Back row: Christopher Mfume, Sipho Ngwenya, Nathi Bhengu, Nelson Sibiya, Terence Xhosa, Zama Gwala, Paula Blackler
Middle row: Judith Austin, Thobila Myeza, Thule Shange, Nonku Mtolo, Henrick Xhosa, Norma Gumede, Wonder Gabela, Brenda Janse van Rensburg, Zanele Simamane
Front row: Jenny Meyer, Bonnie Ndlovu, Judi Gibson
Dogs: Annie (Afrikanis) and Muffie. (Judi adds: “Both were end-of-litters who were not adopted and became my companions to sleep on my bed.)
Written by Judi Gibson, General Manager and Inspector of AACL Durban and Pietermaritzburg Branch
The Animal Anti-Cruelty League Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, was started in 1959 with one goal in mind: to do whatever it could to prevent the endless cruelty society inflicts on innocent and helpless animals on a daily basis.
In January 2019, it proudly celebrates its 60th year of animal care and protection in the greater Durban area.
AACL Durban and Pietermaritzburg
Established In 2014, the AACL Pietermaritzburg branch which had been opened in 1986 was closed and amalgamated with the Durban branch. Located on 7.7ha of equestrian farmland in the Leckhamptom Valley, Hammarsdale, AACL Durban is now ideally situated to serve both areas.
Working mainly in informal settlements and outlying underprivileged areas, AACL does not rely on communities to bring their animals in; instead, they proactively go into the field to seek out animals in need.
Their familiar white-and-green vans and caring field operators are well-known and trusted in the community, enabling freedom of movement amongst residents and animals.
Qualified inspectors, operating under the magistrate’s authority, are also part of the AACL Durban team.
The primary objective is sterilisation
Only by reducing the unwanted and neglectful breeding of animals can cases of neglect, starvation and abuse be reduced. Very often animals are allowed to breed as spaying or neutering is considered an expensive option.
Over the years, the AACL Durban has been responsible for thousands of animals being spayed or neutered, both on a daily basis and during mass sterilisation initiatives.
Between 2013 and 2016, they partnered with the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in its “Outreach KZN” project which offered free sterilisations for dogs and cats in townships and informal settlements. AACL Durban’s vehicles and field personnel collected animals in an area covering hundreds of kilometres, including Richmond, Hammarsdale and Umkomaas. Over those 18 months, AACL Durban collected and returned over 7,000 dogs and cats for sterilisation, vaccination, rabies inoculation, deworming and parasite control.
We are proud to have Artesia Animal Clinic, a fully equipped veterinary clinic, run by Drs Joubert and Khan that was launched at the Leckhamptom Valley property, offering sterilisation at competitive rates.
Every day, AACL’s vehicles head into the areas of the previously disadvantaged, seeking out animals in need, be it for sterilisation, control of ticks, fleas and other parasites, and help from neglect or abuse.
With the use of a mobile dipping trailer, the League provides a free dipping service to communities in informal settlements and townships.
Feral cat colonies
The care of feral cats is a major part of the AACL’s commitment to the plight of animals in KZN. The League undertakes the trapping, spaying and neutering of feral cats in an effort to reduce the number of cats susceptible to abuse and starvation on the streets. Saving one life at a time is a satisfying mission for the League.
The AACL distributes pet food to impoverished areas, assisting the community in the feeding of their pets. In addition, there is a team of dedicated volunteers who feed feral colonies in and around the Greater Durban area.
The Cat Haven
Over 60 cats are resident at AACL’s Cat Haven, which has provided a sanctuary for cats for more than 16 years. These cats, all rescues, will live out their lives in the care of AACL.
The organisation would love to provide a special retirement haven for senior cats in future.
Education is a vital aspect of the League’s objectives. It’s recognised that the education of our children at an early age on the care and well-being of animals is a most effective way of tackling animal abuse and neglect.
To this end, learners are engaged either at schools or on AACL property in both English and Zulu. Activity books are distributed to young learners encouraging the care of animals in a fun format.
The AACL Durban Cat Boarding Hotel
This luxury hotel, with air conditioning, is offered to fur babies when parents are away on holiday, offering a safe, secure and friendly atmosphere.
Puppy rehab and adoption
Mostly township and informal settlement puppies are removed by AACL (and mothers sterilised) for rehabilitation and socialisation; this helps them get adopted and fit into homes. The Africanis is good-natured, resilient and protective by nature, and they make for wonderful companions.
The Animal Anti-Cruelty League Durban & Pietermaritzburg Branch is relentless in its determination to better the world in its care for domestic animals in particular.