Cluny Animal Trust

Helping the animals of the Eastern Free State

Written by Mary Walker for Cluny Animal Trust

Cluny Animal Trust, founded in 2011, is a Community Veterinary Welfare situated in the Eastern Free State. We chiefly provide a primary healthcare service to the impoverished communities of Fouriesburg, Clarens and Bethlehem. Our prime focus is on preventive treatments, including sterilisations, vaccinations and parasite control, but we also treat illnesses and injuries; we provide services to pet owners who qualify for welfare rates on the basis of residency and income. Alongside this, we play an important role in educating clients in responsible pet ownership. This might take place in an informal one-to-one manner, or in a formal group setting.

In 2004, Fouriesburg veterinarian, Dr Katherine Barker, established a sterilisation programme; CAT stems from this and is still run from Dr Barker’s small private veterinary clinic. Today, CAT is a registered Non-Profit Organisation and a Public Benefit Organisation. While we aren’t a ‘rehoming service’, there are times when we need to do so; we may also play a role in cases associated with animal law infringements involving cruelty or neglect.

CAT runs a Mobile Operating Theatre – the only one in South Africa in the private sector – enabling us to carry out mass sterilisation clinics at different locations. We hope eventually to open a small animal hospital. The property has already been acquired – all we need is the funding to further the project. 

We’re a small team, which includes our veterinarian, Dr Barker, and Mr Jan Sander, our animal welfare assistant, plus part-time and voluntary assistants. Veterinary welfare is expensive to fund and, while our clients pay a nominal amount in accordance with our fee scale, this cannot possibly cover the costs of this critical service. Our funding is acquired through donations, sponsorships and fundraising events, and we’re entirely dependent on the support and generosity of the public, to whom we are very grateful. 

Wish list

Any animal ‘goodies’ you can think of, from dog and cat food and bowls, to bedding, collars and cat litter and trays, are always very much needed. We also go through lots of medical disposables such as syringes, gloves and deworming and flea treatments, as well as basic stationery items, including pens, note paper, coloured pencils and printing ink. Lastly, we are in real need of two ‘big ticket’ items: theatre lights and an anesthetic machine. 

For more information, visit, call 058 223 0918, or email and follow them on Facebook at ‘Cluny Animal Trust PBO No 930039295’. Banking details for donations are as follows: Cluny Animal Trust – Standard Bank – Account number: 035278846 – Branch: Bethlehem (055 033). SMS line also available. 


The Cluny Team today (from left) Dr Katherine Barker and her daughter Hannah, Keeley Reyneke, Christel Pretorius, Malcolm Woolmore and Jan Sander

Left to right: Christel Pretorius, Veterinary Nurse, Jan Sander, Animal Welfare Assistant, Dr Katherine Barker, Cluny Animal Trust Veterinarian, and Malcolm Woolmore, Animal Welfare Assistant.

The team at the Cluny Animal Trust sterilisation clinic at the Caledon River (from left):
Malcolm Woolmore – animal welfare assistant and former SPCA senior inspector, Dr Katherine Barker – veterinarian and founder of CAT, Jan Sander – animal welfare assistant, and Keeley Reyneke – final year veterinary student at Onderstepoort