Left to right: Demmi Harris, Elaine Harris, Debbie Smith and Lynn Robertson
Written by Debbie Smith, founder of Friends of the K9 Trust
Rural KwaZulu-Natal is home to thousands of animals, many of which are in desperate need of primary health care. The companion animals of the impoverished communities near Hillcrest, KZN, including Molweni, Shongweni and Embo, are suffering from sickness, indiscriminate breeding and neglect.
Thanks to a handful of dedicated animal lovers and protectors who’ve given their time and resources to assisting, rescuing, treating and rehoming abandoned or ill-treated dogs, this is set to change. In 2018, Friends of the K9 Trust was established to help these animals. Today, it is a registered non-profit organisation (NPO 221-862) and Public Benefit Organisation (PBO 930065418).
The Trust’s aim is to work towards promoting awareness and social responsibility in terms of the care of domestic animals, with a particular focus on dogs, while encouraging and celebrating families’ deep and meaningful bonds with their pets.
Our Mission: To bring about a time of no more homeless Pets. We believe that every pet deserves to be loved and wanted.
SNIP (Spay, Neuter and Inoculate Project)
The importance of sterilisation of dogs, particularly those living in rural areas, lower income groups and underprivileged communities where access to veterinary care coupled with the cost thereof, is a critical necessity.
In a period of just six years, one female dog and her litter can lead to a whopping 67,000 puppies; the numbers continue to increase exponentially from there. Unsterilised male dogs are the prime contributors to this overpopulation crisis as they can impregnate a multitude of females within a short period of time, thereby producing countless unplanned litters.
In just the last nine months, the Trust has proudly sterilised 155 dogs and cats in outer west Durban’s rural areas.
Our dedicated team of volunteers collect dogs and cats from homes of families in impoverished, predominantly rural or semi-urban areas and transport them to our partner Veterinary Clinic. They’re then sterilised and inoculated, as well as treated for worms and ticks.
The animals are then returned to their families later in the day; the families are gifted with a home-made bag filled with water and food bowls, dry kibble, treats, a collar and leash, as well as items for the families, such as washing powder, water bottles and anything else we have donated to us for this purpose (this helps to show that we care about the community and not just the animals). Importantly, an isiZulu and English book on caring for domestic pets is also included.
Vaccinations (inoculations) are critical in protecting dogs from several highly contagious diseases such as canine distemper, canine parvovirus infection and respiratory tract infections. They also protect against transmissible diseases such as rabies, which also pose a risk to humans. (KZN is considered a rabies-endemic province.)
Educational programME (INJA YAMI – MY DOG)
Educational programmes for young children and youth in both urban and rural areas are a necessity if we want to make an impact on the how our future generations care for their domestic animals.
The programmes create awareness as to the importance of caring for our pets, sterilising and vaccinating. A key component is encouraging the spread of this information to others.
Dog trainer Denise Kenny Adams, with Linidwe Bhadi and Iviwe Mtbele as translators, has written a book aimed at all ages to highlight the requirements of having a pet. My Dog/Inja Yami features English and isiZulu text and clear pictures illustrating animal care. This book is included in the packs sent home with sterilised dogs. (Zulu and English are the most spoken languages in the area.)
HOW YOU CAN HELP
- Sponsor a SNIP (or part thereof) by donating using EFT or Zapper
Name: Friends of K9 Trust Bank: Investec Branch code: 580 105 Account number: 5001 444 6557
- Donate canned or dry pet food, dog bowls, dog collars, doggie treats.
- Donate non-perishable food and household goods (washing powder, etc.) for the gift bags.
- Start a fundraiser at school or work to raise funds and/or dog food collections on our behalf.
- Set up a collection point in Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal, or surrounds for donated items.
- Volunteer to collect donated goods on our behalf to a central point.
- Share our Facebook posts to create awareness.
- Tell your friends and family about us.
As Friends of the K9 Trust is a registered PBO, you’ll be issued with a Section 18A certificate that offers donors a tax benefit. (Please email your proof of deposit as well as the details you wish to appear on your certificate.)
We’d like to sincerely thank all of our donors, partners and supporters for helping us to ease the suffering of our treasured furry four-legged friends.