Arguably one of the most dynamic shelter concepts in the world, WOOF Project kicked off in Sea Point at the beginning of March. A dog adoption initiative by Oscar’s Arc, the dogs come from Western Cape shelters and the collaborative project aims to inspire the public to adopt a dog – and to give one a lasting chance – through this multi-million Rand initiative.
“Approximately 18,000 dogs enter Western Cape shelters every year,” explains Lefson, founder and director of Oscar’s Arc. “Less than 2,500 are ever homed. Simply stated, for every 10 dogs that enter a shelter, only one will make it out alive…”
Inspiring people to adopt
WOOF Project proves that shelters can be inspiring places in inspired locations – and that great dogs deserving of a home can be acquired from shelters. In a nutshell, it is a mobile dog adoption facility which brings the dogs to the public.
WOOF Project rotates around the CBD for the next two months and benefits include Name Your Price adoption fees, home checks within 48 hours, and your satisfaction guaranteed. Lefson says, “We take dogs from existing shelters and bring them to Oscar’s Ark (in Franschhoek). We then take them to WOOF 1 – the container at various locations in CT – and get them adopted into great homes. The dogs we choose are “easy adoptable” (i.e. friendly, well-adjusted, fabulous dogs that are in danger simply because they aren’t getting adopted at their existing shelter, often due to lack of exposure).
The future of dog adoption
Joanne believes that this is the future of dog adoption in the Western Cape. Success thus far indicates that she is right. Averaging approximately 12 adoptions every weekend, the numbers are strikingly high compared to the Western Cape’s average, so there’s no doubt that taking dog adoption into the public domain and bringing shelter dogs to the people certainly has its advantages – one dog’s life at a time.
For further information, call 061 4995006 or visit www.oscarsarc.org
Written by Lari Levy
Darren and Lari Levy with their children, Hannah and Ben, and their friend Daniel and a newly adopted Oscar
The boys in my family went for a walk on the beachfront hoping to kick a ball. It was not long before I received a frantic phone call to come immediately. They had fallen in love with a dog! I arrived and it was love at first sight for me too. Don King, as he was named then, came bouncing up to me with the biggest doggy smile I’d ever seen; he jumped up and gave me a big hug. That was it. We wasted no time and grabbed those adoption papers.
We’d been looking for a dog that would fit in with our Pugs and had already been to visit some shelters at that time. We wanted to save all the dogs; it was heartbreaking when we couldn’t find the dog for us. I think the real reason was that, because they were in cages and barking at us, as they do, they appeared aggressive. Some of them with mange or very skinny left us feeling sad and my children couldn’t connect with a dog in this manner.
This is why the WOOF Project is so brilliant. They actually “market” their dogs. Don King (now known as Oscar after Oscar’s Arc) was groomed, neutered and microchipped. The volunteers had wonderful stories about his personality.
When we brought Oscar home, it felt as if our family was finally complete. It seems as if he has always been a part of our life. It’s hard to understand how this clumsy, boisterous, friendly, funny dog was ever abandoned.
Sometimes we can see a glimmer into the kind of life he must have had before he was saved. Now and again he is fearful or insecure, but mostly he is lovable and happy!
We are so blessed to have him and so grateful to Oscar’s Arc and the WOOF Project for saving him for us.