Animal Anti-Cruelty League Johannesburg

27th Nov, 2017

Written by Heather Cowie – Public Relations Officer AACL Johannesburg

The Animal Anti-Cruelty League (AACL™) has been protecting and caring for animals since 1956. It’s South Africa’s second largest independent animal welfare organisation and exists to prevent and eliminate cruelty to all animals. In February 2016, this phenomenal organisation proudly celebrated its 60th anniversary.

Had it not been for the kind and generous support of the animal-loving public over the years, this milestone would never have been achievable.

Small beginnings

On 28 February 1956, a small group was formed in Johannesburg by late founder Olga R. Allen and compatriots Martin Hind and Wendy Harvey to oppose the cruel practice of rodeos. Not long after, Olga accompanied a journalist into the townships of Soweto and Alexandra, and saw the dire conditions of the animals; the group’s efforts then expanded into rescuing and helping these animals.

Originally operating out of a private home, the Johannesburg office in Regent’s Park has been the organisation’s base of operations since July 1959. Today, the Animal Anti-Cruelty League is a registered NPO and PBO animal welfare organisation with six branches around South Africa. This influential organisation is wholly reliant upon the kind generosity of the animal-loving public for funding.

The AACL™ Mission

Our mandate is the care and protection of all animals, but we are also very community driven and strive to make our programmes reflective of this.

At present, AACL™ Johannesburg regularly visits seven areas with our mobile clinic/outreach service, assisting the animals of these communities with primary healthcare – sterilisation, vaccinations, deworming, treating topical infections, parasite control, etc. Animals requiring surgical procedures are brought to our veterinary hospital and returned to their owners after recovery.

We’re an organisation that gets involved with all aspects of animal care. AACL™ Johannesburg operates a veterinary hospital, mobile clinic/outreach service to disadvantaged areas, an education programme, a shelter for abandoned pets, an adoption programme, inspectorate, and a volunteer programme for children and adults.

As Mahatma Gandhi said: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

A home while awaiting a home

We take great pride in our facilities and established the first dog and cat Old Age Village of its kind in South Africa in 2006. In 2013, this facility was refurbished thanks to the generosity of donors. While remaining available for adoption, animals in the Village receive age-appropriate care, including special diets. We continue to be pleasantly surprised at the rate of adoptions of these more senior citizens.

Our Freedom Cat Village, also established in 2013, abuts the Old Age Village and visitors to the League often spend time in this state-of-the-art facility observing or playing with the cats. Cats in the village are all upwards of one year old and, as they have already been sterilised and vaccinated, are immediately available for adoption.

We also run puppy socialisation, volunteering, and interactive education programmes, and ensure that dogs and cats get plenty of interaction in an enriching environment.

The Christmas Shelter Lunch

One of the highlights of our year is the AACL™ Johannesburg Christmas Shelter Lunch, an annual event held in December at our head office. Members of the public are invited to join us and help to serve our fur residents a rather splendid meal. People donate towards this luncheon most generously – all types of delicious pet food – and bring lots of other delightful goodies for our animals. This year, our shelter lunch will be held on Sunday 10 December.

How you can help:

Our survival depends on donations. With your help, we can continue improving the lives of animals. Become a member of our team – your contribution is vital and every bit helps.

Please have a look at our Wish List via the following link:                                                           

If you would like to find out more about our programmes, please email or visit our website 

Should you wish to make a donation, please see banking details below. Proof of payment of donations to please be emailed to to enable us to officially thank you for your support.

Banking details: First National Bank – Rosebank Branch; Account Holder: Animal Anti-Cruelty League; Account Number: 50380046810; Branch Code: 253305