Written by Tracy Shaw – Founder @ Forcefield Studio
Professional photography by Devin Paisley and Samantha Thomas
The TEARS Animal Rescue Sleepathon is an animal lover’s dream come true. As the saying goes: time spent with animals is never wasted, and that’s certainly the case with this super-popular flagship fundraising event which takes place over three consecutive Saturdays in November at TEARS’ kennels and cattery in Sunnydale, Cape Town.
You can expect a night of great entertainment, extreme cuddling and a few good morning kisses from loveable fur kids. No training or experience is required for this event – all you need do is bring your open heart, camping gear and a group of friends to the TEARS Animal Shelter for a life-changing sleepover.
A night to remember
Growing each year in popularity since its launch in 2013, the TEARS Sleepathon hosts about 300 Snoozers who help to raise funds for one of their three cornerstone causes:
1) Mobile Clinic Outreach;
2) Rescue, Rehabilitate, Rehome; and
It’s amazing to see how many businesses, even during challenging times, have come together to support this event to make it special for everyone who attends.
From the moment you arrive, you just know you’re in for a very special night. You’re greeted with an ocean of smiles from the volunteers. All two-legged VIPs are handed a goody bag full of treats for themselves and their cuddle buddies, whereafter you’re escorted to meet your fur buddy for the night.
Festive décor and beautiful pallet gardens line the corridors of kennels, bursting with enthusiasm from the overjoyed animals. The green area, normally the open-space dog run, buzzes with chill-out zones where snoozers can hang out and enjoy live music and an absolutely delicious vegan meal and dessert.
This really is an event that caters for everyone. Best friends, students, kids, parents and partners. Even if you arrive alone, you can be sure to make at least one best friend overnight.
Going above and beyond
What really stood out for me this year was how much more support TEARS is providing outside of the amazing work at the shelter. Their on-site veterinary clinic provides sterilisations, vaccinations and emergency treatments to animals in the surrounding indigent communities and other animal rescue shelters.
With their mobile clinics out every day in the surrounding underprivileged communities, they really do what they say and go above and beyond to attend to animals in need. This year alone, they’ve performed over 6,000 sterilisations – crucial for tackling the root cause of overpopulation of unwanted animals and the neglect and cruelty that goes along with it.
They rescue an average of 1,057 animals every month – animals being brought into the TEARS Veterinary Clinic for medical emergencies, admissions and/or treatments. In addition, at least 350 animals are vaccinated, treated for ticks and fleas, and dewormed.
TEARS believes that animal care starts with education, and they’re passionate about using humane education as a foundational anchor for teaching children about caring responsibly for their pets. Animal abuse and neglect is something that can only be countered through pet care training and youth enrichment at a grass-roots level.
You can make a difference
Volunteering at TEARS offers one of their most rewarding programmes for animal lovers aged 16 years and over. They encourage outings for the dogs to help build their confidence and social skills, while the cattery hosts play dates and grooming.
On Mondays, the dogs enjoy grooming and hand feeding; Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays are outings days. Whether you want to join for weekly outings or the occasional hike, the animals always appreciate the human connection and stimulation.
Continuously innovating to expand their fundraising platform, TEARS has included products that benefit the contributor, including an online store and their Woof and Whiskers club that gives away monthly cash prizes. You can also show your loyalty to animal care and help raise funds at no cost to you by selecting TEARS as one of your charities for the “My School My Village My Planet” card programme at Woolworths.
The TEARS Sleepathon is a night to remember for the rest of your life and one that makes a big impact on the heart, not only for the dog or cat that you cuddle. Many of the Snoozers return year after year. So, make sure to add it to your calendar to book your spot for the 2022 event, which will take place on the 12th, 19th and 26th of November 2022.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Visit our website to find your furever cuddle buddy, volunteer (volunteering opportunities at the main shelter and the Cattery), join the Woof and Whiskers Club, or shop and support our mission www.tears.org.za.
For more information, contact TEARS Marketing Manager Wendy Scheepers on 021 785 4482, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow TEARS on social media at: