.
“Levi is definitely the Casanova in the group: he just has a way with the ‘ladies’ and they all love him. He likes to keep his options open and won’t ‘commit’ to any one in particular – he even has his eye on a few girls at the daycare.”
Photo by Keith Lotz Photography
Natalie Morrissey shares Lucy, her rescue Spaniel.
“Lucy was very sick with Parvovirus, and a wonderful vet, Patti-Jane Foster, fought for her through it all. The virus spread an infection into her spine and because her owners could not afford her medical treatment, they asked Patti to have her put to sleep.
“But Patti decided she couldn’t give up on seven-month-old Lucy so she asked if they would allow her to keep trying and then, if she survived, to rehome her. They agreed and, after a long battle of recovery, she recovered. We were lucky enough to adopt Lucy from Patti.
“Because of her fight with the illness, she was all skin and bones but she soon got better. Lucy is just a pure blessing – she’s the most loving, wonderful little girl ever. We don’t know her full story but she is very scared of men, but, given time, she eventually warms up and then you can’t stop the kisses and cuddles!”
Ina Taljaard shares her “baby panther”, Bagheera, whom she adopted from Kayleigh-Jean Legge, her good friend and avid animal rescuer.
“Bagheera was rescued from a property overrun with cats. He was the most loving of his feral siblings. With thanks to some kind “crazy cat ladies”, Bagheera and his siblings were rescued from the property and taken into foster care. The remaining cats have been sterilised and the family who own the property have been educated about caring for cats. A happy ending for all and, when Kayleigh-Jean highlighted him for a forever home, I simply couldn’t resist him. I’ve always wanted a black cat.
“I love Bagheera to bits and I couldn’t have asked for a more loving and playful boy. He has settled in nicely and already stolen everyone’s hearts. Our room is his obstacle course at night and he likes playing hide and seek with the other cats in his tunnels; he can’t resist his meerkat soft toy with which he wrestles most of the time, and chasing feathers and balls drives him crazy.
“Being outdoors watching and stalking the birds is his favourite thing to do. He is a real little hunter and such a playful and happy kitten. He loves attention, hugs and kisses – one kiss for him and two kisses back from him. At night he sleeps in my husband’s arms or between us. He is the ‘king of the jungle’ in our home.
“By adopting Bagheera, my life was blessed in so many ways. Kayleigh-Jean became a fabulous friend as well! She named him after the panther in The Jungle Book. The name is more than perfect for him; he is my baby panther.”
Kim Nates shares Gabby, who was adopted from Irwin Animal Rescue Centre, and little Brie, adopted from a friend.
“We adopted our precious senior Gabby (approximately eight years old) from Irwin Animal Rescue last year. She was so nervous after years of being abandoned that she couldn’t stand being alone; she wouldn’t even go outside by herself, fearing she might be left again. Now, seven months later, our sweet, shy girl is feeling more confident in her new family.
“We got her little sister, Brie, two months ago and, although her playfulness and energy seems to not be quite Gabby’s pace, Brie always tries to sleep as close as possible to Gabby when she can.”
Debbie Capazorio shares little Abby, whom she adopted from Kroonstad SPCA.
“Abby is my little rescue puppy and became part of the family instantly. She is full of life and a lot of love and, even though she has only been with us for a short while, she’s already so protective of us. We simply love her to bits.”
Ruby with Carmen’s daughter, Calise Tierney
Carmen Heinisch shares little Ruby, who was adopted from CASA (Chihuahua Adoptions SA).
“Ruby is only nine months old and we are her fourth home. She was so skinny when we got her, even her little shoulder blades were sticking out. Now she has put on loads of weight and is looking beautiful. Although she was adopted from a Chihuahua group, Ruby is actually a Miniature Pinscher – and we think there is a bit of Dachshund in there too.
“The first two days of having her she was terrified – she wouldn’t even let us touch her. But, on the second day, at about 5AM in the morning, I snuck up to her and put her in bed with me to snuggle – and that was the beginning of our bond. She is now my little shadow and the most funniest, adorable dog. Although Ruby is so tiny, she has the biggest personality.
“It took a while longer for her to bond with our Miniature Pinscher boy, Fudge. Initially, she just growled at him and, once she bonded with us, she did not want him near us. But we let her know that he’s part of the family – and now she has finally accepted him. They’re actually best of friends and love playing; she even goes up to him and licks his cheek. She is the boss and we sometimes have to let her know that she cannot bully him.
“Ruby is our first rescue dog. It was hard in the beginning as I felt so sorry for her coming to yet another home with strange people; I could see how terrified and confused she was. It was one of the most heartbreaking things I have seen and I cried so much the day we fetched her as I felt so sorry for this little soul. But, once she settled and realised that we love her and that she is safe, she has just blossomed into the most wonderful dog.
“She is such a character and keeps us entertained with her antics. She is extra lovable, and just wants to please you and drown you with licks. I think she knows she finally has her forever home and that she is part of our family.
“We love her to bits and the reward of seeing a broken, scared little rescue finally come out of her shell and seeing her happy is the best feeling in the world. I am so glad we chose to rescue. The reward far outweighs everything else that comes along with it and it is my mission to encourage anyone to adopt a dog in a shelter or at a rescue and not buy a puppy. It has been the most amazing experience and she really is our little gem.”
Luanda Voogt shares Izzy, whom she adopted from Adorabull Terrier Rescue and Rehabilitation.
“At only two years of age Izzy was dumped and abandoned in a field. It was evident that she had been used for breeding and she showed signs that she’d had pups that had recently been taken away.
“Starved and confused, she had given up. Fortunately she was found and the ladies at Adorabull gave her a chance, providing medical and emotional care. Sadly, her foster mom fell ill and Izzy had to be housed at the kennels. She went downhill from there – her insecurities were heightened and her will to live dropped. Finding her a forever home was a matter of urgency.
“I’d been watching the Adorabull Facebook page and the moment I saw her photo, I knew she was The One for us. It was a match made in heaven – and the ladies at Adorabull agreed.
In a matter of days, Izzy was with us. She is the most loving, precious soul with so much love to give. Even though humans had betrayed and hurt her, she trusts us with all her heart. She shows it in her body language and the constant sitting or lying on top of me. Izzy lives like a princess now as IT IS HER TIME!”
Monty (left) and Kayi
Lesley-Anne Martin shares Monty and Kayi, who were both adopted from Scottish Terrier Rescue SA.
“Monty is nine years old and I adopted him last October, and Kayi is seven years old and I adopted him in February.
“They are both senior wheaten Scotties and are fast becoming inseparable. Monty was quite timid and wary when he first came to me, but he’s settled in and is definitely channelling his wonderful Scottietude.
“Kayi is a sweet, lovable chap who likes belly rubs and kisses. He is a red wheaten, which is quite rare. Both boys will be enjoying beach walks and loads of adventures. I am thrilled to share my home with these two gentle boys. And it is with special thanks to Colleen Johnson and Desiree Gibbons of Scottish Terrier Rescue SA for their tireless work and dedication.”
Photo by Luc Hosten
Claire Gillmer shares her beautiful Pit Bull, Athena, whom she adopted from Animal Welfare Society Port Elizabeth.
“I adopted Athena in September 2017. She had been confiscated from an illegal breeder who had allowed her to have 17 puppies (all before the age of three years).
“Athena was a shy and nervous girl initially but has now become the ‘clown of my home’ with her beautiful and kind nature and wonderful way with my other animals. She truly doesn’t have an aggressive bone in her beautiful body. She is uncomplicated, and a very fast learner who is so willing to please and smother me with her kisses.
“She is the love of my life and I firmly believe that the Pit Bull breed is a very misunderstood one; in all my years of owning magnificent dogs, I have never come across such a loving, loyal and truly incredibly breed of dog as the Pit Bull. I believe that the ‘breed of owner’, one who is responsible and ensures that their dogs are well-socialised and live with loving owners, who take all the necessary and responsible steps, like sterilising and rescuing/adopting a Pit Bull, will fall in love with these amazing dogs. I am so blessed to have Athena as my family!”
Michelle E Sousa shares Blue and Beckham, both adopted from The 9th Day.
“My best friend had sent me a photo of Beckham from the Facebook page of The 9th Day (formally known as Ringo-Black Dog) as she knew I was looking to adopt. I just HAD to meet this little boy as soon as possible because I didn’t want to take the chance of him being adopted by anyone else – I’d already made up my mind driving there that he was going to be mine, it just felt RIGHT!
“Upon meeting him I fell in love instantly – the foster mom asked if I was looking to adopt only one puppy or would I be interested in adopting two as Beckham had a sister she wanted me to meet – they were inseparable. Of course, I wasn’t going to say no to meeting another puppy. She brought Blue out (whose name I kept because it is so fitting) and, as true as nuts, I looked into her eyes and fell in love once again.
“It didn’t take much convincing because I knew she was coming home with me too the minute I saw her. I didn’t have the heart to break the bond that these two shared and continue to share to this day.
“Beckham and Blue are more than just my dogs, they are my children; my house didn’t feel like a home until they arrived. They have brought the biggest amount of love and joy into my life and heart and have filled me in ways I cannot explain. The life lessons these two siblings are constantly teaching me on a daily basis surpass anything I would have imagined and cannot imagine my life without them!”