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.
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 Tails 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!”
Ruth Aereboe shares Saskia, who was adopted from Tin Can Town.
“We adopted Saskia through Tin Can Town three weeks after we adopted Caesar. The two had been rescued together and ended up in the same foster home, Saskia a sick and scared little one and Caesar, who took care of her; she would snuggle up to him and he would wrap his body around her.
“When we fetched Saskia, they were so happy to be reunited and formed a very close bond. Saskia has always been a little softie with a marshmallow heart and she thrived under the nurturing and protection of Caesar. Saskia loves to play and would run around the garden when she was younger looking for sticks to chew on (even though she had plenty of toys to play with too). They had almost two years of a wonderful life together.
“In December 2017, Caesar suddenly became very ill with lung cancer and passed away. it was devastating for us. Saskia mourned so much and we spent lots of time with her, surrounding her with love.
“Very soon, we will have a new friend for Saskia, one who will bond with her and, hopefully, they will become a little pack and she will heal completely, our gorgeous little girl...”
Caesar and Saskia having a morning cuddle
Photo credit: www.sweetmanphotography.com
Megan Durant shares Ace, who was adopted from Animal Welfare Society Phillippi and who is a therapy dog in his spare time.
“What more can I say about my sweet fur child except that he is the most adorable sweet kid – inside and out - and that you can see it in his eyes and smile in these photos.
“I urge people to adopt and not to shop as there are fantastic pooches out there looking for their forever homes.”
Read Ace’s Happy Tale here http://www.happytailsmagazine.co.za/happy-tales/my-awesome-ace/
Left to right: Pinky, Isabel and Pebbles
Lauren Námer shares her three precious rescue cats, Isabel, Pinky and Pebbles.
“These are our three gorgeous rescue cats. Isabel and Pinky – the white cats – were adopted eight years ago after I fostered them for Kitty & Puppy Haven. Isabel had five babies with her when she was rescued; Pinky was the baby with the deformed paw. We fell in love and simply had to adopt both.
“And then pitch-black Pebbles came along a year later – she was a feral kitten I rescued and couldn’t let go of. As you can see, they have a pampered life now and bring us such joy. All three are great with my other smaller little rescues (Guinea Pigs and rabbits) as well as the rescue dogs. Adopt, don’t shop!”
Lauren, Lila and Tommy Dog
Lauren Karlin shares Tommy (or Tommy Dog as her daughter calls him) whom they adopted from Animal Welfare Society Helderberg.
“We visited AWS in Gordon’s Bay merely as a start to see if we were ready, as a family, to adopt a dog. Walking around and seeing all the animals brought up so many feelings of despair, sadness and mainly anger towards humans, but at the same time we felt hope, joy and absolute respect for all the staff and volunteers who dedicate their time and love to the animals in need. Then we spotted Tommy!
“I can’t really explain it, but he just LOOKED like us and then we got to meet him and he FELT like us. Not wanting to rush into anything, we left that day with all our reading material and the plan was to ‘sleep on it’.
“Well... we couldn’t get Tommy out of our thoughts and by that evening the decision was made that we were ready to adopt him. After our house inspection was approved we collected Tommy and we haven’t looked back. Morning cuddles, walks in the park, lolloping and leaping around the garden, he has brought pure bliss to our family. We thought we would be the ones filling him with love, trust, confidence and support, but the reality is that he has brought all that and more to us!”
Brione Schoeman shares little Lily, adopted from ARO (Animal Rescue Organisation).
“ARO was alerted to Lily and her siblings in Mitchell’s Plain; she was in the care of small children – she had a small cage, no food, no water, and was surrounded by filth. She was the last of her litter to be adopted out and we couldn’t resist her. We adopted her at the end of July at six months of age and she’s a very spoilt and happy hammy now.”
Karin Heydenrych shares Storm, who was adopted from Dogs Deserve Better Rehabilitation Centre.
“Not being a fan of selfies - and everyone who knows me, knows that there is always a dog either on my lap or next to me - but I needed a new profile pic… and Storm is always a winner when it comes to photos because he’s so gorgeous!
“We absolutely adore our beautiful boy!”
Loraine Labuschagne shares Domino and Panda, who were both adopted from Border Collie Rescue.
“Julie Morris of BCR rescued Panda, a deaf short-legged Collie-mix dog. She was found in a hole under a trailer without nourishment – and pregnant. They nursed her back to health and through her pregnancy, but, when the time came, she only delivered one stillborn pup. Panda was sterilised, vaccinated and microchipped and received plenty of TLC.
“On the day we collected her, Julie had just rescued a four-week-old black-and-white pup from Danville whom they’d nicknamed Dan.
“We decided to adopt them both – after all, a mommy deserves some reward after going full term and a puppy needs a mom; it was a match made in heaven. And we’re so glad we did.
“Thank you, Julie and Border Collie Rescue, for our delightful pair, mommy Panda and puppy whom we renamed Domino.”
Peter Schoeman shares Zorro, whom he adopted from Cape of Good Hope SPCA.
“Zorro is a rescued Greyhound-mix whom we adopted last year; he’d been badly abused and used for hunting. He has since become the most incredible dog and loved by everyone who meets him.”
Juel Barnett shares Shadow and Scooter, both of whom were adopted through Pet Au Pair.
“I adopted Shadow as a six-week-old rescue from Julianne Penn Kriel at Pet Au Pair in 2016. Surprisingly for a bottle baby, she wasn’t very affectionate and quickly became very bored/stressed. Clearly she needed cat company.
“On 28 December 2017, I agreed to foster Scooter, a three-month-old black kitten; if I could get Shadow to accept him, then he could stay. After a week of keeping him in my bedroom and doing all the things the “experts” suggest (like feeding your cat on the other side, etc.), I carefully introduced them... and surprisingly Shadow didn’t kill him!
“She still sometimes hisses and growls at Scooter, and occasionally swats at him; sometimes she chases him and sometimes he chases her! But they’ve settled into an acceptance of each other. Scooter is the most loving and affectionate cat, so hopefully he’ll teach her to be more like him... and not the other way! Because he’s definitely staying!”
Madge Gibson shares Max (left), whom she rescued herself, and little Felix (right), who was rescued by Sighthound Rescue SA.
“I rescued Max myself three or four years ago after he and his sister were being sold on the street. I got a call from a friend alerting me to these two very distressed puppies needing help.
“When I got there they were dreadfully dehydrated and limp – it was the height of summer and they were no more than three weeks old, with no teeth even. I took them both, bottle-fed and weaned them. And, at four months, Max’s sister was adopted by a friend; Max stayed right where he was – with me.
“When Sighthound Rescue SA rescued Felix and his siblings, I offered to foster him when they arrived in Cape Town from Bloemfontein, to help out with the workload. In no time at all, Max became very attached to Felix – and Felix adores Max. There was no way we could separate them.
“Felix is our foster failure of note and we all couldn’t be happier!”
Nadine Celliers shares Candy, who was adopted from Sandton SPCA.
“Candy, a white Swiss Shepherd-mix dog, was picked up as a stray; she was thin and very scared. Despite being extensively networked, no owner was found and no adoption applications came in for her. When Husky Rescue phoned me to ask if I would adopt her, I immediately went through to meet her.
“She was absolutely petrified; she’d clearly not been exposed to people and, as Shepherds are generally wary of people, I had to work really hard with her.
“In the beginning, Candy was very nervous and I had to lay dog kibbles trails to lead her anywhere. But all the hard work has been so worth it.
“She’s bonded to me and has proved to be highly intelligent. She’s gone through puppy school, beginners and intermediate dog training. She picks up very well and has excellent recall. She is very social with other dogs, and if she knows you, will ask for loves.
“She’s a loving, happy, vocal and crazy dog child who is very much loved now!”
Lisa Marie McIntyre shares Fudge, who was a foster (failure) pup from Watershed Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Fund.
“The moment Fudge arrived in our home we instantly knew she wasn’t going to leave. Milan Cronje had rescued her and her siblings from a puppy seller at traffic lights in Somerset West so that they could have a chance at lap sitting, ear scratching and kissy cuddles.
“Fudge excels at all of the above and is absolutely adored in the McIntyre household.”
Monique Fourie shares Pushka, who was adopted from Animal Welfare Society Port Elizabeth.
“Pushka is three years old and is our pride and joy. He was an unclaimed stray and was born without his right eye. After I adopted him I took him for surgeries to clean and close the eye to reduce risk for infections.
“I suspect he was rejected because of his disability, but now he’s living life like a king in his lovely ‘castle’ only for him.”
Gizmo (top step) and Muttley
Santie and Garry Nieman, Happy Tail-ers all the way from Houston, Texas, USA, share Gizmo and Muttley.
“We adopted Muttley from the Animal Friends Humane Society Ohio USA in October 2013 after we lost our beloved German Shepherd, Kesha, suddenly to lung cancer – we were heartbroken and grieving.
“Our other German Shepherd, Minki, was grieving as much as we were and we had to face her sadness every day for over six months. We weren’t sure if we should get Minki a companion; we were afraid of getting hurt one day by losing another best friend.
“One Saturday evening whilst searching the Internet, we came across Muttley’s fluffy white-and-black face. Although we were looking to adopt a female, I just fell in love with him. That Monday, my husband and I went to meet Muttley and, three days later, we received the phone call: we’d been approved and could go and collect him.
“The moment Muttley trotted into our house it was like he’d lived here forever, and he and Minki quickly became best friends. He brings so much joy and happiness to our family; I tell everyone he is a God-send. It is just amazing how he came into our lives and immediately adapted. He is just a cutie-pie. He is our little baby in the house. We love him dearly.
“Gizmo was adopted from the Lone Star Shih Tzu & Lhasa Apso Rescue Texas USA, in September 2016 when sadly we lost Minki due to cancer. We were heartbroken and knew Muttley wouldn’t cope alone.
“Gizmo was rescued from a puppy mill and we were the happy and fortunate family to adopt him. It took just two weeks for Muttley and Gizmo to become best friends. Gizmo has the most beautiful personality; he brings so much joy and pleasure to our home. He is just the happiest dog ever; his tail is wagging all the time and he loves attention and kisses. I think he gets about 1000 kisses a day!
“Our family will never buy a dog from a breeder. Adoption is the best thing we could ever do for ourselves as well as for our fur babies. We love them unconditionally and they are living ‘the American Dream’!”
Brione Schoeman shares Henrietta, their pet Houdan chicken.
“I rescued Henrietta from the middle of the road and if I hadn’t, it was just a matter of time before she would have either been run over or a dog would have had her.
“I thought for a moment I was looking at an owl! I immediately stopped the car, opened the door and she practically jumped onto my lap. I had my two small boys in the car too, so you can imagine the surprise on all our faces. She was absolutely exhausted and when we got home, she just dropped to the grass and closed her eyes for about two hours, after which she was just fine. I had to quickly educate myself as to how to take care of a chicken.
“After much searching for her owner, nobody claimed her and she’s been with us for almost seven years and is a very happy and healthy girl. She loves affection and makes the sweetest sounds when I cuddle her. There’s a rooster in the neighborhood somewhere and when he crows, she crows back. She keeps to a daily routine of waking up at 7am, scratching around in the garden all day and back to bed at 6pm.
“She is also one tough cookie and has had to put many a neighbourhood cat in their place. She also chases doves that get too comfortable in her garden and, believe it or not, she loves camping with us. She also enjoys a dip in the pool in the summer and floats around like a big barge.”
Hilette Hatting shares Pepper (left), who was adopted from Cat Rescue Port Elizabeth, and Coco Chanel, who was adopted from Animal Welfare Society Port Elizabeth.
“Pepper was adopted when he was just under five months old.
“With all the rescued kittens to choose from at the organisation, Pepper stood out because of his big personality – he actually chose us, which made it all easier (or else I would have probably taken all of them home!). We named him Pepper because although he looks black, he actually has stripes and a full-on white undercoat! His middle name is ‘naughty’ and his best friend is Coco Chanel. (Editor’s note: See Coco Chanel’s full story here http://www.happytailsmagazine.co.za/happy-tales/a-purrfect-furever-after/)
“Pepper is a really relaxed cat; when the big cats hissed at him in the beginning he just flopped down and lay next to them staring. It’s because of this good nature that he blended in so fast and became friends with our other rescued cats.
“From living life on the streets, he now owns a house, jungle gyms and kitty castles!”
Michelle Blackie shares little Ella, her latest rescue pup adopted from PitPals.
“Ella, or Ellie (or sometimes ‘No!’), is confident (i.e. doesn’t listen to anyone), innovative (i.e. goes after things none of my other pups were interested in), an independent thinker (i.e. does things her own way) and is a bundle of fun, love and energy. My older girls are slowing down a little and I felt the need for some new energy in our lives. I love them all to bits!”
Robyn Lisa Clifton shares Cleo, who was adopted along with her dog best friend, Gracie, and Gracie’s son Buddy from Phillipi Animal Welfare Society.
“Look how gorgeous Cleo has grown – sideways too! She is a very quiet kitty, except when the dogs pull her tail.
“She loves to play and is always close to Gracie and Buddy Bear. She is spending more and more time outside with our other two cats – Oreo and Lulubelle.
“She only sleeps on our bed when we aren’t home and is not a fan of cuddles. She does sound like a galloping horse running down the passage chasing after the dogs or a bug. We just love her to bits.”
(Editor’s note: See the full story of Cleo and her friends’ amazing adoption here: http://www.happytailsmagazine.co.za/happy-tales/ready-made-family/)
Kayleigh-Jean Legge shares Katie (back) and Becca, her beloved rescue dogs.
“Katie is our nine-month-old yellow Labrador, the busiest and craziest canine I have ever had the privilege of loving. Katie, in true Lab style, loves to chew – and our home bears testimony to this! The day we adopted her our lives changed forever. We love you, our precious girl!
“Becca was rescued from a mine dump as a tiny four-week-old puppy. After nursing her back to health, we couldn’t imagine our lives without her and we welcomed her into our home forever. Two years later and she still brings such love and laughter to our lives.”
Back from left: Dark-ginger Andy, tabby-and-white Alex, long-haired ginger Harley, jet-black Astro.
Middle from left: Ginger-and-white Oliver (yawning), ginger Alfie, grey Silver.
Front: Tabby Simba
Vivienne Jones shares her “Brat Pack” pack, all of whom were feral kittens removed from feral colonies in Strijdompark, Wesbank and Westgate, except for Oliver, who was removed from an abusive home.
“Simba and Silver were very sickly little kittens who, once they were well, were too old to tame. Two-year-old Alfie, Astro, Andy and Alex are brothers who were ill for months; once I’d nursed them to health, I just couldn’t give them up.
“Harley never tamed enough to rehome so he stayed with his best friend Oliver, who’d been found starved and needed an operation to remove most of his colon. Today he is a fat, happy, healthy boy.
“My eight boys live happily together and each one has a unique personality. I love them all to bits!”
Shay Neethling shares Kelsey, their precious foster fail from Tin Can Town.
“We don’t know very much about Kelsey’s past except that she was hit by a car and her owner left her there; a very kind woman in Mitchell’s Plain found her, kept her safe and managed to get hold of another caring lady who, in turn, contacted Tin Can Town.
“They took her straight to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA (who have been absolutely amazing with her). Her leg was badly injured and the SPCA vets recommended that amputation would be best. I was contacted and asked if I could offer her a safe, quiet place to recover (just to foster!).
“Kelsey was skinny and very afraid at first – she was even afraid of blankets. But, after a few comfortable nights with us, she began coming out of her shell. She took to my son Andrew almost immediately and the two of them are the perfect ‘partners in crime’; it’s such a hoot to watch them play together.
“Kelsey has learned that couches are comfy and dogs sleep on beds and, most importantly, that not all humans are bad. After a month, we knew it was a foster fail… We’re still working with her daily and every day she gets stronger and flourishes more.
“She makes our home complete and she just loves everyone. She is really our little princess and I can’t thank Tin Can Town enough for finding her. We are head over heels in love with our girl!”
Left to right: Motley, Mojo and Mason
Susanne Schilling shares her precious pack, Motley, Mojo and Mason. “Motley weighs in at 65kgs of pure love! Technically he isn’t a rescue, but we did save him from being sent off to the USA.
“Mojo was recently adopted from Oscar’s Arc and he swings between being a sweetheart baby dog to a complete nutter who always makes us laugh.
“Mason is the hippie of the fur babies. Rescued from the side of the street, he was immediately taken to the vet and put on a drip for a few days. He nearly died but today is a healthy and happy dog. He is a very sensitive soul who senses my immense sadness at losing my son recently and is never far from my side.”
Daphne Ferreira shares Jer-mima, her beloved Moscovy duck. “Jer-mima came to me, along with another female and a male, from a friend who had sold her plot and didn’t want to take them to the auction. Both the other two are long gone across the ‘Rainbow Bridge’ (old age).
“Jer-mima is rather ancient and has always been a bit of a loner and she spends most of her days pretending she is a dog; her favourite place to sleep is on their blankets. The only problem is that she is impossible to housetrain, but we love her dearly nonetheless!”
Sue Rudnick shares Jake, who was adopted from Irwin Animal Rescue Centre on 8 January 2009. “Jake and his sister, Jade, were ‘donated’ to Irwin Animal Rescue Centre when they were six weeks old. As I have a passion for ginger cats and IARC was inundated with kittens, I adopted them when they were three months old; Jake (who is just one of our cats) has just turned eight.
“Jake has grown into a gorgeous gentle giant who loves to lounge around and not do much. However, every now and again, he loves to chase all the smaller cats just to let them know that he is the boss. Jake is not a fussy eater and, as can be seen from his size, he likes his food – his absolute favourite is hake.”
Lauren Námer shares Dixie (left) and Gladys. “Dixie and Gladys are my adorable senior Guinea Pigs. I adopted them both when they were two years old and had been surrendered as unwanted. They are now seven-and-a-half years old and real grannies.
“Both are special needs – Gladys came in with burn scars all over her body and Dixie had ovarian problems and diabetes. However, both are doing well, and are very happy little old ladies whom we absolutely adore.”
Shanna Taljaard and Erhard Otto share Nixon, whom they adopted from Mdzananda Animal Clinic in October. “Nixon, our bouncy three-legged tripod boy is very gentle, full of energy – and is an absolute sweetheart.
“We spotted Nixon the moment we entered the kennels and immediately fell in love with him. We had no doubt that he was The One and we applied and fetched him the very next day.
“He has filled our hearts and home with so much love and warmth.”
Christelle, Righardt and Aurora enjoying the fresh breeze outside
Elna Barker shares Aurora, who was adopted from The Lucky Lucy Foundation. “What a wonderful addition our fluffy child, Aurora, has made to our family.
“She was the first cat to greet us on our first visit to Lucky Lucy’s ‘Alcatraz’, but we still went back three times to decide which personality we wanted to make a permanent part of our family. We are very happy that we adopted Aurora! We love her so much and the feeling is obviously mutual.
“Aurora adores her people family. She knows my son’s lap is always a warm spot where she’ll be stroked and petted to her heart’s content but she chooses my daughter’s company if she wants some ‘girly time’. She’ll sprawl in the midst of plush toys and modish dolls and follow the play-acting conversations intently as if she understands every word.
“She also adores chasing a peacock feather or attacking her scratch pole, and spends lots of time outside stalking ducks or playing with her cat neighbours, or just lying about observing her territory.
“We’re eternally grateful to Patrys Niemand and the team at The Lucky Lucy Foundation. They are warriors, fiercely fighting for those who can’t fend for themselves and we salute them. They deserve every little bit of support they can get.”
Chloe and Liam and Hayley
Ingrid Roding shares their pet sheep, Liam, who was adopted from CLAW (Community Led Animal Welfare). “Liam was rescued by CLAW in 2015. He was just four days old and had been the victim of abuse, with both his back legs being shattered. He was fostered by Beverly Schellings and his legs were repaired by Dr Ari Leonard from Northriding Veterinary Clinic.
“Bev nursed him through his first five weeks, after which he moved to us. He was still being bottle-fed every three hours and, for several months, had extensive physio- and hydrotherapy. Liam, who turned two on 19 November 2017, recovered well and now you wouldn’t even know he had an issue.
“Liam, named by my eldest daughter, Hayley, quickly settled into home life and was soon comfortable with all our dogs and cats. He’s free to roam and graze, enjoys treats like popcorn, and loves to bounce and run and head-butt first thing in the morning when it’s cool and fresh.
“He doesn’t seem to know he’s a sheep – he greets us at the gate when we drive in, frolics with the dogs, and even dashes to the fence when they bark. He also joins us for walks around the plot in the evening.
“Once a year he’s clipped and his wool is donated to the Michael Mount School to be used for craftwork.
“Liam is sweet, caring, loving, attentive and slightly mischievous, but definitely not stupid. He is a shining example of how caring people do make a difference in the lives of animals and that a ‘simple’ sheep also deserves an opportunity at a good life.”
Jason Lin shares Pepper, his beloved Blue Persian cat adopted from Persian Cat Rescue Johannesburg. “Pepper is inquisitive, fearless and gentle – and very affectionate. We don’t know his story besides that he’s missing an eye and a kidney (probably genetic); he’s also a small cat (although he weighs over 3.5kg). When we discovered that one kidney was missing and the other enlarged, we panicked, fearing it was cancer (usually the case with enlarged kidneys). However, it turned out that the enlargement was only compensating for it being the only kidney.
“Pepper’s a real love bug who likes to cuddle up to me when I sleep and comes sprinting whenever I call his name. He’s highly intelligent and will jump onto the table or my bed if I say ‘Jump, Pepper, jump!’
“He just loves everyone. His playfulness reminds me of a kitten and, even though he’s all grown up, he’ll always be a kitten to us. He lives happily with us in Phalaborwa with our other three cats.”
Dee Vorster shares Poppet, a Sharpei-Labrador mix who joined their family when she was just eight weeks old. “Poppet was so tiny and looked like a baby hippo. Her mommy’s owner didn’t want the pups and was going to send them to the SPCA so we stepped in. It was one of the best things we ever did – she has grown into a beautiful, loving girl.
“Her favourite thing in the world is her morning Beeno; she nags for them, her stare reminding me, if we’re even a little bit late. She’s friends with all the other animals and has taken on the role of mommy to the little ones, Cody, Gracie, Bailey and Bentley.
“Poppet is extremely protective of all of us and, although strangers have been afraid of her, she is gentle and loving. I believe that if anyone tried to hurt us, she would protect us to the death… while at the same time being a big, loving baby.
“All our dining tables, whether in the breakfast nook, patio or dining room, have eight chairs because each of our fur kids has their own seat when we have meals. You can see Poppet on her chair in the breakfast room, asking Dad for a bite.
“Poppy turns seven years old in January and is definitely a blessing. We cannot imagine life without her (or our other amazing rescue fur kids).”
Megan Wiley shares little Moonshine (aka Moonie or Moon Moon), whom she adopted from LEAPS. “I saw a photo of Moonshine on Facebook and immediately fell in love.
“Moonie is the second kitten I adopted from LEAPS and is an amazing little girl; she’s absolutely beautiful and looks like a pure-breed kitty. I can’t believe she was a ‘weggooi kind’ (throwaway child).
“She loves being loved and is a constant purrrrrr machine. She’s obsessed with dry bread and pieces of cheese. She brings so much happiness in my life and my family would be empty without her.
“She’s the reason I’m a proud foster mommy too!”
Left to right: Angela, Yanka and Justine
Marizanne Ferriera shares her two precious sheep, Angela and Justine, and Yanka, her rescued Pit Bull. “My love of sheep all started with Angela, who is blind and is a Van Rooy (a very rare breed of sheep). She arrived here as a baby after being attacked badly by a jackal. I was supposed to raise her and let her go back to the farm… it’s now eight years later and she is very much part of our family; she is my babe.
“Justine was rejected by her Mom and it was the same story, my role was to ‘raise her and let her go’… and that was two years ago! Justine is a spunky little sheep; she loves pushing past the gate and shooting into the house at every opportunity.
“Yanka-Kwanita turned five in October and truly she is my life, my joy, my crutch, my bubble, my diva, my bestie. She does not possess a mean bone in her body and has helped me raise many sheep, goats and even buck.”
Left to right: Dexter, Dave, Andrea, Jade, Dane and Princess Candy on the day she arrived
Andrea Fraser shares Princess Candy, who was recently adopted from Spaniel Welfare SA. “Princess Candy was found as a stray in the most shocking condition. With much love, care and rehabilitation by Spaniel Welfare SA, she was finally put up for adoption and we couldn’t resist offering her our home.
“She has settled in wonderfully with Dexter, our other rescue Spaniel, and the kids absolutely adore her. It has been the beginning of a whole new life for both Candy and our little family.”
Estelle Potgieter shares Nikki, whom she adopted from The 9th Day Rescue, Rehabilitation & Rehoming Centre. “Nikki was picked up in the street, literally ‘leopard crawling’ on the road. She went into hiding underneath a car. Nikki was petrified of any and all humans; the moment you tried to touch her, or even tried to reach out to her, she’d start screaming like a baby.
“Soon she realised that not all humans are bad and transformed into the amazing, happy, beautiful young girl she is today.”
Leigh Hirsch shares Frankie, who was rescued as an unclaimed stray. “Roughly two-and-a-half years ago we were notified of a cat at the Greenside Vet who’d been picked up at Gold Reef City and looked very much like one of ours who’d disappeared a few weeks previously, but, sadly, it wasn’t her. I bundled my two little boys into the car anyway and off we went to see her.
“We fell in love straight away and took her home with us there and then. In the car on the way home she spread out on the backboard of our car as if she’d been riding in cars her whole life! She was estimated to be around six months old – still a baby. When we got her home, we didn’t even need to keep her locked in for the usual period; she just sprawled out on our bed and has never looked back since. It’s as if she just knew this was her home!
“We held an event recently and Frankie felt she wanted to be a giraffe. No matter how many times we kept putting it back to display, she just kept pushing it out again and taking its place and sat as still as a statue.”
Johnny Wild shares his rescue dogs, Oliver the Basset Hound and Tinkerbell the Jack Russell, with us. “After receiving a stressed call to say there was a Basset Hound in dire need (his owner was threatening to shoot him if he wasn’t removed immediately), I naturally sprang into action and went to collect him.
“Everyone at his home seemed fearful of him and warned me that he would bite. I put a leash around his neck and gently led him to my car – without any trouble at all. With his medical certificate in hand, we rapidly left.
“The next day I took Oliver to the vet for a check-up and vaccinations and it was then that it was established that the hairs around Olivier’s eyes were growing inward and were aggravating the interior of the eye (a condition known as entropion) causing abscesses to develop. The abscesses had developed over a period of time and had not been treated; some of them had left scars. This was most definitely the reason for Oliver’s aggressive behaviour – he was in constant pain! The operation (an eye tuck, which alleviates the hairs growing inwardly and aggravating the eye) was a success and to date he has not had any problems.
“Oliver is a big Basset and his temperament has completely changed since the eye tuck. He interacts happily with the other rescues that share our home but he has a particularly soft spot for Tinkerbell.
“I adopted Tinkerbell from Woodrock Animal Rescue. She’d been rescued from appalling conditions near the Swaziland border. At first she was very scared and literally hid behind my bed for days whilst I tried every trick in the book to entice her to come out.
“Then one day I was making coffee in the kitchen and in she trotted. She had a long wander around the yard before heading straight back to her hideout behind my bed.
“She took a long time to learn to trust and come out of her shell (and her hideaway spot) but I persevered and it was really only after I adopted little Penny (also a Jack Russell – an unclaimed stray) from the Randburg SPCA that Tinkerbell came into her own.
“As Tinkerbell’s skittishness started to subside, I could finally pat her without her shying away from me. She and Penny have a strong bond – during the day they get up to the usual mischief that Jack Russells are supposed to, and at the end of the day they curl up together to go to sleep looking like butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths.”
Anneke Malan rescued five kittens from a cat-unfriendly hostel in Johannesburg, and decided to bring Zoë home. “We’d lost several elderly four-footed family members in the preceding year so we decided to give Zoë a home.
“She has turned out to be the most magical little feline imaginable, and has everyone enthralled - the husband, the dogs and even the other cats!”
Alicia Thomas shares Felix, who was adopted from Louis Trichardt SPCA. “Felix arrived at the SPCA as a stray and, at first sight, we thought he might have injured his leg. But then with closer inspection we realised it was a birth defect!
“I fell head over heels for this boy the moment he looked into my eyes and a week later he was home with us!
“Make no mistake, his small physical defect does not hold him back in any way and, well, truth be told, it really makes him absolutely perfect!
“Felix means ‘the lucky one’, but we truly are the lucky ones to have been able to adopt him!”
Margaret MacLeod shares Ollie, whom she adopted from SPCA Uitenhage. “I was in the process of adopting from Pug Rescue when I received a message from a friend, Cliff Reed, telling me about this sad little boy who was at SPCA Uitenhage.
“I drove out to them immediately and was brokenhearted when I saw this wasted orphan in the cage. I promptly filled in the forms and waited. He’d been picked up as a stray who’d been wandering around for weeks beforehand. He was so thin and had bits of hair missing here and there.
“It was love at first sight and I was so emotional on the day I went to collect him – I suspect the assistants there thought I was a lunatic. I named him Oliver/Ollie after Oliver in Oliver Twist. He WAS the little pug nobody wanted.
“Ollie doesn’t bark and instead makes funny sounds to get your attention. It has been three years since the day I brought him home and I love him more and more every day!”
Tracey Hartley shares Jack the Lad. “Jack was trapped at a local shopping centre with his mom, who was feral, and sister. His mom was spayed and released back to live as a feral and his sister was tamed and homed, but Jack was a serious problem.
“First of all, he was the wildest kitten I had ever met; all he did was hiss and spit. So, when we finally tamed him to a point where he could go to a home with much patience and understanding, we found out that he had FIV – Feline Aids. We were devastated!
“The vet said to retest in a few months but the tests still came up positive, so that’s why he remains with us. He has tremendous attitude! And that comical face is always making us laugh. He is now the most loving cat and can usually be found tucked up right next to me.”
Sandy Bremner shares Mouse, who is her foster fail puppy. “She was so small when I got her at five weeks and she was the weakest puppy in the litter I was fostering. I carried her around in my top for as long as I could. Now she loves to sleep close to me and is a real mommy’s girl.
“We never planned on having three dogs but, every day that went by, the mere thought of letting her go made me so upset. We were first worried about how small she was and if she’d cope with our other dogs that were bigger than her. Well, she runs circles around them.
“She is the true baby in the family and has us all wrapped around her paws. Her name is Mouse but we call her Moekie and Mousie Moo. I’d played around with so many names initially because she reminded me of so many other animals, such as squirrels, rabbits and deer. She bounces around everywhere; she is hilarious!
“She’s taken on the role of both nurturer and troublemaker in our home. She likes to lick everyone and groom them; she does it to the foster kittens, her siblings and us.
“She loves getting attention and will make it very known if she’s being ignored. I would be lost without her.”
Monique Robalo shares little Sophie, a rescue pup she adopted from animal rescuer Dana Wainman. “When Dana first rescued her, Sophie was only five weeks old and riddled with worms. She is just eight weeks old now and is absolutely precious.
“Sophie has a feisty personality and gives you attitude when she doesn’t get her way. We adore her and she’s crept into our hearts in such a short time.”
Annerie de Waal shares Lucy, her 14-year-old medium Sulphur Crested Cockatoo whom she saved from a miserable life. “Lucy used to be a breeding bird but, after her mate passed away when she was five years old, the breeder gave her away and she ended up living in a small cage in a garage due to her screaming issues. She lived this way for six years before I was alerted to her situation. And then the hard work of her recovery started.
“Lucy came to me a broken bird; when I looked into her eyes, she was just empty – there was no spark of life. It took about three months for her personality to start showing. Medically, we were battling fatty liver disease due to her being on a sunflower seed diet; she was also plucking her feathers out due to stress. Her medical treatment was extensive and expensive, but thanks to donations from all over the world I was able go full-out.
“With getting treated correctly, having plenty of toys and a big cage and being loved, her feathers started coming out again, without her plucking them again.
“Seven months after I got her, she was fully feathered and just such a happy girl. Three years later and Lucy is now fully flighted, and loves her life with me and her birdie friends.”
Brione Schoeman shares Toby, whom she adopted from Capetonians Against Animal Abuse. “We’ve only had Toby for two months but it already feels like he’s always been here. He’s blended in beautifully with the family and has come such a long way in that time.
“He is very affectionate, a playful little soul and is dearly loved. Many thanks to CAAA; what a pleasure dealing with them has been – they are so helpful and truly go the extra mile.”
Photo credit: The Being Project
Janet Rhys shares her “Little Goldie”. “In November 2003, and a few days before my 60th birthday, a friend came to me with a little +/- 9-month-old puppy that she’d rescued from the side of the road from a group of boys.
“I took her to see my vet, Duncan Siegfried, who declared that she was a very sick little girl with a general infection; she was put into intensive care for five days. A rather expensive birthday gift!
“At the time, I only had one little dog, Mouse, the love of my life that I had rescued two years previously. Mouse was very unimpressed by Goldie and determinedly ignored her for a long time. They finally became friends after doing the “work run” in my car for many years and, at the end of Mouse’s life, they’d gotten very close.
“I recently adopted Rosie (http://www.happytailsmagazine.co.za/happy-tales/our-rosie/) and hope that, in the not too distant future, Goldie and Rosie will become good friends. In the meantime, I’m the main focus for each of them and give them both lots of love and cuddles.
“I am so happy to be able to give them both a warm home with lots of good food and love.”
Photo credit: Joachim Bates Photography
Linda Scrace shares Ginger, her rescue sheep who’d been abandoned in a house in Krugersdorp. “The tiny kid had been crying bitterly and two guys told the neighbour that the mother had died.
“As I have extensive experience with sheep and horses, I was contacted and asked if I would be able to help. And, so, Ginger arrived at FORA (Friends of Rescued Animals, Krugersdorp).
“The little one was dehydrated and weighed only 2.5kgs. He became my bottle baby, and for the first seven months of his life with me he joined my ride-along crew, joining me at FORA every day and sleeping next to my bed every night, until he became too heavy to lift in and out of my bakkie (around the 50kg mark).
“He sadly then had to stay at FORA at night – he was quite upset about it for the first week but has since settled nicely into his new routine; he has his own run (under lock and key) at night inside the building.
“Ginger is very much part of our FORA family now. He has lots of personality and is very comfortable as one of our office ‘dogs’.”
Left to right… Shanti, Roxy and Sophi
Dee-Ann Kaaijk shares her pack – Roxi, Shanti and Sophi. “Peanut (Snoopy) says: ‘Life is better with a dog.’ Well, it should say: ‘life is better with three’!
“My girls, Roxi, Shanti and Sophi, are my precious fur-babies.
“Roxi was the only pooch in my dog adoption plan; she was adopted from SA Yorkie Rescue and, with my plan in place and on the lookout for a kitten to adopt, all went pear-shaped when I met Shanti.
“I’d heard about Shanti, a malnourished, abused German Shepherd who was scared of everything and everyone. I took her in as a foster, nursed her back to health and helped her regain some self-confidence. In this process, watching her heal day by day, I realised that I had by then become her everything (and fallen in love with her too!). She needed to belong.
“She got her very own collar, and Roxi and I had a private little ceremony for Shanti, announcing that she now belonged with us and that we are her home now. Since the ceremony, Shanti has made an almost complete turnaround. Although still very afraid of hosepipes, brooms, mops or anything resembling a stick, she has learnt to manage her fear as I have learnt to understand it.
“And then along came little Miss Sophi (then known as Tammy). The 9th Day had posted a Facebook video requesting urgent foster care. I was determined to help her and took on some of the social media posting, searching for her perfect home. With a rib sticking out of her side (we suspect she’d been kicked or was in an accident) and what also seems to be a previously-broken bottom jawbone, this girl has a tongue that seems to be a mile long, and has a lovely cheekiness about her. I quickly came to realise that I was, yet again, sitting with a foster failure – little Sophi was going nowhere.
“My girls and I have formed an amazing pack filled with unconditional love.”
Beverley Schellings shares Pippen, who was found as a tiny baby all alone and in the middle of the road in the South of Johannesburg, and brought to Bev to hand-rear. “We had a very difficult time as she could/would not suckle. We kept her alive with 3ml of milk at a time almost continuously for the first five days. Finally, on day five, she drank 10ml of milk on her own… and then gave up suckling once more.
“There is a method called Madigan Squeeze that I have seen used on foals that won’t suckle; this procedure, which is painless, uses ropes wrapped around the chest/shoulders and applies steady, gentle pressure, which causes the foal to go to sleep. On waking up, they usually start suckling – it’s thought that, by mimicking the squeezing pressure a foal would sustain during birth, biochemical changes are triggered, stimulating it to wake up and take to normal foal behaviour. On day ten, I found a way to do this squeeze on Pippen. Within an hour she drank 20ml.
“Since then, she has become the biggest bottle fan ever. The funny thing is that, after all the hours sent trying to get her to take her bottle, I will soon have to start weaning her off it!
“Pippen is the sweetest, most playful little girl. She is an absolute delight. Asher’s Farm Sanctuary has offered to adopt her to be company for Basil (Trouble), whom I hand-reared earlier in the year. She will live out her days in absolute heaven with loads of other rescues.”
Tony and Amanda Carreira share Gabriel, who was adopted from Husky Heaven Rescue. “When we started looking to find a fur-friend for our son, Diego, we came across a picture of Gabriel on HHR’s Facebook page. Gabriel had been found as a stray, roaming the street, full of ticks and matted hair; he was never claimed.
“Needless to say, we all fell in love with the photos of this beautiful boy and couldn’t wait to meet him. We went to HHR on their Snow Nose Day and got to meet this incredible boy for the first time. We were convinced he was the right dog for our family.
“Now, our home is filled with the sound of laughter that only comes from a child and their fur companion! It makes us smile every time we hear that!
“Gabriel wakes Diego up every morning for school with lots of licks and giggles, and waits eagerly for his return every afternoon! We love you Gabriel and are so blessed to have found you.”
Photo credit: Brown's Woodbees Photography
John Hally shares Coco, who was rescued from the Bunny Park in Benoni. “Coco was terrified of humans but she soon started trusting me and then became part of our therapeutic team, and even started working with the kiddies. She loves her ‘job’ and the children love spending time with this gentle little donkey.”
Tessa Papadopoulos shares her darling Dizzy Gizzy Gizmo, adopted from FORA two months ago. “It feels like he’s been with us forever. As an older boy, I took him to the vet for a check-up (and microchipping, of course) – the vet said that he’s in perfect shape. He is my shadow and I can’t remember life without him now!”
Jenni Davies shares her beloved wire-haired Terrier-mix, Benji. “Benji was a stray; when his owners were traced, they said they didn’t want him anyway. Well, their loss and my gain because this little guy is so special. He makes me laugh every day with his funny ways, and is such a loving, clever dude with a real ‘larger-than-life’ personality.
“He is the absolute love of my life, the apple of my eye, and I still can’t believe that I was lucky enough to have adopted him.”
Heather Edwards shares Zuri (which means “beautiful” in Swahili). “Zuri was given to us as a kitten by a guy who used to work for my dad and who came from an impoverished area where cats aren’t spayed. She would have ended up in a shelter if we hadn’t agreed to take her in. She is such an intelligent cat and we love having her as part of our family. (Zuri’s mom, thankfully, was spayed after that litter.)”
Lemaryn Barendse shares Keeska and Adam, whom she adopted from Oudtshoorn Dogs in Need. “Keeska had been rescued as a puppy from life on a chain and suffering from tick bite fever. We fell in love with her personality from the very first day and had to adopt her; she will never live on a chain again.
“Later, whilst taking photos of dogs to network, I noticed a tan bundle of joy – take one part dog and mix in three parts ‘energiser bunny’ and you have our Adam, a total package of energy and love.”
Nataly Barbosa shares Leo, whom she recently took in from a family who moved to a place with no garden for him. “We are besotted with our giant baby. Leo is extremely muscular and is a giant of a dog, and they were struggling to find a suitable home for him.
“I have seven dogs, all of which are rescues: a Labrador, four pavement specials from squatter camps, two adopted Chihuahuas and, now, Leo.
“My nerves were shot the day Leo was brought home. I literally had to carry him out of the car; he was petrified. We introduced the large dogs, one by one, on leashes. It was a time-consuming task requiring plenty of patience. On his first night, I took some of my pillows and blankets and lay with Leo in our garage, which is connected directly to our home.
“Initially, he cowered with his tail between his legs and was extremely skittish. But now his tail wags constantly and he’s already playing with the other dogs. He no longer runs away from people and is extremely affectionate.”
Yvette Nel shares her very precious old boy, Spider. “Spider is 17 years old and one of the fortunate dogs who’s had a loving home since birth. Although he’s not a rescue, we added a few years to his life by not giving up on him. Spider weighed 1.3kg at one stage, couldn’t walk, sit or stand for a day or two, but – oh boy! – could he still eat… and that’s what made me decide not to put him to sleep.
“He was fed every hour, given coconut water and milk and, within two weeks, had gained weight, gotten stronger, and started walking again. Spider is a cancer survivor and, although he has a heart condition, he lives a pain- and suffering-free life, doing everything a younger dog does; just in slow motion.”
Stefanie Koch shares Ila, adopted form DARG in 2011. “Ila moved with me from SA to Ireland and later to Germany. Last year we were blessed with a baby girl, Anni, and Ila is the best big sister ever!”
Left to right: Snoopy, Nandi and Dexter
Lauren Butcher shares her three rescue Cocker Spaniels, Snoopy, Nandi and Dexter. “We adopted Snoopy from Spaniel Welfare SA in March 2016. We needed a friend for Dexter after Lulu died (they were very close and he became very sad and lonely) but I wasn’t ready to replace her with another girl. My eldest daughter went to meet him in Johannesburg and decided he would be a perfect fit. We met him a few weeks later when he flew to Port Elizabeth to join our family. He is a busy boy, but also very soppy and loves cuddles – nudging your hand for more when you stop.
“Nandi is our baby girl and she is now a year old. We adopted her through Spaniel Welfare SA last October. She is the only one we’ve had from a pup and it’s been a wonderful journey. She’s the busiest and most active of my three, but also the one most generous with her love. She’s so full of the joy of life from the minute she wakes up in the morning until her eyes close at night.
“Everyone is greeted each morning as if it’s been ages since she last saw them. Her little bum wiggles constantly and everyone is smothered with kisses, including our cat (who is 14). The two of them are great buddies and can often be found playing together in the garden.
“I adopted Dexter together with Lulu in Feb 2014 from Spaniel Rescue South Africa. (Lulu was my dog soulmate but unfortunately died on 14 Feb 2016 from bacterial meningitis – don’t think I’ll ever get over losing her.)
“Dexter is the sweetest, most gentle soul in the world and his only aim in life is to be everybody’s friend (and go for walks and lie on the couch or bed). He was rescued from a dog hoarder and was very neglected and forced to stay outside. (I’m sure he was also beaten judging by his reactions to sudden arm movements when he first arrived.) He’s always a favourite with visitors to our home or new friends made whilst out and about because of his lovely gentle nature.
“It’s so lovely to have these three in our lives. They bring such joy and love into our home and help make it a happy place. Adopting Spaniels was one of the best decisions we made and I am so glad we’ve been able to repay their unquestionable love by taking them on so many adventures – weekends away, beach walks, valley walks, boat rides and daily walks around the suburb or to the dog park, as well as smothering them with love and cuddles and just generally spoiling them to bits.”
Beverley Frank shares Mittens, who was adopted after she had been abandoned with her siblings at the local vet. “Mittens is now two-and-a-half years old – and is an absolute delight! She is very vocal and we hold many ‘conversations’.
“Mittens is not a brave kitty at all; she runs for her life when I get visitors... even from my daughter and the grandkids, whom she’s known all her life. She’s definitely a one-woman cat! She doesn’t tolerate dogs in general although she loves Honey, my Golden Retriever. I have caught her on numerous occasions trying to play with her, but the minute I get my camera out, she runs. She truly is a blessing, and we enjoy many cuddles.”
Emma O’Brien shares her elderly rescue boy, Jeremy, who was adopted from Sandton SPCA in February 2011. “Jeremy is my constant companion and I cannot imagine my life without him. I adopted him on Valentine’s Day in 2011 and he’s brought so much joy to my life. Jeremy inspired me to start photographing dogs and to volunteer to help Sandton SPCA, which I’m proud to say has meant not only over R1 million in funds from the annual calendar project, but it’s also helped countless dogs find a new home.
“He is rather needy and wants to be sitting on my lap whenever possible; I think he’d happily have me carry him everywhere if he got his way. Sadly, he’s rather an old boy now and spends most of his time sleeping. He’s blind and deaf, which means I have to keep a close watch to make sure he’s safe and wake him up when it’s breakfast time… but he has no problem finding his way onto the couch.”
Photo credit: Liv Stirling Photography
Ernestine Strini shares her precious Penny, who was rescued from a terrible life on a farm. “If I had a penny (excuse the pun) for every ‘Ooooh’ and ‘Aaahh’ and ‘How Cute’ from people when they first meet our girl, I’d be a millionaire by now. Penny came from a farm in Pretoria, neglected, starving and covered in ticks and fleas. We had to shave her fur off completely and then it started growing back in peculiar places. She was with us a few short months and already headed off to Cape Town to spend the holiday with us. She is our ‘Travel Dog’ and flies or drives with us wherever we are heading.
“I call Penny my Rescue Dog Ambassador: everyone asks what ‘kind of dog and breed’ she is and my answer is always: The Best Kind, which is the Rescue Breed … and then I point people in the direction of the nearest animal shelter to adopt (and not buy) a pet.
“Penny will be years old in December but her cuteness simply knows no age.”
Teresa Whitehead shares Gemma, who was semi-feral, horrifically thin and pregnant when she moved in with her. “When Gemma was handed in to a shelter for rehoming, I couldn’t bear to surrender her as I knew she’d battle to find a home because she has no problem smacking if she’s not happy. And so, she was spayed and vaccinated, and given the home she’d chosen – with lots of love to go with it.”
Marlene Howard shares Leia, whom she recently adopted. “Leia is a five-month-old ball of energy. She was dropped off at the vet as a stray and sadly never claimed. She gives us lots of cuddles, enjoys her puppy training and certainly keeps us on our toes.”
Lina du Preez shares Katniss, a puppy who was adopted from Ark Animal Centre, and tabby kitten Finn, who was adopted from The Cat Shack. “When I saw Katniss on Facebook, I fell in love with her pretty little face; my kids felt the same and we headed off to Ark Animal Centre to meet her. It was an easy adoption process and she has been a perfect fit to our family. She is sweet, loving and, needless to say, adored by all of us.
“Little Finn is the sweetest kitten to ever live. He was chosen out of so many gorgeous kittens and cats by my son, and although he was the total opposite to what I had pictured, he is the most amazing cat I have ever known.
“After a few weeks of getting to know each other and finding their places, Katniss and Finn absolutely love each other. They play constantly and love to snuggle up together on the couch. They complete our family and I can’t imagine not having them; in fact I can’t remember what our home was like before we adopted them. Well... actually, I guess it was just a house before we adopted. Now it’s a home.”
Ernestine Strini shares Maya, whom she adopted from Pretoria Dog Rescue. “Maya was dropped at the shelter at the very advanced age of 15 years! Confused, scared and underweight, and with the freezing winter months upon us, it all took a big toll on her. If she wasn’t adopted she really faced suffering, even an early death.
“But, with a few good months of being part of our warm and loving home, with good food and even better care, Maya has blossomed into an absolute beauty. The years seem to be falling off her each day she is with us. She has fitted in beautifully and we love her very much.”
Wynter Worsthorne shares Amber, a little red hen who was rescued when her humans moved from Johannesburg to a smaller property in Cape Town and could not keep their chickens. “Amber is a feisty hen and although a bit nervous, she will let me pick her up when I need to care for her in any way. She is completely free range with the rest of the flock and sticks close to her friends; they all put themselves to bed each evening in their cosy hen-house. Whenever I feel stressed, all I need to do is spend time with my chickens to recharge and relax.”
Harry is on the left, Ellie on the right
Nicky Schmidt shares Harry and Ellie, who were both adopted from Golden Retriever Rescue. “Ellie and her brother, Casey (who, sadly, passed away from cancer in December), had been abandoned by their owners in kennels when Liezel of Golden Retriever Rescue contacted me to come and meet them.
“We adopted Harry to keep Ellie company; he adores his ‘big sister’ and she’s slowly but surely getting over her disdain and contempt and coming to love him too. He’s certainly given her a new zest for life!
“I don’t know anything about Harry’s story – we were told he was five, but his vet book says seven, and he seems to have some hip and spine issues. He is such a lovely boy – a happy dog – and has settled in beautifully. They both love their walks on the beach, in the forest and, of course, napping on the couch.”
Tessa Papadopoulos shares her Princess Peppa Le Peau, who was rescued as a very young and very pregnant feral. “Needless to say, we had her fixed immediately and guess who rules our roost and our hearts? Our darling Pepps!”
Paula Bean shares golden oldie Honey, who was rescued after being abandoned. “Honey is a grand dame at 18 years of age. Dumped outside a grooming parlour as a very small pup, we adopted her with a broken tail and dislocated back leg. Her tail was put in plaster and a pin in her leg and we have never looked back. She has been a real cheeky ankle biter, very healthy, and she still loves her food. She is a treasure in our home and hearts.”
Carol Eggleton shares Xena and Perry, whom she adopted from Love A Bull SA in January. “They are just too precious; they both have such beautiful personalities. Perry, our big boy (the white one), is just so placid, and Xena, our pretty girl, just can’t stop giving us kisses all day and every day. Their tails never stop wagging from the minute they wake up until bedtime. We just love them so much.”
Robyn Lisa Clifton shares Buddy, who was adopted along with his mommy, Gracie, and mom’s BFF, kitty Cleo, from Phillipi Animal Welfare Society. “He was so little when we adopted him and his mum that we had no idea how he was going to turn out; every day was a little more interesting. Our ‘Buddy Bear’ is too precious and such a little character. He, Gracie and Cleo are always together getting up to mischief!”
(Editor’s note: See the full story here http://www.happytailsmagazine.co.za/happy-tales/ready-made-family/)
Linda Jane Simone shares Nunu, who “adopted her family” after she had been abandoned by her previous owners when they moved. “Because of living as a street cat for a while – we estimate it was about eight to ten weeks – Nunu developed the habit of eating whenever there was food around just in case there wasn’t any more forthcoming. As a result, she tends to overeat, so we’ve had to put her onto a specialised cat food and keep a tight check on her daily diet now.
“We love her to bits! She has a very playful character and tends to spend most of her time hanging out on our bed.”
Madeli Endrich shares Lizzy, who was adopted from Aniwell. “Lizzy was a puppy in a litter of six rescued in a Grabouw informal settlement when her mom was sterilised. She was the very first puppy we adopted and is nearly six years old now. Lizzy is a very sensitive creature and we have a very close bond.
“Lizzy often gets mistaken for a pure breed because of her gorgeous looks, but she is a stunning rescue dog with deep chocolate dark brown eyes and a heart of gold. She often helps me with tiny rescue kittens and her favourite pastime is napping on our bed in the sun. She loves walks and tug play and can spend hours playing with her sister, Molly.”
Vivienne Jones shares Harley Davidson, who was found as a feral kitten in 2015. “Harley lives happily with me but, sadly, has never lost his fear of people so I still cannot touch him. But he enjoys life and adores his ‘other brothers from different mothers’.”
Jackie Buss shares her precious Hahns Macaw named Pickles. “When I met Pickles, she immediately jumped onto my shoulder, said ‘hello’, then bit me – and bit me again.
“She was about two years old, and had been returned by her previous owner because they couldn’t handle her: she was noisy and would bite both humans and other birds (and, I have since learnt, dogs and cats too).
“As it turned out, all she needed was the right human to love her as she is – to accept her being true to her parrot nature, and to give her the attention she deserves. She needed her perfect human, and I found a companion I never knew I needed.
“Love at first bite and, a few bites later, the rest is history!”
Nadine and daughter Jemma van Driel share little Scooby, whom they recently adopted from Maltese, French Poodle and Yorkie Rescue South Africa. “Little Scooby has crept into our hearts so quickly! He is such a cute little boy with a lovely gentle, friendly and playful personality.
“His fur friend, our other little rescue, Izzi, ‘shouted’ (loud bark) a lot on the first day but since then has been so much better. Although she is still the boss and he’s so chilled about it.
“We’re so pleased he’s part of our family.”
Lauren van Wyk shares Cadbury, who was rescued as a feral living at a warehouse. “This beautiful boy is possibly the world’s friendliest cat; when we come home in the afternoon he comes running down the hall to greet us, tail in the air. He is a dog in a little cat’s body and we love him very much.”
Debbie Hindshaw shares Charlie, whom she adopted from FORA. “Since adopting Charlie, I’ve never looked back. He has brought such joy and light to my life and I can’t imagine my life without my sweet boy.”
Gail King shares Wanda, whom she adopted from Edenvale SPCA 10 years ago. “Wanda was undernourished and had lived an abusive life before being picked up as a stray. She is now the pride and joy of our family and is also the proud owner of KUSA Canine Good Citizen Award.
“She has also recently saved the life of a puppy by donating blood – our hero! We can’t imagine a day without her – she truly is the love of our lives.”
Kim Burrell shares Olly and Spencer, both of whom she adopted from Cat Care. “I was only supposed to take Spencer but I just fell in love with them both. They were taken into foster care with Jill Wakeford of Cat Care when they were two weeks old and were bottle-fed; I think that’s why they’re so incredibly affectionate and confident around anyone and anything.
“They’re the absolute best of friends and can’t do anything without one another. Spencer is the adventurous yet very affectionate one, while Olly is a Mommy’s boy who needs me or Spencer to watch him play in the garden. Adopting them was definitely the best thing I’ve ever done.”
(Olly is the one at the top and Spencer is the one at the bottom)
Carol Bysshe shares Nipper, whom her family adopted when he could no longer live with his previous owner. “Of course, we all agreed upfront – there would be rules, like never to be allowed on the furniture. Hmmm, well here we are… Nipper is very loved and absolutely adores ‘his’ beanbag.”
Lisa Tamarozzi shares Bibi, whom she adopted from the SPCA Cape of Good Hope. “Bibi was found as a stray and had been at the SPCA for eight weeks; she was showing signs of kennel stress when I adopted her. Her name at the SPCA was Mimi, but I changed it to Bibi Bibs Bianca (her name on her passport is Bianca Tamarozzi). She has travelled with me from Cape Town to Amsterdam, to Houston in Texas, close to Mexico, and spent Christmas and New Year 2014 in Manhattan, New York. She is a feisty little monkey who shares my heart with my other rescue dog, named Starr.”
Marisa Louw shares George, who was rescued by her and her opera singer husband, Stefan, in 2012. “George has really struggled with his health; he has only one eye and has allegedly suffered a minor stroke. Since being with us, he has been put on a healthy diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, and parrot pellets; his health is improving daily and his feathers are growing back. And yes, he sings opera!”
Katie Jane shares her rescue cats, Robert and Raine. “Robert was found in a drain in Robertson and rescued by Aniwell. Although he had a very rough start, with their love and care he did well and I adopted him a year ago. Raine was thrown out of a car window and a kind person took her in to Panorama Vet, from where I adopted her. She’s had to overcome a number of health issues but, since being on a balanced raw food diet, she is thriving. Both of them are in excellent health.
“They get supervised outside play for an hour every day and are otherwise happy indoor kitties with a ‘jungle gym’, tunnel, toys galore and, of course, comfy beds. They are soulmates and adore each other.”
Trixie Osterloh shares Bibi, whom she fostered, together with her siblings, for Husky Rescue when they were only three months old. “Bibi is a Husky-German Shepherd-Chow mix and is turning six years old this year. Bibi is the loveliest of dogs and was adopted by my mother, Karla. She’s adored by the whole family.”
Robyn Bosch shares her beloved rescue rats, Ella (left) and Faye, who had been dumped at her local vet in an appalling condition. “I couldn’t say no, even though I had 13 already, mostly rescues from Mischief Rat Rescue. Ella is very loving and just wants cuddles; she also gives kisses. Faye is adventurous; tame but always wants to explore. They get baby porridge for breakfast, homemade rat mix is always available, and they enjoy fruit and vegetables at night.
“For one to three hours daily they get ‘free time’; I’ve set up obstacles and tunnels, which they love. They’re even potty-trained, which helps in free time. They were the sweetest little rats from the start and they make me smile daily with their antics.”
Beverly Kinsella shares her family of failed fosters and adopted seniors. “Three years ago I fostered Gracie (small Spanny sitting on the chair). She was, sadly, simply an unwanted puppy of about six months. She was so frightened and timid. I fell in love with her immediately on her arrival and announced her adoption two weeks later, renaming her Gracie-May as she came to us in May 2014. She has blossomed into a loving, confident and happy three-year-old little girl.
“Pearl (larger Spanny sitting on the chair) had been given to the domestic servant after her owners emigrated. Regrettably her needs could no longer be taken care of properly and she landed up at the vet in a very poor condition. She was surrendered and remained at the vet for a week to be treated before being placed in my foster care. Once again, as soon as I saw Pearl I ‘knew’ she was ‘home’. She’s a very gentle, loving and happy 13-year-old little girl. I named her Pearl because she is so beautiful and delicate.
“Chan (bottom right photo) was placed in our foster care in 2014 after his owner sadly passed away. Chan suffered from severe depression initially, but with loads of love and understanding he eventually settled in at our home. We struggled to find him a new family and after fostering him for eight months we decided to adopt him. He’s now a lovely old spaniel boy of about 12 years who offers so much love, gratitude, loyalty and companionship.
“In January this year I saw a Facebook post on Gizmo (bottom left photo), a 14-year-old visually impaired Spaniel who is also slightly deaf and in need of a new home. I felt an instant connection with him when I saw his photo and we were so blessed to have been chosen as his new family. He has settled in wonderfully in his new home and with his fur siblings. I know he is a senior, and his time with us may be limited, but we cherish each day with him.
“All my animals bring me so much joy, fun and laughter. Their love overflows and is unconditional. They are such loyal, understanding friends and companions.
“Please consider opening your heart and home to a foster animal. Time is not always on their side and a foster home is the bridge between life and death. Also, adopting an older animal will enrich your life immeasurably and change your life forever.”
Elana Smit shares little Babsie, who was rescued as a feral kitten. “Babsie was not always the bubbly soul she is today. She was caught in a trap with her feral mum. Her mum now lives the cosy life of a barn cat, and as for Babsie… well, she has completely taken over our hearts and our home.”
Estelle Meldau of Woodrock Animal Rescue Centre shares Jenny, whom she saved ten years ago as a mange-riddled parvo pup. “When Jen came into our lives, all we wanted was for her to survive. So I carried her around under my jersey like a newborn baby. Needless to say, I caught mange – as did my entire family. We had to change our linen daily and we all landed up at a skin specialist! Nevertheless, I have to confess that Jenny has repaid us back a million-fold by simple love and devotion. Adopted dogs are packages of healing. They teach humans the meaning of love and trust.”
Dawn Austen shares Nunu and Aslan, who both came to live with her and the family quite unexpectedly. “Nunu was saved from almost being knocked down by a truck and then a taxi whilst in the middle of a very busy road just before Christmas. We coerced the little guy into our car, took him home and then spent the next few weeks trying to find his owner. Sadly, none was ever found. He definitely is a lap dog – used to being inside and also used to being on a bed! He has THE most loving nature; he actively looks for love all the time.
“When we took Nunu to be neutered, we met a man at the vet with a beautiful eight-week-old Golden Labrador puppy. Of course, we cooed over the pup and, after watching this, the man asked: ‘Do you want him?’ We were stunned, especially as he would give Aslan to us and not sell him. Well, of course we said yes! The man paid for his vaccinations, gave us his bowl and blanky and off he went. Aslan has grown in leaps and bounds. At five months old he already weighs 23kgs and is a typical Labrador – chewing or eating everything, always looking for something to do or get into. I’m sure he thinks he has several names, such as ‘No’, ‘Give that here’, ‘Stop’, ‘Drop that’, etc.
“Aslan loved Nunu from the start; Nunu was not so keen on no longer being an only child. It took a few days but he eventually came around. They are a David-and-Goliath pair but inseparable now. I honestly could not imagine our home without these very special fur kids in our life.”
Ronel Pienaar shares little Tic Tac, who was rescued with his mom and sisters from a horrible situation. “Tic Tac is just over a year old. He and his family were very young, fed a poor diet, and were underweight; some were pregnant. The babies were born soon after the rescue but many died due to poor immune systems and respiratory infections. Tic Tac started out life receiving antibiotics at three weeks. Fortunately he pulled through and lives his life as a much-loved and spoiled pet. Tic Tac will even be at the WODAC show taking place this month at the Mischief Rat Rescue stand.”
Photo credit: Ornella D Photography
Carol Werth shares Ebony, whom she adopted from Dassenberg Horse Rescue Centre at just eight weeks old. “She came home with me on Valentine’s Day after a morning of volunteering in 2015. She is highly intelligent and is quick to alert me if something is wrong; I know her warning bark for a wild animal, another cat, one of my own cats and a trespasser. She hates my phone and always gives me that look that I am ignoring her when I am on FB or WhatsApp. She is a perfect little buddy.”
Michelle Raath shares Patches, whom she adopted seven years ago. “While scrolling through Facebook a tortoiseshell kitty’s face popped up. It was instant love. I called the haven and told them I was coming to fetch her. Patches continues to bring much joy and love to us. She even stands on her hind legs and walks when she wants something or is happy to see you – a very cute trait. Weekends are her favourite, when she can spend some time lying in with us.”
Reiny Maher shares Lyka and Dixie, both of whom were adopted from FORA. “They are spoilt rotten “puppies”. Lyka is now eight and Dixie, whom I’ve had for four years now, is approximately 11 or 12. These two have a busy schedule: they get walked in the park at 7AM, then breakfast, another walk at around 10 and then a marrowbone; they have the afternoon at their leisure then another walk at around 4 to 5PM, depending on the weather. On their afternoon walk, they meet up with their friend and play off-lead, chasing each other around and swimming in the river. Supper time is around 6PM. They are the best of friends and get into all sorts of nonsense together, dashing onto the golf course nearby if given a chance. They have lots of friends and are well known in the neighbourhood. I love them to bits and life would not be the same without them.”
Nigel Legge shares Thomas, who was rescued out of a dustbin as a two-week-old kitten. “My lovely wife, Julie, bottle-fed our ginger boy; today he is the most handsome cat who behaves more like a dog than a cat. Known as Thomas O’Malley, he rules the roost in our home. We can’t go to sleep at night unless he is tucked up under the duvet.”
Colleen Cairney shares little Lucy, whom she adopted from FORA. “I just love her attitude in this photo. Her name changes depending on her mood or what she is up to: Lucy, Lulubelle, Lulu – or Luuuuucccc when she’s far away patrolling the garden to keep us safe We love her to bits.”
Photo credit: Hilette Hatting
Jackie Grobler shares Lilly (left) and Tic Tac, siblings adopted from Cat Care. “Initially, we were only going to adopt Tic Tac, but when we got to the foster mom we met Lilly, a tiny, petrified tortoiseshell kitty. She ran, hid and hissed, but we just couldn’t leave her behind… today they are inseparable.
“Grey-and-white Tic Tac is an adorable cat who loves attention and talks non-stop. He also sucks his tail; we are told that’s because he left his mommy to soon. Although Lilly is still timid with strangers, she’s turned out to be the most loving kitty we have. She loves night-time and always snuggles up between us.”
Caitlin Kotze shares Max, an unclaimed stray. “Max came into my life as a case of ‘right place, right time’ – for both of us. Both my dogs fill a space in my life that no human could. Having suffered from depression for many years, my dogs have made all the difference.”
Marco Pietrowski shares Tyson, adopted through Pit Pals. “Tyson being with us today is nothing short of a miracle. His foster mom had to resuscitate him twice on the first night in her care and it was touch and go as to whether he would survive. But Tyson is a toughie; he made a full recovery and we were very happy to make him part of our family.”
Claire MacIntosh shares Delores, a rescued rabbit who was found in the road a couple of years ago. “Her owners never came forward, so she moved in with us. Delores has been with me for just over two years now and has made herself comfortable in my spare bedroom, which she shares with my Guinea Pig girls. They are in a large enclosure, while Delores is allowed the run of the room. She is litter box-trained and is rather particular about where her bed, litter tray and food bowls go.
“She has proven to be quite a spoilt girl; my fault, I know! I have had other bunnies before, but Delores really is one in a million! She is such a character and loves having her bum scratched and will do strange yoga poses (head down and bum in the air) to make sure you scratch the right spot.”
Julie Smale shares her rescued kitties, Riley and Molla Polla, adopted as tiny kittens. “These two and their siblings were saved by animal rescuer Vivienne Jones, and once they were healthy enough, they were flown down to us in KZN. It didn’t take them long to settle in with our family of other rescue cats. Riley is the most affectionate boy ever and even though Molla Polla appears to have a grumpy face, she loves to talk. From tiny baby feral kittens sick with snuffles to the best cats anyone could want to share their lives with.”
Kayla Harris shares Gypsy, who was adopted from Animal Protection Network - Alberton. “We adopted Gypsy on the 27th of February 2017 and she really loves every minute of being in her new home. She is a perfect companion to our other Great Dane, Scar, and to us. She loves to play, gives lots of cuddles and she has easily slipped into being part of our family.”
Adele Spreeth shares Nibbles (on the right), who was adopted from PETS in 2009. “After being in foster care for two months, Nibbles joined the Spreeth family. She is very protective over the family and the most loyal dog, although she does not trust strangers. She is my absolute shadow and she adores her older brother, Boesman.”
Beverley Schellings shares Tequila with us. “Tequila was rescued after she was found all alone in the middle of a road by two kind ladies. She was only a newborn and was totally dehydrated. Today she is a very happy little girl and very much part of our family. She follows us everywhere and interacts with the dogs, cats and chickens. She discovered that she could jump onto the bed and, needless to say, she still sleeps in the bed to this day. We were – and still are - besotted.”
Abbie Beyers shared her gorgeous Tom with us. “Tom is a full-blooded Kenyan. He lived on the very unforgiving streets of Nairobi for about nine years and moved in with us before our pets from SA arrived. He is about 15 now, a happy Capetonian, and acts like a boss.”
Marco Goncalves shares little Coco, adopted from Poodle Rescue South Africa. “Coco has recently joined our family and she doesn’t yet know how to show affection, as she was probably never loved as much as she is right now. It’s really sad how people have almost destroyed her life. But, every day, she’s climbing more and more out of her shell and becoming more vocal. She has a new admirer, our other miniature male poodle, Polo, and her favourite place is on our bed.”
Stefan & Marisa Louw share their pet pig, Willem, whom they saved from a life of living in a tiny chicken coop. “He joined our family and discovered the joys of rolling in mud and roaming the garden with our pack of rescued Pekingese. He grew from a tiny piglet of 3kg to around 190kg. Willem is happy and free – and, most of all, he loves cuddles from his human mom.”
Jackie Hume shares Max, whom she adopted from SPCA Assisi Humansdorp. “Max was a stray that was never claimed; after three weeks at the kennels, I adopted him. Max has adjusted so well to being home! We recently joined a dog-walking group and I think the excitement of it all was absolutely exhausting, but he’s learning a lot and has an amazing temperament. He loves other dogs, children and ALL people in general! But most of all he loves sleeping in his bed at home!”
Heidi Davies shares Toby, a stray cat that “adopted” her family five years ago. “Toby waltzed into our life on April Fool’s Day and he never left. We looked for his owners, advertised, but no one came forward. It didn’t take us long to fall head over heels in love with him and then there was no question about his staying as part of the family!”
Sharon Hannah shares her rescue dogs Chilli (left) and Zues. “Chilli was an unclaimed stray and Zues comes from Roodepoort SPCA – and they’re a very busy pair; it can be a mission to get them standing still. We were told Chilli needed to be an only dog but he gets on famously with Zues. They love to play early morning and late at night and then behave like naughty toddlers getting caught out of bed. And when the sun’s up they sleep the morning away. They really are lovable oafs.”
Keri de Waal shares Beu, whom she adopted from SPCA Witbank. “I drove 350km to adopt Beu. He, along with his brother and their mother, was abandoned when people moved house. Beu is nicknamed “Baggins” from Lord of the Rings because he has some Munchkin in him; he has very low muscle tone and short legs and can’t jump very far. But he loves to carry toys around and is just a cuddle bunny of note.”
Ilke Hay shares Timba with us. “Timba came to us as a tiny 6-week-old with her sister, Zero. Mom was a feral cat at a hotel where my brother was working. She is a feisty, gorgeous girl, now nine years old, and she and her sister still engage in ‘sibling rivalry’ every single day. Nothing serious – Timba just can’t resist a squabble. She definitely regards herself as the ‘boss’ and even puts the dogs in their place. Scared of nothing, she’ll be walking outside amidst a huge thunderstorm and then come in casually when she feels like it.”
Rose Reynolds shares Pablo, her Mexican Crested who was adopted from The 9th Day Rehabilitation and Rehoming Centre. “Our beautiful and gentle Pablo came into our lives two years ago. We are so blessed to have him as part of our family and thank all who were involved in his rescue and rehoming.”
Left back is Angel, front is Juliet and right is Victor
Celeste White shares her gorgeous sibling cats Angel, Juliet, and Victor. “Meet my precious set of siblings who were a joyful accident. I was busy at work and a colleague showed me a photo of her kittens. I agreed to take one… and then ended up with three!”
Caitlin Kotze shares Kodi, who was being sold by a man at an intersection. “I basically ran away with him; he had parvo and was riddled with worms. He has since been a joy and a friend. Having suffered from depression for many years, having Kodi in my life has made all the difference.”
Lara Jean Matthews shares little Cody, whom she adopted from Trix 4 Animals. “Cody was found in Pretoria with his siblings by Trix 4 Animals. Trix went out of her way to care for and rehome all of them. She arranged his flight to Cape Town and, a week later, he arrived – and made our hearts melt. He’s my constant shadow and gives the best cuddles I could ask for. Cody is our daily dose of happiness.”
The Farm Girls pack from left to right: Izzie, Kinga, Edna, Maluty, Kite, Mei-Mei, Fergus, Kira, Rio, Patch and Zuki
Robyn Eshelby shares her precious pack. “This is our precious motley bunch of rescues, retirees, lap dogs, and working dogs who share our life on our small subsistence farm in Chartwell North, Johannesburg. CLAW and FORA see me coming!”
Brenda Meyer shares Lily, a Basset mix (front), who was a foster fail from her organisation, Husky Heaven Rescue; and Apache, who was adopted from the SPCA. “I have many rescues but these two are extra special; they are my lapa buddies, where I spend time with all the special rescues that come to me until they are rehabbed. Lily and Apache adore each other and love nothing more than to snooze happily together.”
Jo-Mari Rautenbach shares Bijoux, whom she adopted from Pekingese Rescue of South Africa when she was only four months old. “Bijoux is almost four years old now. She was tested last year to become a medical alert dog and she qualified for the programme. Her training started this month and in about 4-6 months she will be a qualified Diabetic Alert dog (DAD) for a Type 1 Diabetic. Soon she will have the ability to save lives on a daily basis.”
Karen van der Westhuizen shares Holletjie & Kolletjie, her Egyptian Geese. “I rescued them from a not-so-good neighbourhood, and they were initially kept in a box in the house. Now they love walking with my dogs and chickens but also flying around in the neighbourhood. They always return to the dam that we have here on our smallholding.”
David Kotzen shares little Ziggy, whom they adopted through animal rescuer Dana Wainman. “Ziggy the Zigster was adopted 12 months ago. He loves to be held and scratched. His favourite toy in the world is a pair of socks and he isn’t happy until he has chewed a hole through the toe area. Our little boy has brought so much love to our house.”
Chantelle Murray shares Kai, who is her “foster failure” from PAWS R US (SA). “As a MBD (Medium Brown Dog), Kai is a perfect example of their wonderful personalities, resilience, and spunk. At 10 months old, she is an absolute delight; I have seldom experienced a dog as loveable as she is. She is also super bright – she learns fast and LOVES playing with her other furry friends and her rope toy.”
Carroll Dantu shares Ruskie, the chicken who was rescued from a busy street. “Ruskie is not kept in the chicken coop at all and wanders all around the garden wherever and whenever he wishes. His name is derived from Cheekie, our first special rooster who has since passed, and Russell Dickson, the wonderful gentleman who drove him across town to us.”
Paulene Hardy shares her family of rescue fur kids. “Penny (Maltese Poodle-mix) was rescued from a situation of neglect and saved from being euthenised by her previous owner. I was told that Penny didn’t like cats but it wasn’t long before she and my tabby cat, Tandy, became the best of friends. I adopted Oscar the Schnauzer-mix as a friend for Penny from SPCA Assisi Humansdorp. At first he was very jumpy and nervous, confused and extremely thin; he has since put on weight and settled in wonderfully. The three of them spend much of their time together and certainly complete my family.”
Lesley-Ann Marshall shares her precious Cocker Spaniel pack with us. “On my lap is Annie, who was found as a stray in October 2014; I thought I would only be fostering her until she was reunited with her family but she was never claimed. It didn’t take long for her to find her way into my heart and she was happily accepted by my boy Cockers. Liam (right) and James got me started in the ‘business’ of rescuing Spaniels; I loved them so much that I wanted to help other Spaniels in need. Now, as one of the Directors at Spaniel Welfare SA, my motto is ‘Adopt, don’t shop’.”
Alma Schaap adopted Saphie from Animal Anti-Cruelty League Bellville. “Saphie was surrendered as a litter of four other kittens and their mommy. She was the only kitten with this colouring and everyone wanted her! I felt very connected to her from the start and, although quite a stressed cat initially, she has calmed down and now has a mind of her own… We wouldn’t want it any other way!”
Janet Cilliers shares Jasmin, who was adopted from Roodepoort SPCA. “Since adopting Jasmin, she has picked up weight and has settled in wonderfully. We are still overcoming a few challenges and she gets quite anxious when she can’t see me. She loves going in the car and enjoys sitting and gazing out of the back window. She has started dog training, not very successfully yet, I must admit (she gets so excited), but with perseverance we will get there.”
Lauren Námer shares her beautiful cats rescued by Kitty and Puppy Haven. “Isabel (left) came in as a rescue, along with her litter of five. Pinky is one of those babies; he has a deformed paw, so we adopted both Isabel and baby Pinky. That was seven years ago. They are gorgeous and very much loved and adored.”
Jesslynn Schlamm shares Bear, whom she adopted from GSP Rescue SA. “Bear was our first-ever rescue – and first-ever ‘senior’ dog (at the wise age of eight). Adopting him was an overwhelming experience at first but has been so rewarding. He’s such a gentle, patient soul, yet his inner puppy comes out when he goes on his walks, swims in the sea, and plays tug-of-war with us and his one-year-old ‘brother’. I feel so privileged that beautiful Bear has grown to trust and love us the way that he does. It’s like no one else existed before us, and I treasure that every day. We love our Bear-face!”
Elmarie van der Walt shares Charlie, who was rescued by Hellen – Working in the Community and adopted through Boxer Rescue SA. “Charlie is entertaining and fun-loving; he sees a potential game in everything. He absolutely loves interaction with humans and gets so excited when friends come to visit – he welcomes them with a toy in his mouth, hoping to play. Truly, he is the life and soul of our home.”
Jane Askew shares Shanti, a previously feral cat who took up residence in her garden. “A spitting, fighting feral a year ago and today, a purring girl who loves her chin tickled, her tummy scruggled, and cuddling with her bear. We have finally found the right name for her, Shanti – it means ‘Peace’, which she has found at last.”
Katie Hoy shares Shiloh, whom she recently adopted from TEARS. “Shiloh is a handsome white wolf mix who was rescued as a terrified stray. It has been amazing to see how, with love, he has grown in confidence and flourished. We have an amazing bond and both our lives have been changed forever – and for the better.”
Amy Corlett shares Gizmo, adopted from FORA many years ago. “We got Gizmo when he was just a tiny little fluff ball and he was very scared. It took him a few days to adjust and he’s been a ball of energy ever since. Don’t let this picture fool you; he is a cheeky kitty who thinks of himself as more of a dog than a cat. Gizmo adopted my son, Matthew, as his favourite human and follows him wherever he goes. FORA kitties are just the best!”
Patrick and Chalyne Franck share their “boy child”, Levi, who was adopted from Spaniel Rescue SA. “Levi is a rescue who had sadly been abandoned at five-and-a-half years old. After having recently lost our dear old blind Cocker Spaniel, Rufes, we were happy to foster Levi.
We made all the rookie mistakes that the text book warns against but Levi forgave us and, after a month or so, he decided to stay. All he needed was some love. He still suffers from separation anxiety, so good-byes are never easy but he has improved tremendously in the space of a year. So, we failed horribly as foster parents but are now the proud forever parents of a playful, loveable, energetic Spaniel who is enjoying a new lease on life.”
Megan Bayne shares Chester, whom she adopted from Lucky Lucy Foundation. “The minute I laid eyes on him and saw his lanky body with all his scars and his absolute fear of everything, I knew he was my soulmate. It took a year of helping him to overcome his many fears but it was so worth it. He is my biggest baby (at 31kgs) and a right ol’ mommy’s boy. I adopted him when I was going through severe depression and so we ended up rescuing each other.”
Lisa O’Neill shares Dusty, adopted from FORA when she was only nine weeks old. “Dusty is now nine years old and I couldn’t have asked for a better doggy; she is intelligent, cuddly, gentle, and has the sweetest nature. She has loads of teddy bears and even knows each of them by name! I trained her fully from nine weeks old and she knows 40 words. Thank you FORA for this beautiful blessing of mine.”
Thea van Steenderen shares little Cheeky, whom she adopted from AWS PE. “I fell in love with Cheeky instantly and was thrilled when, the very next day, she came home to start her life with us. She is my constant companion, my bedfellow, my walking partner, my spoilt little angel – she has given me so much love! She is the love of my life.”
Hilette Hatting shares her most recent furry family member, a precious Chinchilla named Nina. “Her original owner was emigrating and couldn’t find a home for this special old lady. Our hearts melted when we first saw a photo of her and she is even more spectacular in real life. At ten years old, Nina is a sweetheart with a purr that can give a John Deere tractor a go. Nina is already playing and stealing hearts and kisses wherever she goes. She has settled in nicely and completes our little family of special needs rescue cats.”
Charlie Newcombe shares Varga, whom he adopted from Garden Route’s Wolf Sanctuary (she was too tame and her life would have been in danger to stay there with the wolves). “Varga has been my absolute gift and a dream come true. Having had her for two years now it has become very clear that she is not your average dog. I strongly support the advice given by those in the know: don’t take on a wolf in a typical suburban environment.” Photo credit: Peter Schreiber www.peterschreiber.com
Lisa Marie McIntyre shares Picasso, who was adopted from Fisantekraal Animal Welfare. “When we saw (then only a puppy) Picasso’s post on Facebook, we instantly fell in love. He is loyal, goofy and gentle to a fault. Although a cross-breed, he displays all the Great Dane behavioural characteristics like leaning and landscaping. We jokingly refer to him as our “teacup Dane” because he is significantly smaller than a pure-bred Dane. He has enriched our lives immeasurably and continues to do so daily.”
Karin Heydenrych shares Storm, who was adopted from AACL Bellville, pictured here with her daughter, Chloe. “Storm is clever, active and of course the ‘most beautiful’ boy adored by us all. He loves cuddles and thinks he is a small lap dog, sleeping in Chloe’s arms every night. He will protect her with his life; they are inseparable!”