Reunited with Shaka

15th Mar, 2024

Written by SPCA Lower South

Professional photography by Ken Etberg Photography

On the 4th of December 2023, Louise Jordaan started her frantic search for her beloved boy Shaka who’d managed to break out of her property not far from the SPCA during a heavy thunderstorm. After weeks and no sign of him, and our daily checks for him in the kennels futile, we were all beginning to wonder how this large boy could just vanish...

More than a month later, local Pumula resident Tommy Koekemoer and his wife, Ester, were travelling on the N2 from Durban back to the South Coast on another torrential rainy afternoon. Whilst on the N2 between Ifafa and Mtwalume, Tommy noticed a very drenched and tired-looking large dog walking on the side of the highway.

He immediately checked where he could safely stop, pulled over and called out to the dog, who responded to his call and jumped into the vehicle like he knew he’d just been saved! After spending a night with the Koekemoers getting pampered and having a good meal, Tommy made contact with us informing that he’d found this lost dog. We advised him to please bring him in to be scanned for a microchip to see if his owner could be located.

Lo and behold! The search for Shaka was over!

We immediately made contact with Louise who met with Tommy and Ester at the SPCA to finally be reunited with her boy.

To think that Shaka had been found more than 60km from his home over a month later, and Tommy being at the right place at the right time, is just beyond incredible.

This story again reiterates the importance of having your beloved pets microchipped.

We’d like to express our gratitude to Tommy and Ester for their selfless act of compassion and kindness, and for not hesitating to rescue Shaka, who’s now safely back home with his mom, Louise.

Tommy and Ester share...

The day we came back from Durban and saw this black dog on the side of the highway, we didn’t hesitate to stop and pick him up. Tommy just opened the door for him, and you could see the relief in this poor boy’s eyes. He was so cold from the rain and dead tired.

We decided to take him home and put him in a separate yard of one of our flats, with a bowl of food and a nice warm kennel with an infrared light, just to heat him up a bit. Of course, he slept like a baby.

The next morning, we decided to take him to Drs Bruggeman and Norton to have him checked out and vaccinated, thinking that, if we must introduce him to our other 31 rescue dogs, he’d be healthy and safe to do so.

Thank goodness we asked Ann to check if he might have a chip, and – oh my word! – when that little machine beeped, we could have cried from happiness. We contacted the SPCA as we couldn’t get hold of the owner, and as soon as Tommy told Lauren that the dog’s name was Shaka, she immediately knew who the owner was; she’d been in contact with Louise all the time looking for Shaka.

We took him to the SPCA to meet his mom and, as soon as he saw her car coming, his tail started wagging. He was ecstatic to see her, and she him. Even Tommy and I cried seeing how happy Shaka was to see her.

It was the best feeling ever to have helped him find his home.

Louise shares...

I can remember feeling my stomach sink and my throat closing up that night when I got home and saw Shaka wasn’t there. I was sure he wasn’t ever coming home.

We searched... The SPCA went all-out to try and get the word out that he was missing and to get information on his whereabouts. Nothing!

Over a month went by without Shaka until, one morning, I got a call from Lauren Giani from the SPCA – as soon as I heard her voice, I knew Shaka had been found!

He was picked up 60km from home on the toll road in the pouring rain by Tommy and Ester Koekemoer.

People don’t normally bother stopping for an animal, especially in the rain, but this special man did!

Thank you to this wonderful couple who took Shaka home and pampered him before contacting the SPCA who identified him by his microchip. Thank you, you returned my bestie to me when I needed him the most.

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