Written by Charmaine Woest, Director of B.A.R.C.
Benoni Animal Rescue Centre (BARC) believes that all animals have the right to life and, for the last three years, we have been striving to give every animal the chance at a good life. The BARC rescue centre is situated in Northmead, Benoni, and we’re proud of our beautiful cattery that provides a wonderful home while cats wait for adoption. Our smaller dogs are in foster care, while larger ones are in boarding kennels.
We at BARC know that education is the key to promoting animal welfare; by planting the seeds of how to properly care for animals and the importance of sterilisation we can make a lasting difference.
The weekly outreach programme to Barcelona Informal Settlement in Daveyton is the centre’s heartbeat. We assist many animals, and provide food, treatments and – most importantly – sterilisations. We also extend our programme to schools in our area.
This outreach programme is used as a platform to advise the residents on how to care for their pets. With consistent work, we have built a good one-on-one relationship with them and they are grateful for the support they receive.
Parasite control is important, and in summer we dip about 100 animals when we visit; in winter we treat with flea powder. We also deworm and vaccinate. Our outreach “fur family” are all treated at Witfield Animal Hospital where the kind vets, Dr Nel, Dr Lee and Dr Loretta, nurse them back to health. BARC’s valiant fundraising drives and generous sponsors make all this possible.
BARC also runs a feral cat programme and we follow the TNR model – trap, neuter, release – as this is known to stabilise and ultimately reduce feral cat overpopulation. The programme is run at business premises, schools, and so on.
Owners who feel they can no longer care for their pets and contact us to rehome them can be assured that they will get the best homes, as we do strict home inspections. The BARC Centre is proud to have rehomed many cats and dogs both in our area and as far afield as Cape Town, Durban and KwaZulu-Natal. BARC is not an “island organization” and we gladly work with other organisations in helping rehome these animals. We also network lost and found animals and it is so rewarding to reunite them with their owners.
What makes it worth it
Building trusting relationships with communities, other animal organisations and veterinarians is very important to BARC. The continuous outreach and adoptions the Centre undertakes makes it worthwhile and motivates the small but determined team.
BARC believes in working for the cause and not the applause, but seeing the small seeds that grow in the minds of the owners is the biggest reward we can reap.
How can you help?
BARC is solely run on donations from the public and has a charity shop (at 42 4th Street, Northmead) where donations of clothing, books and household items are sold to raise funds for food and vet bills. We are always grateful for financial contributions to cover vet bills and to purchase food when we run out.
The biggest needs are dog and cat food (we go through 160kg per week), collars and leashes (second-hand or new) for the dogs that arrive with rope or wire around their necks, and blankets for winter. At the end of the year, we do “Santa boxes” that contain a treat, collar, lead, blanket, shampoo, and water and food bowls.
We also gladly welcome fosters, and are always in need of volunteers to assist with outreach work and at the centre.