Look at me NOW!

Proudly showcasing adopted and adored pets whose lives were changed forever because people gave them a chance. Proof that animals adopted from welfares make wonderful companions.

May 2022

Shaggy

Shaggy

Christine Riley shares Shaggy, who was adopted from a friend

“Shaggy is the most interesting story – not exactly a ‘little’ rescue!

“I was told the usual story... you know (violins playing in the background), how he really needed a home, etc., and that he was just ‘a bit bigger than Gemma’ (my Fox Terrier).

“And it’s true, he is a bit bigger... HE’S A LABRADOODLE! But you know what it’s like: when you meet, it’s ‘game over’!

“Shaggy absolutely adores water, especially the sea, into which he throws himself at any opportunity.”

 

Mea

Mea

Marda de Wet shares Mea

“Mea was my goddaughter Clea’s cat when she came to study in Stellenbosch. Mea spent the first year here because Clea lived in what was essentially a concrete bunker; when she got nicer accommodation, she spent every weekend and varsity vacation here. 

“Clea left in 2018 to teach English in China, met the love of her life, got engaged, and now lives in America. And I was delighted to have gotten to keep ‘the baby’!

“I recently adopted JB from TEARS (JB’s Happy Tale), and he and Mea look like twins. They adore each other, and my little family is now complete!”

 

Josie

Josie

Melanie Morris shares Josie

“Josie was living in the bushes along Marine Drive with homeless people. She must have escaped from her chains, as my friends, who’d gone caravanning at Pine Lodge one weekend, found her running with the rope still around her neck. 

“I was called to help and took her home to ‘foster’ for the weekend. But, by Sunday, there was NO chance she was ever leaving... I loved her too much!”

Kermit

Kermit

Photography by Strike a Pose Photography

Laura Nagel shares Kermit, who was adopted from ARK Animal Rescue

“We adopted our little Chihuahua, Kermit, in 2017. He’d come from a horrid puppy mill/hoarding situation. He’d been confiscated along with 72 others after living in disgusting conditions for three years. 

“It’s taken a lot of hard work, patience and love to help him be a normal dog.”

 

Stormy

Stormy

Sudre Sutton shares Stormy, who was adopted from Oscars Arc WOOF Project

“I rent the lower part of a house owned by someone whose name you might recognise: Christine Riley, dog mom of Riley, Surfer, Wizard and Shaggy… all of whom have appeared previously on the Happy Tails website. I already have one dog, an old lady named Lallie, but had fallen in love with another, a much younger pup.

“Christine was strictly against having another fur kid on the property – we have so many. But then she met Stormy… and we all know how that goes! Stormy by name, stormy by nature – like all ‘teeny-puppers’ (teenage doggies) – she only has two gears: 6th and neutral. Run, run, run, Zzz… and nothing in between! 

“We (Christine and I) know how she feels – it’s ‘Stormy, No!... Stormy, shush! Stormy, don’t chew that! Stormy, stop barking’. Two minutes later: ‘Hmm, why is Stormy so quiet?!’ But we wouldn’t change her for the world!”

 

Zee

Zee

Liz Penprase shares Zee

“Zee is our 12-year-old Ridgeback girl. She came from an abusive home where her owners had refused to have a specialist veterinarian operate after driving over her leg. Their vet patched her up as best he could, but the owners now no longer wanted her and her sister, and they were given up for adoption. As soon as we took her in, we had the operation done, and it took a while for her to be rehabilitated. 

“Zee had three homes before we adopted her. She had awful homes before, but she instantly was in love with Cleo, Moose and Myia. They just all got along so well together – never a fight. She’s very social, loves her walks, and has many friends.

“Zee has such a gentle nature and now (after the sad passing of Cleo, Moose and Myia) it’s only Thor (our latest rescue) and her. They’re very close, but he’s much younger than her at two-and-a-half years old. She’s like a mother to him and he adores her, even slowing down to wait for her on walks.

“We’re not sure of her age but can see she’s getting old; she’s slowing down and struggles with her legs. She’s on lots of meds to help her. Because of this, Zee feels the cold easily. So, this winter, she’s enjoying the warmth of her onesie made by Milla Moo.”

(PS: “Her sister was also adopted to a lovely home. She’s since passed away but lived a happy life – we kept in touch with her family, who moved with her to Germany.”)

 

Lala

Lala

Simone Goosen shares little Lala, who was adopted from Harrismith Animal Shelter

“I was shattered after losing one of my Yorkies last year due to a freak accident. The empty space and the cold pillow my little Bella left was unbearable. Tequila, our other Yorkie, who turned 14 years old recently, also felt the absence of his lifelong friend. 

“My heart had been longing to find a little friend that could join our family, so I started searching for a doggy to adopt. Thanks to my insomnia, I scrolled past Harrismith Animal Shelter’s social media post of a brown little fluff ball with beautiful yet sad eyes staring into my soul… and I fell in love! I sent two messages at 03h30 in the morning, asking that I please have to adopt this baby. The pup had no name yet – the only info we had was that she was four months old and had just one picture. But she was going to be mine, I knew it!

“Helene Haworth of Harrismith Animal Shelter was so helpful and kind, and I quickly got my forms in to start the process. Soon, our new baby travelled from Harrismith to Alberton, and I could cuddle her the next day.

“We named her Lala (a combined name in memory of BelLA and our oldest friend TequiLA). She’s the sweetest, most loving little fur ball and we have all fallen deeply in love with her, and she’s so spoiled already.

“Rescue dogs are the best; we all need a second chance at life, and we’re extremely happy that we could be that chance for Lala.”

  

Buddy

Buddy

Melanie Morris shares Buddy

“Buddy, who’s about 12 years old now, was found chained up outside a supermarket and was rescued by my friend Bronwin Meyer from Domestic Animal Care in Gqeberha (at the time she wasn’t involved with DAC yet).

“Bronwin took him to the vet, who in turn phoned me as they knew I was looking for a new little rescue for my son. This was before Bronwin and I had become friends, so imagine our delight when we got to know each other later and realised that I was the one who’d adopted Buddy!

“And we’re so glad we did.”

 

Kira, Frankie and Molly

Kira, Frankie and Molly

Left to right: Molly, Frankie and Kira

Sue van der Gaast shares Kira, Frankie and Molly

“We have a saying in our house: ‘It’s a dog’s life’. And nothing could be truer. Blessed is the dog who shares their life with us – hectares of freedom to explore, quad bike rides, cosy beds and cooked meals every day. These dogs are sure to be the envy of many a four- (or, for some, 3- or none) legged friends. All of our dogs are keen gardeners as that’s where we spend the most time.

“Kira is a lovely-tempered Kelpie who’s my partner, Herman’s, shadow. She goes everywhere with him if she can. He adopted her 13 years ago when her human had left the country and she needed a new home. Kira is 14 now and her age is definitely catching up, but she makes incredible effort to get up and down the stairs and is now gently lifted into the bakkie (pick-up truck) to go and do farm chores.

“Frankie, our Dachshund, also needed a home after his owner left the country. Frankie is paralysed, but he happily scootches around and is definitely not a fan of the wheels that have been bought for him over the years. He’s lively and his favourite time is when he’s on the quad bike with us and can feel the wind blowing through his beautiful, big ears.

“Molly is our grumpy, very protective little tripod Yorkshire Terrier. Molly lost her leg after being kicked and was rescued by a girl in Knysna. She later asked my partner if he could look after her for a week whilst she went away… that was three-and-a-half years ago. Molly definitely believes she’s the alpha queen – even with the new Rhodesian Ridgeback rescues who absolutely tower over her, she’s always got a cheeky snarl ready.

“They’re all happy, healthy and adored. And living their best lives with us on the farm!”

(NOTE: “By the time this goes to your readers, the beautiful Kira would have crossed the rainbow bridge. Rest gently, beautiful girl, Herman’s constant and beloved companion every day since Sandy died; and what joy she’s brought us.

“We love you, girly, run free now. Herman and Sue, Frankie and Molly.”)

   

Bunnies

Bunnies

From the little white bun going clockwise: Frosting, Pepper, Caramel, Frisco, Coco, Jellybean, Ash, Topdeck, Cappuccino

Melanie Morris shares her rescue bunnies

“I have 18 bunnies in total (not all depicted)... all with different stories. 

“Many vets phone me when they get dropped off there as strays or no longer wanted. So many people cruelly dump their bunnies in parks or fields and then they get found in the street.

“With our family, they’re loved and cared for, and I enjoy spending time with them.”

April 2022

Bruno

Bruno

Veronica Pienaar shares the story of Bruno, who was adopted from Great Dane Rescue SA

“We adopted Bruno when he was only six months old. He’s a Great Dane mix who thinks he’s a tiny lap dog and jumps around like a show horse when excited (which is always) – he’s now 2.5 years old.

“He holds a big place in both our hearts and our home!”

 

Matthias

Matthias

Ineke Prinsloo shares the tale of Matthias, who was adopted from Nicholson Rescue

“We adopted Matthias just over two years ago. He was fostered by Mathilde Harris, and like all the kitties that pass through this beautiful network of carers, he got the best restart in life despite the original worst start as a rescue.

“All our cats choose their own names and have their own stories. Matthias is named after my great-great-grandfather Matthias de Beer Mulder, ‘Oupa Thys’. Of course, I never knew him but feel a special bond to him – stories relayed by my maternal grandmother that I’m the only descendent who shares the love of cats, specifically ginger kitties, with him. 

“When this little ginger arrived, he told me quite clearly that he’s to be named after ‘Oupa Thys’. He posed in the thorn tree late in the afternoon; the setting sun was just accentuating his marble ginger to the very best – and he knew it! 

“Thank you for featuring him. He’s a poster boy for the fantastic work that Lynette Nicholson, Mathilde Harris, Sharon van der Westhuizen and the other rescuers do every day. There are so many stories of heartache and difficult decisions for the rescuers, but like the ‘starfish story’ for the Matthiases of the world, their efforts make all the difference.”

  

Surfer

Surfer

Christine Riley chats about Surfer, who was adopted from Oscar’s Arc WOOF 

“I decided that Riley, my youngest, needed a friend (‘yeah, right,’ I hear you all saying… ‘Any excuse!’…). So I put the word out that I was looking… (A tip to anyone who’s feeling lonely and that no one ever contacts you… Just casually suggest that you might be wanting to offer a doggie a home, and you’ll be inundated… mail, phone, sms, WhatsApps, smoke signals…).

“To cut a long story short, I ended up heading for Oscar’s Arc WOOF project in Cape Town where I met Surfer (so called because he was rescued as a stray at Surfer’s Corner in Muizenberg) and, well, it was love at first sight, for both of us!

“Surfer has now been with the family for a couple of weeks and has found a place in my heart in which he fits snugly. He’s not simply the friend for Riley that I’d intended but ‘occupies’ his own ‘space’ in my heart and in the household, which belongs entirely to him!

“We’ve already gone for hikes in the reserve behind my house, and I’m looking forward to taking him to the beach for the first time (I live in Scarborough). It’s going to be an interesting exercise… you know what it’s like when you have a dog who’s new to the family… you tend to call them a lot, until you (and the doggy) become more secure that you belong to each other. So… picture the scene… sand, sea, sunbathers, surfers… and in amongst all this, a 50-year-old woman stomping around, yelling, ‘Surfer! Surfer! SURFER!!!’”

  

Kimmy

Kimmy

Vanessa Martin talks about Kimmy (aka Ma Se Blom Pot)

“Kimmy turns 14 at the end of August. A friend gifted me with her on his 40th birthday. He told me that in his mom’s street was a small dog that kept on having puppies and had, sadly, passed away. Kimmy was the last of the puppies that were left. She was a tiny bundle full of ticks and fleas when I got her.

“Kimmy came into my life when I was at my lowest – I’d just lost my mother, and my dad had been diagnosed with dementia. She helped me cope through all of it.

“Kimmy is quite a character! She loves viennas, and that’s the only way I get her to listen to me.

She loves car rides, loves attention, and turn heads wherever she goes!”

 

Frank

Frank

Laura Nagel shares Frank, who was adopted from Ark Animal Rescue Centre

“We adopted Frank in 2017. A breeder surrendered him at six months and we adopted him when he was nine months old.

“He was a little skinny and looked horribly neglected, but he’s the most gorgeous Yorkie now!

“He loves attention and toys and adores his big brother, Bedford the Boston. He’s timid around strangers, but as small as he is, he rules this house!

“No one can believe that we adopted such a perfect Yorkie from a shelter!”

 

Tobius and Gracie

Tobius and Gracie

Tobi (left) and Gracie (right)

Julie Legge shares Tobius and Gracie

“Tobius (a Hebrew name meaning ‘God is Good’) and Gracie (saved by God’s grace) were rescued as feral kittens when they were only eight weeks old by my vet daughter, Kayleigh-Jean, and her vet partner, Wim Slabber, during one of their outreach projects in the informal settlements.  

“Gracie and Tobi are now a year old and they’ve added so much joy to our lives; they’re dearly loved and cherished by The Legge Family.”

  

March 2022

Wolfie

Wolfie

Photography credit: Strike a Pose Photography

Elwynn Oberholzer and Debbie Vermaak share Wolfie, who was adopted from Hellen White – In the Community

“Wolfie joined us in November 2014 as a foster boy of just five months old. Hellen had rescued him through her outreach programme in Bellavista. He fitted in so well and the four girls loved him, and so we formally adopted him early in 2015. 

“He absolutely loves raw carrots – he knows when they come out and will beg until he gets one. Wolfie’s an extremely sensitive soul and he’s set on routine; for example, he becomes very ‘verbal’ at feeding times, and we aren’t allowed to dish up late. 

“When he’s ready for bed, he’s quick to take himself outside for his last ‘business’ and then expects his bed made and ready to snuggle with his soft toy rabbit of many years which he nibbles whilst making little sucking noises.”

Thor

Thor

Photography credit: Strike a Pose Photography

Tamara Hugo shares Thor, who was taken in as a kitten after his stray mother gave birth to a litter in someone’s house

“Thor was born on the 12th of February 2013 from a stray who found a cosy spot in someone’s house to have her litter. When the mother left the kittens when they were approximately six weeks old, my husband (who didn’t have a say in the matter) and I took tabby Thor in – he became the first addition to our little family.

“Thor has always been the kind of cat that’s not very social and comes for his few minutes of love, when he wants it, on his terms. On Mother’s Day, May 2018, we had our mothers over for lunch and, as he always left the house when it was ‘crowded’, Thor took a walk-about. That afternoon, there was a huge storm, and I don’t think he could follow his tracks back.

“The usual posts went up on every social media site, at every vet, and SPCA. Seven months later, we had to move house and I gave up hope of Thor ever coming home.

“With our move to the new house, my son and I decided to adopt a puppy. Whilst at the Roodepoort SPCA, my son, Liam, who was two years old at the time, asked if we could go and look at the cats. I told him that we weren’t getting another cat – we were looking for a dog! But Liam begged, saying that he just wanted to go and look. 

“There were five tabby cats in catteries next to each other, and I couldn’t believe it when I saw a familiar face: I just knew the second I looked into Thor’s eyes that it was him. He was missing a tail, which their records state was surgically removed before he was handed in by a lady in September, two streets up from where we used to live. 

“He knew he’d found us as much as we knew we’d found him. We had to go through the whole adoption procedure, which was heart-breaking, as I had to leave him there until property checks, etc. were done. 

“He finally came home on the 23rd of December 2018 – eight months after he’d disappeared in the thunderstorm. It was the best family Christmas present EVER!”

Bubby

Bubby

Photography credit: Japie van Reenen Photography

Veronica Pienaar shares little Bubby, who was saved from an unwanted life

“Bubby is a Chihuahua mix, and he turns seven years old on the 5th of May. He’s my shadow and soul mate and simply had to be part of our special day!”

  

Duke and Daisy

Duke and Daisy

Hannes Heyneke shares Duke and Daisy, adopted from Boston Terrier Rescue South Africa

“After numerous visits to our friends (to play with their Boston Terriers), we fell in love with the breed and started to actively keep an eye on the BTRSA’s Facebook page for Bostons up for adoption. 

“Duke and Daisy weren’t even properly advertised yet when we indicated that we were interested in adopting them. 

“However, they were in Johannesburg and we were in Gqeberha (about a day’s drive away), so we had to rely on the volunteers and our parents’ videos and descriptions of their personalities and behaviour. It was daunting! We really wanted to adopt and not shop, but it was a difficult decision to make with them being so far away. But after replaying the videos over and over again, the decision was easy: we were going to give them their forever home!

“We’ll never forget the day we went to fetch them from the airport. There they were, in their travel crates, with big brown eyes staring at us through the peepholes. It was a meeting filled with excitement; they’ve found their forever home and we’ve found our fur babies.

“We’ve had them for just over two-and-a-half years now and it has really been fascinating to watch them adapt and make our home their own. The best part was observing how their personalities unfolded as they realised that they’re in a safe and loving space.

“Duke and Daisy have been an absolute blessing and we’d choose them one thousand times over. We cannot imagine our lives without them.”

 

Mz Jazzi

Mz Jazzi

Tessa Papadopoulos shares Mz Jazzi, who was adopted from FORA

“Jazzi is a FORA bottle baby that took over our lives on the 4th of November 2021. 

“She’s very much loved and adored by us, her two-footed ‘mom and dad’, and her canine sister, Happy.

“She’s growing at a rate of knots, eats like a horse, and plays herself and us into exhaustion. Her favourite game is ‘kitchen soccer’ (or ‘kitten soccer’). She brings us her ball, then we must kick it between the kitchen and the dining room until she’s had enough.

“She terrorises poor Happy by leaping onto her back like a tiger trying to bring down a buffalo or throws herself onto Happy from the curtain rails. There’s never dull moment with Jazzi around! In her quieter moments (this after she’s worn us all to a frazzle) we enjoy her kitty cuddles. 

“Jazzy is our very special little girl.”

 

Storm

Storm

Photography credit: Louise Lacante Photography

Louise van der Klashorst shares Storm, who was adopted from Wollies Animal Project

“We adopted Storm four years ago – we have no idea how long he was in the shelter before he was adopted by us, but he was already an adult dog. My vet estimated him at between one and two years old.

“The day we fetched him and brought him into our home, he was ecstatic – he kept running round and round the living room with joy, jumping from couch to couch.

“Storm battled separation anxiety when we first got him but, thankfully, this behaviour stopped after a few months, and he’s now a very calm and loving dog. We knew he needed a friend and we promptly adopted Schwoz. Storm loves to play with Schwoz and now our family is complete!

“Storm truly is an amazing dog with so much love to give, and I wouldn’t exchange him for the world.”

 

Dumpie

Dumpie

Linda Luus shares Dumpie

“Dumpie had been dumped but, fortunately, we found him about five years ago.

“We noticed that his behaviour was a bit unusual, and when we took him to the vet, we were told that he has Down’s Syndrome. 

“Dumpie has no idea how to play, or it seems he’s not registering what’s going on. His mouth hangs open 24/7. If he does try to play, he’s off-balance, or just stumbling and falling more than playing (we’ve checked: there isn’t anything physically wrong with his sense of balance or his ears). He makes weird noises just sitting alone and wide awake, so there’s no reason for the sounds. I have two other Pekingese and the difference between them and Dumpie is like day and night. 

“Dumpie is a mystery, but he has the biggest heart ever. You can place any animal from a bird to a rabbit with him and he’ll cuddle and fall asleep with them. 

“We recently celebrated the day that we found him by inviting six of his doggy playmates over to celebrate the day with him and us – much fun was had by all!

“All his weird ways just make him even more special, and we love him to bits!”

 

Nina

Nina

Natalie De Jesus shares Nina, who was adopted from Paws R Us SA

“Nina is our first-ever rescue – our Covid-19 rescue. We’d actually applied to foster her but fell in love with her straight away and immediately applied to adopt her. She’s a six-year-old bundle of joy! 

“She’s fitted in beautifully, and after living life in a shelter, she enjoys the comforts of the good life she lives now! She has a happy, loving life with her human family and Mia, her furry sister.”

 

February 2022

Valentine

Valentine

Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography

Elwynn Oberholzer and Debbie Vermaak share Valentine, who was adopted from FORA

“Valentine was rescued by the FORA team on Valentine’s Day in 2020. She’d managed to get herself stuck under the waterproofing membrane on a double-storey housing complex roof and she’d been there for a good few days.

“After being tested for the dreaded kitty diseases, she was vaccinated, sterilised and put into FORA’s main shelter cattery. She really didn’t do well there, so Linda swiftly moved her back into their kitten room.

“Debbie and I were looking to adopt an older cat that needed just a little extra care and naturally Valentine was suggested – and we were very happy to welcome her to our family.

“From the first night home with us, Valentine was wrapping herself around our legs and purring away happily!”

Spice

Spice

Jo Blanckenberg shares Spice, who was adopted from Friends of Rescued Animals (FORA)

“A few months ago, Spice was picked up from the streets with her litter of new-born puppies and taken in by Community Led Animal Welfare (CLAW). From there, she was sent to Linda Scrace at FORA. They noticed that her left eye was badly infected. The vets did an enucleation (removal) of her left eye and discovered that she had microphthalmia of the right eye. This means that Spice is functionally blind. 

“Thank goodness she was rescued off the streets – how she even survived for as long as she did is nothing short of miraculous.

“She raised her pups with Linda’s help and, when they were old enough, they were adopted. Spice was spayed and ready for her future.

“I followed her story on social media and decided that her extreme courage deserved the reward of her very own home and family. And so, on the 2nd of July, we collected Spice and took her home to our rather large family of much-loved rescues. 

“She’s adapted completely to her new life, enjoying walks, treats, and tickles just like any dog should. She sleeps in my daughter’s bed every night and spends her days sunning herself on the stoep and going for a walk with the others in the evening. 

“Looking at her, most people don’t even realise that Spice is blind. What a great approach to life she has! She uses her assets to her advantage (she has excellent hearing and sense of smell) and doesn’t let her challenges stop her from living life to the fullest.

“I absolutely adore this little dog! Thank you to FORA and CLAW for rescuing her and giving her a second chance!”


Spice and her BFF, Miley (also a rescue)

Odin

Odin

Nadine Clench shares Odin, who was adopted from Husky Haven

“After losing our other little rescue Ishtar during Lockdown, just short of 16 due to a stroke, King Louis, who suffers from dwarfism and brain damage (brain age of approximately six months old) didn’t manage on his own. And so, we adopted a new baby from Husky Haven.

“Odin is the cutest little bundle of fluff that came into our lives at just the right time to comfort Louis and care for me in ways I could never have imagined.

“We originally decided not to get any new pets at this time, but the minute I saw his photo on Facebook (a friend had liked his post, so I saw her comment), I fell in love. After several calls to Brenda Meyer from Husky Haven, I was sent the adoption forms, passed the home check and welcomed Odin to the family. 

“Odin is a Husky-Toy Pomeranian cross (aka a Pomsky) and is a super-intelligent, very sensitive and natural-born therapy dog. 

“A few months after adopting Odin, I also became part of the Covid statistics and spent a month in hospital, part of the time ventilated in ICU. Upon my return home, we noticed that Odin would occasionally come and lie with his head on my chest; when I then tested my oxygen levels, we found that he was picking up and warning/waking me when my levels dropped below 90 and I required supplementary oxygen. 

“He’s been by my side throughout my recovery and still wakes me when needed. He also has an uncanny way of picking up when my blood pressure goes too high and will come and sit next to me and paw at me until I test my BP and take meds to stabilise.

“At first, I was nervous bringing a new baby into the family as our Dachshund of 10 and the old cat of 17 are not great with change, but they’ve all accepted him, and he’s become an integral, much-loved, and unashamedly spoilt member of the family!

“Thank you to Brenda and her team from Husky Haven for saving this precious soul and allowing us to welcome him into our home.”

 
King Louis and Odin

Lola

Lola

Adelle Jung shares her lovely Lola, who was adopted from Sighthound Rescue SA

“Sighthounds have always been close to my heart. I’ve been following Sighthound Rescue SA for some time amongst some other organisations that are dedicated to rescuing this very special breed. Buying a dog from a breeder was simply not an option for us.

“Whilst being in contact with Cheryl Campbell of Sighthound Rescue SA, we decided that a Greyhound puppy would be best suited for our family. Lola, our pup, was part of a litter of eight which was bottled raised and cared for from two weeks of age by Cheryl after their mommy was poisoned. 

“Our home check was done by a wonderful volunteer, Reinier Vermaak, and our precious puppy was delivered to us by ‘stork’ (aka Patricia Boshoff). It’s truly touching to see the dedication and kindness from everyone who’s committed to saving these beautiful hounds. 

“And this is how our Lola ended up in Sandton. 

“Lola is true to everything the breed represents. She’s intelligent, sensitive and intuitive and, like any puppy, a clown. But most important of all: we found a perfect match for our family. Thank you to SRSA for this beautiful act of kindness and making this world a better place for Sighthounds.”

 

Molly

Molly

Nisha Moodley shares Molly, who was adopted from SPCA Louis Trichardt

“I adopted Molly (a Yorkie-Poodle cross, we were told) in March 2017 while we were living between SA and Luxembourg, when she was only a year old.

“She was found roaming the streets as a starving little stray. The adoption process was approved and facilitated by the very forthcoming Lesley Gaigher while I was still in Europe, and as soon as I was back in the country, my husband and I drove four hours to fetch her. 

“Now, five years later, and happily living in Johannesburg, she shares her home with her adopted brother, Sparkles (a seven-year-old Maltese-Pekingese cross adopted from Paws R Us SA) and sister, Charlie (a nine-year-old blonde wirehaired Terrier- Maltese mix adopted from Project Dog). Molly is a happy, healthy, spoilt rotten and confident little dog. 

“She loves being outdoors, going for car rides, taking a quick dip in the pool to fight with the pool cleaner, fighting with the residents and their dogs, stalking birds and lizards, and bullying my husband (which he secretly enjoys and often indulges her tantrum!). She also won a ‘Cute Pet’ Competition in 2020. 

“We’re very blessed and lucky to have her in our lives. She brings much laughter and happiness to our home.”

    
Charlie (top), Sparkles (middle),
and Molly (bottom)

Padme

Padme

Christil Viljoen shares Padme

“I got Padme from a life-long friend of mine. I’ve always been looking for a Belgian D’Uccle as they are Bantam-size (small breed) and have very chatty and sweet personalities.

Padme enjoys grooming herself, talking A LOT, getting neck scratches, and having a good nap. Her favourite food is... bugs! She’s a great pest-control chicken as she even jumps into the air to catch flies and mosquitoes. She has a very sweet side and loves cuddling up in my neck on the bed. And she’s always extremely curious. She comes to work with me every day and wants to check out every client who walks in.

“She’s made good friends with my pets – Jedi the Border Collie and Goofy the cat (her favourite friend – they love napping together).

“Padme the chicken will hopefully become my ‘education chicken’. I want to take her wherever I can to educate people that they are great pets with amazing personalities (just like any domesticated animal), but unlike others, chickens are the most abused animals on the planet. Yet, they’re intelligent, self-aware, loving, and sensitive. 
“In the few weeks that I’ve had her, I can see how amazed people are by her. And it just makes me realise how little people know about chickens. I hope that, by educating people and showing them how lovely Padme is, they might consider adopting – particularly ex-laying hens. They spend their whole lives in A4-size cages, never seeing the light of day. There are chicken rescues such as Wings of Hope Chicken Rescue that help chickens in need. One day I’d love to open my own chicken rescue and help those without a voice.”

  

Bentley

Bentley

Lauren Nàmer shares Bentley, who was adopted from Witbank SPCA

“We knew we were ready and wanted to adopt another senior rescue dog, and so when I came across a Facebook post about Bentley, a 12-year-old Toy Pomeranian needing an urgent home, we fell in love and decided there and then to adopt him. 

“We went to the Witbank SPCA to apply and got to meet him, which we were very excited about. We collected him two days later once the home inspection was done. Bringing him home was very special, and although he was a little nervous, he settled so well with our other senior animals and became part of our family immediately. 

“He was a little frail under all that fluff but has picked up weight and is healthy and happy. He absolutely loves his walks and cuddling with us and is such a character. He loves playing, even at his age, and I often start the day with him tugging on my clothes for a game. 

“We were told he’s an escape artist, so we put in a baby gate in front of our front door, one into our garage, and he stays on an extendable leash at the park, but that’s what you do for family – you make sure they’re safe and happy. 

“He’s accepted the other dogs and cats and loves that I’m working from home. He’s scared of thunder and fireworks, but we make sure to be with him and let him know he’s safe. We couldn’t imagine our lives without him. We adore our Bentley, aka Prince B, and he adores his life with us.

“Adopting saves two lives: the life of the animal you adopt and the one that can take their space, but adopting a senior is just so special. Their chance of adopting is a lot less, and what better way to say, ‘I love you’ than to make sure their final years – or however long they have – are wonderful, affirming, and the retirement they deserve.”

   

Chaya

Chaya

Hendré de Villiers shares Chaya, who was adopted from Border Collie Rescue

“Chaya was rescued at just seven weeks old near Port Elizabeth. She came in with a massive burn wound on her side and went into foster care while she recovered. I was looking for a pup with which to do rescue work and saw Chaya online... but I lived in Cape Town. However, I knew she was the one, so we arranged a flight for her all the way from PE! She’ll have been with me for 11 years in November 2022.

“When I first adopted her, I worked on a farm and Chaya was my daily companion; she slept in the office while I did paperwork and was my co-driver on the golf cart – she went everywhere with me. When I moved back into town, of course Chaya came too, and she became a mountain dog (I’m a mountain guide). 

“She’s very smart and focused and has a natural inclination to herd, but because of hip dysplasia diagnosed at a young age, she didn’t get to be a ‘working dog’. But that never really held her back. She’s always been very playful and loves going on walks and gentle hikes. She also enjoys sleepovers at ‘granny's house’, playing with her squeaky toys, and herding her Greyhound friend. She even helped when I fostered some severely neglected dogs in the past.

“She’s such a fantastic dog and I love her more every day.”

 

Raven

Raven

Tracy van Schalkwyk shares Raven, who was adopted from SPCA Amanzimtoti 

“After losing our first adopted Rottweiler, Beauty, whom we’d for two years, to spleen cancer in February last year, we couldn’t face getting another Rottie, as it would be too much of a sad reminder… But in May a post kept popping up in my Facebook news feed: a one-year-old Rottweiler girl up for adoption. We finally caved in and decided to meet her.

“As soon as we laid eyes on her, we fell in love – she has a heart of gold and so much love to give! 

“Raven is the light of our lives, and Honey, our Labrador, has become her new best buddy and ‘mom’. 

“Adopt, don’t shop… it’s so much more rewarding!”

  

Drew

Drew

Janine Denne shares “gentle bear” Drew

“Drew had been found on the Robertson railway line eating scraps. My good friend Ingrid Finlay rehabilitated him, restored him to his former glory, and agreed to let him become part of my family. He’s settled in very well.

“He enjoys swimming in the pool, beach and mountain walks, and is addicted to tennis balls. We’ve probably gone through about 30 already!

“All our friends say that he has the most amazing soul. He watches over me all the time, and wherever I go, he goes… it’s ever so cute!  

“Our neighbours call him a gentle bear, and that he most certainly is!”

 

January 2022

Chance

Chance

Peter and Jolene Dawes share Chance, who was adopted from Nordic Rescue

“Chance had led a neglected life before going to Nordic Rescue earlier this year. Elke du Bruyn, Owner/Founder of Nordic Rescue says, ‘Chance is a Husky that only wants to be with people. When he arrived, he’d jump between the two run areas, and I was concerned he’d get out; but no, he’s just a curious boy that wants to see what the humans are up to. Chance needed a second chance from his previous hard life – and that’s what he’s found with the Cronje family.’

“It took a while for Chance to settle into our home, but now it’s as if he’s been part of the family all along. 

“We’d adopted him together with another much older Husky boy named Demo, but, heartbreakingly, we lost him when he suddenly became lame. It’s been devastating for us, but Chance does his best to make us smile through our tears. He’s brought much joy into our family.”


Left to right: Demo, Peter, Jolene, Bella and Chance (in front)

Odin

Odin

Michelle and Arnold Sachs share Odin, who was adopted from Pippa’s Place  

“In early December 2019, we fetched our cats from their luxury cat hotel, Pippa’s Place, run by my wonderful friend Ann Boulanger, who’s since sadly passed away. Once we had our cats, Ann took me into her house to show me her latest ‘orphans’ (people would often drop off abandoned cats at her door). She’d been given a box with two Siamese-looking kittens. Both kittens were tiny and had been found wandering in Edenvale in poor shape.

“I locked eyes with Odin, and it was love at first sight. Ann kept him for a few days, and then we brought him home; the other kitten was homed to another one of her clients. 

“I kept Odin isolated from the other animals until he could get the once-over from our vet. We discovered he was riddled with worms, Coccidia and Giardia. It took months of expensive treatment to kill the parasites off at all stages of their lifecycle. He was seriously sick during this time and lost a lot of weight, wouldn’t eat, and smelled terrible.

“We worked hard at it, syringing chicken soup into him a few times a day, washing him daily to remove the eggs on his fur and paws and trying to socialise him. He was quite wild and would bite! He eventually recovered fully. He’s now a healthy, strong, loving cat and has integrated beautifully into our home. He’s so loved by us, our three other cats and even the dog. My late dad often said he was the luckiest cat in the world!”

 

Odin and Pepper

Odin and Pepper

Catherine Naidoo shares Odin and Pepper, who were adopted from FORA

“We adopted Odin (tan) and Pepper from FORA in June 2020. They have definitely very different personalities – Odin is more relaxed and calm, and nothing fazes him, whereas Pepper is our little firecracker. 

“We just cannot imagine our lives without them.” 

Abby

Abby

Melissa Huneberg shares Abby

“Abby was rescued from a township where she was living a terrible life. She’s now part of our family and adores her three rescue cat siblings. 

“Living her best life indeed!”

 

Midnight and Shadowfax

Midnight and Shadowfax

Dirchelle Laubscher shares Midnight and Shadowfax

“I found Midnight in a ditch close to my mum’s plot on the 4th of May 2018; she was so tiny and so cute, I just couldn’t say no to that little face. She also has one heck of a wild streak, and she loves chasing birds and catching mice! 

“I usually wake up with the mouse on the floor next to my side of the bed. She also enjoys chasing lizards and climbing trees. She suns herself on the roof and rolls around in the dust like a little piggy – when this happens, she transforms into a brown cat, not a black one! I’ll never forget one morning waking up and putting on my slippers – with a BIG SCREAM – she’d put a dead lizard in my slipper. Thank you, Midnight, mommy’s little hunter. 

“Midnight was an only child for about a year. She used to go everywhere with me, in the car, to mom’s plot, and so on. Then, on the 1st of November 2019, a friend found Shadow (full name Shadowfax, like Gandalf’s horse) in the engine of a VW Polo in an auction house – extremely scared and pretty much feral. I took her in, not knowing what to expect from Midnight, queen of the house. 

“Shadow hid under the bed for about a week. I would leave food, snacks, and treats for her until, eventually, she warmed up. Now, she’s turned into the biggest cuddle bug – she always wants to be petted and played with, unlike Midnight, who’ll only allow you to touch her if she gives you permission! It took Midnight a long time to accept Shadow’s presence; they couldn’t be more opposite. Shadow is the cutest fluffy grey ball of love, built for home and comfort; Midnight is a sleek, black little Houdini built for speed and hunting outside.

“Shadow’s best friend is Charlie, our Yorkshire Terrier, who licks her whole face, chews on her ears and plays with her as soon as she waltzes into the house.

“Midnight and Shadow are so happy and love playing in the garden, rolling around in heaps of catnip and creating mischief overall.

“People always ask me if I’m a cat person or a dog person. My answer is always the same: I’m an animal person! Animals are the purest form of innocence left on this planet; if you have the means to adopt or rescue, please do.”

 

Sandi

Sandi

Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography

Elwynn Oberholzer and Debbie Vermaak share Sandi, who was saved from being sold on the side of the road by an animal rescuer

“We adopted Sandi at seven months; she’s going on 11 now. She was our first adoption and the one who set us on a rescue and foster path that changed our lives forever.” 

 
Debbie (left), Elwynn (right) and Sandi

Bentley and Bonnie

Bentley and Bonnie

Susi Wrathall shares Bentley and Bonnie, adopted from FORA and CLAW respectively

“Bentley came to us from FORA (Friends of Rescued Animals) in March 2021, and, after weighing up all the options and thinking of his well-being, we decided to adopt Bonnie from CLAW (Community Led Animal Welfare) three weeks ago. 

“Bentley will be one year old in the next few days, and Bonnie is only three months old. From the day we brought her home, these two have been inseparable.

“The love they have for each other cannot be put in words. Bentley is so big and yet so gentle with her; she, on the other hand, is so cheeky – I’m surprised he tolerates most of what she does to him!”

 

Chonkie

Chonkie

Bernice Mong shares Chonkie, who was adopted from Pretoria Animal Buddies 

“On Friday, the 29th of October, an extremely neglected, matted white cat was dropped off at Pretoria Animal Buddies. Other than knowing that he’d been picked up somewhere and that he’s around two years old, we don’t know any history about him. 

“I visited Pretoria Animal Buddies the following day for their Halloween picnic, saw this beautiful boy, and fell in love!

“Maggie Steenkamp from Pretoria Animal Buddies named him Corazón. He was taken to the vet/parlour on the 1st of November for a much-needed shave and many baths, and he was health checked and sterilised. 

“On the 13th of November, I fetched him from Pretoria Animal Buddies to foster him with the option to adopt. Well, of course he stayed, and I renamed him ‘Chonkie’. 

“Chonkie has been with me for two months now and has adapted so well. He’s become a really confident, playful, loving little boy, and we enjoy him so much. He’s absolutely gorgeous and is fitting in well with the family.”

 

Ellie

Ellie

Eugenie Thompson shares Ellie, who was adopted from the Witbank SPCA

“The story goes that, when lots of starfish wash up on the shore, you can’t save them all, but for the ones you threw back, you changed their world. We decided to adopt a doggie from the SPCA and change at least one doggie’s life.

“The heartbreaking search started, and all of them were so adorable that we didn’t know how we were going to choose ‘The One’. Then, one morning, we opened up Facebook and there she was, a Labrador-Border Collie cross, and it was love at first sight!

“At the SPCA, we learned that the first few years of our little one’s life had been horrible, but that was all about to change. With inspections done, Ellie came home with us.

“Being abused, adopted and returned by previous owners, Ellie didn’t trust us immediately. As weeks passed, she came to realise that, in this house, there’s only love, no abuse, and definitely no returning her to the SPCA.

“Her confidence and personality grew by leaps and bounds. The only thing that could some days be daunting to her were the royalty of the family: the two cats. Fortunately, in time, that relationship improved, and now they’re best buddies.

“We thought we’d change Ellie’s life, but as it turned out, she changed our lives so much more – we couldn’t imagine life without her.”

 

Daisy

Daisy

Werner Burger shares Daisy… “A Street Dog No More”

“Daisy’s story started when my sister, Charleen, a medical doctor, found her one day outside the medical practice in Dennegeur (Mitchell’s Plain) where she worked. Huddled against the building in pouring rain sat a pitiful little dog covered in mange and somewhat starved.

“Was it fate? According to my sister, most definitely...The minute their eyes locked, Daisy came running up to my sister. At that stage, another addition to the family wasn’t on the cards, and my sister’s colleague indicated that he’d be interested in adopting Daisy. Long story short, his plans didn’t come to fruition, and this meant Daisy would be going to a rescue centre. Well, my sister made a call immediately, and no one had come forward to claim her, so the rest, as they say, is history...

“The adoption wasn’t without its problems. Soon after arriving at her new home, Daisy starting coughing; the dreaded kennel cough had followed her. My sister’s other two dogs quickly got infected, and it turned into numerous visits to the after-hours vet as the other two doggies were of a senior age. 

“After about two weeks (and a small fortune) and twice-daily antibiotics that had to be given, Daisy and her new siblings were on the road to recovery.

“Daisy now lives in Pearly Beach with her sister, Lucy, where they go to the beach every single day. Let’s just say she wasn’t a born swimmer, but that soon changed, and, like her sister, she’s become quite the water nymph. Talk about falling with your bum in the butter!

“My sister and her husband don’t have children, so their dogs are treated as such. ‘Very spoilt pooches’ would be an understatement.

“Daisy has turned out to be one happy hound. She loves people of all ages, but puppy classes are definitely on the cards to help her get on with other dogs. But a happier, more thankful dog would be hard to find.”

December 2021

Lucky

Lucky

Aldyn Bent shares Lucky, who was adopted from FORA

“Name: Lucky, Fur Pants, Charlie, Charlie Chaplin (because for the first three months his lips moved but no meow came out).

“Fur Pants’ Favourite food: Hill’s pellets, Whiskas pellets (so he stays humble and for variety), as well as roast chicken – breast meat only!

“Hobbies and interests: Sleeping, hunting all small creatures that move, playing with his tail while using the burglar bars as a jungle gym, demanding head, belly and ear scratches, chasing feet, attacking ankles and watching cricket.

“If he’s Lucky, then we’re the luckiest for having him as part of our lives!”


Lucky, aka Lucky little bugger, in his FORA “school photo" that stole our hearts

Pablo

Pablo

Max Menzies shares Pablo, who was adopted from Weimaraner Rehome & Rescue SA

“We adopted Pablo, the Weimaraner-Ridgeback cross in January after we lost our beloved Ridgeback, Moya, last December. 

“Pablo was a little worse for wear, skinny, and fighting a bad ear infection when he joined our family, but with the right care and tons of love, we promptly got this all under control… and then the horse stood on his foot! 

“We found an orthopaedic vet in Wellington who did microsurgery and inserted four pins into the foot. It was a long mend, but he’s back to normal. Pablo loves his two friends, Mr Red (Ridgeback) and Oscar (another rescue Weimer), and is living the good life in our little village of McGregor, in the Western Cape.”

 

Luca and Leo

Luca and Leo

Luca (left) and Leo

Melissa O’ Dwyer shares Leo and Luca, who were adopted from SPCA Uitenhage

“We took a road trip several months ago just to adopt these beauties from the SPCA Uitenhage. 

“Leo (ginger) had been there since he was a tiny kitten, and Luca had been rescued from a nearby farm a month prior to adoption.

“They’ve fitted into our home with our Dachshunds and are loved and spoilt beyond words.”

Bentley

Bentley

Susi Wrathall shares Bentley, who was adopted from FORA

“We adopted Bentley in March 2021 when he was around 12 weeks old and just 7.5kg. He’d been rescued with his mom after a terrible storm around New Year 2020. He was the only surviving pup.  

“He’s now a whopping 35kg, and I’ve never owned a friendlier, happier, more easy-going dog. I have to give credit for this to Linda Scarce and her team at FOR A, especially Candice, who made him what he is today. Candice is still caring for his mom, Georgie, who’s not ready to be adopted as yet.

“We just love this boy!”

 

Kiara

Kiara

Catherine Forbes shares Kiara, who was adopted from FORA

“Kiara arrived at FORA at six months old, having been found pregnant in Dobsonville. She stayed at FORA for three-and-a-half years before I found her! 

“She’s the sweetest, friendliest little girl who’s so good and is just an absolute joy – she never leaves her garden to wander, she’s happy with whatever food I buy her, she waits at the door for me when I get home – she even goes on holiday with us (and has travelled 1,200km each way in the car on her holidays). What a special girl!

“Kiara is now seven years old, and I feel blessed to have found her. Adopt an adult cat – they’re the best!”

 

Cleo

Cleo

Debbie Ross shares Cleo

“Cleo is a Collie-German Shepherd Dog cross. Her previous owner couldn't keep her anymore, and so we drove the two-and-a-half hours to Kenton-on-Sea to fetch our little girl.

“Cleo loves her new home at Sunrise-on-Sea. She’s now very spoilt and loves to surf. She sleeps on the couch when I’m not looking and needs lots of love and attention.

“We love her very much!”

   

Oliver

Oliver

Henry and Elna McKenzie share Oliver, who was adopted from the Kempton Park SPCA

“We adopted Oliver in October 2020. It’s a unique story – Ollie was actually already adopted, and we chose his brother, although my heart was drawn towards Oliver.  

“Then we got a call from the SPCA: they’d accidentally had the wrong cat sterilised, so, Oliver’s brother went home with the new family. Needless to say, I was over the moon because I got my wish – Ollie.

“Today he’s the love of our life. He’s our clown and makes us laugh every day. He loves to chase his ‘sister’, Chloe, and they’re great friends.

“I still say adoption is the way to go and give a pet another chance. Both my cats are adopted, and we love them to the moon and back.”

Toby

Toby

Cath Jenkins shares Toby’s story. Toby was adopted from SPCA Durban & Coast

“I am Toby. I started out scrawny and shy, but the ladies at the SPCA helped me get by. After a long time with my friend, Andy, I learnt that humans could be handy!

“I took a little while to settle into my house and acted like a little mouse. But now I'm a belly rub fan and a steak connoisseur.

“With my big brother, Yoda, and older sister, Roxy, I eat my way through the day, in between hours and hours of play.

“And that’s the story of how I became the King of the Couch, Snuggler Deluxe.”

 

Gizzy

Gizzy

Eugenie Thompson shares Gizzy

“A few years ago, Gizzy unexpectedly became part of our family. It was a very cold winter’s night when, through the howling wind, we heard a faint meowing. When we opened the front door, there was a small bundle of grey fluff meowing and looking lost and very sad. 

“The kitten was still very small – surely it couldn’t be far from home, we thought, and started to search the complex, going door-to-door with no luck. It was very cold, so we decided to continue the next day. We repeated the search early the next morning, once again without any luck. Clearly our little bundle of fur fluff was homeless.

“But not for long. In less than 24 hours, he walked straight into our hearts with his little paws and sad eyes. 

“We named him Gizzy, and our little fur ball was no longer nameless nor homeless!”

  

Milo

Milo

Jean Thysse shares Milo

“Milo was rescued from a situation in which people were threatening to poison him. 

“One look at his post on Facebook and I immediately contacted a few animal rescue people and made arrangements for him to join my family. Milo had definitely been abused and has suffered many health issues, which, with the help of my trusty vet, have all been treated and overcome. 

“He’s the most loving little boy, adored by all who meet him. He has the loudest bark I’ve ever heard, but most probably he had to protect himself when he was on the streets. 

“He loves his teddy bear, ropes and walkies, and has the sweetest nature. We all love him and were blessed when he came into our lives.”

 

November 2021

Spike

Spike

Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography

Lynette Nicholson shares Spike

“We found Spike as a stray in December 2020, just before Christmas. After trying unsuccessfully to find his owner, he remained unclaimed and we decided to offer him a forever home. 

“What a lovely dog he is and with a fantastic temperament. He loves all humans and animals. Spike definitely has some greyhound in him, and he loves to run.”

Jemima Bunners

Jemima Bunners

Claudia Neto shares Jemima Bunners

“When we spotted a bunny on a verge on the side of the road, we thought she must have escaped as she seemed very tame. We took her home, since between the traffic, owls, and off-leash dogs in the area, we knew she was unsafe. 

“Once at home we realised how thin she was and clearly had been been living purely off grass and flowers on the verge. A bunny needs 80% roughage (primarily hay and some grass), 10% fresh veg, 5% pellets and 5% treats such as fruit and carrots for a balanced diet. 

“After advertising her as lost and trying to find her owners, it became clear she was likely yet another victim of being dumped ‘in the wild’. This terribly irresponsible practice is leading to an uncontrollable number of bunnies being born in the suburbs, and since they’re not indigenous to South Africa, it’s causing great disruption to our own local flora and fauna. We were happy to keep her and named her Jemima Bunners. 

“Jemima Bunners settled into home life immediately, and remarkably she’s just one of the gang now with our dogs and cats. She has a set routine that has helped her adapt quickly and particularly loves the evenings when we all settle in the TV room to relax for the night. We know she loves this time as she does ‘binkies’ – a little jump and kick in the air that rabbits do when they’re feeling great – and she lies sprawled out on the couch showing how relaxed she feels. 

“She loves spending time in the garden, always supervised so she’s safe. Whilst she dislikes celery and blueberries, she adores kale, cucumber, and strawberries. We’ll be getting her spayed soon, and whilst we’re still working on her litter box training, we have so enjoyed having a new little friend join our family. She’s well and truly home and couldn’t be happier about it!”

 

Fergus

Fergus

Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography

Lynette Nicholson shares Fergus, who was adopted from Border Collie Rescue

“We adopted Fergus 12 years ago. He’d been abused in his younger life and had some behavioural problems. 

“Fergus settled in well with us and is such a gentle soul. He doesn’t have many active Border Collie traits but prefers to lie around and be served his meals.”


Andrew Nicholson holding Levi, Lynette Nicholson with Spike, Mathilde Harris (foster mom for Nicholson Rescue), an exhausted Fergus and Benji

Luna

Luna

Photo credit: Dogscapes Fine Art Pet Photography

Sarah Keogh shares Luna, who was adopted from PDSA, Bridgetown

“Luna was rescued as a tiny kitten; she was found thrown out like trash, into a black bin bag. I was volunteering one Saturday morning when a gentleman walked into the PDSA with a black bag stating he no longer wanted ‘these’. I looked inside and there were three beautiful little kittens.

“The moment I saw her tiny face, I was smitten. Luna had the saddest little eyes, and I was completely in love. She unfortunately had snuffles, so I had to wait a few days to actually adopt her, but, finally, I did. I was going through a difficult time in my life when I found Luna, and she helped heal me.

“The best news of all was that all three kittens managed to get their forever homes!”

Xena

Xena

Dale Benson shares Xena

“Xena is a Shepherd-Husky cross who was rescued as a stray from a caravan park a few years ago. She wasn’t vaccinated and had contracted parvo, which almost killed her. 

“Thankfully, she made a full recovery and is now a happy member of our family.”

Smudge

Smudge

Debbie Turkington shares Smudge, who was adopted from Kitty and Puppy Haven

“I’ve always been a person who has a passion for animals and felt extremely blessed to have been surrounded by dogs and cats my entire life. When I moved to Johannesburg, I felt so lonely without a furry companion and decided to adopt two kittens from Kitty and Puppy Haven in 2006. 

“I adopted a black-and-white kitten who, of course, we named Patch, and a long-haired tortoise shell who was affectionately and aptly named Smudge. 

“They’ve added such joy to our lives and have seen my children grow up! We were blessed with 15 years of love and affection from Patch, who sadly passed away in 2020 from cancer, and we miss her terribly. 

“Smudge is still going strong in her 16th year and is happy to lie on your lap and give you endless love and affection!”

 

Pepsi

Pepsi

Lianne Protheroe shares Pepsi

“Back in 2016, I found a little black dog wandering around a parking lot in Cape Town. I loaded her up in the car with the intention of taking her to TEARS, an animal rescue shelter close to home.

“Unfortunately, TEARS told me they were full and had a parvo outbreak – they couldn’t accept any dogs. She wasn’t chipped, so we took her home with us. I emailed the SPCA and put her up on many Lost & Found Facebook pages, but she was never claimed.

“I pretended to find her another home, but I'd fallen totally in love with her and there was just no letting her go.

“TEARS sterilised her and, in no time, she’d become part of the family. We named her Pepsi, and she’s the sweetest dog ever!”

Lyla

Lyla

Photo credit: Caroline Hartley Photography

Jessica Thibaud shares Ms Lyla, who was adopted from Stellenbosch Animal Welfare Society

“Ms Lyla was adopted on the 31st of March 2021. She was an incredibly scared and anxious cat, barely leaving her little box unless it was the middle of the night and she was hungry. 

“However, she’s completely come out of her shell, partially thanks to Archie, our newest adoptee, who definitely brings out the kitten in her. 

“Ms Lyla, who’s about five years old, loves feathers, catnip and back scratches and can be very persistent when she wants cuddles. She’s the chunkiest and sassiest little fur baby ever. She and Archie complete our little home.”

  

Leroy Brown

Leroy Brown

Robyn Bronkhorst shares Leroy Brown, who was adopted from Grace Animal Sanctuary

“Leroy has found his permanent place in our hearts and home. He has the softest nature and is the sweetest guy – we’re so happy and lucky to have him as our newest family member.

“He thoroughly enjoys his puppy training classes and, by all accounts, is a star pupil! After class he gets to hang out with the daycare dogs and has an absolute blast.”

Ruby

Ruby

Keelan Stanley shares Ruby, who was adopted from Sandy’s Eden – Animal Rescue

“Ruby came into my life when I least expected it. I wasn’t planning on adopting another dog, but the moment she dug those little nails into my shoulder and nuzzled her nose into my neck when I held her, I knew she’d be a part of my family. 

“She’s from a bait dog litter removed from a fighting den. It was an unlucky start to life, but Sandy’s Eden rescued her and her family and gave them a second chance.

“We’ve bonded so deeply, and she’s shown me that there’s always more love out there. 

“Mac, my bigger rescue dog, needed her too (this without me knowing it either). They’ve become inseparable buddies and share the sweetest, most loving moments together. It’s brought out the playful, youthful side of him again.”

 

October 2021

Nibbles

Nibbles

Eugenie Thompson shares Nibbles

“Nibbles lived on a mine outside Middelburg where every day was a battle for survival as a tiny kitten. Hearing of his plight, I set out to change his world. 

“While he was scavenging for food I made my move and, not trusting me at first, he put up a good fight and tried to escape, but I persevered and quickly won him over.

“After some food and a warm bath, he had his first vet visit where he was given the all-clear and we set off home to start our life together. 

“Nibbles’ life changed from rags to riches. No more cold, hungry days since then – his days and nights are filled with more love than he could ever imagine.”

 

Odin

Odin

Natasja Du Buisson shares Odin, who was adopted from PitPals

“Following many years after moving out of my parents’ home and living without a precious animal of my own, I was thrilled when, finally, I was able to buy a dog-friendly home. 

“I dreamt of having my own dog; one that would be part of our life. When Odin came along – special, busy, naughty, love-bug, all smooshed into one – it was a dream come true! 

“When I say busy, he really is very busy. We started with puppy classes as soon as he had his third vaccination to help us better understand him and better communicate with him. We then started with the Bronze CGC Obedience class and he passed his exam on the 11th of Sep 2021. He’s now 8.5 months old and has grown quite a lot. Odin is a black-and-white Pit Bull mix but looks like he has a lot of Collie in him too.

“We take him to dog parks and beaches where he can run off leash and a farm for sniffing of flowers and games of fetch. He’s a huge part of our life and we’ll be planning our trips around him and visiting pet-friendly (not just pet-tolerant) places. 

“He’s such an excitable boy and we’re glad he’s with us so that we can protect that special light he radiates. Some friends and family think he’s naughty, but the dog lovers understand that he’s just an excited pup who absolutely loves people. He also loves cheese and fruit, sleeps in the weirdest of positions, and enjoys car rides.

“This ended up as a book instead of a line or two, but there’s no other way to describe how precious our Odin is to us.”

Harry and Hermione

Harry and Hermione

Hermione (left) and Harry

Zonika Strauss shares Harry and Hermione, both adopted from Nicholson Rescue

“Harry and Hermione were once rescues themselves… until they rescued us. These two cats have sparked an unknown love inside of us. 

“Each has their own little quirks and special ways, and they’re adored by everyone in the family. We have such gratitude for being blessed with them.”

Archie

Archie

Nicola Kruger shares Archie, who was adopted from Bella’s Guardian Angels (which she runs)

“Archie is a super special dog. We were initially asked to assist with ‘a blind Maltese pup’. We then made an arrangement with the owners to surrender all three pups (he had a brother and sister that were born healthy) and, in turn, we’d have their mom and dad sterilised. 

“But, when Archie arrived, I noticed that something was definitely a bit off. It turned out that not only was he blind, but he was deaf as well. His parents are both senior doggies with blue eyes, so they definitely should never have been allowed to breed!

“He’s a very big Maltese, but the best dog ever! He can sit, lie down, give paw, and come on command, even though he can neither see nor hear. He loves all people and going to the beach. We live on a farm and he finds his way around perfectly.

“Because he lives by his nose, most of his pictures are mostly nose. He’s seven months old and the cutest and a very clever boy.”

 

Dahlia and Hades

Dahlia and Hades

Dahlia (left) and Hades

Paula Guassardo shares Dahlia and Hades

“Dahlia was adopted from Raise ‘n Rescue in March 2020 and came home with us just in time for lockdown. She made the best lockdown buddy and brought us so much joy with her playful personality. Now she’s Queen Bee of the house and supervises the other animals.

“Hades, adopted from Foster Love Animal Rescue, is our newest edition, and he joined our family a few weeks ago. He’s such a cool little dude; we call him our gangster cat with a heart of gold. His cheekiness and confidence have bought a new energy to our home, and he LOVES food!”

Peanut, Barkley, Caramel, a…

Peanut, Barkley, Caramel, and Brooke

Barkley and Peanut

Debbie Turkington shares Peanut, Barkley, Caramel, and Brooke, who were all adopted from Berario Bunnies

“As a little girl, I’d always dreamed of having a pet bunny. However, my parents were having none of it – they wanted to stick to the rather old-school pets of a dog and cat! Now that I’m a single mum and have my own little girl, I had every reason to introduce a bunny into the household. And so, Peanut joined our family; after doing much research, I decided that Peanut needed a bunny friend as they do best when they have a companion. 

“I started reading about the plight of bunnies and became aware of the number of bunnies who needed loving homes due to the fact that they’d been previously loved and then sadly dumped to fend for themselves. This is when I contacted Meahni Pieterse from Berario Bunnies, the Bunny Whisperer of the 21st Century! 

“Due to the fact that Peanut is a rather feisty girl, it was tricky to find her a suitable friend, and so Meahni suggested ‘bunny speed dating’, where the bunny chooses their own friend. Meahni came with a hoard of bunnies and Peanut decided that Barkley would be an appropriate ‘husbun’. 

“Meahni assisted with the bonding and now they’re two inseparable bunnies who free roam our garden peacefully and happily. As part of the bunny speed dating, I had my heart set on a little baby bunny called Caramel. He joined our family too at the very tender age of about eight weeks old. 

“Given the fact that Peanut and Barkley were already bonded, I decided to get Caramel a friend too. He chose little Brooke, who unfortunately had to have one of her legs amputated due to a break (but she scoots around just perfectly on three legs).

“Now, all four bunnies live happily together. They spend their time roaming in our garden and come running when they spot you in hopes of getting a snack or two!”


Caramel and Brooke

 

Stella

Stella

Cobus van Zyl shares Stella, who was adopted from Animal Rescue Organisation

“Stella is a beautiful grey tabby kitten of around five months old. She talks a lot and loves her food.

“After my cat, Oreo, was tragically killed by a speeding car in our street, I was heartbroken. My loss was devastating, and to help heal my heart, I decided that I wanted to adopt a cat and give it a good home.

“My aunt found a kitten up for adoption on one of the Facebook pages she follows and my mum immediately phoned to ask if the kitten was still available. Thankfully, she was and arrangements were put in place for us to adopt her.

“Our home and our family got approved and we were overjoyed to go and collect her from her foster mum that same day!

“When I met Stella, my heart just melted. I fell in love! She’s such a beautiful and sweet little kitten. Stella is happy here in our home and I love her very much.”

Louis

Louis

Nicola Kruger also shares Louis, who was adopted from Bella’s Guardian Angels (which she runs)

“Louis is my other boy that I adopted a few years ago. He’d been abandoned in a little box with his siblings and suffered from mange, tick bite fever, malnutrition, and obvious trauma.

“During his rehab and care we grew very attached to each other, and he was a very happy foster fail.

“Louis and Archie have developed a very strong bond and are the best of brothers.”

 

Opal and Skittles

Opal and Skittles

Opal (left) and Skittles

Debbie Turkington shares Opal and Skittles, who were both adopted from Nicholson Rescue

“I’m a huge animal lover and fur mum to three cats, four free-roaming rabbits and a dog, all adopted from various rescue organisations. Last year during the lockdown, I lost one of my beloved 14-year-old cats, Patch, to cancer. Then, in August this year, I also lost my 12-year-old Golden Retriever, Mya, to cancer. 

“For weeks, I was filled with heartache about the loss of my beloved family members until, lo and behold, while scrolling through Facebook, I came across Lynette Nicholson’s post about Skittles and Opal. My initial reaction was ‘no, not now’, as I still have one remaining old cat and was worried about the introductions and putting her nose of out of joint! However, the picture of those two little faces was emblazoned in my brain. 

“I contacted Lynette, but she explained that they’d found a home… I was delighted when she contacted me to say that the home had fallen through and they were still available. Upon meeting these fur babies, I immediately fell in love with the timorous yet loving nature of Skittles and the mischievous attitude of Opal. They’re now a very much-loved part of our family who provide unconditional love and plenty of laughs. That’s how I became the happy fur mum of three cats, four free-roaming rabbits and one dog!”

Rocket

Rocket

Sharron Duff shares Rocket

“I welcomed Rocket into my home when her elderly owner had to go into a retirement home.

“Rocket has gone from filling-a-palm-sized girl to chasing anything that can be thrown, with nothing holding her back! 

“She’s the sweetest-natured little girl with a big personality, and I’m so happy to have her as part of my family.”

September 2021

Sabrina

Sabrina

Photo credit: Nat Gold ZA

Mary-Anne Knight shares Sabrina, who was adopted from TEARS  

“Sabrina, a gorgeous jet-black cat straight out of a witch’s story, arrived during lockdown as a result of our wanting to support TEARS, who, like all animal rescue organisations at the time, were battling with a limited staff complement.

“I asked for the cat most challenged in finding a home – toothless, ancient, bald… I didn’t care! We’re on a small farm, so all the cat had to be was happy enough to muck in with dogs and horses.

“When Tracey of TEARS dropped her off, I thought she was exquisitely beautiful, with magnificent jade-green eyes. Why, I asked, had such a beauty not been rehomed sooner? Apparently, she’d been brought in as a kitten after being knocked over by a car and had to have surgery and a pin put in her leg; since then she’d been passed over for four long years.

“Sabrina, with the patient help of TEARS volunteer Ruth Morrison, learned to love our huge German Shepherds and they love her. She’s the kindest, coolest, sweetest cat, and we all adore her. Thank you, TEARS, for your awesome work!

“Please consider this: if, after reading this, most of you adopted a rescue cat from your nearest rescue organisation, would that not be a wonderful thing? Just imagine hundreds of felines finding a forever home!”

Tilly

Tilly

Caroline Jooste shares Tilly, who was adopted from GRACE Animal Sanctuary

“Tilly joined our family very recently and we’re so happy that she did. She’s such a friendly, loving little lady who’s settled in smoothly and quickly. She’s eating very well, has been for walks, had fun in the park, and even made new friends. I think her favourite thing of all is to be cuddled.”

Sprocket and Apollo

Sprocket and Apollo

Belinda Denzler and Jason Pearce share Sprocket and Apollo, who were adopted from Nicholson Rescue

“Sprocket stole my heart the second I laid eyes on him in January 2020,” says Belinda. “He’s a serial cuddler and sleeps in my neck every night. You can literally feel the love seeping out of him when he’s cuddling next to me.”

Jason adds, “And Apollo… this boy is truly special. If I had to describe him in one word, it would be ‘soulful’.”

“We’re so grateful to have these beautiful cats in our lives; they are our everything!”

Melly and Storm

Melly and Storm

Melly (left) and Storm

Amanda Lee and Danel Gerds share Melly and Storm, who were adopted from Noordhoek Bunny Rescue

“Melly loves to give kisses. She’s full of attitude and the alpha female of our family. She also loves watermelon and strawberries.

“Storm will only kiss for a treat (blueberries are his favourite). He’s a miracle bunny, having survived both Coccidia and E. cuniculi* as a baby. He loves to chase us around; it’s his favourite hobby. His ultimate thing to do is to cuddle us under a blanket!”

*Encephalitozoon cuniculi (E. cuniculi) is a protozoan parasite of rabbits that can cause cataracts, kidney disease, or affect the nervous system and cause a head tilt or complete paralysis.

Floyd

Floyd

Sue Grimer shares Floyd, who was adopted from Hellen White – Working in the Community

“Hellen posted Floyd’s photo on Facebook in February, saying his previous owners wanted him gone from the house NOW! He looked so dejected and shut down; I knew I just had to help him.

“So, on Valentine’s Day, Floyd moved to Benoni with me. He was thin and his fur was hard and brittle, but since then, he’s picked up 5kg and become soft and cuddly.

“He’s the most perfect dog, and I’m so blessed to have him in my life. He’s dearly loved.”

Hunter

Hunter

Deidre Esterhuizen shares Hunter

“I saw this beautiful tabby-and-white cat on the 21st of November 2020 in our yard. I approached him, but he hissed at me and ran away. I posted him on the various lost-and-found and community pages on Facebook to see if anyone was missing their cat, but no luck.

“I started feeding him and he came back every day for food. I could see he was semi-feral and terrified of people and noises. I named him Hunter because he’d climb high up in the trees to try to catch the pigeons. It took me about three months before I could touch him, but he remained very cautious.

“Day by day there was more progress, and Hunter eventually started to trust me. I could stroke him and he even started coming to me for some attention. About six months down the line, he started coming into the front area of our house but ran out when he heard movement inside the house.

“At the beginning of June, I got a rescue puppy, Minkie. On the second day, Hunter went right up to the puppy and sniffed and licked it – he wasn’t scared at all. He must’ve been in a home where there were dogs and had either been abandoned or gotten lost and was sadly never found by the owners. Hunter and Minkie have become good friends. Minkie taught Hunter to come further in the house and to not be so afraid anymore.

“Nine months later and Hunter is sleeping on the bed with his doggy friend, Minkie. It’s been a long journey with Hunter and me but very rewarding.”

Bailey and Zoey

Bailey and Zoey

Marisa Louw shares Bailey and Zoey

“Bailey and Zoey grew up in Johannesburg in a loving family. They had many friends that included dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and a hedgehog. The hotel, where both their parents hold senior positions, relocated them to a different establishment towards the end of the second Covid-19 wave. Bailey and Zoey’s parents had no choice but to rehome them. Many animal lovers will say that they won’t move without their animal children, but the reality is that sometimes one has to make difficult decisions that break our hearts.
 
“My pet pig, Willem, was nine years old when he passed away in March 2021. I immediately reached out to Home 2 Home Piggy Adoptions and they introduced me to the sisters. When I visited them at their foster home, I fell in love! They’re so tiny – Willem weighed around 200kg, but the sisters are true mini-pigs, weighing about 35kg each. Due to a swine flu outbreak in our area, I had to wait three months before the sisters could join our family. Bailey and Zoey settled right in and are the most adorable little piggies.

“(I’m still in contact with their previous mommy, who’ll be coming to visit us soon; it broke her heart to rehome them, but knowing they’re so loved by us makes it easier.)”

Sashimi

Sashimi

Photo credit: @Strike a Pose Photo / Video

Zlatko Dobronic shares Sashimi, who was adopted from SPCA Roodepoort

“Sashimi was adopted as a young adult, so we don’t know his exact age, but we think he’s similar in age to our other dog, Sushi, (Sushi’s Happy Tale) who’s 14 years old now.

“Sashimi and Sushi are best of friends and spend their days together, snoozing on their beds inside or soaking up the sun.”

Tego

Tego

Mandy Wattam shares Tego (pronounced Taygo, meaning “protector”), aka Patchy Moon Dog, who was adopted through ZanneWelfare

“We adopted Tego at a bleak and exhausting period in our family’s history, and he rescued us in so many different ways and on so many levels. Later, he rescued us again by inspiring me to write a story about him – ‘The Adventures of Patchy Moon Dog' – during the uncertain days of early Covid-19, during lockdown level 5. At that time, our Old Cash Store Restaurant was closed for several months and our livelihood at stake. Writing, illustrating (by my youngest daughter, Lara) and editing (by my eldest daughter, Amy) gave us a sense of unity and purpose through a very dark time.

“Times are still so uncertain, but the pleasure and comfort we draw from our beloved dogs really helps bring us back to our fundamental values and approach to life. Each day they greet us like it’s Christmas morning with such joy and love.”

Mack and Cali

Mack and Cali

Coco Boggon shares Mack and Cali, who were adopted from Raise ‘n Rescue

“We saw Mack and Cali on Raise ‘n Rescue’s Facebook page; someone had reserved the calico girl but not her brother. There was an appeal to take them together because they were so bonded; so much so that they couldn’t even be separated when they went to get sterilised.

“We offered to take them together as we liked the idea of them being able to keep each other company whilst we were at work.

“They really are lovely little floofs and still adore each other. They have very different natures, but they both love running around the garden and play-fighting.”

August 2021

Spookie

Spookie

Annami Burger shares Spookie

“Spookies has completed our little family. His previous owner in Cape Town went to visit her son and Spookie got placed in my care to foster for a month. The owner decided she didn’t want Spookie anymore, so the one-month fostering became a permanent adoption.

“He was a very anxious and terrified dog who didn’t want to eat at all. After a visit to the vet, it was discovered that he had many rotten teeth, thus the reason for not eating. After those rotten teeth got removed, that’s all a distant memory. He’s full of life now and has no problem with eating. With a lot of love and attention, his trust in the human race has been restored.

“Spookie has the cutest manners and loves to ‘dance’ and ‘clap hands’ while trying to impress his two adopted brothers, Wollie and Boeta.”


Left to right: Wollie, Boeta and Spookie


Left to right: Boeta (sitting upright), Wollie and Spookie in front (with his paw in the air)

Brave

Brave

Judy MacGregor shares Brave, who was adopted from Noordhoek Bunny Rescue

“After seeing a Facebook post about Brave desperately needing a home, we knew he belonged with us.

“It took a while to earn his trust, but my son, Hamish, and Brave are the best of friends now. Brave is the most loved member of our family.”

Smudge and Tigger

Smudge and Tigger

Julie Marzio shares Smudge and Tigger

“Smudge and her two siblings, Tigger the tabby and Frosty, were found in a concrete conduit (water pipe) on a farm in the Stellenbosch area whilst we were horse riding. There was no sign of mom, so my friend and I went home, unsaddled and drove back to catch them with the help of some chicken mince!  

“They’re now 12 years old and have never been to the vet other than to be spayed and vaccinated, and recently to have teeth cleaned.

“They’re hardy gals that were terrified in the beginning but have turned out to be oh-so-loving!”

Chickadee

Chickadee

Ingrid Liberté shares Chickadee

“I was given little Chickadee as a weak baby gosling that couldn’t keep up with his mum. I hand-raised her and let her sleep on her bed and got her strong and healthy once more.

“Chickadee has been with me since 2016 and she lives a wonderfully happy life with her other fur and feathered friends at the rescue centre.”

Bonny

Bonny

Sebella O’Donovan shares Bonny

“My husband and I are huge dog lovers and we have quite a few rescue animals. It got to the point that my husband, Sean, said: “NO more rescues!”

“But, on the 27th of March 2018, I received a WhatsApp message from a friend asking if I could help foster or adopt a Boerboel being cared for at Brackenhurst Vet in Alberton. I told her we’d decided on ‘no more dogs’ but offered to network the notice and sent it on to my husband so that he could circulate it at his work. Within one minute, I received a message back from my husband: “Fetch the dog; I will make supper.” I called him, sure that he was joking, but he said that the miserable look on the dog’s face was just too much for him – we had to help. So, my daughter and I hopped into the car and drove to Alberton to fetch Bonny.

“She’d obviously been used for breeding, and she had marks on her that the vet said came from lying on a concrete floor. She was painfully thin and had abscesses all over her body. She also has almost no front teeth and they figured that was from trying to gnaw out of her cage.

“Bonny settled in with my pack with no problems; she’s the friendliest dog ever and still very food driven (I have to keep reminding myself not to leave any food on the kitchen counters!). When we buy dog food, Bonny guards it until we decant it into the containers. Bonny is definitely more my husband’s dog, as if she knows who really saved her, and we take her with us wherever possible. Her first trip was to an isolated area in Barkley East in the mountains and she just loved hiking with us; we hope to travel with her again this year.”

“She’s brought us endless joy!”

Theo

Theo

Photo credit: @Strike a Pose Photo/Video

Deedee Besada shares Theo

“When I caught sight of Theo, who looked ever so sad and was totally overlooked because he only had one eye, I just knew he had to come home with me.

“Theo loves his favourite treats (strawberry-flavoured biscuits) which, of course, he stores in his cheeks for later. I do give him lots of healthy treats as well – I make up a salad box to feed him.  

“Theo is a very active boy and always runs up and down his three-storey house. He’s super friendly and loves to come out and play with me all the time.”

Little Flint

Little Flint

Ayla Damon shares Little Flint, who was adopted from Rescue is Life

“Originally named Puggle by RIL, we saw him on their Facebook page and rushed to make sure that we got the opportunity to meet this sweet boy. We’re not sure of his back story, but that doesn’t matter when we see this little one running around having the time of his life with his older brother, Biscuit. (See Biscuit featured in July.)

“Flint is a Collie-Africanis cross and has the sweetest nature and cutest ‘scary’ bark that a puppy could have. We immediately knew he was a good fit when he just went up to our two bunnies in fascination and decided that he wanted to try and make friends with them (following in his brother’s footsteps).

“Flint enjoys annoying Biscuit by pouncing on him to encourage him to play, running around together like lunatics in the back garden and, of course, cuddles, as it’s been a chilly winter. This playful little character has brought much joy into our lives and we honestly can’t imagine our life being any other way.”

Ruby, Floyd and Clara

Ruby, Floyd and Clara

Susan Peart shares her precious rescue dogs Ruby, Floyd and Clara

“Ruby the seven-year-old Yorkie came to live with us in May 2019 when a friend of mine emigrated to Australia – she didn’t want to put Ruby through the stress of the travel, nor the quarantine period.

“In June 2020, during lockdown, we went to the Sandton SPCA where we spotted Floyd the Jack Russell, who’d been at the SPCA for a couple of months. He stole our hearts and so we adopted him.

“I’d kept in touch with the SPCA volunteers, Tracy and Linda, who’d helped us with Floyd. They contacted us regarding Clara, who was also battling to find a home.

“Clara is a black Staffie-Labrador cross. We tried to find a home for her, but we weren’t successful. She was very stressed and timid, so we decided to give her a home too; we officially adopted her at the end of July 2020. It took her a while to settle down and, for the first 10 days, we couldn’t even get her to sleep inside. Since then, all has changed – she’s very happy to be inside and is a very loving dog.

“All three dogs get on wonderfully. They’re enjoying their new home very much – as much as we are having them as part of our family.”

Tate and Eren

Tate and Eren

Eren (left) and Tate
Photo credit: @Strike a Pose Photo/Video

Isabella Besada shares Tate and Eren, who were adopted from Harties Feral Rescue

“I’m a cat lover of note and I wanted to adopt a cat again from Harties Feral Rescue. Tragically, on the way to collect Tate, we got the shocking news that our Ginger baby, Levi, had fallen over our neighbours’ wall and unfortunately their dogs attacked him. We decided to turn around and go straight home as we were absolutely heartbroken.  

“A week later we returned to pick up Tate and I decided to adopt his brother, Eren, as I’d seen him on Facebook too. My little sister, Deedee, happened to fall in love with Moe (aka Zippy) (Moe’s Happy Tale) the day we collected Eren and Tate. That day, we landed up coming home with not one but three cats from Harties Feral Rescue. What a joy!”

Sansa

Sansa

Claire Macintosh shares Sansa, who was adopted from Ark Animal Centre

“I adopted Sansa when she was six months old. She’s always been a social butterfly and loves attention. When she was 18 months old, I had her evaluated to become a therapy dog with Top Dogs.

“She passed with flying colours and, together, we visited schools, hospitals, rehab centres, frail-care facilities and the Teddy Bear Clinic (where we worked with children who are preparing to testify in court). She was a super-star therapy dog for six years, made appearances at WODAC, and was even in the newspaper and on TV.

“Since lockdown last year, Sansa has retired from therapy work. She now helps out at home on the farm where we run boarding kennels and doggy daycare.

“Sansa recently turned eight and is still a social butterfly and my very special girl.”

July 2021

Brixie and Joelle

Brixie and Joelle

Brixie (left) and Joelle

Christiaan du Plooy shares Brixie and Joelle, who were adopted from Harties Feral Cat Rescue

“I made contact with Harties Feral Cat Rescue last year when I wanted to adopt a special little cat for my then girlfriend, Roxanne, as a Valentine’s Day gift.

“I loved Nestle right away, a gentle spirited black ‘panther’ rescued during a heavy rainstorm in Kosmos by his foster mom, Antoinette, and family. We renamed him Brixie and he settled in well.

“This year, it was time for yet another feline to join the family. We looked past all the cutesy, fluffy, blue-eyed kittens and chose little Pampoen who, sadly, had been constantly overlooked. We renamed her Joelle.

“We send regular updates of both cats to the ladies of Harties Feral Cat Rescue and couldn’t wait to share with them our recent engagement photos with Brixie as our ring bearer!”


Baby Brixie

Olivia Newton Pom

Olivia Newton Pom

Larissa Bhagwandin shares Olivia Newton Pom (aka Ollie), who was adopted from A New Hope Dog Rescue

“Olivia Newton Pom is a lively, cheerful, and fiercely independent little 15-week-old-pup who was dumped at A New Hope Dog Rescue as an unwanted gift received by a family who’d kept her for four weeks before deciding that a puppy is too much work.

“As luck would have it, I was visiting Johannesburg at the time Ollie ended up at ANH, met her, fell totally in love with her and adopted her the very next weekend! She’s landed with her bum in the butter.

“Ollie loves playing with toys, zooming with her brother, Edgar Allan Pug, and has her own little wardrobe of doggy clothes and accessories already. Happawly ever after, Ollie!”

Simone

Simone

Photographs by Tanneth Bern - Fine Photography

Kathryn Varrall shares Simone

“In 2008, whilst driving through Cosmo City in Johannesburg, my husband spotted a very tiny little brown-and-white puppy, no more than six weeks old, wandering in the road all alone. He stopped and picked her up, brought her home, and presented me with the ultimate gift: my heart dog.

“I called her Simone (after my husband, whose name is Simon).

“She was a very independent little pup who initially showed no loyalty or interest in either my husband or me. She was more interested in wandering off and going on her own adventures, but it wasn’t long before we became inseparable.

“We’ve had our ups and downs with various medical issues over the years starting with malnutrition as a pup but, 13 years down the line, she’s still with us, and every day with her is a blessing.

“I do believe Simone is possibly the most spoilt pup on the planet – with the exception of maybe the Queen’s corgis. I quote my sister, who keeps saying: ‘I want to be reincarnated as Simone.’

“Simone now lives on a gorgeous farm which we go and explore every day; she has her very own custom-made Egyptian cotton duvet, enjoys family time with her own seat at the dinner table, has her own hot water bottles in winter, gets to be the queen and ruler of our pack of 13 other dogs (which includes dogs of varying sizes, from Great Danes to Belgian Malinois) – and they all respect and love her. She has a very fashionable wardrobe of jerseys for winter and various neck scarves for summer. Simone has also accompanied us on numerous adventures and vacations.

“Simone has never forgotten her roots; she will, without fail, walk up to literally everyone, one by one, and give them a friendly tail wag and a kiss (if they let her).

“What a lesson we can all learn from her – despite your circumstances or what your background is, always remember everyone deserves kindness. Always be friendly, give lots of kisses, go for daily walks, spend time outdoors in the sun, dig plenty of holes because you never know what great things lie on the other side, go on plenty of adventures, be brave and take lots of naps.”

Luna and Noena

Luna and Noena

Luna (left) and Noena

Aniska Victor shares Luna and Noena, adopted from Nicholson Rescue

“Luna and Noena have been with us for a month already, at the time of writing. They LOVE to eat and go by the motto: EAT. EAT. EAT. PLAY. SLEEP. REPEAT.

“Our other rescue kitten, Mishka (also adopted from Nicholson Rescue), is seven months old and has adopted Luna and Noena as her own.”

Leo

Leo

Photo credit: @Strike a Pose Photo / Video

Rowann Miller shares Leo, who was adopted from PAWS R US SA

“Leo was left at a kennel over the Covid-19 full lockdown. But, after the booked month, the kennel was unable to get hold of his owners. After keeping him for a further two months, they sent him to Paws R US SA, along with his Great Pyrenean ‘siblings’.

“I was looking for a small dog for our family and got to hear about Leo. It took him no time at all to find his place in the pack. He was a little hesitant about human contact but is now an energetic, feisty cuddle bunny and is adored by everyone!

“PS: The two Pyreneans were adopted by people who were aware of the breed’s requirements and temperament, so it was a happy ending for all three abandoned dogs!”

Theodore

Theodore

Emma Loades shares rescue bun Theodore, who was rescued from a farm after dogs got hold of him and his brother (who, sadly, didn’t make it). We’re not too certain of the exact details, as he lived in another home before joining us after they decided that they could no longer look after him.

“Theodore had had two ‘homes’ before he became the main guy in our little family, and now, we couldn’t imagine our life and home without him.

“And so much part of our family that he simply had to be included in my wedding photos!

“Theo has changed our lives for the better. He’s taught us to slow down, be present, love more, talk less… and also to clean up things off the floor. He’s our go-to comfort, berry thief, our movie-watching buddy, adventure companion (yes, he travels with us) and the best entertainer… those little binkies.

“Though he has an independent personality, Theo is able to read situations and our emotions in the most beautiful way. He not only has changed our lives but has also touched others too. He’s joined me at hospitals and clinics for animal-assisted therapy… and what he can achieve with a person in one session is certainly more than what I can as a therapist. He seems to know what a person needs, before they even do… just like me on my wedding day. I had no idea how much him coming to find me in the room and lying down on my dress would mean to me or for the others in the room. I loved him more in that moment than what I ever thought I could.

“As someone so wisely said, ‘Animals are a gift from above, for they truly define the words unconditional love.’”


Photo credit: Niki M.


Photo credit: Christy Mulder & Co.

Athena and Luna

Athena and Luna

Athena (left) and Luna
Photo credit: Jaden Grobbelaar

Esperanca Roelofse shares Athena and Luna

“These are my two baby girls, Athena and Luna. Despite their floppy ears, they are German Shepherds – the floppy ears just add to their cuteness. They’re both from the same litter, although we got them separately.

“Athena came home with us in December 2020 and was the light of my life. Her sunny personality is matched by her playfulness. She’s so loving and very affectionate.

“Luna originally was homed with a different family. However, they could no longer look after her, so we gladly offered our home to her. Ever since then, she and Athena have been inseparable. Luna is a lot more calm and reserved but is also beyond affectionate. I’m blessed to be their Mom!”

Stompie

Stompie

Bernice Mong shares Phoenix, aka Stompie, who was adopted from Be Wise Sterilise (BWS)

“The newest addition to our family is 17-week-old Phoenix Le Bob, a Japanese Bobtail look-alike!

“This incredible, special cat was rescued on the 4th of May 2021 from a house that caught on fire. He was surrendered into BWS’s care with severe malnourishment and scorched fur and whiskers. He was underweight and very sad.

“The first four days after his rescue he just slept; it was like he’d never slept peacefully at all and he was taking full advantage of it now. He ate okay, but after having him for four days, he stopped eating. The vet advised that he be syringe-fed, which his foster mom did, and within two days, he was eating on his own again.

“He started blossoming, playing, eating and being a little kitten again, and the transformation was incredible to see. Even after all that Phoenix has gone through, he still hasn’t lost his trust and love for humans.

“Thank you, Tahlia Berelowitz, for trusting me to give him the best home ever, and thank you, Charlene Grover of BWS, for taking him in!”

Shakira

Shakira

Deidre Esterhuizen, founder of PuppyLove Rescue & Rehoming, and owner Garth Jellars share Shakira

“Shakira and her three siblings were rescued from Valhalla Park Township in April 2017 when they were only three weeks old. Their mother, unfortunately, passed away.

“The pups were placed in foster care and were bottle fed. Shakira’s two siblings were adopted at eight weeks of age but, sadly, there was no interest in her. As Shakira got older, her foster mommy fostered many more puppies. Shakira loved all the foster pups, and she was like a mother to them.

“Then, finally, when Shakira was 20 months old, it was her turn. A family adopted her, and another fur baby named Riley was fostered along with Shakira. The two of them grew up together when they were pups and had a very special bond. (The family decided that they couldn’t be separated, so they decided that Riley must also join their family.)

“Shakira was in foster care for almost 21 months before she was adopted – now we know that she was just waiting for the perfect family to come along.”

Garth adds…

“We adopted Shakira and Riley in November 2018. They are dogs with very different temperaments, but somehow they get along very well.

“Shakira is nervous and always aware of sounds and movements, but she’s also loving and very excited to see people that she chooses as friends. She has an enormous amount of energy and loves spending time in the doggie park or on the field. We always get compliments about what a beautiful dog she is.

“Riley is very calm, cuddly, and lovable. Everyone’s his friend, especially if they have treats. He never really moves fast unless there’s food involved. They give us so much love and joy every day. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to give them a home.”

Biscuit

Biscuit

Ayla Damon shares Biscuit, who was adopted from African Tails

“After being dumped on the side of the road, this little guy was placed with a foster while African Tails looked for a new home. I spotted him on Facebook and, once we’d seen him, we couldn’t wait to meet him. After introducing him to the bunnies, we knew that he’d be the perfect fit to our family. He had such a good nature, and instantly his mission was to make friends with the bunnies.

“After realising Macy Grey (see Macy Grey featured in June…) had some attitude on her, he decided that Bailey was the best option, and now, the two of them have a very special bond. 

“Biscuit’s hobbies include napping on the couch, making friends with EVERYONE during our daily walks, destroying every toy we buy him, along with the occasional shoe, and swimming and SUPing (Stand Up Paddleboarding) with us!”

June 2021

Luno

Luno

Gaeleen Tompkins shares little Luno

“Meet Luno – a little ‘apple’ face ‘Siamese’. We were on the lookout to adopt a male Siamese cross kitten in Cape Town and initially couldn’t find any. I then spotted a post for this little one – a family had had him for a week and decided it wasn’t for them. Of course, I didn’t hesitate.

“Luno is so affectionate, loves to play and cuddles up in our bed at night. His little paw tips look like they’ve been dipped in white paint. He’s the cutest baby ever, and I’m one very happy kitten mommy!”

Shelby

Shelby

Michelle Blackie shares Shelby, who was adopted from Rescue is Life

“Little Shelby is a much-loved addition to my family. She’s approximately four months old and was rescued from a drug den in Mitchells Plain.

“Her favourite part of the day is snuggling on the bed with her sisters and playing with Ellie (who’s also a special rescue girlie and was adopted from PetPals) all day. She’s brought so much joy and laughter to my home.”

Macy Grey

Macy Grey

Ayla Damon shares Macy Grey, who was adopted from Noordhoek Bunny Rescue

“When my hubby saw Macy, it was an instant ‘That one!’. It took a while to gain this little bunny’s trust as she’d had a hard start to life, but now she’s open to some scratches and the occasional cuddle. She still has some attitude but has definitely settled in and loves cuddles with her partner, Bailey, and is even used to our adopted doggy, Biscuit.

“Macy's hobbies include zooting around the garden, eating all of mom’s newly planted succulents and flowers and, of course, chewing phone cables.”

Ilse

Ilse

Josie Hon shares her “granddog” Ilse, who was adopted from Fallen Angels

“Ilse was the last to leave Fallen Angels just before lockdown to be fostered by my daughter, Giselle. But… how can you send such a beautiful soul back?

“I’m her ‘Ouma Josie’, and I always spoil her when I visit. I love her to the moon and back.”

Princess Aurora

Princess Aurora

Katherine Orr shares Princess Aurora

“Princess Aurora, aka Little Beastie, was found in the rain all by herself and not very well at all. But three months and a team of dedicated rescuers later, she’s a healthy hooligan.

“Little Beastie is adored and happy.”

Summer

Summer

Georgina Ovenstone shares Summer, who was adopted from Oscar’s Arc WOOF Project

“We’re thrilled to have welcomed a new addition to our family last month. Her name is Summer, and she’s already so loved by everyone who knows her.

“Summer enjoys long walks on the beach, wrestling with Marley (our Standard Poodle), and her puppy lessons in the afternoon.”

Verstappen

Verstappen

Charlotte, Aimée and Tinus De Jager share Verstappen, who was adopted from Nicholson Rescue

“Verstappen definitely lives up to his namesake, running around the house at top speed!

“He’s also the most affectionate kitty we’ve ever known and loves to sleep in your arms or on your chest, if given the opportunity!”

Zindee and Banjo

Zindee and Banjo

Zindee (left) and Banjo

Brenda Bryden shares Zindee and Banjo, who were adopted from TEARS

“Zindee is ten years old and her son, Banjo, is seven. They’d lived with a family as much-loved pets until the family’s circumstances changed dramatically and this bonded pair was put into the care of TEARS Animal Rescue.

“Still nursing broken hearts from the passing of our two old dogs (in July 2020 and February 2021), we decided that if we ever chose to get another dog (not dogs, plural), it would be an older dog that needed a good retirement home. There was one big proviso: the dog had to be good with cats (we have four).

“After seeing a few posts with dogs that appealed to us and enquiring, we were met with the same answer each time: ‘Nope, not good with cats’.

“When my daughter, Jenna, contacted TEARS about a young dog which spoke to her heart, she received the same response – “not good with cats”. The adoption manager told her the only two dogs they had that are good with cats were a mother and son who had to go together as mommy was a bit dependent on her boy. These dogs, she said, are good with children and cats, well socialised, love walks and are placid, loving and desperate to be in a safe home with a loving family.

“I was adamant that I only wanted one dog but, somehow, we found ourselves at TEARS meeting Zindee and Banjo.  

“They’d been in the kennels for four months and were very withdrawn and unsettled – clearly missing being part of a family and confused by the noise and activity around them. I took one look at them and knew that, despite all my protesting, they would both be coming home to live with us.

“The rest, as they say, is history… and Zindee and Banjo have slotted into our family perfectly. From the moment we brought them home, they took their rightful places on the couch! They’re such loving, happy, intelligent dogs that adore being petted and made a fuss of. The cats and Zindee ignore each other, while Banjo’s exuberance and fast-wagging tail sets off a chorus of growling and caterwauling accompanied by very bristly tails and the occasional swipe. However, I’ve also noticed a few little nose kisses on the sly.”


Banjo trying to get close to the cats

Gabby

Gabby

Photo credit: @Strike a Pose Photo / Video

Elsabé Davis shares Gabby, adopted from Ark Rescue Centre

“We adopted Gabby as a twelve-week-old puppy. The people there knew exactly what her background was: she’s a Pekingese-Yorkshire Terrier mix. After she’d been weaned, she was fostered until ready for adoption. She had absolutely no hang-ups at all.

“She’s very gregarious and is fantastic with children and approaches everybody quite happily. Only downside is that she doesn’t really like other dogs. However, she seems to have taught Mo, our recent rescue (read Mo’s Happy Tale here), how to approach people and be friendly towards them.

“Life with our gorgeous girls is a blessing and truly simply the best!”

Oros and Oscar

Oros and Oscar

Photo credit: thehappytulip photography

Shannon Viljoen shares Oros and Oscar, adopted from KittyCare Durban

“Our little family had been chatting about finding a fur baby to complete our home for quite a while. For the longest time, my mom and I have loved KittyCare Durban and had adored from afar all the kitties up for adoption on their Facebook page. We absolutely longed to give one a home!

“During lockdown, we couldn’t resist the urge to adopt any longer!! I popped my friend Tayla a message (sister of Tatum Ridgeway – who founded and runs KittyCare), who put us in touch with Clare Burns (Oscar and Oros’s foster mom). My mom desperately wanted a little ginger baby, so we got sent some photos of the kitten who was soon to be named Oros; we were then informed that, at the foster’s home, he had a grey, scribble-patterned bestie – our Oscar. We immediately fell in love with both of them and, whilst we were originally thinking of adopting just one kitty, we couldn’t separate the precious pair and break up the bromance!

“The whole KittyCare Team (special shout out to Tatum and Clare) took such amazing care of them, prepped them so well for the adoption, and just made us SO excited to welcome these cuties home by sending us lots of photos and constant updates!

“It was the best experience and the best decision we made in adopting these beautiful boys through such an amazing organisation.

“Oros and Oscar have grown into the most stunning kitty cats. They couldn’t be more different in looks and personality, but they complement each other purr-fectly. They’ve filled our home with lots of meows, purrs, cuddles, and laughs, and we can’t picture life without them. They’ve made our house a home!”

May 2021

Bailey

Bailey

Professional photography by @Strike a Pose Photo / Video

Lee-Ann Kaaijk shares Bailey, who was adopted from Husky Heaven Rescue

“We first spotted our Bailey on Facebook. We saw when the puppies were born on the 21st of December and I watched them grow. They were so cute as they grew through all their baby stages. Finally, in February 2021, I got to go in and choose our little Bailey.

“Baily came home in March and we’re blessed to have her with us. She’s the most loving and playful puppy ever. Bailey was born and stayed at Husky Heaven Rescue, and Brenda Meyer, the founder and owner, is the most amazing lady. She’s kind, loving and a very caring person, and her rescue centre is SO beautiful – neat and tidy – the animals in her care couldn’t be in a better rescue centre.

“We’re so grateful we could adopt Bailey and make her part of our family.”


Georgia, Bailey and Lee-Ann


Lee-Ann and Belle, Bees (centre), Georgia and Bailey

Kiki

Kiki

Photo credit: My Memory Photography

Dr Di Shand shares Kiki who was adopted from Hermanus Animal Welfare Society (HAWS)

“FINDING WHITE GOLD!

“We adopted Kiki just before New Year 2021. When she arrived at HAWS, alone and scared, she was only four weeks old. We met her at eight weeks and fell instantly in love. Over the festive season, HAWS had up to 90 cats and kittens up for adoption. It was so sad. There were cats and kittens everywhere, all deserving a home.  

“But this little white kitty, who’s turned out to be more precious than gold, ran up to me on the window ledge and rubbed her nose against mine. That sealed our fate together. We brought her home to our naughty chocolate Labrador named Coco Mo and two other rescue cats, Savannah and Pumpkin. Kiki fitted in perfectly; Coco Mo became her protector and friend; Savannah, who was only a year old, played endlessly with her.

“Kiki has the sweetest nature and is the cuddliest kitten we’ve had to date. She loves to sleep between the pillows on our bed at night. She has a silk scarf that she loves to suck and knead before going to sleep, day or night! She then purrs like a steam train, making it hard for us to sleep! We can’t imagine life without her. She brings so much joy to us constantly.

“To crown it all, she finally met our long-lost cat, Truffles, who was found by Sandton SPCA after 16 months of being lost in Rivonia and flown to Cape Town to be reunited with us, so the family is now truly complete.”

Kitt

Kitt

Photo credit: Mariaan Browne (AWS PE Committee Member)

Kathryn Schmelzer shares Kitt, who was adopted from Animal Welfare Society Port Elizabeth

“Kitt arrived at the shelter as her owner had passed away and she was left abandoned on the property. A family member brought her to Animal Welfare Society.

“The day I saw her, I knew I had to help her. She was covered in ticks and fleas; a shivering, scared little girl who’d lost trust in people. What attracted me to her immediately were her little eyes that looked into mine, and her EARS. I just love them!

“A week later, I brought Kitt home. She’s healed my heart and Maggie’s (our adored and adopted AWS PE Pit Bull) with the passing of Luna, our previous adopted AWS PE fur child.

“Kitt has become this bouncy, happy girl who keeps me smiling daily. I believe the day we met she was meant to be our next adopted fur child. I just love crossbreed dogs – they’re all unique and special and make the best family pets.”

Toffee and Chance

Toffee and Chance

Lydia Moore shares Toffee and Chance

“Toffee and Chance’s sad story of their life was shared by animal rescuer Cindy Kennerley, and it popped up out of the blue onto my Facebook feed.
 
“Immediately after reading the story of this mother-and-son duo, I knew they were sent to us for a reason. They needed somewhere to call their own, and I knew that place was our home.
 
“I contacted Cindy the same night, was sent the adoption forms, completed them, and the rest is history. They soon arrived at our house and my eldest son immediately fell in love with them. There was an instant connection.
 
“Chance is definitely a huge big baby. He loves lots of attention and, more so, cuddles. Toffee is a little more reserved and wasn’t sure about all the fuss and attention – a little more guarded. But, as the weeks have passed by, she’s coming out of her shell and enjoying more cuddles.
 
“In the beginning, they certainly didn’t like exercise at all – we’re a family that like to walk, so every day we take them for a walk at a sports field. They’d walk very slowly, one foot in front of the other. Over time, they now have a routine and enjoy their daily runs when going out. As soon as we pick up the car keys, they’re already waiting at the car. They’re really obedient and enjoy a good run on the field.
 
“They’ve settled down beautifully and have realised this is their forever home. They love the comforts of sleeping on the couch or, even better, on the bed. They play so beautifully together now and are fully relaxed and happy.
 
“We’re extremely grateful to have them in our lives. They’re part of our family now, and we look forward to growing old together.”

Vanyusha

Vanyusha

Eben Roets shares Vanyusha, who was adopted from Nicholson Rescue

“Our little Vanyusha weighs only 950g but is growing very quickly and has adapted very well to his new environment, along with our other three adult rescue cats.

“He’s very playful and loves to sleep on your neck. He has the most beautiful blue eyes, which we’re hoping he’ll keep, although only time will tell. We’re very curious to see how this boy will turn out when he grows into an adult in a year or so.

“We thank Lynette Nicholson for choosing us to be his parents. He surely has landed in animal heaven and will be getting much love and attention, now and forever!”

Lilo

Lilo

Shaun and Kendall Hopcroft share the story of Lilo, who was adopted from Paws R Us: SA

“Shortly after moving into our first home, we decided to add to our family with the love of two fur babies. We searched and searched. When we saw Lilo up for adoption we just knew she was meant to be loved by us! She’d been at the rescue centre for a couple of years, with so many people overlooking her due to her quiet and withdrawn nature.

“She arrived home first, and a week later her Bulldog puppy brother, Busta, arrived. Initially, Lilo was very distrusting and afraid of humans and appeared to have given up on life – life was non-existent in those beautiful brown eyes of hers, with her constantly hiding away and fearful to touch.

“Busta took to her immediately, although at first it wasn’t mutual, but over the months she slowly began to build her now unbreakable bond with Busta. She was incredibly patient with this boisterous and non-space-conscious growing puppy, never snapping at him and eventually taking on the role of ‘mother’. Nowadays, these two are inseparable and can often be found chasing one another round the garden and on our couches!

“Slowly, Lilo gained confidence with her human parents, first mom and then dad – accepting cuddles and kind touches. She’s become the most loving dog who constantly wants affection and will allow anyone to give her a tummy tickle. She’s now our fun-loving, soft, beautiful little girl, and life wouldn’t be the same without her.”

Bob and George

Bob and George

George (back) and Bob

Kerry MacDonald shares Bob and George who were found at and rescued from a car parking lot

"Bob and George are now five months old, and all they do is play and eat… yes, they eat a lot! We have a big garden in which they love to roam, and they’ve recently discovered the coolest park right next door.

“When they’re not out spying on the other neighbourhood cats and driving our dogs nuts, they’re little purring machines looking for endless love and attention – which we’re happy to give them!

“They really are living their best lives with us. Adopting them as part of our family was the best thing ever. Every day with them, watching them get up to endless adventures in our home, is a pure delight!”


Bob and George

Dash

Dash

Sabrina Oschmann shares Dash, who was adopted from TEARS

“We adopted Dash at the age of six months, and she’s turning 10 in May. We had to choose between her and her sister – I chose her because, as I sat in the playpen, she came and lay in my lap and fell asleep. Normally, people would choose the more playful puppy, but this little one climbed right into my heart when she climbed into my lap.

“She hasn’t changed, and, to this day, her favourite position is to hug or lie in your lap. Dash is beautiful inside and out and protects her little non-blood brother Oreo whenever she needs to.”

Bijou and Archie

Bijou and Archie

Nandi Canning shares Bijou and Archie, who were adopted from Nicholson Rescue

“Lynette Nicholson needed a foster home for three kittens found in a box near Vereeniging. Since it was lockdown and we were pretty much home bound, I offered to be a first-time foster mom. There was method in my madness, as I’m mad about gingers and one of the litter was a fluffy little ginger – I knew immediately that he’d conveniently be a ‘foster failure’!

“The silver tabby (Bijou) was already booked, but that didn’t stop us from falling in love with Archie and his tabby brother, Charlie, now Merlot. The day finally arrived for Charlie to leave, and we were sad but happy in the knowledge that his new mom, Steph Barker, already adored him and would give him a safe home. Next, it was Bijou’s turn, and just little Archie remained... But then, Bijou’s new mom sent us a message: she felt terrible taking him away from us and his brother Archie and would love for us to have Bijou back.

“Needless to say, we were thrilled and, 24 hours later, little Biji and Archie were reunited and have been BFFs ever since. We adore our fur kids – they bring us so much joy and happiness. They were the best thing to happen to us during lockdown!”

Nala and Mufasa

Nala and Mufasa

Photo credit: Veronica Strydom Photography

Veronica Strydom shares her “two black beauties”, Nala and Mufasa

“Nala is a four-year-old old Pit Bull-Boerboel cross (we suspect she has some Labrador in her as well). We got her when she was six weeks old, an unwanted pup, covered in ticks and fleas. She’s the most kind-hearted dog ever.

“She loves her humans and her brother, Mufasa, but is very picky when it comes to other dogs.

“Mufasa is a one-year-old, purebred Pit Bull (with a great bloodline). When he was three months old, his owner moved and couldn’t take him with them, so we adopted him. He’s the friendliest dog ever (and sometimes this actually makes people scared of him).

“They truly are my pride & joy, and they even have their own Instagram account
_nala_and_mufasa_.”

April 2021

Kai and Cooper

Kai and Cooper

Kai (left) and Cooper

Photo credit: @Strike a Pose Photo/Video

Chantal and Anthony Walley share Kai and Cooper

“On our morning walk in our neighbourhood on Thursday the 30th of April 2020, Anthony and I passed by a park and watched a family’s delight as two tiny little furry bundles frolicked over the icy grass, stumbling around as they were still figuring out their feet and body balance. This beautiful sight got Anthony and I ‘ooww-ing and aaah-ing’ over these little bundles and asking more about them.
 
“Demi Jacobs shared that the pups (thought to be siblings) had just been rescued – one in exchange for a chicken, and the other in exchange for bread flour – from a very sad situation that they managed to survive. Demi mentioned that she needed to find a good forever home for them. Well, right there and then, we committed to taking them in and giving them the love, safety, shelter, and companionship they needed. 

“By the Monday, we could collect our babies and take them home with us.
 
“They’ve grown, are so strong and are such happy, happy babies, and I can’t believe it’s now almost a year that we’ve had them with us; we changed their world and they changed ours!”

Spike

Spike

Louise Pinkham shares Spike

“Spike’s previous owners were returning to Russia and he had nowhere to go. Animal rescuer Ana Bibis came across his plight and I offered him a home.   

“He came to the Pinkham household, skinny and neurotic, after living in a tiny flat and being terrorised by children. And now he’s a little on the chunky side and lazy!

“He wants to play with some of the young girl cats, but they want nothing to do with him. He lies around in the garden all day and will only appear when he hears food being dropped into bowls. His indoor favourite spot is the bathroom basin, in which he lounges like a king. He’d be a human version of a stereotypical nerd, down to the freckles on his nose. His personality outdoes his looks, though – you just have to love him!

“From Alberton to Pretoria, and happy as Larry now!”

Mileigh

Mileigh

Mileigh (left) and Peanut (right)

Sharon Bester shares Mileigh, adopted through animal rescuer Dana Wainman

“I adopted my dog Peanut from Kerstin Fuchsloch and needed a fur baby friend for him. I also wanted another puppy so they could grow up together.

“Scrolling through Facebook, I saw the pictures of an abandoned mommy and her pups, and at the same time, Kerstin tagged me – I immediately got in touch with Dana Wainman and this is how I adopted Mileigh.

“Now my two beautiful fur babies have their forever home.”

Harry

Harry

Susan Thesen shares Harry, who was adopted from Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre

“Harry was found alongside the highway, cars whizzing by. His owners were never traced, and he was always overlooked.

“Harry was rejected by others because he’s slightly squint with strange eyelids. They missed out on the most loving and special cat! We’ve had six very special years with him and love him to bits. Thank you for trusting us with this special guy!”

Yuki

Yuki

Photo credit: Nadia Lingenfelder

Bianca Wilkinson shares Yuki, who was adopted from Halfway Haven

“If I had to describe Yuki in a few words, it would definitely be FIERCELY LOYAL, ENTERTAINING and SURVIVOR.

“Yuki was found almost beaten to death, suffering tick bite fever and was kept on a leash that made it barely possible for her to move. Unfortunately, she lost her leg and almost one of her eyes, but she doesn’t let that stop her from enjoying life.

“To get Yuki to trust us and even put a leash on her took a long time, a lot of positive reinforcement and patience, but we succeeded. Yuki follows us all over the house. If we need to slip out and are not able to take her along, we get back to our whole shoe collection in her bed… but without not a single scratch on them.

“She’s now great with other people and our cats too; always greets them with a wagging tail.

“She taught us patience, determination and to remain with your head up no matter how horrible things may get. Yuki showed us that every dog has potential no matter how broken they once were.”

Archie

Archie

Photo credit: Jackie Wernberg Photography

Monique Bayes shares little Archie

“Archie and his five siblings were found in a box on the side of the road in Penzance, Hout Bay. They were just hours old. Tracy, who funds the rescues personally and sometimes works with Fallen Angels, fostered three of the kittens, and a veterinary nurse friend took the other three. They had to be bottle fed every two hours, 24 hours a day.
 
“Archie couldn’t use his front legs; they were tucked in behind him. He was taken to the vet, who diagnosed possible nerve damage in utero or during birth. Tracy spent many hours teaching him to bring his legs forward and, as he grew, he learnt to walk. He’s still wobbly and often leaves his front legs behind, especially when he gets overexcited.

“I was looking for a kitten to keep my older cat company as I’m often out during the day. I believe that cats choose their owners, and he definitely melted my heart as he was tiny for his age, only weighing 500g and quite wobbly on his feet.

“Archie is the perfect ‘Flat Cat’, as I live in an apartment. He’s picking up weight and is an adorable little boy who’s landed with his bum in the butter.”

Rocco

Rocco

Paola van Zyl shares Rocco, who was adopted from Boksburg SPCA

“Rocco was rescued from a life where he was being kept in a trolley with no food and water. He had no blanket and had to lie on bricks and wire. He had scratches on his stomach from where the wires cut him…
 
“I saw the post on Facebook and took one look at this sad face in that trolley and decided there and then that Rocco would be my dog and he’d live the life he so deserves! I called the SPCA first thing on Monday morning and took my other dogs to meet him that same day. By the Saturday, we were able to embrace, kiss and hug this gorgeous dog.
 
“He’s settled in beautifully and we live on a plot, so he has plenty of space to run. If that front door just opens, he’s out in a flash.
 
“He has a very bad bow leg and we had him at the vet last week – it looks like his growth plate was injured, and we’re waiting to hear if he’ll need surgery. While we were at the vet, the lady who rescued Rocco was taking in an animal for treatment and she immediately recognised Rocco and was so happy to see him again with us, his new family.
 
“Rocco is our second rescue from the SPCA, and he’s definitely our little baby!”

Gertjie

Gertjie

Tessa shares Gertjie – from feral to firm friend

“In the middle of lockdown, I found a feral kitten in our garden. I asked around to see if someone was missing their kitten, but it was soon evident that he was completely wild. I couldn’t get close to him for months. He would come for breakfast and dinner but run away as soon as I tried to approach him. I persisted and later he’d sit with me while I talked to him, although still at a distance.

“I knew I had to get him neutered ASAP but had no idea how to get him to the vet. Someone told me to contact Capetonians Against Animal Abuse, and Sura was so kind and helped me to trap him.

“I wanted to try and rehabilitate him, and although I wasn’t optimistic, I followed Sura’s advice and, slowly but surely (and a few scratches later…), he started trusting me.  

“Gertjie is now my shadow and sleeps in our bed. He’s the sweetest cat ever. He rarely leaves the house and meets me at the door when I come home from work. I sometimes wonder if he still remembers being hungry, cold and wet during the winter.

“I really hope that Gertjie’s story of rags to riches (as I do believe he’s the most spoiled cat ever) will inspire someone to give another kitty a chance to a warm and loving home. Not everyone can adopt or foster, but everyone can support NGOs by donating, networking and raising awareness for the plight of the voiceless.”

Cuba, Koda and Tyson

Cuba, Koda and Tyson

Left to right: Cuba, Koda and Tyson

Karey Neal shares her trio of Pit Bulls

“We met a lady whose dogs were having unexpected puppies and she needed a home for the puppies. She happily gave us the puppies, and we took care of them and they became our very own. Sadly, she later on passed on from Covid-19, so we’re really happy we could give them a home.

“Koda and Cuba are girls, and Tyson is our boy. They all have a very specific bond. Cuba is a very aware individual, and Koda is more the baby who can’t break out of her habits of being the puppy that she is! Tyson is very athletic and ever ready for a walk or a jog!

“They even have their own Instagram page: @thelifeofpitbulls, where you can follow their antics.”

Olive

Olive

Hilette Hatting shares Olive, who was adopted from SPCA Uitenhage

“Olive is our precious little four-month-old kitten we adopted recently. I’ve never been to the SPCA, and my husband, Ruan, took me there to cheer me up as I was struggling to cope with our cat, Chloe’s, crossing over the rainbow bridge. As we walked around the premises, all these little faces came running up to us, each one desperate to be noticed. 

“My eye caught Olive immediately as we walked past. She was a bit shy and not as wild as the younger kittens. She mostly stayed in the background, but when I stretched out my hand, she came running and rubbed against me and started purring, and we knew straight away that she was the one! We went to sign all the papers, passed the home check, and waited for her to be sterilised. 

“We brought her home a week or two later, and she went from a shy kitten to a party animal in 0.2 seconds and fits right in with the Hatting household now. She takes turns with the others to run up the Trellidor and zooms around the house at 3AM in the morning for no reason. 

“In the beginning, she couldn’t decide which bed to lie in or which toys to play with, so she’d lie in her bed and herd all the toys so she could have it all at once. Olive is one sweet little girl who’s wild at heart.”

March 2021

Shelly

Shelly

Photo credit: Lucid Dreams Photography

Samantha de Wet shares Shelly, who was adopted from TEARS

“We were looking to adopt a dog companion for my mom. One of her elderly dogs had passed away and her remaining dog, Gypsy, was slowing down and couldn’t do the two walks a day that my mom enjoyed so much. Gypsy had also gone deaf, raising our concern that she wouldn’t alert my Mom to any possible intruders. So, we were looking not only for a companion for Gypsy, but also a slightly younger dog who could enjoy those early morning walks with my mom and be the new watchdog as well as a friend.
 
“When I arrived at TEARS, I was led through to the back office. On my way there, I was met by what I can only describe as a ‘ray of sunshine’ – Shelly (then named Sheena) was in the middle office with Luke Kruyt, the kennel manager. Luke had been fostering her, but it was now time for her to come to TEARS to look for her forever home.  

“I was immediately drawn to her soft eyes and playful nature and was very happy to be told that she was indeed up for adoption. I knew straight away that she was the one – she had an aura about her that I couldn’t quite explain.

“When Shelly arrived at my mom’s home, it was evident that the one thing she didn’t lack was energy: she had loads of it. We were suddenly concerned that maybe she was too much for my mom. But Shelly needed my mom, and my mom needed Shelly.

“The one thing my mom doesn’t lack is patience, and she’s also very strict about routine. And patience and routine are just what Shelly needed. In the beginning, the morning routines were chaos; the mere mention of ‘walk time’ would have Shelly running madly around the house, grabbing my mom’s walking jacket by the sleeve and flinging it around the room before dashing off to chase the cats in all directions. But, with patience and perseverance, we soon trained her to sit quietly in the morning before her walk.

“Shelly is one of the most intelligent dogs we’ve ever met: every morning she wakes my mom up at exactly 05h30 with a gentle nudge. She’s also one of the friendliest and most gentle dogs, and she loves her afternoon playtime with all her dog friends at the local park.

“Shelly is definitely one of those ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ dogs, the one who teaches you something about yourself that you never knew. We’re truly blessed to have her in our lives.

“My mom says that, although it was tough in the beginning, she knew Shelly just needed direction. Now, she can’t imagine her life without Shelly.

 “Shelly is an amazing dog. She’s friendly, intelligent and a great companion, and we’re also very happy that Shelly and Teddy have bonded so well.”

Fred

Fred

Susan Thesen shares Fred, who was adopted from Fisantekraal Animal Welfare

“Fred was adopted in 2019. Butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth when he’s asleep, but when he’s awake, he’s an absolute character. He barged into his new home and made himself indispensible very quickly!

“Fred was abandoned by his owner in Morning Star (Durbanville) and left to fend for himself on the streets. Kind neighbours tried to keep an eye on him, but it isn’t safe there for homeless cats, so they asked FAW to take him and find him a new home. He came to me as a foster and, within days, was a foster failure. He fitted in so well with my other animals – at the time, two cats, two Poodles, and four tortoises (all rescues).

“Thank you, FAW, for our very special cuddle cat. We can’t imagine life without our Fred!”

Mister Higgins

Mister Higgins

Photography credit: @Strike a Pose Photo / Video

Brad and Toni Forrest share Mister Higgins, who was adopted from English and French Bulldog Rescue South Africa

“Mister Higgins has been a dream adoption – he came to us as quite old and very anxious, but he’s settled in very well and is an absolute joy. His name was Higgins, but due to his age, we gave him the title of Mister out of respect, although he’s fondly known as Higgy.

“We adopted him in October 2019, after his parents emigrated. He’s bonded deeply with his new dad and follows him everywhere – he’s the epitome of loyalty. He loves walks, despite his age and very stiff back legs. With all the ailments that Bulldogs usually bring, Mister Higgins is in immaculate health.

“Higgins is the ultimate companion and just wants to be where his people are – that’s all he needs to keep him happy. Mister Higgins, aka Higgy, we’re so lucky to have you in our lives, and you put such a smile on our hearts when your whole body wags in excitement. Despite all the emotional baggage that comes with being abandoned, Higgy now offers kisses on demand, is best brothers with Boellie and the world’s biggest sweetheart. (Read Boellie’s Happy Tale here).”


Mr Higgins (left) and Boellie (right)

Sir Lancelot

Sir Lancelot

Nelmie Skinner shares Sir Lancelot, who was adopted from Nicholson Rescue

“Sir Lancelot, aka Lance, crept into my heart from the very first day I saw him on Lynette Nicholson’s Facebook page. I just knew I needed him in my life.

“He’d been starved and was suffering malnutrition when rescued. He came to us on the 24th of August 2020 as a 2.4kg purr baby. He was so tiny and weak, I wasn’t sure our new baby would make it, so we administered regular sub-cutaneous fluids to aid in hydration and gave him all the delicious food his little heart could ever wish for. Slowly, his balance improved, and he could make his own way onto the couch.

“And then, just like that, he started playing with his purr brothers and sister, chasing them around the garden. He loves stealing our swimming towels when we’re in the pool. Our Lance is definitely the peacemaker in the family – whenever there’s a tiff between the other purrs, he steps in between them and breaks the tension. Perhaps being the biggest kid in the house, weighing in at almost 5kg, helps. He’s the most remarkable little soul that demands undivided attention and endless cuddles.

“We’re so thankful he chose us as his family!”

Isla

Isla

Tay Nalla shares Isla, who was adopted from FORA

“At the beginning of 2011, it was time for my first pet, Titan, to have a companion. I’d already chosen a name for a dog that would become a great part of my life: Isla. When I met her at FORA at only a few weeks old, her distinctive colouring caught my eye – her right front paw is darker than her remaining white paws. She also has a black tail with a tiny dot of white at the end. Already such a beauty, it’s not surprising that in that moment, I’d found my Isla.

“From fitting in the palm of my hand, she now has the bark of a wolf and a heart of gold. Ten years have rolled by, but she still wags her tail when I ask, ‘Who’s my FORA puppy?’. Sometimes in life you just need a big furry hug and a dog who still thinks she can fit into the palm of your hand.”

AndyCat

AndyCat

Anton Kleingeld shares AndyCat, who was adopted from Nicholson Rescue

“I adopted AndyCat for a very special reason: when I worked in Mexico, I had two very dear friends called Andrea (Andy for short); I decided that if ever I adopted a brother for Phoenix (my ginger tabby), I’d call him Andy. So, when I saw a Facebook post from Lynette Nicholson for a little kitty cat called Andy, I knew the universe was sending me a message: he’s The One!
 
“Since moving in, Andy has embraced me as his dad from day one. He’s a real daddy’s boy and follows me around everywhere! He sleeps with me at night and is by my side during the day when I work. He loves to play and will chase anything that moves. He has loads of energy!

“AndyCat and Phoenix have become the best of friends, chasing each other through the house like lunatics (especially at 4AM in the morning!). He’s a big purr machine and loves kneading dough on his blanket (making the cutest little sucky-sucky noises) when I lie next to him.
 
“He really has breathed new life into my and Phoenix’s lives!

“P.S. AndyCat came from Lynette with his beloved Mr Tomato toy (pictured) which he’s very attached to.”

Lucas

Lucas

Hannah Neethling shares Lucas, who was adopted from Imagine Animal Dreams

“From the first day we met Lucas, we fell in love and have only grown fonder and fonder. He’s got a personality of his own and, boy, is he a difficult one to cook for!

“He has my husband, Driesman, wrapped around his little finger, and Lucas is being hand fed at mealtimes – I know… so spoilt rotten! But he had a difficult time until now, and how can you NOT spoil this precious little boy?

“Our lives are changed forever since adopting him, and our life is good and very happy now!”

Quinny

Quinny

Liandre Deacon shares Quinny, adopted from Boksburg SPCA

“Quinny is a very calm dog, and although he’s deaf, he copes well, just following his siblings around. We renamed him Quinny as Quinn is a big name for such a small boy of only 3.7kg.
 
“My other puppies (three Maltese Poodles named Lenny, Gizmo and Pika) have accepted him with open paws. Quinny doesn’t know how to bark yet, but I’m sure that, with time, he’ll join the rest of the crew.
 
“He loves grass, probably because he didn’t have access to it for so long, and he enjoys sleeping in ‘mommy’s’ bed (with big brother Gizmo).
 
“An important message from Quinny: ‘Please adopt, never shop.’”

Tammy

Tammy

Photo credit: Jackie Wernberg Photography

Janet Wolfsohn shares Tammy, her precious “old lady”

“In 2008, we received a call from someone we knew who was desperately looking for a home for a Labrador pup who was about 12 weeks old. A family had bought a puppy for their young daughter, but sadly she turned out to be highly allergic to dogs and couldn’t breathe around Tammy, and so they had to give her away. The pup had spent most of her nights in their outside bathroom to minimise contact with their daughter.

“My husband drove from our home in Claremont on a Friday evening all the way to Somerset West to fetch her, and she was the sweetest pup. We’ve always had Labradors and, at the time, had an older girl – Shadow – who took on a mommy role. The two of them had an incredible bond.

“Tammy will turn 13 in August this year. She’s a fantastic watchdog and fiercely protective of her family. She’s a gentle soul and very loving once you get to know her. She gives Ruby a good woof or two every now and again to keep her in order!”

Harvey

Harvey

Charmain Hopcroft shares Harvey, who was adopted from the Roodepoort SPCA

“We adopted Harvey at the end of October 2020. He was such an anxious little boy who was afraid of everything, but within three weeks and after two behaviour lessons, he became a different boy.

“Harvey has learnt all basic commands and has discovered that he can swim. Nowadays, he spends his days swimming and playing rope games with our other three dogs. He’s such a gentle, energetic boy who just loves life now!”

February 2021

Belle

Belle

Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography

Georgia Couvaras (11) shares Belle, who was adopted from Woodrock Animal Rescue Centre.

“My mom and I decided it was time for a dog and agreed that a puppy would be the best option as we have two kitties, and it would be easier to integrate the pup into our family without upsetting our cats too much.

“Belle has fitted in perfectly, and we love playing together in our garden, and, of course, going for walks with her cousins (my aunt’s dogs).

“Belle is the best puppy in the world (well, to me at least)!”

Ryuk

Ryuk

Ingrid Mittner shares Ryuk, who was adopted from Nicholson Rescue

“Ryuk is my very long, fluffy, ginger-and-white boy who’s named after my favourite character in an anime series. One of my biggest blessings in life as a photographer is having one incredibly photogenic cat!

“He’s a wonderfully vocal boy, and we have conversations all the time (when he isn’t sleeping, eating my shoelaces and terrorising my plants). While I was a student, I was working at an animal hospital, and it was one of the best jobs I ever had. It was here that I met lovely Lynette Nicholson, who runs a rescue for kitties called Nicholson Rescue.

“When I moved out of home and into my own space, it was time I got a companion. I contacted Lynette and she showed me a picture of Ryuk (who was named Milkshake at the time and was about 1.5 years old already) and I fell in LOVE.

“He’s been the best part of my world for the last four years. I could write forever about this wonderful boy and the incredible work that Lynette has done.”

Jasmine

Jasmine

Photo credit: Nat Gold ZA

Jessica Davidson and Andrew Lockwood share Jasmine

“Jasmine is our 10-year-old small dog (she only weighs about 5kg). She’s always been grey and fluffy, which people find adorable. We adopted her in Johannesburg after she was found in a cage in a warehouse where it appeared as though she’d been used as a bait dog in illegal dog fighting rings. Unfortunately, we can’t remember the name of the shelter we rescued her from.

“When she was found she had a crushed trachea, three broken legs and broken ribs. She was very distrustful of people and dogs growing up. She loved being a guard dog (she sat in the front room and alerted the house whenever a stranger was at the gate) and absolutely loves hunting birds and rodents. Unfortunately, she also loves to roll in grass, mud and bird poop.

“After moving with us to Cape Town, Belle has grown in confidence and now loves greeting new dogs. We actually take her along with us when we work with dogs that have behavioural problems. She’s also a lot more easy-going around people and has even learned to swim, although she certainly isn’t a water dog.

“We love taking her everywhere with us and strongly believe that, although she’s a small breed, she’s capable of everything any other dog can do. She loves hiking and is capable of jumping incredibly high. Even though she’s 10 years old, she easily keeps up with our other dog, Misty (5) and the younger dogs at the shelter.

“She’s got cute Batman-like ears and can be quite vocal – she doesn’t bark a lot, but she gives sighs of satisfaction before she goes for a nap. She’s acutely aware of how we are and can tell when we’re sick or otherwise unwell and will sit with us and lick us almost like she’s trying to take care of us.”

Milo and Myia

Milo and Myia

Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography

Antois Ferreira shares Milo and Myia

“Milo and Myia are both rescues we adopted as puppies. Milo was from Husky Rescue South Africa and Myia from Kitty and Puppy Haven.

“Myia joined us almost two years ago, and she and Milo have become very good friends (Milo taught her all his good manners).

“Milo does, unfortunately, have a condition with his spine and hips that prevents him from playing ALL the time. So, when Ava came around, Myia and Ava couldn’t stop playing. Milo joins in for as long as he can and then retreats to the couch to watch some TV. (Yes, our dogs are more inside our home than we are!)”


Left to right: Myia, Milo and Ava

Mia and Charlie

Mia and Charlie

Karen Dunn shares Mia and Charlie, who were adopted from Pomeranian Rescue South Africa

“Last year, we had to put my precious Lulu (Toy Pom) to sleep. She was only six years old. My son had surprised me with her when I turned 50. She brought so much love and happiness into our home. But, sadly, she developed a terrible autoimmune disease, and although the vet tried everything to save her, she didn’t make it. My heart was broken.

“I then joined the Pomeranian Rescue page on Facebook. I didn’t want to get a new Toy Pom just yet, but then one Sunday morning, while I was scrolling through the posts, there were Charlie and Mia. I just knew that they were meant for us.

“Despite their very sad past, they’ve settled in very well. We even took them on holiday with us to Scottburgh in December. They’ve settled in so well and are so happy. We absolutely adore them.

“They’re the light of our lives after a very dark 2020.”

Meg

Meg

Kathy Aronson shares Meg, who was adopted from Border Collie Rescue

“Meg grew up on a sheep farm and unfortunately developed severe anxiety while training as a sheepdog, so it was decided to rehome her through Border Collie Rescue.

“I saw her photo and, once having met, couldn’t help falling in love with her.

“She’s the gentlest soul, gets on with every dog she interacts with, and is friendly to my two cats and Yorkies.  

“I’m so blessed to have her in my family.”

Miyuki

Miyuki

Leanne Ragaller shares her rescue Borzoi, Miyuki, who was adopted from Sighthound Rescue SA

“Miyuki was rescued in November 2019 by the amazing organisation Sighthound Rescue SA. She came to us a petrified, hairless and dirt-ridden, underweight little soul.

“Miyuki lives with us in Cape Town. We travel a lot with the dogs and took her to see the snow in winter, as her breed actually comes from Russia. She LOVED the snow!

“In the past year, with love and patience, she’s gone from strength to strength and is slowly learning to trust people again. We’re so blessed to have her in our lives!”

Skye

Skye

Steph Barker shares Skye, who was adopted from Nicholson Rescue

“What a ball of personality this little girl has! She is so very brave with our bigger eight-month-old kitten – you’d never say she was only 12 weeks old!

“When she waltzed into the house, you’d swear she’d lived here the whole time. Such a missus! But she has the sweetest, most loving personality – she’s the perfect fit.

“She’s still suckling, which is totally adorable, and she sleeps so well (much to our relief – our other kitty is a 3AM child). She’s found her way into our hearts so quickly, and we’re so very lucky to have adopted such a special fur baby.”

 

Looli

Looli

Laina Jordan shares Looli, adopted from Hartbeespoort Animal Welfare Society

“Looli came to me as a foster in 2012 after being confiscated in the Hartbeespoort area along with a litter of her puppies. Looli had been chained in a bricked courtyard, being bred litter after litter in terrible conditions. She had a dislocated front leg, severe skin allergies and was a skinny skeleton.

“We didn’t think she was going to survive at the time of her rescue, but I was working for Barking Mad at the time and love hairless dogs so welcomed the opportunity to give her a chance at a new start in life.

“I took Looli (then named Valica) home; she was a bundle of bones and a sad soul. With some TLC, good food and medical attention, this little dog blossomed. She’s so grateful and loving, and I fell in love with her entirely so decided to adopt her officially through HAWS and have never looked back.

“Looli is a gentle, sweet Mexican Hairless girl who loves lying around, going on the swing, cuddles and food.”

George

George

Hester Louw shares George, who was adopted from Cluny Animal Trust

“Imagine a life where no one loves you or wants you; where you just get passed around. All you want is someone to love you, pat you on the head, feed you and look after you... and in return you’ll be their very best friend forever. That was George.  

“George’s life was threatened and, with thanks to Cluny Animal Trust, he was saved! We adopted him a year ago, and he’s definitely landed with his bum in the butter.

“He’s loved more than you can imagine, and he’ll be leaving SA later this year for a new life with us in Louisville, Kentucky. An amazing story, a township dog from the Free State making it all the way to the US of A!”

Editor’s note: Watch out for George’s Happy Tale on www.happytailsmagazine once he’s reached his final destination!

January 2021

Skinny-Malinky Long-Legs

Skinny-Malinky Long-Legs

Karli Macintosh shares Skinny-Malinky Long-Legs, who was adopted from Sighthound Rescue SA

“We adopted Skinny-Malinky Long-Legs a year ago. She came from a rural township area in the Karoo, and all her siblings from her litter had died. She was very, very ill when she was little – viral gastro, dehydration and hookworm. Her mum is a black-grey Wolfhound cross, and her father was a black Greyhound.

“Skinny-Malinky is clever and easy to train. She can sit, lie down, shake hands and ‘leave’. She loves zoomies and the beach. Every morning she comes over to my side of the bed for ear scratches. Whenever she yawns, she lets out a chatty ‘Rooaaar’.

“Our house has lots of rescues. A three-legged dog named Chili, from Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre; Bubbles, a dog from African Tails; three cats (two from Cape Town Feral Cat Project and one from African Tails); two rescue bunnies; and two chickens – and they all feature on my Instagram @k.mackintosh.”

Killer

Killer

Layla Davies shares Killer, whom she adopted as an unwanted puppy

“Killer is a larger-than-life Jack Russell who’s always there for you when you just need him.

“He was attacked when he was about four by a Bull Terrier, which cracked his jaw and resulted in him having to have it removed in surgery – now his tongue permanently hangs out.

“He’s our family dog, and he’s just so caring, and we love him to bits!”

Grim, JoJo and Penny

Grim, JoJo and Penny

Photo credit: Lauren Setterberg Photography

Tammy van Niekerk shares Grim, JoJo and Penny

“When friends of ours emigrated, we adopted their three bunnies, Grim, JoJo and Penny.

“Grim, aka Grimmy, is a three-year-old grey bunny; JoJo, who’s snow-white with small caramel patches; and then there’s toffee-coloured Penny, our only female.

“Penny is such a cuddler – if you hold her, she snuggles into your neck and will quite happily stay snuggled up to you for as long as you need cuddles. I actually call her my therapy bunny; she’s just the best companion and is always ready with a cuddle.

“The bunnies are free roaming in my garden. It’s really lovely to sit quietly on the garden bench and they all hop to you to say hello (and get the inevitable treats).”


Left to right: Penny, JoJo and Grim

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder

Photo credit: Kym Clayton Photography

Chris Viljoen shares Stevie Wonder, aka Rockstar, who was adopted from Lucky Lucy Cat Foundation

“It was love at first sight with Rocky (excuse the ‘pun’). He came to us a little over two years ago when he was about one year old and had just lost both his eyes due to illness. He’s been part of the family since then and has never looked backed.

“He’s an absolute testament to how a special-needs fur ball has adapted to his environment and is living his life to the fullest, providing much joy and happiness to his adoptive parents along the way.”

Editor’s note: Read Stevie Wonder’s entire, amazing Happy Tale here


Photo credit: Kym Clayton Photography

Perie Pack

Perie Pack

Back: Daisy, Yip, and Yap
Front: Luna and Laylah

Ingrid Perie shares her five of her Salukis, rescued from the streets of Qatar!

“Yip (a feathered Saluki) and Yap (smooth Saluki) are sisters who were rescued along with their two siblings, mom and dad from the desert – they’d been cruelly dumped in the middle of nowhere.

“The ‘Black Jacks’ are sisters Luna and Laylah; their mother was dumped and was roaming the streets from which she was rescued… and produced eight pups the following morning. I adopted Laylah first; after the other pups had been adopted and Luna didn’t have a home, I said, ‘What’s another Saluki!’ and adopted her too.

“Daisy was living on a construction site along with two other siblings. There was no sign of their mom. I saw her at the vet when they were getting a health check and decided to add another to the pack.”

PS. I have since adopted another five Salukis… watch out for their Happy Tale coming soon to www.happytailsmagazine.co.za!


We found a sofa that was dumped next to the beach in the mangroves, and the hounds loved jumping all over it.


Yip, Yap, Luna and Laylah, running through a small estuary in the desert. Their favourite running place where they spend hours!

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder

Salome Bruyns shares Stevie Wonder

“Stevie Wonder is the most special dog in the world!

“He adopted me last year November when he was a tiny, fluffy blind puppy, and he soon became my foster failure.”

Tammy

Tammy

Bianca Wilkinson shares Tammy, adopted from Capetonians Against Animal Abuse (CAAA)

“When we first brought Tammy home, she’d lie in the quietest room in the house in a small bundle. But that small bundle soon turned into long stretches. My worries of her wetting the bed due to anxiety soon turned into worrying if my lap was big enough for her and her new sister.

“My worries soon turned into ease when I realised that I’d always be kept safe from any insects.

“Seeing her this happy and comfortable is the most satisfying feeling. We didn’t adopt a new cat – we got a new family member.”

Yoda and Pepper

Yoda and Pepper

Yoda (left) and Pepper

Hilette Hatting shares her rescue cats, Yoda and Pepper

“Pepper had an older ‘brother from another mother’ that passed away a couple of months ago. He was very sad, and we decided to adopt a five-week-old kitten that was rescued from a farm where wild dogs had killed their mommy. 

“It was as if Pepper knew we adopted the kitten for him, and they formed a special bond from day one. 

“Yoda had his fair share of heartache from a young age with the tragic loss of his mommy, but he also had a bad case of tick bite fever and feline calicivirus, which he fought like a champ with that little body. Today he’s five months old and rules the house, chasing his big brother around as much as he can. His hobbies include hanging from burglar bars and chasing/attacking feet. He also has a personal goal of destroying all the toilet paper in the world. Boys will be boys.”

Willow

Willow

Erica Burger shares Willow

“Willow was rescued as a stray one cold winter’s night of August 2017. Courageous Willow went in search of help that icy night and never imagined how her life would change. She wasn’t claimed and got adopted by a family in Moreletapark. Sadly, she escaped a few days later, and I only found her three months later after offering a reward. It turned out that she lived in horrible conditions in an informal settlement in the East of Pretoria.

“I then adopted Willow myself. She had every tick and flea imaginable on her. Her right hind foot had been caught in a trap as well and had to heal by itself. My baby girl didn’t even know that she could have a meal every day.

“She’s the apple of my eye, and as long as I live, she’ll never have to fend for herself again. She now has a mom, dad and two four-legged brothers to look after her – always!”

Teepee and Nelson

Teepee and Nelson

Teepee (left) and Nelson

Colleen Smith shares Teepee and Nelson, her rescue cats

“Teepee was surrendered to me whilst we were on an ODIN (Oudtshoorn Dogs In Need) outreach mission because his owner could no longer care for him.

“Nelson was rescued from living under a car in Deyselsdorp.

“Teepee and Nelson are the best of friends!”

December 2020

Molly and Gus

Molly and Gus

Molly (left) and Gus
Photo credit: Jackie Wernberg Photography

Lesley Smith shares Molly and Gus, who were adopted through Furry Friends

“Darren and I got married in May 2019 and had always agreed to get a dog once we were married and settled, as pets are a huge commitment. I was adamant that it had to be a rescue and not a puppy, as older dogs often get overlooked. I love small dogs, and after researching characteristics of breeds, we decided a Pekingese was the one for us. I follow a number of rescue pages on Facebook, including two for rehoming Pekingese specifically based in Johannesburg.

“We were planning on going to Johannesburg to choose our fur baby, but as luck would have it, my sister came across a bonded pair of young Pekingese dogs up for rehoming in Cape Town that were being networked on the Furry Friends Facebook page.

“I convinced Darren that two was better than one, contacted Furry Friends and arranged to meet two-year-old Molly (previously Mia) and three-year-old Gus that very weekend. We took them home a week later, on Saturday the 29th of February.

“They adjusted to us and our home in no time at all. They’re just the best, and we love them to bits.”

Cadbury

Cadbury

Lauren Setterberg shares Cadbury

“Earlier this year, I had to say goodbye to my beloved Soul Bun, Dixie. It was an incredibly painful time for me, and I still miss him with all my heart. One day, I was sitting by his grave and asked him to send me any messages he’d want me to hear. I felt as if he said, ‘Mamas, I don’t want you to cry anymore. Please love another bun the way you loved me. That would make me so happy.’ Dixie had been bonded to one of my other bun babies who’s called Cindy, aka Cinnabun. I sat with her and asked her to give me a sign when she felt ready for a new friend one day.

“On the Saturday night, I noticed Cinnabun snuggling beside an ornamental hedgehog in the way she used to snuggle Dixie! She was doing all sorts of things that she never normally does, and I finally felt as if the time had come to find her a new mate.

“The next day, I went to visit a friend of mine and she said, ‘You won’t believe it, a boy bunny was just surrendered to me today.’ I peeked into his hutch and couldn’t believe it – he looked like a chocolate version of Dixie – hence his name, Cadbury! It turned out that the day his family had surrendered him was the same day I’d felt called to find Cinnabun a friend. I went home to prep for his arrival and could barely sleep knowing he was coming soon!

“I collected him that Wednesday, and he settled in immediately! He loves to run, dig, and groom Cinnabun. He also adores being nuzzled on the bridge of his nose, and I feel so blessed to have him as part of the fur squad. Cadbury will never replace Dixie (and I’d never expect him to). I love him for his own playful, happy energy and the joy he brings to my home!”

Lulu Belle

Lulu Belle

Nafisa Desbois shares Lulu Belle, who was adopted from the SPCA

“I was volunteering at the local SPCA around February 2017 when three young children from an impoverished area came in with a puppy, which looked like a Yorkie, with a broken leg. They had no means of looking after her or paying for any of her medical treatment, and they had surrendered her. 

“At the time, I was involved with fundraising, and we ran a campaign to raise money for her medical treatment and surgery. My husband and I contributed substantially to this campaign, but that was only the beginning of our story.

“It was love at first sight. I convinced my husband that we should adopt her… and we did. Lulu Belle, as we named her, arrived at her new home on the 1st of April 2017. She was in awe of her new fur siblings, Cleo, Caesar and Pebbles. Everyone fussed over her.

“After many months of therapy and care, Lulu Belle blossomed into this amazingly cute being that is loved and treasured. Everyone in our neighbourhood knows Lulu Belle because she never leaves home without taking her teddy or ball for a walk with her. She could also be mistaken for being a greyhound as she sprints in the garden, with no trace of her having had a broken leg at such a tender age.

“Finding Lulu Belle has led me to a path helping other rescues and not a day goes by without us looking at Lulu Belle with awe and love.”

Mr Whittington

Mr Whittington

Photo credit: Lauren Setterberg Photography

Tammy van Niekerk shares Mr Whittington, who was adopted from Kitty Care Durban

“I was at the vet during lockdown in March 2020 as my cat, Anthony, wasn’t well. That’s where I met Megan Whittington from Kitty Care Durban; she had with her three of the tiniest black-and-white kittens I’d ever seen! They were in bad shape. We exchanged numbers, and I promised myself I’d adopt them if they made it; I couldn’t believe such littlies would survive! They had tummy bugs and hydrocephalus; their eyes weren’t centred on their faces due to the condition.

“I kept in contact with Megan, and, sadly, two of the kittens didn’t make it. I adopted the remaining kitten, a male whom I named after his foster mom, hence the name ‘Mr Whittington’.

“Mr Whittington, or as he’s nicknamed, Nitzy, is the sweetest little boy. He just wants to be cuddled. From his early days, Megan gave him so much love and attention that he just wants to be held all the time. In fact, Nitzy loves to be held so much that I have a scarecrow sitting on a bench and he sleeps in the scarecrow’s lap when I garden.

“He’s extremely friendly and gets on with all our other pets – he grooms the guinea pigs and rabbits and loves to cuddle up to the chinchilla. He even naps in the bunny’s cage sometimes.

“When I adopted Mr Whittington his eyes were still not centred, but this has improved and he shows no adverse effects from his traumatic young days.”

Annabel

Annabel

Rayna Perrins shares Annabel, who was adopted from Cart Horse Protection Association Rehabilitation and Recovery Centre

Read Annabel’s Happy Tale here.

“We adopted our little Annabel in November 2020. When my friend who trucked her to me, Ryno, pulled up outside the yard, I peeped in through the window and saw this bewildered and (I’m sure) very unsure, little face looking back at me.

“Annabel is MORE BEAUTIFUL than I remembered when I saw her in Gordons Bay at the Cart Horse Rehabilitation Centre!

“Well, she obviously has such a little fighter personality; she walked out of the horsebox with the presence and determination of a 17 hand horse.

“We walked her to her paddock to meet her companion, our 16h retired horse, Aquilo (aka Naughty), who’d recently lost his friend. On the way, Annabel was met by all our horses, who ran up to the fence to greet her. She was very unsure of these horses who were all wearing ‘clothes’ (their flysheets) – she’d never seen horses wearing clothing before. It was love at first sight for her and Naughty – they got on perfectly well from the word go.

“Annabel has blossomed into a real little diva in the short time she’s been with us. She knows what she wants and isn’t shy to let all the big horses know.

“It’s not just the horses which are her fans. Everyone in the stable yard is totally obsessed with her. The grooms fight over who’s leading her out of her paddock in the morning.

“I can’t wait for our relationship with Annabel to flourish and for her to learn that she’ll NEVER experience any hardship from this day forward.

“PS. We decided not to take her son, Applejack, as I feel that he’s destined for GREAT things in his future. He’s known no malice and has so much to give a little child; I suspect he’ll go forward to be a very famous kids’ showing pony or something equally as grand.”
 
Editor’s note: Learn more about The Recovery and Rehabilitation Centre here.

Chuck

Chuck

Photo credit: Mandy Freeman Photography

Mandy Freeman shares Chuck, who was adopted from PlumPets Animal Shelter

“It was definitely love at first sight when I met Chuck, who was called ‘The Tiny’, in 2015. He was so tiny but so loving. I immediately noticed his wonky jaw – it had been broken before he was tossed away like rubbish.

“Tin Can Town initially rescued him but took him to PlumPets because they knew Paulette would be able to look after him. There was very little interest in him, but I knew he’d be perfect for us.

“He’s grown into such a handsome boy with the biggest heart. Chuck has taught me so much about life and how it’s ok to be different.”

Ninja

Ninja

Jenna Nadelman shares Ninja

“Ninja’s story is the perfect example of being in the right place at the right time. It was a scorcher of a day in October 2014. My husband and I decided on the spur of the moment to go to a random beach we never go to, at the most random time.

“Within a few minutes of settling down on the beach, we noticed a tiny black figure on the other side of the beach hobbling out of the ocean. It was so small that we thought it was a kitten! We then saw an individual pick the little thing up and throw it back into the water, like a ball. It was at this moment that we intervened. My husband sprinted over only to discover the kitten was no kitten at all but rather a little boy puppy, approximately four to five weeks old.

“We immediately took the puppy away from the kids who were mistreating him and promptly approached their parents about what we’d witnessed. After discussing the issue, we gave the owners two choices: come with us to the vet immediately or we simply take the puppy and go on our own. At this point, they were reluctant to hand him over to us and decided to come with us.

“Long story short, while at the vet, we convinced the owners to let us keep him. He was severely dehydrated, full of worms and way too young to be away from his mom.

“My husband named him ‘Ninja’ on the spot, and in that moment I knew we were done for! He crept into our hearts immediately. We’re proud foster-failures! Ninja has brought so much love, joy, and happiness into our lives. He’s our big baby with an even bigger heart.

“I’m convinced that the stars aligned on that day. We were destined to find Ninja. Or rather, Ninja was destined to find us.”


Photo credit: Organictales Photography

Mac

Mac

Keelan Stanley shares Mac, who was adopted from PitPals

“I adopted Mac last year in March. He was a very shy, wary boy but has flourished into the most confident, happy dog. My world would be incomplete without him... and my bed would be far too empty!

“Mac is my greatest adventure buddy, and such a looker, too!”

Mufasa

Mufasa

Dalene Erasmus shares Mufasa (aka Kleintjie)

“Our little boy was surrendered by a lady who’d bred him but, due to lockdown, couldn’t sell him and his siblings.

“A woman had come to our branch of the SPCA to vaccinate the female puppy she’d been given. When I heard the story, I obtained the number of the owner as I was very concerned: lockdown, no money, no vaccinations, and being the last one left… I immediately fetched him.

“My hubby named him ‘Mufasa’ (from The Lion King). I just call him ‘Kleintjie’ (Afrikaans for ‘little one’), as I felt very sorry for him. He still fights to get food, but, hopefully, one day he’ll realise he doesn’t need to as he’ll always get his food.

“Mufasa will be sterilised soon as he’s now old enough.

“He’s the most loveable little boy and sleeps with his head in your neck. I love him to the moon and back.”

Natsu

Natsu

Photo credit: Nat Gold ZA

Dr Travis Gray shares Natsu, who came into the vet practice with a nasty abscess on his tail base

“He was very loud and sociable; always wanting attention from whoever was walking past his cage. Since no owner came forward and he had no collar or microchip, we treated his wounds on our account. He was tested for FIV/FeLV, microchipped and castrated, and then…  he came home with me.

“Since then, he’s made himself at home here, adventuring during the day and then curling up on the couch with me in the evening. He’s got quite the voice, and the best part of my day is hearing him running along the wall to greet me when I get home from work.”

November 2020

Puppy

Puppy

Photo credit: Jackie Wernberg Photography

Lindsay Linklater shares Puppy, who was adopted from PlumPets Animal Shelter

“Our senior boy, Puppy, has slowed down a lot; he’s 13 years old. I fostered Puppy from PlumPets Animal Shelter 13 years ago when I was on holiday in Cape Town when he was only a few weeks old.

“He’d been confiscated from street children at the V&A Waterfront and was full of mange. I remember taking him for special baths at the vet a few times a week until it cleared.

“When it was time for me to return to America, where I was living at the time, he went back to the vet so he could go to another foster mum. But once back in the US, I couldn’t forget him. So, I flew back to Cape Town to arrange to adopt him, and as soon as his paperwork was done, he joined me in North Carolina. We were in the USA for five years, and when it was time for me to return to Cape Town permanently, of course Puppy came too. The joke around here is that Puppy has an American bark!”

Ra

Ra

Photo credit: Lauren Setterberg Photography

Tammy van Niekerk shares Ra, who was adopted from Kitty Care-Durban

“Ra was found pitifully small and malnourished at aMagwena store near the Jesus Dome in Mayville. He only weighed 300g and was found on his own with a broken front leg and a badly broken back leg; they’d healed crooked.

“Nikki of Kitty Care-Durban took Ra to the vet; he had a bad tapeworm infestation on top of the injuries. Nikki had to bottle feed Ra for a week or so.

“Ra surprised everyone with his incredible will to survive. He’s so resilient. I was looking at the Kitty Care-Durban website and saw Ra, and it was love at first sight.

“We adopted him and were told he may need to have his front leg amputated, but, so far, he’s proven to be the most agile out of all my cats! He’s a character of note and almost ‘talks’ – he’s very vocal and makes his presence known by his loud meow.

“He’s a very keen fisherman; we have a little stream in our garden, and he does what I call ‘bridge duty’. He lies on the bridge and watches out for birds, fish, dragonflies, etc. He’s highly entertained by it all. He actually fishes out crabs and hasn’t quite figured out which is the sharp end yet so often gets a nip on the nose.

“Ra has bought us so much love and joy, as have all our kitties. He’s a very special boy... and he knows it!”

Jake

Jake

Cath Jenkin shares Jake, “The Dog Who Changed My World”, who was adopted from Puppy SOS KZN

“Jake was adopted from Puppy SOS KZN. We’d applied for a puppy with them and David arrived to do a home check… with Jake under his arm.

“The scrawny puppy leapt into my arms, weighing less than a kilogram. They said he was ‘likely to remain small’, but Jake is a testament to the power of animal rescue, the truth of love, the goodness of a great diet, and the comfort of owning all the space on a king-sized bed. It was, for everyone, love at first sight. We opted to foster him for a weekend to see how he adapted to us. That weekend was almost six years ago!

“Now weighing in at a gargantuan 40 kilograms, Jake has outshone every idea anyone ever had for him. How lucky we were to be chosen.”

Joshua

Joshua

Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography

Elanza Kloppers shares Joshua, who was adopted from Dogtown SA

“I adopted Joshua and his sister, Hayley, in my very first week of working at Dogtown SA back in 2012. They were supposed to be fosters, but now, eight years later, they’re still very much part of my family.

“Joshua has ‘fostered’ and raised countless litters of puppies, and even kittens, over the years. He’s my three-year-old son Cameron’s best friend in every sense of the word.”


Joshua and our foster dog, Ina (read Ina’s Happy Tale)

Freddie

Freddie

Photo credit: Mandy Freeman Photography

Mandy Freeman shares Freddie, who was adopted from Sharon’s Foster Furries

“I remember seeing a photo of this tiny little three-legged kitten. My husband and I had just made the difficult decision to close the chapter on having human kids after many years of infertility. I jokingly said we should look at adopting one more fur baby – and then Freddie popped up on my newsfeed. It was meant to be!

“Since adopting Chuck (my other physically challenged boy), I’ve fallen in love with the perfectly imperfect babies. Freddie was born with three legs, but, my goodness, that doesn’t stop him one bit.

“Freddy has grown in leaps and bounds; he’s incredibly vocal, can climb trees, and is the biggest goofball ever. We look at him every day and ask, ‘How did we get so lucky?’”

Gina

Gina

Bernice Mong shares little Gina, her latest rescue

“Gina is a Chihuahua said to be around five years old, although the vet suspects that she’s actually closer to seven or eight. She was used for breeding and her owner said she could no longer keep her, so I decided to take her in.

“She only understands Russian, so she needs to learn English and Afrikaans. Her teeth are in a terrible state due to not being fed the correct food; the vet indicated that she’d have to extract most of her teeth. She’ll also be sterilised soon: no more puppies for her.

“Gina is very timid and extremely scared of people, but she’s slowly but surely coming out of her shell. She’s becoming very attached to us and growls at the other doggies and kitties when she’s lying by us and they come too close; she’s clearly claiming what’s hers!

“She also has a hip joint problem which will need to be attended to at a later stage. She otherwise has a very sweet temperament and with lots of time, patience and love will adapt perfectly, and she’s going to be a spoilt princess in her new home.”

Polly

Polly

Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography

Camilla Jane Logie shares Polly, her rescue cat

“I adopted Polly from an animal angel who’s sadly no longer with us, Sabina Essa. Polly comes from a litter of five whose mom, who was pregnant at the time, was found in the streets; it’s believed that her owner put her there because of her pregnancy. If I’m not mistaken, one of Polly’s siblings didn’t make it, but her mother and the rest of the litter were adopted.

“Taylor Swift (see October) and Polly were best friends until Polly was snipped, strangely enough. Since then, they don’t see eye to eye – they have a real love-hate sibling relationship; perhaps when they mature that love will be rekindled.

“Polly is somewhat of a bully but very lucky to have Libby (the one-eyed pirate from Soweto). Libby is accepting of all and loves to welcome new family into our home. Polly is always up for a bit of rough play, and Libby is certainly up to the challenge. Polly mostly irritates her siblings but means well. She has a kind nature and is perhaps a little misunderstood by her sisters.”

Benji, Jessie and Waffle

Benji, Jessie and Waffle

Left to right: Benji and Jessie
Top: Waffle

Noleen Fourie shares Benji, Jessie and Waffle, who over the years became part of the family

“Benji is an eight-year-old Chihuahua and he’s our oldest. After almost losing him in 2019 when he had to undergo spinal surgery, he still loves to run as fast as he can. Being of superior intelligence (of course, that’s the case for all my dogs!), Benji quickly learned after his surgery to ask us when he wants to get on and off the furniture – no jumping allowed. He was our first dog and he’s the best!

“Jessie is a Powderpuff Chinese Crested who was rescued from a puppy mill when she was still very young. If Jessie was edible, she’d probably be a pink cupcake with glitter on it – she’s just that sweet. She’s a long-legged girl who loves affection. We often find ourselves at a loss for words to even describe how adorable she is. Such a little princess!

“Waffle is a Maltese and a real clown. He was rescued from a life of neglect, and he’d spent many nights cold and hungry in his life. That’s surely not the case anymore, and it’s been a joy to watch him adjust to living inside a house. He still sometimes gets confused by how to actually use things like couches and food bowls, but he’s a silly, super-happy boy. He loves walks and drives, and when he’s in a good mood, he likes to roll around on his back and make funny noises.”

Joey and Shadow

Joey and Shadow

Joey and Shadow with Ina
Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography

Tanya Mullligan shares little Joey and Shadow, adopted from Harties Feral Cat Project

“I still can’t believe that these two beautiful kittens are now part of our family. We feel incredibly privileged that we were able to adopt these fabulous fluffy bums.

“It’s hard to believe they come from a feral colony; they’re simply incredible and so affectionate. They’re our first kittens, and I think it’s safe to say we are kitten-smitten!”

Sadie and Gizmo

Sadie and Gizmo

Nadine Moore shares Sadie and Gizmo, who were recently adopted from Claws Animal Welfare

“Adopting Sadie and Gizmo was the best decision we’ve ever made.

“These two angels have brought so much happiness into our lives. They’re partners in crime; they eat, sleep and play together all day long.

“Thank you, Claws Animal Welfare, for allowing us the opportunity to adopt our new babies.”

October 2020

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography

Camilla Jane Logie shares Taylor Swift, her rescue cat

“Taylor was given to me by a gentleman who sold newspapers on Rivonia Road. She’d been kept in a wet box for two weeks and was so weak that she nearly didn’t make it.

“She’s the neediest kitten you’ve ever met and loves to scream from my balcony when she hears anything that resembles my voice.”

Ricky

Ricky

Photography by Living Light Photography

Marti-Mari Kellerman shares Ricky, who was adopted from Border Collie Rescue

“Ricky was picked up by the side of the road in Wellington in September 2015 by Lisa, a lady who lived in the townhouse residential complex on the wine estate where my husband, Waldo, worked and we lived at the time. Lisa had taken him in for the night but couldn’t take in more pets. She knew that we also had a Border Collie, so she called Waldo and asked if he might adopt Ricky, as she’d named him, if he wasn’t claimed.

“At the time our daughter was about four months old, plus we had a one-year-old Border Collie named Zara, while living in a tiny townhouse, so Waldo thought I probably wouldn’t be up to it. However, he also knows that I have a very soft spot for fur babies too, so he arranged for me to go and see Ricky at Lisa’s house ‘just for a visit’. Turns out, Ricky happened to look exactly like our previous Border Collie rescue, Jasper, whom we’d lost the year before to a brain tumour; I adored Jasper and still get emotional over him. Needless to say, Ricky had me convinced at the get go with his soft manner and those soulful brown eyes.

“In the meantime, Lisa had made arrangements to take him to Border Collie Rescue, where he’d stay for the time being. We went to visit him there and started the process of officially adopting him. When Ricky came to stay with us, we wanted to change his name but couldn’t agree on one that suited him and we both liked. So, we decided that he’d probably had enough change and the name stuck. The vet estimated that he was about two years old at the time, but now that he’s been with us for five years, we think that he might be a bit older.

“Ricky is a gorgeous, loving boy and has fitted right in with our family from the start. And even though he has to answer to Zara (our alpha female) at home, he loves running around on the farm at Waldo’s work. He’s great with our kids and has such a soft and loving manner. We can’t imagine life without him!”

Tiger

Tiger

Clare Burns shares Tiger, her first kitty foster failure from Kitty Care-Durban

“I had no cats at all (I’d last had one as a child) when I started fostering for Kitty Care-Durban when lockdown began. Well, one of my special cases which came in with severe pneumonia and on death’s door just stole my heart! That was Tiger.

“He was found in a drainpipe at Cambridge in Durban; a kind family cut him out of the pipe to rescue him. There was no sign of mom cat or other kittens. They rushed him through to me and it was love at first sight. However, his prognosis wasn’t good; even our vet was uncertain if he’d pull through. So, I nebulised him every two hours for half an hour at a time and prayed very hard!

“Thankfully, Tiger survived. I just couldn’t part with him, and he became my foster failure and my best friend. And finally… I have my very own cat!”

Luna and Isis

Luna and Isis

Photo credit: Philip Fourie
Left to right: Ricardo, Luna, Isis and Dalaine

Dalaine Nel shares Luna, who was adopted from Greyhound Welfare, and Isis, adopted from Sighthound Rescue SA

“We adopted Luna as a 12-week-old puppy in 2017, and it was the best decision we EVER made to adopt her. She was our first Sighthound, and it was because of her that our love for them started.

“Luna is our princess in the house – she’s very dainty and fairy-like. Despite weighing only 4kg, everyone knows not to bring the beast out; she puts ALL the dogs in their place!

“Luna is a real diva with a whole lot of zest for life. She’s a go-getter and extremely bright. She’s excelling in her obedience classes and is now training for agility – she loves it! She’s known at class for her vast wardrobe, because she won’t work when she’s cold... she has a Milla Moo onesie for every day!

“Isis was adopted in in 2018. We were looking for a small companion of Luna’s size for her to play with. Isis came from an abused background and was an emotional wreck when we fetched her. It took her approximately six weeks to come to us, and she’d constantly be looking at the roof as if something was going to fall on her head.

“She and Luna differ like day and night. Luna is overly confident and not afraid of anything. Isis has her tail tucked in 95% of the time (up to today still, unfortunately) but has learned to trust us.

“Isis has one toy that she plays a bit with, though she doesn’t really know what toys are, it seems, even with Luna’s coaxing to play with her. But she adores going to the beach, and her favourite thing is to chase the seagulls.

“She demands continuous tummy rubs at night in front of the TV, and if you dare stop, you’ll be promptly reminded by a scratching paw that you need to keep showering her with love and rubs.

“Isis is a case of another man’s trash is my treasure; she’s my very special baby!”

Jessie

Jessie

Eleanor Beets shares her little rescue dog, Jessie

“Jessie is a very special little girl whom I got off the streets 10 years ago. She’d been burnt with cigarettes and had a long cut across her tummy. She was extremely thin, snapped if you showed her any affection, and was terrified of a fire.

“I didn’t want another dog as I already had two, so I headed to the vet with her. But I ended up bringing her back home as I couldn’t leave her there.

“After six months of having her, she changed into the sweetest girl ever.

“She’s been through a lot, aside from her previous abuse. She had a lump removed on the side of her neck which had affected her eye, so it also had to be removed; she has a lot of fatty lumps, and recently had six teeth extracted. But, with everything she’s gone through, her tail never stops wagging and she’s always happy. There’s definitely a reason why she came into my life.”

Zoe

Zoe

Zanne Parsons shares Zoe, who was adopted from Wellington SPCA

“When I saw that Zoe was up for adoption, I immediately contacted the Wellington SPCA – we are so lucky to be the ones to have gotten her.

“Zoe is two years old and as lovable as they can come. From the moment she arrived until today, there’s been a complete change in her.

“She took to my other dogs immediately, and she loves to play and walk. She has a fantastic soft personality and is beautiful, of course!”

Ruby and Mouse-the-Cat

Ruby and Mouse-the-Cat

Karen Campbell shares Ruby, their adopted Greyhound, and Mouse-the-Cat

“We couldn’t resist Ruby when we met her. She’s a real laid-back, out-to-lunch hound who, after a mad run, requires the next 23 hours reclining on a bed or couch to ‘recover’. Regal, gentle and relaxed, she’s a lovely dog who likes cats.

“The cat in the picture, Mouse-the-cat, was picked up and is an absolute delight. He has to perch on your shoulders to give you the warmest of morning greetings and gets on with Ruby very well. Such a character!”

Sandy

Sandy

Layla Belle Davies shares Sandy, who was rescued from an informal settlement

“Sandy wasn’t wanted because of her mixed breed – she’s a Rottweiler crossed with a Cocker Spaniel.

“She loves nothing more than a daily play on the beach and playing in the sand… and that’s exactly how she got her name!”

Butternut and Alex

Butternut and Alex

Butternut and Alex

Thandeka Makhaye shares her cats, Butternut and Alex

“Butternut was found at a petrol station. I was there to get airtime when I saw a kitten roaming amongst the cars. I asked the petrol attendants about it, but they all had no idea where kitty had come from. It was along the busiest roads and I thought: I cannot leave this baby here…

“Luckily, when I went up to the kitten, it didn’t run away, so I scooped her up and took her home. I immediately posted to Facebook and notified nearby vets to ask she belonged to anyone living in that area. There were no claims for her, so I decided to keep her. She’s such a loving cat.

“My big boy, Alex, was my first cat I adopted. I saw his post on Facebook as needing a home (the lady had too many cats and needed help). His lovely markings caught my attention. Alex is four years old, but he’s the baby of the house and the one who gets spoilt the most.

“Sharing my home with Butternut and Alex is one of my blessings in life!”

Tosca and Carmen

Tosca and Carmen

Adrian, Carmen and Tosca
Photography credit: Mandy Freeman Photography

Mandy Freeman shares Tosca and Carmen, who were adopted from PlumPets Animal Shelter

“We adopted Tosca and Carmen in 2017. We popped in at PlumPets and told Paulette we were looking to adopt two dogs that had to be cat friendly, and she introduced us to these two.

“Tosca is super attached to her pup, Carmen, so they had to be adopted together. After a few play dates, we knew they were the right fit (the cats disagreed and still do!).

“They’re both gentle, kind, goofy and super protective of us. They love off-lead adventures and are always two steps behind us when we’re in the house or garden.”

September 2020

Gemma

Gemma

Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography

Zélia da Silva shares Gemma, who was adopted from Husky Rescue SA

“Gemma was around a year old when I adopted her. She’d gone from one home to the other. The last was a farm with unsterilised dogs, resulting in them fighting, and eventually they couldn’t wait to get rid of her.

“Gemma was placed in an amazing foster home with Melany Bartok and her five Huskies. When I was looking for another dog, the age and sex were the most important factors to me. Gemma, who I saw on Husky Rescue SA’s Facebook page, ticked all the boxes, and her features were absolutely beautiful.

“Introducing Gemma to Gino (read Gino’s MuttMix story) was such a beautiful experience. After my previous Husky-Shepherd dog passed, Gino really became listless and didn’t seem himself at all. Gemma arrived in early February 2017 and they got along instantly. Now they’re the perfect pair; they’re never far from each other. Her happy energy definitely rubs off on everyone she meets.

“Gemma is all things good and bad of the Husky breed. She’s gorgeous, very loving and eager to learn. But she’s also very vocal and demands attention. She can go from being the most gentle, chilled dog to being ready to pull a sled in an instant.

“She keeps us laughing, makes life happy again, and everyone instantly falls in love with her the moment they see her. Gemma is a true little Gem!”

Lady Ruby

Lady Ruby

Photography credit: Seven Oaks Photography

Kate-Lynn Downey shares Lady Ruby, adopted from Port Alfred SPCA

“I must admit I’m more of a cat person than a dog person, but I adopted a Malinois-German Shepherd puppy named Lady Ruby recently, and she’s beyond cute. I had such fun photographing her in my studio.

Two sons, three adopted cats, and now an adopted puppy and about 100 fish – our family is more than complete!

Tigger

Tigger

Roma Elias shares Tigger, who was adopted from Foster Love Animal Rescue

“Tigger is now six months old and is so affectionate he’ll sit in my arms for an hour, purring constantly. He gets so much attention! He and our black Labrador, Monty, are getting used to each other and play a lot.”

Baby Hazel

Baby Hazel

Sune Immelman shares Baby Hazel, who was rescued in a township earlier in 2020

“I was looking to adopt a puppy for a while but just couldn’t find the one for me… until I saw Hazel’s cute little face appear on my Facebook newsfeed. I immediately knew that she was meant to be with me.

“I messaged her rescuer, Bianka Lerm, and few days later, Baby Hazel was home!

“Baby Hazel is so loveable and playful. She honestly has the cutest personality ever! I’m so glad she’s mine – she deserves the world and so much more.

“Honestly, I wish people would adopt more.

“I love her so much, and everybody that meets her falls in love instantly!”

Olivia

Olivia

Photo credit: Seven Oaks Photography

Christel Erasmus shares Olivia, who was adopted from Port Alfred Feral Cat Project

“In Port Alfred, there’s a group called the Port Alfred Feral Cat Project; Elizabeth Kahn, our church organist, helped me to adopt Olivia from them.

“Olivia was approximately four weeks when she came into my life earlier in 2020. She seems to be very small for her age, but the vet is keeping an eye on her so that she can be spayed.

“Olivia is an important part of our church and is much loved by the congregation as her purr can loudly be heard over most of our early morning lockdown devotions, when she cuddles up in my dressing gown while I record. She’s even made her appearance on a YouTube service during one of the prayers.

“Olivia’s favourite things to do are to climb trees, chase moles, play with Amber’s tail and to give big kitty kisses on one’s nose.”

Molly and Sandy

Molly and Sandy

Barry Bowditch shares Molly (left), who was adopted from Pietermaritzburg SPCA, and Sandy, who was adopted from the old Ballito SPCA

“They rescued us when we collected them from the SPCA some 13 years ago – and I have to say that they’re the most considerate dogs in the world, as they allow us to share their bed at night.

“As I also like to say (and I’m not sure who penned these words): ‘They are not my whole life, but they made my life whole!’

“My wife and I love them to pieces.”

(Pictured with his lovely wife, Denise, who he says, “She found me”.)

Jessie, Squirrel and Bindy

Jessie, Squirrel and Bindy

Emma Kaye shares her precious rescue dogs Jessie, Squirrel and Bindy

“Jessie is my ‘first born’ and she was adopted from the Domestic Animal Rescue Group (DARG) six years ago. She was so tiny that she could fit through the cat flap; she’s now the size of a small horse. Jessie is a beautiful, smart and an extraordinary dog who loves to snuggle under the duvet and walk the mountains daily.

“Squirrel is my other little girl and is the most gentle, loving girl that trots like a Jackal and loves to give kisses. Squirrel also came from DARG five years ago, and while her name then was ‘Zsa Zsa’, somehow ‘Squirrel’ stuck. True to her name, she does indeed climb trees!

“Bindy is my ‘last born’ and the only boy in the family. I found him as a tiny puppy in Delft being used as a football and being urinated on by drunken men. He’s been a huge lesson in forgiveness, as he’s a truly happy little guy who just simply loves life.

“Walking the mountain daily with these three precious souls is a gift; a reminder to appreciate the simplicity and joy of each moment.”

 

Pepper, Shadow and Apricot

Pepper, Shadow and Apricot

Photography credit: Seven Oaks Photography

Kate-Lynn Downey shares her adopted feline friends

“Pepper (fondly known as ‘Pepper Pot’) was born in December 2016 in a local hardware store warehouse to a stray/feral cat. We adopted him and his brother, Marble, in January 2017. Tragically, Marble was killed by a neighbouring dog in 2017, when he was just a few months old.

“Pepper was the runt of the litter and had the bluest of eyes as a kitten. My hubby wanted Marble, but poor Pepper looked so sad and alone that I couldn’t bear to leave him behind. He was very sick with biliary when we got him (unbeknown to us when we adopted him), and we had to nurse him to good health over a period of weeks with syringe feeding and giving iron supplements. To this day we’re so thankful that we took him. He adores my husband and lies under the duvet against his stomach every single night.

“Shadow is a real princess and very selective about whom she shares her affections with. She’s around four years old and we adopted her in Aug/Sep 2019 from a preschool teacher with terminal cancer. We were told she that Shadow doesn’t do well with children and dogs, but she absolutely loves our five-year-old son and sleeps on his pillow against his head every single night without fail.

“My husband is a doctor at the local public hospital; Shadow’s previous owner was one of his patients. He had the opportunity to show her photos of Shadow sleeping with Nathan, and I think that was very surprising and special for her. She sadly passed away about a week after that.

“Then there’s our ginger kitty, Apricot. He was born at the end of January 2020, and we adopted him from our neighbour just before lockdown. He’s the sweetest, friendliest thing – he’s my little baby.”

Paris

Paris

Judy Jooste shares her golden oldie, Paris

“Paris and her brother, Sammie, were the only dogs I didn’t adopt; I got them from a friend.

“She was the tiniest puppy and had to wear a kitty collar with a bell so that I could find her.

“Through the years she became the mother hen of the house. She’s sweet and extremely loving and still very tiny. She looked like an Indian princess with her black-lined eyes. Now my frosty face loves to sleep, be with her mommy and, now and then, chase something. She’s had a few health scares and has become very blind and deaf. Her brother passed away a year ago, and I could see it really affected her.

“For as long as she’s having a good life and loves to snuggle, she’ll be sleeping in her mommy’s arms. She’s still my little princess.”

Mia

Mia

Susan Woker shares Mia, who was a foster failure

“We’re so happy to have welcomed Mia into our lives, and many thanks to animal rescuer Cecelia Strydom for loving her unconditionally and rehoming her with us in Hermanus. She’d been found as a stray in a bad state and sadly was never claimed. We fostered her and fell in love – she was formally adopted in August.

“Mia is so loving and has settled down really well. She’s my shadow, and l will love her forever!”

August 2020

Jazzy

Jazzy

Photography credit: Nat Gold ZA

Natalie Goldsmith shares Jazzy, who was adopted from Cape of Good Hope SPCA

“Since doing some photo sessions of rescue pets for Happy Tails Magazine, I became much more aware of all the rescue organisations out there and how many animals need homes. When lockdown struck, I decided it was time for me to take on a new fur friend.

“Jazzy came to me from the SPCA as a very timid and quite panicky little pup but has blossomed into a confident and happy girl loving her new life. Jazzy is about a year old and was apparently found in a gutter by the SPCA at about six months of age. On our early walks she was pulling frantically, tail down, and just wanted to go back home. Now, just under a month after her arrival, she loves her daily jaunts into the wide world and even trots along on a loose lead, tail wagging, sniffing at everything. 

“My next step is to start training, as she’s very quick to understand what I need from her. I believe doggie dancing will be perfect, as she’s often bouncing around on her back feet, especially at dinner time.

“It’s so rewarding to see a rescue dog transform as they start to enjoy their new life and realise they are secure and loved.”

Gumbi

Gumbi

Yolandi Burger shares little Gumbi, who was adopted from Bella’s Guardian Angels – Animal Rescue

“Gumbi was left at Bella’s Guardian Angels – Animal Rescue’s front gate when he wasn’t even a week or two old. He was bottle-fed until he could eat on his own.

“We adopted him and named him ‘Gumbi’ – my 17-month-old baby’s favourite word at the moment! Big brother, Piets, also a kitten from Bella’s (now a teenager of two years old) is still getting used to this idea of a pesky smaller fluff-ball in the family!

“Gumbi is very curious, extremely brave and gives as good as he gets from his ‘brother from another mother’. All three play together very well, so Gumbi is now a full member of the family.”

Tilly and Clooney

Tilly and Clooney

Clooney (left) and Tilly (right)

Jeanette Pearce shares Tilly and Clooney

“Tilly came into our lives with a broken back leg (I suspect it was a cat or a child). Sadly, her vets were unable to save her leg and had to amputate. When she was old enough, we started taking her to a physiotherapist to try to strengthen her muscles and correct her way of walking.

“After our previous rescue bunny sadly died, Tilly’s rehab/physio (Paws, Claws & Wings) lady recommended that she needed a young male companion, and that’s how we learnt of the The Strawberry Foundation (https://www.happytailsmagazine.co.za/news-articles/the-strawberry-foundation/). We took Tilly with us and she literally chose Clooney herself.

“Today Clooney has grown into the Alpha Male of our family. He runs the show and is quick to tell you when he disagrees with you (a loud thump or a condescending look). He remains extremely loving and gentle towards Tilly and will always make sure she’s alright. He’s a real mama’s boy and loves to snuggle up (only on his own terms). Breakfast and dinnertime are the absolute highlight of their day, but they also enjoy running around the house and picking on the dog.

“Tilly continues with her home physiotherapy and sees her physios (both Paws, Claws & Wings and Ramsay Rehabilitation) now and again. She’s a strong bunny who can move surprisingly fast for her situation. She’s the most sassy, determined and happy animal – everyone who meets her agrees.

“We love our bunnies and cannot imagine life without them.”

Kenji

Kenji

Louis and Joey du Toit share baby Kenji, who was adopted from Husky Heaven Rescue

“Kenji had been bitten on his head by another dog when he was a tiny pup. Rescued by Brenda Meyer of Husky Heaven Rescue, who’s also a close family friend of ours, we simply couldn’t resist him and immediately took him in as a foster to rehab. However, we soon fell in love and adopted him as a much-loved forever member of our little family.

“Kenji is a daily delight and has brought much joy to our lives!”

Wizard

Wizard

Christine Riley shares Wizard, who was found as a stray

“Wizard is a true ‘rags-to-riches’ story. He was living on the streets before he found his way to us.

“Now he lives his best life with our family consisting of four other dogs, and he thoroughly enjoys his hikes and beach-trips every single day.

“At first I thought there was something physically wrong with his tail: it never wagged and was always between his legs. But I was wrong… his tail was perfectly fine and is up and wagging all the time now. A real ‘Happy Tail’!”

Dona and Tello

Dona and Tello

Elaine Wright shares Dona and Tello, who were adopted from SA Mast

“Rescued by SA MAST, Dona and Tello (previously named ‘Star’ and ‘Sparkle’) and their little brother were fostered by Claire Shadbolt. They were a little under-the-weather at first, but with tender loving care, good food and immune-boosting meds, they were soon thriving. It wasn’t long before their brother found his forever home just before Christmas 2019.

“Claire had fondly named them the ‘Glitter Sisters’ and soon felt disheartened when they were constantly overlooked when it came to adoptions because everyone wanted tiny kittens. It might’ve been her insistence that they had to be adopted together, but they really were bonded and needed to stay together!

“You can imagine her excitement when we got to hear of them and were specifically looking for a bonded pair and were happy for slightly older kittens, plus we could offer them a wonderful home as indoor cats in a large apartment.

“Due to my ‘essential worker’ papers I was able to drive out to meet them, and it was truly ‘love at first sight’!

“My little Ginja Ninjas have settled in so very nicely. They’re playful, loving, a little naughty, get into all the (cat-safe) plants and have oodles of personality. They keep me entertained with all their antics while I try to work each day at home. Then we all settle down for lots of evening snuggles. 

“I love them to bits!”

Rocco

Rocco

Chiz Judge shares Rocco, who was adopted from Boxer Rescue South Africa

“When we lost our old boy, my beloved Zeno, in December 2018, we were totally devastated. Koko, our brindle girl, went into a depression and lost all her zest for life without him. And so, after two months of our little family of three (two humans and one Boxer) being so sad without his big, wonderful presence, and really NOT getting over the loss, we decided to adopt.

“We saw Rocco in Durban on the Boxer Rescue Facebook page, liaised with Debbie Wells, who organises the rehomes, and went to fetch him. It was total love from the get-go – he’s the happiest, most sunshiny Boxer we’ve ever had; he just brightened our lives immediately. He and Koko took one look at each other, tails wagged, and they started to play like lunatics around the garden. A ‘phew’ moment after all the initial fears of What If They Didn’t Get On?

“He’s obviously been well trained by a previous owner; he’d passed through two families before we took him in, poor boy. But he’s now in his furever home, and I’ll never let him go. And when he seems a little quiet, I always remind him of that. Even now, after 18 months, I sense he’s still getting closer and snugglier with me... it takes a long time for their wounds to heal, just like us.

“Rocco is amazing; he loves everyone and all other dogs, is super sociable, and I can even take him to the coffee shop with me, which is often not the norm with exuberant Boxers! Fortunately, living near the sea, the three of us can spend lots of time walking on the beach and paddling in the rock pools, which both dogs love.

“He’s a total joy to own. If I write a book about him, it has be called ‘Eat, Play, Love’!”

Supergirl

Supergirl

Ingrid Liberté shares her very special Supergirl

“Supergirl came to Australian Shepherd SA Rescue Organisation as she’s both partially sighted and totally deaf, and we have a wealth of experience in dealing with special needs Aussies.

“I adopted her through the organisation, and she’s absolutely the best. She snuggles at night, is learning hand signals so quickly and is just the sweetest girl!”

Biscuit

Biscuit

Debra Barker shares Biscuit, adopted from Kitty-Care Durban

“We’d been thinking about adopting a kitten for quite a long time, and when we met Biscuit, we knew he belonged with us.

“Kitty-Care Durban had done an amazing job after he’d been rescued from being sold for R40 at the Durban Beachfront.  

“Biscuit is now part of the family, and we’re enjoying every moment with him!”

Sylvie

Sylvie

Photo credit: Mel Photography

Pauline Till shares Sylvie, who was adopted from Cape Dachshund Rescue

“Greg and I adopted Sylvie on the 8th of June 2019. She was with a foster mum, Sugnet Van Wyk Strauss, in Onrus. We’d seen her photo on their Facebook page, and, being fans of silver dappled Dachshunds, we fell immediately in love. CDR advised we could meet her first to see if we liked her. But we already knew she was the one to complete our little family, so we paid the adoption fee immediately.

“Sylvie is six years old (born on the 1st of February 2014), and her MuttMix DNA test revealed that she’s a Dachshund crossed with a Chihuahua, which is clearly evident in her ears.

“It was thought Sylvie would do well as an only dog, but she’s grown to love her canine brother, Ollie; they spend hours playing together. She’s a fun, cheeky and lively little girl. Fiercely independent but incredibly loving, and needless to say, she’s adored!”

July 2020

Loki and Louis

Loki and Louis

Bianca Horne shares Loki and Louis, adopted from P.A.R.R. (Pietermaritzburg Animal Rescue & Rehome)

“I’m a foster mum for P.A.R.R., and both my boys are foster fails. I’ve always had girls, and these are my first boys – and they’re my absolute life.

“Louis is our little Dachshund and Loki is my little scruff ball (who knows what he is), but I always say they are 100% dog!

“Louis is minute but has the biggest and cutest personality, although he’s also a bit shy. Loki is my shadow and also a very sensitive little boy, so I’m very protective over him. Who knew the boys would be such softies, hehehe...

“Thank you so much for asking for pics of my boys; I feel so proud.”

Farah

Farah

Angela Coltman shares her bunny, Farah

“We rescued Farah after she’d been dumped at a dam.

“There are so many bunnies that have been dumped, and I just knew that she had to come home with me. She loves to go walking in the forest on her harness, or pretty much anywhere that we take her.

“The meaning of her name is ‘happiness’, which is everything she has brought to us.”

Romeo and Kate

Romeo and Kate

Ingrid Liberté shares Romeo (back) and Kate, who share her home with her

“Romeo is a semi-feral cat that was trapped along with three of his siblings and his mum on the neighbouring farm by Australian Shepherd Dog Rescue Organisation (ASSARO), of which I’m the founder. He’s actually quite tame, while his three siblings are still semi-feral. We were very happy to help sterilise them all so that there would not be millions of ferals on the property in future. 

“Kate (aka Katey) is a Maine Coone, and she was returned to a breeder who let me adopt her and her friend Leopold (Leo). Not many people know this, but I’d always been more of a cat person until I started ASSARO. Now I adore both.”

Daisy

Daisy

Karl and Tania Stott share Daisy, adopted from Spaniel Welfare SA, and “The Springer Pack”

“Our Springer pack consists of Georgie (9), Mika (8), Arthur (7), Daisy (adopted, 6) and Pippin (5). We’re also babysitting a nine-week-old pup for a friend.

“Daisy was adopted through Spaniel Rescue some years back; we helped by being a foster family for a while.

“She had some serious health issues after rescue; she found her way into our hearts and life. So, we adopted her. She’s the surgery queen, having had a major facelift (to remove excess skin) to help her see properly and a full dental repair procedure done recently.

“Daisy is such a special child; the gentlest friend in the world, such a treasure, and a favourite of the family.”


Looking at this photo makes us wonder why we didn’t get an extra-long, extra-wide bed

Wickets

Wickets

Julia Aitchison shares Wickets, who was adopted from Cape of Good Hope SPCA

“We adopted Wickets from Grassy Park SPCA in August 2010. I was told that he’d been run over by a taxi in Khayelitsha; he was roughly six months old at the time. A police officer was driving behind the taxi, and he stopped to pick the dog up and immediately took him to the SPCA where he had his badly injured leg amputated. I believe his owners then abandoned him. He was named ‘Wickets’ and was in the adoption closure for six months before we adopted him when he was a year old.

“Wickets has the most incredible personality and ‘talks’ to me when he wants to go out, have a treat, go for a walk, etc. And he’s constantly smiling!”


My daughter Jess and Wickets

Scraggles

Scraggles

Zhané Mills shares Scraggles, her “heart cat”

“Scraggles walked into my house in early 2004 and never left; he was already an adult cat, so he must be at least 16 years old now.

“He is the coolest cat on the planet, and my adorable hug-a-bug.”

Daisy Duke Mentor

Daisy Duke Mentor

Julie Mentor shares Daisy Duke Mentor, who was adopted from the Animal Rescue Organisation (ARO)

“Daisy Duke turned one in May and has been part of our family since August last year.

“After losing our precious cat the month before, I found Daisy while scrolling through Facebook, and I immediately knew she was meant to join our little family. Her adoption photo went viral, and as a result, she was quite popular in our neighbourhood when she first came home.

“Daisy Duke had a tough start to life, but she’s the picture of resilience and joy. She’s the ‘little furry sister’ to my two young boys. She loves nothing more than to fetch a ball (definitely Retriever in there), cuddle (and chase) the boys, and keep my feet warm as she snoozes under my desk. I can’t imagine my life without her in it... even though she sheds enough fur to clothe a second dog!”


From left to right: Eli, Daisy and Liam

William

William

Sabine von Hase shares William, who was adopted through Oscar’s Arc WOOF Project

“William (then named Jaxon) was rescued with his two sisters (Bella and Jessie) when they were only a few days old by Tin Can Town. They were bottle-fed by a foster mom, Carol, until they were old enough to be adopted.

“When my son and I saw him as a tiny puppy at the adoption drive of Oscar’s Arc WOOF Project in de Waal Park, he melted our hearts immediately, and the rest, as they say, is history!

“William has been on numerous wonderful holidays all over the countryside of the Western Cape with us and his two fur friends and is a firm fixture in the area around De Waal Park, Vredehoek and Oranjezicht, as well as Deerpark on Table Mountain.
 
“We truly love him to the moon and back, and the joy his goofy and relaxed outlook on life brings us is immeasurable. He shares his life with a mini Dachshund and a Pug cross from Cape of Good Hope SPCA, and they love each other to bits.

William is the most wonderful Pittie; so gentle and calm, and extremely well socialised. And we love him endlessly.”

Cotton

Cotton

Lucindi Storme shares Cotton, who was adopted from Fallen Angels

“We got Cotton and her litter to foster the day before lockdown began – they’d just arrived at Fallen Angels. Cotton was a bag of bones, but her pups were well looked after (she’s such a good mummy).

“The first three days she was beyond scared. She wouldn’t leave the room; we had to carry her out. At night she would silently dig in our garbage bin and carry whatever she could find back to her pups (without waking us).

“She was scared of any strange noises, like the vacuum or anything in our hands she didn’t trust, such as a brush. It was only by day four or five when she started to settle in and began to trust us; from day six it was just smiles and love.

“When people see her today, they don’t believe she’s a rescue (never mind one adopted as an adult that was so scared), because she’s loving, excellent with small children, and very well behaved. Everyone who’s met her loves her! And, needless to say, Cotton is our treasured ‘foster fail’!”

Stanley

Stanley

Tamaryne Keevy shares little Stanley, who was adopted from Sighthound Rescue SA

“Stanley is a Greyhound mix. He was only nine weeks old and weighed just 2kg when we adopted him at the end of May.

“He’d been found in a township and was very skinny. A wonderful person by the name of Judy Meyers from Love-A-Bull assisted us with his adoption, as we’ve adopted from her before. Judy was fostering Stanley at the time when his name was ‘Tiny’, because of how little he is.

“I saw a picture of Stanley about a week before and fell in love with his face. There was just something about him. So, we decided to adopt him!

“Needless to say, he’s added a lot of colour and happiness into our lives. Bringing him home was a bit of an adjustment; there are lots of sounds he’s not used to (he’s really not keen about kitchen noises), but slowly he’s getting more and more comfortable. He doesn’t like cars, though; he just seems to freeze up when he sees them while we take him for walks. But we’re working on it.

“Taking in a rescue dog is so rewarding. I feel like we’re giving him a second chance at life. A second chance to have a loving home and to grow up like a regular pup. He’s got such a giant personality in such a tiny 2.5kg body.

“I hope we can be everything that he needs in life.”

June 2020

Chrissy

Chrissy

Jackie Wernberg shares Chrissy, who was adopted from the Animal Welfare Society of SA, Philippi

“I first met Chrissy when I was doing a photo shoot at AWS to help with their animal adoptions.

“When the COVID-19 lockdown was announced, I knew I had to help out by fostering a dog. After all, it was ‘only for three weeks’, and I had no other animals at home. I knew after the first week that it wouldn’t be easy to give her back. Just as well, because lockdown lasted a lot longer than initially anticipated, and she’s now become a firm family member. Yes, a Foster Fail!

“It’s a long time since we’ve had a puppy, our last dog having passed away over a year ago at the age of 16. But we’re so enjoying this little girl with her gentle yet mischievous personality. She’s been such a gift for us during a very difficult time. Scarcely an hour goes by that she doesn’t make me smile at her antics, or simply because she’s so cute.”

Akira

Akira

Photo credit: By-Joao Photography

George and Melissa Joao share Akira, who was adopted from the Kitty and Puppy Haven

“Akira’s name has a Japanese origin, meaning bright or intelligent, but also a Hindu origin, meaning graceful strength. We’d originally visited the haven just to see their operation, but when my husband saw Akira, he immediately knew that this was an extremely sad and depressed cat who needed a rather special touch. It turned out that Akira’s previous owners had emigrated and he had to remain behind; he suffered horribly emotionally. He was only about one-and-a-half years old.

“He was very scared initially when we adopted him and used to hide in cupboards, under the bed, or wherever else he could fit. It took two long weeks to gain his trust – George worked with him over this time, all the while forming a very strong bond with him.

“Today, Akira is a highly affectionate and sometimes very vocal cat with the prettiest, bluest eyes. If you lift your hand just above his head, he jumps up and head bumps you, almost like a ‘high five’. He loves cuddling, even under the blanket, and purrs so loudly that it sounds like he’s purring right into your ears.”

Leah

Leah

Dawn Ratcliffe shares Leah, who was adopted from Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre

“Owning another dog was not in my future… or so I thought. For starters, I’m terribly allergic to most dog and cat hair, and, secondly, dogs need exercise, attention, etcetera… there was always an ‘excuse’ that I told myself as to why I wasn’t getting another dog. Then, in January 2019, my husband passed away, coronavirus arrived on our shores, and lockdown happened. It’s time, I thought, for a dog as a companion.  

“Due to lockdown I couldn’t visit shelters, but I scanned the many Facebook pages of animal shelters looking for homes for dogs. While there were one or two (or a dozen) that appealed, they were either too young, needed a family, high maintenance, etcetera, etcetera. None were ‘just right’.

“Until, scrolling down my community Facebook page, a gentle doggy face looked out at me from her spot on a bare patch of sand, sad eyes looking directly at me. Leah, from that moment, you had me hooked and I knew: you were a special girl.

“She’d been fostered out at the beginning of lockdown, but due to the economic downturn, her fosters were forced to move and couldn’t take Leah with them. She was so sad to be returned to the shelter.

“I made contact with the go-between, Adopt a Senior Dog, and expressed my desire to meet with Leah. Numerous conversations took place with the end result that Leah is now firmly ensconced in my home and in my heart. While she’s having to adapt to a pet Muscovy duck, a hen that has adopted me, and various other wildlife that either lives or visits my garden, she’s doing really well.

“Leah and I are going to create many happy memories that will obliterate the nine years of her life where she was unloved and unwanted in a shelter until I scrolled through my community Facebook page and we found each other.”

Azriel

Azriel

Alan Commaille‬ shares Azriel, who was adopted from Capetonians Against Animal Abuse

“Azriel settled in with us very quickly. He’s a very shy guy that has no idea how to talk to the girl cats in the block, but he gets very chatty with people and needs lots of lap time. He sleeps on the bed with us, with his own pillow.

“He even has his very own Instagram @mrgreywillseeyoumeow !”

Eddie

Eddie

Jeanette Pearce shares Eddie, who was adopted from family friends

“We decided to welcome a seven-week-old puppy into our home at the beginning of March 2020. My husband was elated, as he could finally have a dog – his dream. As a mom to two bunnies, I admit that I was slightly hesitant at first. Nevertheless, we adopted little Eddie into our home and hearts.

“Much research was done on properly socialising a puppy with other pets. Flash forward to today, we might have done too much of a good job. It seems that Eddie now believes he’s actually a rabbit. Although we never allow him to be with the bunnies unsupervised, he enjoys grazing with them – herbs are his favourite snacks, and he prefers the bunny pellets to his own. I’ve even seen him take a whack at eating their hay (but he quickly decided that it was too much admin). His favourite part of the day is when we open the bunny room for the bunnies to come out, and it breaks his sweet heart when we put them to bed at night.

“Our boy bunny, Clooney, has been alfa male since we adopted him from The Strawberry Foundation. Today, he remains just that. Eddie has fallen into his rôle as submissive to Clooney and lets a 1.5kg rabbit boss him around. He’s been taught to completely ignore our special needs bunny, Tilly, but loves to give her a big sneaky kiss when he thinks no one’s looking.

“We’re a happy family. Our herb and bunny treat bill might have gone up, but so has the love and entertainment. The whole family has fallen in love with Eddie, and we’re glad to have given the special pup a chance.”


“Naughty” Clooney, “Diva” Tilly, and “busy puppy” Eddie

Winston and Waddles

Winston and Waddles

Linda Simone shares Winston and Waddles, whom they adopted through TOP (The Outreach Program)

“After the very sudden and sad passing of our beloved cat, P2, after 17 years of wonderful times together, we were heartbroken and not yet ready to take on any new babies. Until I happened to see a Facebook post of two kitties desperately needing a foster home. My heart just broke again.

“After a very brief discussion with hubby, off we set to see if we could be temporary ‘mom and dad’ to these two boys. We met Waddles and Winston in the spare room of a local home, occupied by the amazing animal rescuer Samantha Mann of TOP (a pet angel in human form).
 
“She told us that the two boys had come from a pretty terrible background, and it was clear from their behaviour that they were very traumatised. Winston hid, but Waddles came straight to John (hubby), and he was sold. Samantha told us that they were a ‘package deal’, and we were glad to oblige.
 
“Needless to say, the first three days at our home the pair were bordering on terrified. Winston hid under the bed constantly, although Waddles occasionally came out to charm us before flitting away again. John didn’t think we’d make it, but, just two weeks later, these two boys couldn’t be more at home, or more loved.
 
“They’ve become such a special part of our family and are much loved by all – including the neighbours, who watch us walk them daily around the block in our complex. So, after all the heartache of losing our lovely P2, and the trauma these two special boys went through, the happy ending is both ours and theirs. We’re officially their new mom and dad and look forward to many long years with these amazing and adorable cats.”

Suzi Q

Suzi Q

Dido Blagden shares Suzi Q, who recently joined her family

“Suzi Q was adopted from CLAW and adored by my good friend Jill Olivier. When Jill sadly passed away in April 2020, when South Africa was in the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown, there was no hesitation that I’d take in little Suzi.

“For the first couple of days, Suzi was sweet and obliging but a little unsure. She slept in the kitchen for the first couple of nights. She kept trying to engage with my other three dogs – Herbie, the fat little Derriere (Dachshund-Yorkshire Terrier dog), Dini the feral rescue, and Pablo, my blind, deaf, dumb (as in, not the brightest bulb on the tree) 17-year-old ‘foster’ from an ex-partner.

“Herbie was the first to engage with her a little, but Dini was the one she really persisted in trying to win over; Dini determinedly ignored her. I tried to get Su to sleep in the main bedroom with us by closing off my bedroom door; she then insisted on sleeping outside. So, I put out a huge plush dog bed and her blankets and dressed her in a pink jersey. Nothing I did enticed her to sleep with us in the bedroom and come back into the house. That is, until the 1st of May, when we were allowed to walk dogs again.

“On that very first walk, Dini and Suzi were walked on a bungee ‘splitter lead’. It was then that they bonded and became besties. They started to play, and that night, when I got to the bed, there was Suzi Q. She’s slept with us on the bed ever since! It turns out that it wasn’t anything I was or wasn’t doing – she wanted Dini’s permission to join the wufflecuddleparty.

“Suzi is a darling, is adored and fully belongs with us; she was our blessing and gift during this whole Covid-19 lockdown!”

Savannah and Felix

Savannah and Felix

Felix (left) and Savannah

Brenda Bryden shares Savannah and Felix

“Savannah and Felix are a five-year-old bonded brother and sister pair who originally came to join our household as fosters in August 2017. 

“A colleague was leaving to teach English in China for a year; we’d been trying for several months to find a suitable forever home for the cats together. When it got to a week before departure date, my colleague was desperate, as there’d been no interest in these beautiful babies. I agreed to foster them for a year with the understanding that when their original owner returned from her one-year stint in China, she’d take them back.

“But one year turned into two, and in November 2019, Felix and Savannah were gifted to my daughter and me. They’re an entertaining pair – Felix is a master at opening doors, so there’s no privacy in our home, and Savannah is a chatterbox who loves to give head butts. Despite them entering a household with existing resident cats, they still tend to dominate when it comes to taking affection and deciding when it’s mealtime.”

Daisy Rose

Daisy Rose

Vanessa Raphaely shares Daisy Rose, who was adopted from Grace Animal Sanctuary

“My daughter had looked and looked for the perfect pooch, until finding and falling for Daisy Rose’s photo on the sanctuary’s Instagram account. The rest of our family had never met her before she waltzed into our lives during lockdown. But it really didn’t matter – we would love whichever dog arrived at our door.

“Daisy Rose is adorable, sweet, bouncy and very ‘chewy’, and we’ve all fallen in love with her. Except our two existing dogs, who will take, we think, a little longer to like being used as teething toys. She has sharp teeth!”

Bentley

Bentley

Priscilla Babu shares Bentley, who was adopted from Husky Heaven Rescue

“Bentley was born at Purrpaws For Life and was only a pup of six months old when the shelter was devastated by a fire at the end of January 2019. He was kindly taken in by Husky Heaven Rescue, where he remained until we found him.

“Our family decided to foster Bentley when we went into lockdown in March 2020. Of course, he crept firmly into our hearts and now claims ‘foster fail’ status and is joyfully part of our family.

“Bentley is a Bull Terrier mix dog, and he loves to play, give hugs, sleep on a pillow next to my bed, and watch cartoons on TV.

“He has a wonderful personality and doesn’t bark much. We’re forever grateful for Brenda Meyer of Husky Heaven Rescue for taking such good care of him for over a year and entrusting him to us.

“He’s greatly loved by my sisters Jenny and Lynn, and me, and he even has his own Instagram account: i.am.bentleytherescue.

“Bentley has discovered so many new things, like looking at himself in the mirror, playing with his teddies, barking at leaves, playing with pillows (he has a thing about pillows) and loving his daily walks, which are now allowed once more.

“We think he loves us as much as we love him, and we’re so happy to share our lives with him!”

May 2020