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.
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.
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.”
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!”
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)
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!”
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.”
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.”
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!”
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.’”
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!”
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!”
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)!”
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.”
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.”
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
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.”
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.”
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!”
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.”
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.”
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!
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.”
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!”
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
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
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!
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.”
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 (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.”
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 (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!”
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.”
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!”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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
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!”
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.”
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.”
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!”
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!”
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.”
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)
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?’”
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.”
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.”
Left to right: Benji and Jessie
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 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!”
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.”
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.”
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!”
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!”
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!”
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.”
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!”
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!”
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
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!”
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.”
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!”
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!
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.”
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!”
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.”
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”.)
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.”
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.”
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.”
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!”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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!”
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’!”
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!”
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’!”
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!”
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!”
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!”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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
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
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.”
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
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.”
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’!”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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 !”
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
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.”
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!”
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.”
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!”
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!”
Photo credit: By-Joao Photography
Melissa and George Joao share Kitara, who was adopted from Wollies Animal Project in 2014
“Our beautiful Siberian forest cat, Princess Kitara, was adopted from Wollie’s Animal Project on the 22nd of February 2014 when she was just two years old. She was rescued from an industrial area after being found there living as a stray.
“We’d adopted a Siamese kitten in 2012 but unfortunately lost her to FIP. When we were finally ready to adopt again, Wollie’s had Kitty Wednesdays, focusing on sharing adult cats for adoptions – I saw her post advertised on their page.
“We went on Saturday morning to meet her, and she stole our hearts the moment we laid eyes on her. She is a breathtakingly beautiful cat with a very unique and cheeky personality to match. We have three other cats, and she’s mostly integrated well with them. However, the princess prefers her own company and being doted on by her minions (us).
“Kitara is living her best life in her forever home with the people who love her. Adopting an adult cat from a rescue is truly a gift in disguise. Rescue pets are amazing; saving a life is amazing. They may require more love and care initially, but they end up being the ones who truly save us.”
Ice (left) and Dutchess
Suné van der Merwe shares Ice and Dutchess, adopted from New Beginnings
“Ice and Dutchess were adopted when they were about three years old. They were both extremely thin and malnourished. Ice had a big scar all around his body, and Dutchess’s weight was a great concern for us, as she was really only skin and bones.
“They’ve been with us now for three years, and although they never really learned to play as puppies, they’ve adjusted and are great with each other as well as our little Daschund girl. Dutchess loves her little sister to bits and plays with her all the time.
“We’re so glad that we could help these animals and give them a chance at a happy life in a caring family; they’re part of our family, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Angela Verster shares Dio and Sab, who were both adopted from Capetonians Against Animal Abuse
“We adopted Dio (white) and Sab (black) on the 12th of November 2019.
“Our intention was to get ‘a’ kitten, but their foster, Cindy, suggested we should consider taking two. We did… and it was the best decision we ever made! We’d definitely recommend that anyone looking for ‘a’ kitten should definitely take two. They spend hours together playing, and they SO love each other, it’s clear to see!
“Dio and Sab bring us many hours of happiness, joy and laughter. They’re two such different little personalities, and we just love them to bits.
“We’ll be forever grateful to CAAA for finding these two beauties for us – they enrich our lives every minute. They may need us, but we certainly needed them too!”
Almond (left) and Cashew
Yolandi Strauss shares Almond and Cashew – her adored rescue bunnies
“Almond, she was adopted because there were rumours that she would have been euthanised. We don’t know her history but believe she was abused, which caused her behaviour issues. Despite these issues, we shower her with love. Deep down she’s a loving bunny, sweet and kind. She free-roams our home and is as charming as a queen.
“Cashew was adopted to save him from a bad housing situation. He was kept in a small enclosure with a very angry rooster. The rooster frightened him into corners and kicked his food. Cashew also free-roams our home and is the most loving bunny we have ever met, full of energy and always looking for hugs.”
Ryan Eatwell shares Maddox, who was abandoned
“Maddox was abandoned at a coffee shop in 2012 because his family found out he was deaf.
“That’s when we met: he was a tiny little ball, and I was a farmer. He grew up in the bakkie and on the bike. He’s been with me almost 24/7 for the last eight years. Well, the last two years have been tough since we moved to town and he has to stay home all day – I think it’s tough on both of us.
“Maddox is fearless. And he’s stone deaf. This combination has gotten him into some hair-raising situations! He’s gotten stuck into snakes, cattle, a herd of zebra and a dozen hippos! The hippo incident was the worst; he was like a bullet as soon as he saw them (12 of them!) dozing on the riverbank. He caused such a commotion, and, of course, he couldn’t hear my screams!
“The last hippo left was a big old bull. Maddox grabbed him by the tail and got flung, spinning across the sand. But this didn’t stop him. When all 12 hippos were safely in the water, he dived in after them. There was nothing I could do, since he can’t hear a word! When he came trotting back with that proud look on his face, I could almost hear him say, ‘You saw that, right?’.
“Maddox, a brave little ball of muscle, a real Jock of the Bushveld, and my constant companion!”
Ezette Adao shares Levi, who was adopted from Spaniel Rescue SA
“Levi was suffering from mange when we adopted him, and he frequently had to go for injections at the vet as ongoing treatment. He recovered miraculously and has since had no sign of the mange; today he has a gorgeous coat.
“Levi is the boss in our household, which he shares with two female Boston Terriers, Dot and Dora, and Roxy, a very cheeky Pekingese.
“Levi is well known and adored by our Albert’s Farm Parkrun breakfast club. We, and everyone who meets him, love our Levi.”
My daughter, Tiffany, and Levi
Flo (left) and Felix
Jacqui Steadman shares Florence (Flo) Hamm Steadman and Felix Percival Steadman, who were adopted from Capetonians Against Animal Abuse (CAAA)
“Felix Percival Steadman (tabby) was adopted on the 4th of November 2018. My little boy arrived at CAAA as a feral kitten with awful snuffles. He had some health issues as a result but has been 90% well since he’s been with me. Felix is the most adventurous and talented hunter (I don’t encourage this but frequently receive ‘treats’) out there and was born to be an outdoor cat. He loves lying in the sun and watching the birds, bees and butterflies flit by. Though he appears tough and rugged, he’s a mommy’s boy through and through and is really MY cat only. He’s totally affectionate and loving with me but doesn’t take kindly to male guests and strangers.
“Florence Hamm Steadman, aka Flo (black-and-white), was adopted on the 5th of December 2018. Apart from a little sickness when she first arrived, she’s been a healthy chonk in the making since. She’s the most caring little girl and loves her brother dearly. She loves to lie by him and groom him, and although she isn’t the most loving with humans, she’ll sleep by me when I’m not well and sit in the doorway watching me if she’s concerned. She’s always nearby, watching over me. A cuddle from her is the highlight of my day; this usually happens when I’m sitting on the toilet – we take what we can get!
“These two are really my babies, and caring for them has given me a reason to get up and live day to day.”
Stephan Stone shares Patapon (aka Dixie), who was adopted from Winelands SPCA
“Patapon, aka Dixie, is actually my wife’s dog – it was her turn to choose a dog (we share our home with a few rescue dogs) – but she has an affinity for both of us. This was kind of love at first sight, because we’re both crazy about her.
“We live close to the sea, and the dogs get a walk on the beach almost every day. Patapon loves the sea; she just goes and lies in the water.
“Patapon still loves her ball playing; we have a little stretch in the house, which I call the Patapon-mile, for throwing a ball for her. She’s very energetic, always playing, always bringing a toy, demanding attention… and getting it! I truly believe she’s happy with us, and she makes us very happy.”
Patapon (aka Dixie) on our bed with Rosie, my eldest daughter’s dog
Anne Darne shares Lexi, who was adopted from Cape of Good Hope SPCA
“We adopted Lexi in 2014 from the SPCA when she was about six months old.
“She’s a very talkative, goofy girl and loves nothing more than sneaking up to give us a fright.
“With winter around the corner, she’ll reclaim her place IN the bed (head on my pillow), much to the annoyance of her Maine Coone brothers.”
Andrea Bronkhorst shares Shadow
“Shadow is a crossbreed Shepherd-Border Collie dog. She was abandoned as a pup; she couldn’t eat and was very frightened of people and other dogs.
“Today, she’s healthy and happy, eats with gusto, plays with her adoptive brothers and sisters, and is a real mommy’s girl. With lots of love and attention, she grew into a beautiful doggo.”
Sonia de Beer shares Cinnamon and Nougat, who were adopted from Mdzananda Animal Clinic
“Cinnamon and Nougat joined us at the beginning of the year, and it’s been one of the best decisions we ever made as a family.
“Nougat’s greatest skill is climbing the curtains as high as she can go. Cinnamon’s ‘climbing skills’ involve what has been left after the mad breakfast rush and having a quick lick of left-over oats! I’m not so convinced about their physical activities. Our son promises me they are just playing, but all I see is red-card high-tackle rugby shenanigans!
“The sisters have a very special bond and sleep together, curled up with paws around each other.
“They’re showered with love and attention, and I hope they feel they have found their special forever home with us.”
Samantha Burrill shares Violet, who was adopted from the Randburg SPCA
“Violet chose me; I was confirmed her human. She’d been found with her siblings abandoned in a house where the people had moved and left her mommy and babies behind.
“Violet is Spike’s best friend (featured in February) and they love to play. She’s still people-shy and will hide behind my legs, and she’s never shy to nip at ankles.
“She healed my heart after my Great Dane cross passed away very unexpectedly at the age of four. All I ever wanted was a little dog that would follow me everywhere, and that’s exactly what I got with Violet.”
Mizan Malan shares Baby Harvey, who was adopted from Raise ‘n Rescue
“Baby Harvey (as I still like to call him) is the most loving cat I’ve ever come across. He’s my shadow, permanently under my feet and following me wherever I go.
“Harvey is six months old now and is currently teething. I get woken up to him spitting his teeth out on either my pillow or on top of me for the ‘kitten tooth fairy’.
“Since the day I got him he’s always slept on my bed, in my arms, and he’s a proper purr machine. Harvey can purr for two hours solidly, non-stop!
“He’s our daredevil boy that has absolute no fear. He keeps the harmony in our house, as whenever his two bigger fur brothers are at it with each other, he just plonks himself right in the middle and starts being playful, calming the brothers and creating an environment for jolling and proper play time.
“He’s my special boy, my cuddling bear, with the softest fur and whiskers that could be seen from afar.”
Photo credit: Nat Gold ZA
Mumford (left), Rex (right), and Harvey (in front)
Photography credit: Beverley Anne Page
Etta van der Merwe shares Dolf Louw, neé Van der Merwe, who was adopted from SPCA Bloemfontein
“We love to call our animals by their names as well as surnames – they are, after all, family. We adopted Dolf, and he was my late husband’s “seehondjie” (as we call it in Afrikaans). Where Johan went, Dolf followed.
“He’s very intelligent and a little hostile towards strangers, making him even more loyal. He loves to dig stones out of the sand; he’ll carry a stone all the way home to show us his trophy, and then he’ll carry it to his food bowl, where he’ll add it to his food for safekeeping. Sometimes there are three or four stones in his bowl. He never eats them… he simply enjoys ‘hunting’ and ‘storing’ them.
“The tragic fact is that Dolf still waits for my husband to return home every day. There were so many times when Dolf refused to allow me to get into bed when he and Johan were already in bed. We had such wonderful times together, and now, without Johan, Dolf and Koos (Koos’s Happy Tale) are my constant companions.”
Danika Genade shares Litchi, who was rescued as a stray
“Litchi was found in the parking lot of Cape Gate Shopping Centre. Seeing that he needed urgent medical attention, I took him straight to the vet. Afterwards he came home with me, and, because he was covered in fleas, I gave him a bath (which he really didn’t enjoy!). The vet had told me that he was only about six weeks old.
“I called Cindy of Capetonians Against Animal Abuse, and she said for me to bring him in and he’d go into foster care. I put down the phone, looked over at Litchi, and decided there and then that it was too late… I’d already lost my heart! I called Cindy right back and told her that he wasn’t going to be joining her but that I needed their help in processing the adoption and getting him microchipped soonest and sterilised.
“Litchi now lives a life of absolutely luxury! Rescues rock, and Litchi has five cats, three dogs and three feathered siblings.”
Greta Wilson shares Sadie
“Sadie is estimated to be four years old. She was previously adopted by my neighbour from the SPCA and lived with them for three-and-a-half years. I used to stop my car and run over to her if I spotted her being walked at the lake across the road. My neighbour has since emigrated, and this dog, with whom I always felt a soul connection, is now mine.
“She fits in perfectly with my other two Boxers; Sadie was meant to be!
“Immediately after my Sophie died, my neighbour came to ask whether Boxers are good with children, as they’d seen a Boxer that they were told ‘has been here three months and is due to be put to sleep’. The rest is history!”
Left to right: Mango (15 months old), Sadie (estimated to be 4 years old) and Kerneelz (10 years old)
Jodi Schiff shares Ozzy, adopted from Capetonians Against Animal Abuse (CAAA)
“I already had Blue (adopted from Cape of Good Hope SPCA), and I thought, as an indoor-only cat, he was lonely. I started scouring the Internet for another Siamese/Oriental to rescue.
“After many months, I saw the photo of the cat who’d be Ozzy on the CAAA Facebook page and immediately applied to adopt him.
“To cut a long story short, we got Ozzy (Monster) as brother to Blue on the 1st of December. He fearlessly rules the house with an iron paw and squeaky meow. With his slight cross eye, he always looks vaguely surprised but couldn’t be more adored by us all – especially Blue, who’ll no longer play with us.
“P.S. Blueboy and Ozzy have their own Instagram page – it’s called blueboy_and_ozzy!”
Shreela Gupta Banerjee shares Max, who was adopted from the Boksburg SPCA
“We brought Max home from Boksburg SPCA on the 10th of February. He’s a bi-colour German Shepherd Dog who’s about one year old. Max had been found as a stray on the 6th of December 2019 and sadly never claimed.
“He seems very well-trained and knows basic commands; he was obviously someone’s house dog. He sleeps well, eats voraciously, and the vet confirms he’s just in perfect health.
“For me, he’s perfect in every way.”
Photography credit: Nat Gold ZA
Mike Anhauser shares Alexa, who was adopted because she was unwanted
“Alexa was adopted by us in November 2017 as a six-week-old kitten. She became unwanted by her previous carers, and we took in this tiny ginger kitten; Liam, our youngest grandson, took ownership of her and named her ‘Alexa’.
“At that time, the canine in charge of security at home was Fluffy, a Maltese Terrier who’d been with us for eight years at the time Alexa came on board. He was very aggressive towards strangers but took an instant liking to Alexa. The chemistry between the two matched perfectly, and soon they became inseparable. Then, in his tenth year, Fluffy moved on. Alexa found herself all alone, and one could see that she missed him as time went by.
“Enter Mopsy as the new canine on the block. At first glance, she ignored Alexa and showed no interest in her. Alexa tried to make friends by cuddling up to her, but Mopsy wasn’t interested. Mopsy then got a BFF named Ollie.
“All hell broke loose; they quickly became allies and decided to launch a dual ‘attack’ on Alexa, chasing her down the passage growling to scare her even more. One day, Alexa decided to put an end to this onslaught. They again chased her down the passageway, and Alexa stopped dead in her tracks and faced them head on, scratching Mopsy and Olle with her steely claws right on their jaws. This lady decided that she’d not be bullied.
“That was the last time they chased Alexa down the passage. Soon thereafter, a bond was formed; Alexa, Mopsy and Ollie are the best of friends.”
Tracy Whitaker shares Dobby, adopted from R.A.D.
“Dobby was kept in a tiny cage for the start of her life. When we adopted her there was concern that she’d never be able to walk properly due to a suspected deformation of her spine and legs.
“Everyone thought she’d be the size of a Min Pin… she’s now 23kg, with the heart of a lion and the body of a Great Dane. Life with Dobby is never dull, and she loves to test out the durability of her collection of tennis balls.”
Photography credit: Strike a Pose Photography
Kyla Blasyk shares Pixie, who was adopted from 4Paws
“Pixie was born in October 2018 at 4Paws Shelter. There were THREE mommy dogs that gave birth there in the space of two months, so it was very hard to choose as there were so many pups! This was to be my first dog – I had always wanted one, my whole life!
“I chose Pixie because she was the teeny-tiniest one and her paws looked like she was wearing little socks. She played with me and drank water from my hand; it was love at first sight! I went to visit her as often as possible until she was big enough to come home with me.
“From here onwards, Pixie became “Princess Pixie”. She’s lived a life of luxury and spoils, being my Number 1 Baby Girl. Now that I have Daisy, I have TWO princesses in my life. Pixie & Daisy are inseparable; they play all day long together and are the light in my life.”
Photo credit: Nat Gold ZA
Mizan Malan shares Mumford, who was adopted from Aid4Paws
“Mumford is indeed one lucky, lucky boy, and by luck, I mean that he is a survivor.
“Mumford joined our family in 2018 when he was only 12 weeks old – a beautiful, unwanted kitten who stole our hearts. We decided to adopt him and make him ours forever!
“Mumford sustained a terrible tail-pull injury when he was only eight months old. His injuries were severe, as he had a spine fracture that injured his nerve. This led to both back legs being partially paralysed, his tail was completely paralysed, and he had paralysis of his bladder and rectum. He was rushed for emergency care, as his kidneys were starting to be affected since he had no control of elimination anymore and his poor bladder was full.
“He was admitted to hospital and catheterised to help empty his bladder; he received laxatives, and after much treatment, he eventually stabilised and was discharged home… but his fight was not over.
“While at home, he was confined to a big cage to limit his movement. To see whether his nerves would regenerate and heal we had to take special precautions, as, if he damaged it again, it could have led to complete paralysis.
“Even though he was unable to use his back legs, he would still try and get around. He was fierce and determined to get out of his cage. Never in my life had I been so excited whenever Mumford made a wee by himself or was able to defecate.
“Eventually, with loads of therapy, time, patience, support from his brother Rex and our whole family, Mumford boy recovered 100% against all odds.
“He can walk again, and although restricted when it comes to jumping, he is such a happy boy who enjoys his freedom. He even showed our vet how he wasn’t going to allow his tail to be amputated: he regained full strength in that tail, his pride and glory – fluffy and upright. Even though he walks a little funny, it doesn’t stop him from doing anything. He is indeed a fighter and has overcome so much.
“We wouldn’t be able to envision life without our fighter who brings so much love, joy and happiness to our lives.
“PS. He even survived falling from a four-storey building thereafter with not a bump or scratch on him. He truly is a miracle baby; a proper survivor with seven cat lives left!”
Lauren & Greg Námer share Emmy, who was adopted from A New Hope Dog Rescue
“After losing one of our precious dogs to cancer, it took us a long time and a lot of heartache to even consider adopting another dog. We knew, however, that we could offer another rescue a great forever home, and with so many needing a home, we decided it was time to open our hearts. We chose to adopt a senior, because seniors have less chance of adoption and because our other dogs are senior.
“We started to look at profiles and came across little Emmy’s photo (named Tequila back then) and we fell in love. A few days later, we adopted her from A New Hope Dog Rescue, in time for her to experience a Christmas with us that included lots of treats, walks and love.
“She’s fitted in beautifully and is such a blessing, and we’re so thankful to be her guardians.”
Vincent and Sandra Jacobs share Dusty, whom they adopted after he lost both his owners
“We have known our very best canine friend for almost one-and-a-half years now; Dusty has been a fully-fledged member of our family for a whole year. He was welcomed into our home that included a very beloved and talkative Indian Ring-Neck parrot named Dr Kiss-Kiss, and two budgies named Toto and Beaky-Blue.
“Dusty, who’s a very handsome brindle American Staffordshire-Pit Bull-type breed, stands tall on his dainty feet. He’s a gentle giant with a loving nature. He welcomes all visitors into our home by presenting them with an avocado leaf from a little pile of leaves that he keeps close to him on his favourite rug in the living room.
“He was first rescued from the Margate SPCA when he was a year old. The couple who adopted him lived in a beautiful beach house, and so Dusty was often taken down to the beach where his favourite playmate was a Labradoodle.
“Sadly, both his human parents passed away when he was about 10 years old. One of our friends tried his best to visit Dusty and play with him regularly and also arranged for someone to stay on the property until the house was sold.
“One day, Paul phoned us in a panic to tell us that part of the fence enclosing the property had collapsed, and Dusty had been seen running towards a busy main road. We’d lost our beloved Paddy-Bear, a Labrador-Shepherd mix, a few months prior to this, and so we immediately offered to take Dusty into our home.
“After a week or two we’d completely bonded with him, and now he’s a permanent member of the family.”
Tracy Whitaker shares Sparky, who was rescued as “discarded rubbish”
“Sparky is literally our ‘spirit of joy’! He was rescued by my husband when he accosted someone taking a cardboard box to throw away in the skip that turned out to have a tiny puppy in it that was hairless and covered in vomit.
“Sparky is our smallest pack member who has an endless capacity for cuddles.”
Odette Joubert shares Molly, who was adopted from SPCA Vanderbijlpark in November 2019
“Molly is just the happiest little soul and brings joy into every room she enters. When we saw her picture on a Facebook post, she looked so worried. You could see her little tail was droopy and she needed a home. Her little face reminded us of Quentin, our dog that went missing on the 19th of October 2017. We searched high and low – and still continue to search for him. But we decided there and then to add little Molly to our group of other rescues from various SPCAs, as well as Sasha, from Tembisa.
“When I went to meet little Molly, she looked at me then disappeared into her sleeping quarters to bring me a tennis ball. There was no question: we were going to adopt her.
“People must realise that there are so many souls waiting to be adopted. I think little mixed breeds have so much character. All my dogs are a mix of breeds. No one knows what exactly their life stories are, but they are souls with lots of love to give. Each one of my rescues has a special personality, each with their own special abilities to warm our hearts.”
Aimeè Zermatten shares Ron, her rescue dog from Thailand
“From the very day I met Ron as a puppy, whilst working with an animal rescue organisation in Thailand, I knew that he’s my soul dog, and there was no way I was returning to South Africa without him. It was a challenging time, but, thankfully, it all worked out in the end.
“I take Ron to the local park for a few hours a day where he’s been able to meet so many new dogs and thoroughly enjoys swimming in the river.
“Ron celebrated his second birthday on the 8th of January 2020, along with my mom’s dogs whom he visits on weekends. He truly enjoys life in South Africa!”
Bianca Peens shares Odin, adopted from Place A Pup
“Little Odin and seven of his siblings were rescued by Place A Pup in Roodepoort in December 2019.
“Odin was three months old, weighed only 1.65kg, was badly abused, had had hot water thrown on him and an untreated eye infection that was left too long, causing him to lose his right eye.
“Today, he has the shiniest coat, his skin has healed, and he weighs over 5kg. He went from a withdrawn, scared little boy to a bouncy, happy and full-of-confidence handsome lad.
“He’s a typical puppy now, exploring, playing, chewing, and he absolutely loves lying on the grass stretched out watching the other doggies play. He has a habit of pulling his ears back, straightening out his legs, and wagging his tail all at once when he gets excited. He loves playing, and even though he only has one eye, it doesn’t stop him from being silly.
“Odie absolutely loves his sleep and his foodies, he snores worse than an old man, and still gets a bit overexcited with food, but it’s a work in progress.
“He’s a very small boy, but if he has to grow to the size of his heart, he’ll be a giant.”
Chris Williamson shares Lil Princess Bunny and Charlie, who were both adopted from Catz R Us SA
“My fiancée was looking at kittens when she came across this gorgeous five-month-old tripod cat with a bob tail and we were smitten. For some reason (possibly because she was shy and maybe because she’s disabled) nobody else wanted to adopt her.
“As soon as we saw her hopping like a bunny and with her little bob tail, we named her ‘Lil Princess Bunny’.
“Later in the year, Catz R Us SA contacted us to say they still had her brother, Charlie, so we spread the word, but nobody was interested. The reason he couldn’t find a mom and a dad at the shelter is that when people came to look, he hid at the back of the cage.
“At nine months old, we ended up adopting him too. They’re both still very scared of humans, but they come out for mom and dad.”
Robin Thesen-Smith shares Sherlock and Cleo, her precious rescue dogs
“Sherlock the Fox Terrier was rescued by PAWS (Plett Animal Welfare). He came in with a very badly broken leg, and when we adopted him, he still had his leg in plaster. He is super intelligent and loves playing ball games.
“Cleo the Rottweiler mix was adopted from KAWS (Knysna Animal Welfare) when she was a puppy. I took her to agility classes to give her confidence, and she loved it. She’s loyal and fiercely protective.”
Photo credit: Jackie Wernberg Photography
Helen Walne shares Joey, who was adopted from DARG (Domesticated Animal Rescue Group)
“We adopted Joey in 2007 when he was still a puppy. He was a small, scared boy who was getting bullied and picked on by his siblings, but when we brought him to live with us, he soon felt right at home.
“He’s now 12 years old and is slowing down, but still comes for a walk every day and loves swimming in the sea.”
Lauren & Greg Námer share Pinky, who was adopted from Kitty and Puppy Haven
“Our gorgeous Pinky is such a special, affectionate and, as you can see, vocal cat. We fostered her and her mum (whom we also adopted).
“She recently celebrated her tenth birthday but still acts like a kitten, and we absolutely adore her!”
Beth Partridge shares Hooch, who was adopted from Stellenbosch Animal Welfare
“What can I say about our new family member? Hooch is kind, gentle, smart and very funny. He absolutely loves to play with other dogs and enjoys any form of attention – he sits perfectly still to be groomed, have his teeth brushed or be bathed. And, of course, he loves to snooze too.
“He’s extremely loyal and trusting, and he brings me more joy with every new day.”
Ansulaine Spies shares Lily, whom she adopted from Cat Trapping in the Winelands
“Lily just jumped straight into our hearts the very first day she arrived. Nursing two litters of kittens is not an easy job, but Lily took it in her stride. The kittens of the second litter that we fostered with Lily will surely grow up to bring joy to all the homes that were lucky enough to adopt one of them.
“Motherhood came so naturally for this black beauty, and her loving and protective personality is the first thing you notice after her striking green eyes.
“After all her hard work, Lily can now finally just enjoy life and is now part of our family. While brother and sister Pips and Pooh are still adjusting to the new member, Lily is happily the New Kid on the block.”
Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography
Samantha Burrill shares Spike, adopted from CLAW (Community Led Animal Welfare)
“Spike was posted on CLAW’s Facebook page on the 30th of December 2014. He was dehydrated, malnourished, full of ticks and very weak, and they asked for good wishes so he’d pull through. And without a second thought I commented and said I’d have him as soon as he was well enough.
“I collected him from FORA on the 9th of February 2015, and he’s been my soulmate ever since. Everyone who meets him loves him.”
Guy Thesen shares Molecule, Irie and John, who were adopted from Sedgefield Animal Matters (SAM)
“I’m a cat lover. I’ve always had cats in my life from as far back as I can remember, except for a bad three-month period this year when our six-year-old tabby died. The house was not the same without that cat’s presence; it felt empty!
“So, when I found these kittens at Sedgefield Animal Matters, I told my wife I’d get two of the four… but fell for the black one as well! The garden is bursting with striped mice, rats, snakes, insects and birds... and yes, they will be trouble, but I’m aware that felis catus is identical in DNA to its original parents, felis lybica, better known as the African wild cat.”
Twanette Bronkhorst shares her new pup, Gidget
“Gidget is my Dobermann rescue pup. Previously, she was an abused and scared pup that wanted nothing to do with anyone, but when I started to love and care for her, I realised it’s all she needs.
“Now, she follows me everywhere, loves her daily walks and enjoys coming for a drive in the car. She’s my world, and we’re inseparable.”
Hermien Delport shares Lucy, who was adopted from SPCA Roodepoort
“I would like to thank the SPCA Roodepoort for my beautiful Lucy. She’s been an absolute Godsend, and from day one, she was already part of my family. She’s adorable, potty-trained, and gets along well with my Yorkie, Rocky.
“Over Christmas, she stole the hearts of my whole family. I seriously hit the jackpot; she’s already spoiled and loved and freely gives endless cuddles and kisses.
“She’s calm and loves being on my lap. I would definitely recommend adopting. I think Lucy rescued me, because her unconditional love is priceless.
“Thank you to everyone who made this possible.”
Lilian Schultz shares Maggie, who was adopted from Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre
“I came across Maggie on Facebook, and I thought: why not phone – she looked so forlorn. And that’s how the whole journey started.
“I’ve rescued many dogs, and I just want to tell you that Maggie is a wonderful girl. She’s slowly coming out of her shell and even barked once… it was a bit out of tune, but she tried.
“The others get along with her, and she’s settled in very well.”
Chanellé van Deventer shares Tex, adopted from Maltese, French Poodle & Yorkie Rescue South Africa
“Tex immediately caught our eye at the rescue. He had such beautiful brown eyes and a soft demeanour that resonated with us.
“Our experience with Tex so far has been one of pure love, joy and lots of cuddling. He even has his own Instagram page: tex_the_adventurer.”
Photographs by FourPawz Photography
Claire Shadbolt shares Mr Dorian Grey adopted from Mdzananda Animal Clinic
“I fostered Mr Dorian Grey for Mdzananda from four-and-a-half months old. I was there one day, taking kitties for sterilisations, and told them my first foster involved having to rehabilitate a kitty with spinal damage after kids had swung him by his tail – and he went to his forever home walking 99% right. The vet said, ‘Oh, can you go look at Mr Grey for us...’
“And so he came home with me that day. Sadly, the damage was too severe, so he stayed with me whilst he awaited his operation to remove his front leg that had irreparable radial nerve damage (hit by a car, they thought). He had absolutely no feeling in the paw and leg. It had to be removed as it was a dead weight, which threw him off balance. The risk of his catching it somehow, tearing it and causing infection, etc. was too great.
“At six months of age, he had the op and amazed me with both his quick recovery and how, within 48 hours, his balancing ability improved dramatically.
“After 10 days of pain meds and me sleeping upstairs in the granny flat, where all my fosters live, his stitches came out and I had ‘the conversation’ with my husband. His answer was: ‘Of course Mr Grey is staying; I was just waiting for you to ask!’”
Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography
Lesley Donnelly and Engela Calitz share Ares
“We are besotted with the Boxer Dog breed and, after having lost our first two Boxers, we decided to rescue two adult Boxers, Ares (male) and Kali (female). They lived together on the plots outside Pomona on the East Rand and their owner could no longer take care of them. They came to us skinny, unsocialised and very scared.
“From day one Ares decided that we were his moms and has been glued to our sides ever since. Kali was more independent and a truly strong dog in all ways; that’s why it was so hard to see her succumb to the spirocerca lupi infection. She was a beautiful Boxer, lean, affectionate and super-clever.
“Ares is luminous in his whiteness and he photographs beautifully. He’s an extremely sensitive dog and hates offending us in any way.
“Ares has mellowed a lot since Kali passed, and although he’s still sensitive, he’s embraced little Pearl (our newest rescue) as his new best friend. He loves running with her in our garden in the cool of the day and looks a bit like Pegasus when he runs. He’s gentle (mostly) with his toys and with Pearl but can also firmly reprimand her if need be. His love and loyalty are unsurpassed. Ares is the Greek god of war, but there’s nothing ‘warring’ about our boy – he should have been Eros, God of Love.”
Suzanne Thomson shares Magpie and Bailey, adopted from Sharon’s Foster Furries
“Magpie and Bailey were rescued in Athlone by Sharon’s Foster Furries and given so much love by their foster mummy until they came to us, their forever home.
“Magpie is our little feisty lady; she’s a big hunter and can get up any tree in a few seconds – and she also loves love!
“Bailey is a big-hearted snuggle bunny. He just wants to curl up in our arms and then he’s happy.
“They love each other more than anything. They run around and play together like absolute hooligans and then pass out snuggled on top of each other. Adopting them has been such a blessing!”
Olly (left) and Kai
Nicky Charlewood shares Olly and Kai, her recently adopted baby goats
“After being taken in by animal rescuer Marizanne Ferreira after their mother died, we couldn’t resist and immediately offered them a forever home.
“Kai has been ill (he ate something that didn’t agree with him but is on the mend). They’ve become part of our pack of seven dogs and love to meet and greet everyone who’s arriving and leaving.
“They are a delight and keep us entertained daily!”
Olly jumping out of the lounge onto the stoep
Kirsty Moyes shares Baby Girl, who was adopted from the AACL Johannesburg
“Baby Girl is our five-year-old Collie-mix baby. From what we can understand, she was at the shelter for just over a year. We don’t know her background, but that doesn’t matter as she came to her furever home on the 2nd of August 2019.
“Her beauty and gentle eyes caught our attention when we went past there to look for a fur child to join us in our new home. It was love at first sight.
“Baby just oozes love. She’s definitely a daddy’s girl but gives mommy so much love too.
“She loves learning new tricks and speeding up and down the garden with her ball! She loves fetch but with her own twist (we must try and fetch the ball from her). She makes our hearts glow and has brought so much love into our home. We have truly been blessed!”
Petal (background) and Helen with Harry
Photography by Nat Gold ZA
Helen Bastin shares her precious pigs, Harry and Petal
“Harry’s parents were rescued in a shocking state, emaciated and covered in skin cancer. The vet who was treating them said they wouldn’t breed as they were so sick, but he was wrong!
“Kim, the mummy pig, gave birth to two piglets only. One was very sickly and we weren’t sure she was going to make it. The lady who rescued them simply didn’t have space for more pigs, so I offered to take him. Luckily, Harry’s sister, Penny, lived, and she went to another loving home.
“Harry means everything to me. He’s so loving and adores cuddles and belly rubs. He can be stubborn, as all pigs are, but isn’t aggressive as a lot of pet pigs can be. As with any pet pig, there is NO such thing as a teacup pig. He needs a lot of space and mental stimulation, as they are demanding pets.
“Pigs do better with friends and Harry was getting lonely, so we decided to get him a companion. Always wanting to adopt a rescue pig, we went to Greyton Farm Animal Sanctuary and asked if there was a suitable lady pig that was sterilised (Harry is also sterilised).
“Petal was the suggestion, and my husband and I fell for her straight away; a beautiful little black pig both in looks and personality. Petal had been dumped in someone’s garden as a baby. We took her home, and although it wasn’t love at first sight, they’re firm friends now.”
Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography
Samantha Burrill shares Schlossy, adopted from Mama Kasi Rural Rescue
“Schlossy was found in the township when we were doing some outreach work. She had a terrible glaucoma, with the pressure in her eye measuring 68 when it should’ve been between 12 and 22. The ophthalmologist told us that she had such a bad migraine that if she were a person she wouldn’t have been able to lift her head, which would explain why she was so quiet and slept such a lot.
“Thanks to Mama Kasi Rural Rescue, we were able to book her in at Dr De Kramer at Rant en Dal Vet the very next day for enucleation surgery (eye removal).
“She just came alive the next day after her operation and showed me that dogs really don’t know self-pity like humans do – she was just so happy to be alive and pain-free.”
Sharon West shares Miss Moxxie (formerly Latte), who was adopted from Uitenhage SPCA
“Our Miss Moxxie is a beautiful chocolate colour and has the most gorgeous eyes. She’s settled in well with our other fur babies (two cats and a Jack Russell).
“She’s really cute and has loads of personality. She’s also known as Little Miss Attitude (my son says Miss Cattitude), but she can be so sweet when she wants cuddles and kisses.
“We love her very much and now can’t imagine life without her!”
Lily (left) and Mr Bean
Jackie Romanov shares her two special fur kids, Lilly and Mr Bean
“Lily is nine years old and was adopted from our local vet (Dr Koury). She’d been rescued from the streets and is the most gentle, loveable and darling girl.
“Mr Bean is two years old and was adopted from Oscar’s Arc. He’s a bundle of energy, and so loveable too. He’s always keen on an adventure or just getting out and about. He’s the cutest and sweetest boy ever, with so much energy!
“They really are the lights of my life, and we’re so lucky to have them around.
“Thanks, Happy Tails, for all your wonderful work and helping all the furries – you guys are truly very special and so appreciated!”
Leoné Walters shares Cooper, who was adopted from Pretoria Dog Rescue
“We adopted Cooper in 2017. His mommy had been neglected and abused for years and then abandoned just before having nine puppies. Luckily, she had a great foster mom who cared for her and her pups, finding good homes for Cooper and his siblings.
“Cooper is Level 4 Belgian Malinois, French Bulldog, Bloodhound, Rottweiler, English Springer Spaniel and Border Collie, according to MuttMix results, making him very special.
“He’s protective like the Belgian Malinois, intelligent like the Border Collie, loyal like the Rottweiler, charming like the Frenchie, enthusiastic like the Spaniel and able to sniff out treats from afar like the Bloodhound. He loves cuddles, but only by pre-approved family members.
“Due to his mom’s abuse and trauma whilst expecting the puppies, Cooper has a very nervous nature and distrust in humans. We decided that he needed a friend for emotional support and adopted Leah, a blonde Schnauzer from the SPCA (read more about Leah here). It was the best decision ever! Cooper is becoming more confident and trusting of people. They’re inseparable and love each other dearly.”
Photography by Jackie Wernberg Photography
Stacy Edwards shares Sam, Ben and Clyde, her precious rescue pack.
“Sam, our Border Collie mix, adores life, people and other dogs despite a rough start to life. He was a loved companion of a vagrant but was frequently found wandering the Constantia Main Road area; he was lucky not to get hit by a car and would often be handed in at Alphen Vet, who looked after him (including being allowed to sleep in the vet’s bed at home) until his human would come to claim him. He was found more than once tied up against a fence in the full sun without shelter or water when his human was staggering around drunk or moved off by Law Enforcement. Alphen Vet contacted AID for Animals in Distress, who put him into foster care with me, and he crawled so deep into our family’s hearts that he became our first foster failure. He now gets to spend EVERY night curled up in our bed cuddling with his humans.
“Ben the Aussie arrived at nearly two years old after being returned to his breeder by his original owner whose husband abused him badly. He was horribly underweight, his hip bones sticking out, and he was terrified, especially of men. We suspect that he’d been hit over the head, as he hates the top of his head being patted. He was also probably kicked, as he runs away when James swings his legs off the couch to get up. He’s been with us for about six years now and is the sweetest boy who ‘sings’ when excited about anything, whether it’s going for a walk (his favourite), his humans getting home, or getting treats after supper. He’s a super, cuddly, special boy.
“And, last but not least, Clyde the GSD mix was evacuated out of Mitchell’s Plain in a hurry. The lady with whom he ended up was a backyard dweller who rescued dogs in the area; one of the pups (that we fostered and lives in the lap of luxury in Gordon’s Bay) had mange – her landlord wanted to dip all of the pups in motor oil to kill the mange, and she, knowing that this is dangerous, contacted AID for Animals in Distress for help.
“Clyde’s story before he ended up with this lady is not known, apart from the fact that he was thrown over her wall as a 10-week-old puppy by a group of kids who’d been given him by someone else who no longer wanted him. He became a foster failure when our first Aussie, Jake, passed away from cancer in September 2018. Clyde and Sam had become the best of friends; we didn’t have the heart to uproot him and break up their friendship after all he’d been through.
“In conclusion, all three of my boys with a rough past are adored and repay us in laughter, cuddles and unconditional love each and every day.”
Leigh Page shares Atlas, who was adopted from Life is Rescue.
“Being of the belief that a home isn’t a home without a cat, as soon as I was settled in my new home, I put word out that I was looking to adopt.
“With the help of Happy Tails, little Atlas was drawn to my attention, and there wasn’t a moment of hesitation to make him part of the family. He’s thoroughly enjoying his new life with us.”
Eulogi Rheeder shares Nacho, who was adopted in June this year from the Spaniel Welfare SA.
“Nacho is two years and ten months old. She arrived at my house as a timid, scared little dog, but with daily training through games, patience and lots of unconditional love, I’m seeing her blossom into a confident little pupper!
“Lots of people think that she’s a boy with her name, but, as nachos (the dish) is so delicious and comforting, I thought to name her after it… isn’t she just delicious-looking? You can follow her daily adventures on Instagram at @life_of_nacho_”
Nicola Mullineux shares Ollie (left) and Lulu, who were adopted from Rescue is Life.
“I’d been searching for kittens for a while and fell in love with these two the minute I saw their photograph. I have friends who take their dog everywhere with them, so I thought I’d see if it was possible with kittens.
“Before I adopted them, I went shopping for everything I could possibly think they would need – I was determined to make their lives the best they could be. The little harnesses JUST fitted (the kittens were about six or seven weeks old at that stage), and the next weekend they went on their first adventure. They were timid at first but then discovered TREES – and that was them for the afternoon.
“I take them on adventures every weekend, from walking in the bush to hiking (where Lulu is an absolute ‘parrot cat’ and is in her element perched on a shoulder, taking in everything she sees) to walks in the park and their favourite spot of all – the BEACH!
“The best part about coming home is seeing their little faces and them bolting through the front door, running a few steps and looking back to see if I’m watching them.
“Every animal deserves only the best! What many people don’t realise, however, is they do as much for you, if not more, as you do for them. I’m looking forward to many, many more adventures with these two! They have a place in my heart like no other.
“For updates on their adventures, please follow them on Instagram @fuzzybuddies2019”
Marisa “eM” Louw shares Yogi, adopted from Parys SPCA.
“Little Yogi was found in the street on the 9th of September 2019. With thanks to the community Facebook Group, his owner was found… but the very next day he was surrendered to the SPCA.
“Being Peke fans, my husband, Stéfan, and I adopted him and welcomed him into our family.
“Yogi went from being a malnourished little dog to a happy chappy!”
Lily (at the back) and Bozi, her 15-year-old BFF
Ann Gmür shares Lily, who was adopted from Harties Feral Rescue.
“Lily was more than likely an abandoned kitty who returned to a feral state and found a home in Timmy’s Feral Colony in Hartbeespoort. She was trapped, sterilised, vaccinated and returned to her outdoor home by Harties Feral Cat Rescue almost two years ago.
“Then, in mid-July 2019, the call that every guardian dreads came: there’s an injured cat wandering around a car park. It was Lily, and for five days and nights, Harties Feral Cat Rescue sat with a trap, desperate to get her to a vet; on day six she was finally rescued!
“Lily had the most horrific snare injury, and the vet had no choice but to amputate her entire hind leg. But where to now… with Lily being feral?
“Being known as a cat whisperer, I immediately offered Lily a safe haven and recovery home. With unconditional love, devotion and patience, Lily has turned back into a homebody.
“Lily is living the life of a queen; she’s found a BFF in Bozi and will never have to spend another day fending for herself ever again. Lily is one of the BEST ‘look at me now’ stories EVER!”
Paulene Hardy shares Oscar, who was adopted from Humansdorp SPCA.
“I adopted Oscar three years ago after he’d been surrendered to the SPCA. He was just over a year old and looked pretty sad.
“After signing all the documents and paying for his sterilisation, vaccinations,
and yard check, etc. I was able to bring him home.
“Oscar is my boy! He’s definitely Schnauzer-cross; I think he’s a Schnoodle. I took him for training weekly for a good few months. He’s obedient and so affectionate, and I love him to bits!”
Kerrey Ann Baker shares Squidge.
“Squidge and her two siblings were rescued underneath the rocks on Clifton beach 17 years ago. They were very tiny and incredibly feisty, and Squidge wasted no time in asserting her authority over our pack of four very busy rescue Border Collies, who did their best to herd her.
“She’s been a real blessing and continues to reign supreme over her new pack of three rescue Border Collies, as their predecessors are now running free in doggy heaven.”
Marise du Randt shares Nicky, who was adopted from Happy Yappers.
“My own Ridgeback girl, Lila, went missing over a year ago, and it’s been a never-ending search for her (see Facebook article), so when I saw the post of a very old Ridgeback girl up for adoption at Happy Yappers Animal Sanctuary in Koster, Magaliesburg, I felt I needed to open my heart and give Nicky a home. She was found tied next to the road to a pole, just dumped.
“Nicky has been with me for a few months now and is such a gentle soul. She’s settled in as if she’s lived here her whole life; she gained weight and enjoys walks on the farm. She still gets spurts of energy and acts like a silly puppy sometimes, but due to a tumour she has, it doesn’t last long, then she gets tired.
“Seeing her content every day and her thankfulness makes it all worth it. She’s only a blessing to have, and I’m happy to be able to give her a loving home for the rest of her life.”
Tracy Whitaker shares Tinkerbell, who was adopted from Kitty and Puppy Haven.
“Tinkie – short for Tinkerbell – is a brown Shepherd cross who is food mad and SUPER smart. She’s never been keen on toys, but anything she can put in her mouth gets her vote!”
Mart-Marié Gouws shares Jacky, adopted from Feral Cat Assist Heidelberg.
“Jacky is the definition of a ‘cuddle bug’. He’ll be two years old next year. I adopted him from a photo, believe it or not, and only saw him for the first time when I drove quite a distance to fetch him. But it was a perfect match.
“Jacky cuddles every chance he gets, but, make no mistake, he wasn’t like that when we adopted him. He was this shy, scared little cat. It took him about a month to trust us and let us touch and cuddle him. I call him my awkward little baby! Jack loves his big sister, Shado, who’s also a feral rescue from Cats9Lives. Jack and Shado are both indoor kitties. I just felt their lives were already so hard on the streets and I didn’t want them to go through that again.
“To this day, if someone comes over, Jack immediately runs and hides; he doesn’t trust easily and comes across very scared, but once he lets you in it’s a whole different story.
“I think he had a very challenging time in the feral colony from which he was rescued. He has a skew leg – we have no idea why or what happened, but it doesn’t stop him. We also learned in the past year that he has floating ribs as well and, just the other day after a vet visit, that he also has a tumor that needs to be removed. Luckily the vet isn’t too concerned and thinks we caught it in time.
“Jack is really a gentle giant and weighs 5.8kg today. I’m so grateful to Feral Cat Assist Heidelberg for rescuing him.”
Photographs by B-you Photography
Simone Jones shares Nada, adopted from Critter Rescue SA.
“We were on holiday in Ballito in March 2019 when I came across the post on Facebook by Critter Rescue Rescue SA that this cute little bunny was looking for her forever home. It didn’t take long to convince my heart that I needed this bunny in my life, and it also didn’t take long to melt Charles’s heart when I showed him the adorable photos of her.
“So, while we were still on holiday at the coast, I got the paperwork done and emailed it as soon as I possibly could. After making some changes to the setup in our apartment, our home was approved and we were ecstatic!
“When she arrived, she climbed even further into our hearts and became our ‘little child’, never mind our pet.
“We love Nada so much that when we go to the shops we have to come home with something for her. We tell all our friends and family about her. We share all her little photos and videos with them of when she does something new or too adorable for words.
“She’s really become a part of our lives and hearts, and when we recently got engaged, Nada had to be part of our engagement shoot.
“Thank you, Critter Rescue, for giving us the chance and opportunity to give this bunny the perfect home and love she deserves, and thank you to Happy Tails for sharing our story.”
Debbie Smith shares Peanut, who was rescued from a family without the means to sterilise their dogs.
“Peanut is something else; as the smallest of six dogs he thinks he is the BOSS! He was the smallest of the litter and had been bitten badly by his littermates (Chow cross Sharpei). At only four weeks old I offered to foster him as he certainly wouldn’t have survived otherwise; and then of course, I just had to keep him.
“He doesn’t miss a thing and has to be included in whatever we do. He is high energy and very ball driven. Nothing can move in our garden without him knowing about it.
“And… just to add, we sterilised all the dogs at the home where Peanut came from, and so thankfully there were no further litters from them. I think our paths were meant to cross.”
Gretna du Toit shares Byron, who was adopted along with his brother, Ozzi.
“I saw a photo of Byron (ginger) posted up for adoption on Facebook, and something in his eyes just melted my heart.
“I was met with an appalling cat hoarding situation when I went to meet them and immediately handed over the adoption fee and hurriedly left with both kittens. I was already over my quota of allowed pets, but I couldn’t leave one of them behind.
“I took them straight to the vet for a checkup and the necessary dreaded disease tests, and thankfully, apart from snuffles, they both got the all-clear.
“When speaking to a neighbour in the block next to us, I showed her the little black-and-white kitten and it was love at first sight! She adopted Ozzi, and the two brothers still play together in the garden every day – Ozzi cannot work out how to use the cat flap, but he comes and bangs on mine to call Byron to come and play.”
Caroline Hartley shares Dakota, who was adopted from Stellenbosch Animal Welfare Society.
“Dakota’s mother is a Boxer (I met her) and her father is apparently a Boerboel, but she looks more Ridgeback. She is my mix; she’s very bouncy and full of life, and if she barks, the whole house shakes.
“She’s pretty much in charge of the whole household. She’s now two and is just a big baby who thinks that she’s a lapdog!”
Quinn (left) and Harley
Michelle Raath shares Harley and Quinn, who were adopted through a private animal rescuer.
“Harley’s face jumped out at me from my Facebook newsfeed. I was determined not to get any more cats after losing two cats within a week but simply couldn’t resist her face.
“Harley was not well accepted by the older cats in the house and was lonely. Because I don’t believe a cat should be alone all day, when another cute face appeared on my timeline, I queried and the lady sent me photos of a few cats. Little Quinn had the same effect, instant love, so off we went to collect her. These kittens are not related in any way, but one would never say so.
“Now both kittens tear around and wreak havoc, and both want to know nothing about cuddling with us humans anymore, but I’m so happy for them!”
Marilyn Pillay shares Little Lucy, who was adopted from Virginia SPCA.
“Lucy was adopted at seven weeks old. We always wanted to give a loving home to a dog from a shelter, and Lucy is perfect in every way. She’s already settled into our hearts. Our little Lucy is a sweet baby girl to us, her parents, and a loving and doting sister to her big brother (our two-year-old son), Kade. Our family is now complete.”
Professional photography by Nelia Schwim-Cornelius Photography
Lizanne Penderis shares Kedi.
“Kedi was adopted from the SPCA 10 years ago, but when his owners had to move overseas and were unsuccessful in taking him with them, I became his mom. He has three cat siblings and one human (a six-year-old girl) to hang out with.
“Kedi is an excellent soccer player and can play with his ball and mouse for hours when he isn’t lounging in the sun or reaching out for cuddles. He’s a perfect addition to our family.”
Kerrey Ann Baker shares Mei Mei, who was adopted from Anti-Animal Cruelty League Bellville.
“Mei Mei is the most adorable, beyond naughty, most crazy, funny and different dog I have ever had. She arrived a shivering, nervous wreck, BUT not for long!
“She’s feisty, determined, shouts very loudly if she wants something, and feels absolutely nothing to climb on the kitchen table in pursuit of our cat, Squidge’s, food!
“She’s so lovable and definitely the lickiest dog I’ve ever had. She adores people, her siblings and ‘her’ cat (even though chasing Squidge is done when she thinks no one is looking).
“She was one of the millions of black dogs that are overlooked, and her time was nearly up. Mei Mei (pronounced ‘May May’) is Chinese for ‘Little Sister’, and she’s enriched our lives hugely.”
Elsa van der Merwe shares Lucy, who was adopted from A New Hope Dog Rescue.
“I’d lost my Dachshund baby, Nicky, last year in October, and my heart was absolutely shattered. I’d been looking for the missing piece to my heart for a couple of months when I saw Lucy’s picture on the Facebook group, Dachshunds in SA. I saved her post as a possible candidate, and, upon meeting her, I fell in love.
“She has exactly the same personality as Nicky, and I knew she’d fit right into our home situation. When I went to collect her, she was overwhelmed with joy.
“She was so happy to be going home. The whole family loves her, and within the short amount of time she’s been with us, she’s already made it very clear that she’s not going anywhere.”
Photographs by Jackie Wernberg Photography
Lyn Barker-Veary shares Jake, who was adopted from TEARS.
“Jake was born at TEARS to an extremely anxious mom, and, sadly, he’d inherited her anxiety. He was eight months old and the last of the litter. He was so nervous that he wouldn’t even let me touch him for the first two months.
“Our journey together was initially really difficult, and I wasn’t sure I could cope with his anxiety issues. But, with loads of perseverance, it’s four years later and he certainly has gained so much confidence. He loves his cuddles and being chased around the garden. Jake always has a wagging tail and a smiling face.”
Photo credit: Pet Portrait Photography
Darryn Rodwell shares her daughter, Abigail (9), and her “baby”, Daisy (12 weeks), who was adopted from Pietermaritzburg Kitten Fostering & Rescue.
“When we saw Daisy, it was love at first sight. Already inseparable, Daisy and Abigail sleep cuddled up together every night and spend hours playing. Daisy has also formed a bond with our two little dogs and regularly pounces on them, instigating playtime.”
Abi shares… “Daisy is very special to me. We love cuddling on the couch… she walks all over me, purring loudly, and then snuggles up to me.
“When I first saw her, I was already in love with her, and she loves me because she only purrs for me. I love her very much!”
Photo credit: Christopher Grobler
Linda Smit shares Logan, who was adopted from Wollies Animal Shelter.
“Logan was just a pup when he was rescued by Wollies Animal Shelter. He spent most of his puppy years with the other dogs at Wollies until the day we saw him and fell in love.
“He settled quickly into our family; he loved having a whole house to play in, alongside his fur sister, Izzy.
“He spends his days chasing birds, playing with Izzy and cuddling with us!”
Caroline Hartley shares Leah, who was adopted from Tin Can Town.
“Leah and her two sisters were found in Blikkiesdorp at 10 days old, weighing only 250g each. Leah had to have a blood transfusion and had to be bottle fed.
“I met her when she was about three weeks old, and I told my friend who was fostering her that I was going to adopt her. And, well, I did!
“She’s now three years old and the fluffiest bundle of joy; of our cats, she has the most fluff, and she’s the one that feels the cold the most. She’s also very affectionate and cuddly, and she’s the princess of the house.”
Laetitia Genis shares Mia, who was adopted from Mnandanza Animal Clinic.
“Mia is a great addition to our family. Not only does she get along with Eyevy (read Eyevy’s Happy Tale here) but Leela (our daughter) loves her to bits.
“She’s always up for a snuggle, regardless if it’s with myself, Leela, Marius or Eyevy!”
Gey Van Pittius shares her most recent rescue, Roady.
“At the beginning of July 2019, a friend forwarded me a Facebook post of a kitten that had been found in the road; he’d been hit by a car and had broken his leg badly.
“He was taken to a vet; he’d be put to sleep within three days if no one came forward to pay for the surgery and give him a home. So, of course, I went to collect him, brought him home and named him Roady.
“A long story short: after a three-and-a-half-hour operation to put seven pins in his leg to save him, he’s now home with me, my hubby and our other rescued furry children.”
May (left) and April
Elsie Went shares May and April, rescued as orphaned pups.
“April and May are six years old. We were looking for a new dog, and our local vet called me and said they had puppies whose mother had died in an accident after she’d gotten out of the yard.
“My husband decided we’d take two; April’s eyes were already open but not May’s. We had to feed them with small bottles, and my housekeeper, Gracie, looked after them during the day until we came back from work.
“Casey, our ‘ouma’ of the pack, helped raise these two teeny-tiny girls and taught them to be just as playful and kind as she is. And these days we have our other rescue, Lilly – making up a very happy family of four fur kids.”
Kerrey Ann Baker shares Kai, who was adopted from Border Collie Rescue (Cape Town).
“Kai is six years old and has to be the fastest and strongest Border Collie I have ever had. He is highly intelligent and extremely lovable. He’s amazing with ‘his’ old cat and absolutely adores his fur sisters, Mei-Mei and Sophie-Li, who are also both rescue Border Collies.
“He loves being on the bed and enjoys a cuddle with his sisters and me every morning to start the day, followed by licking the remains out of our coffee mugs!”
Zhané Mills shares Jemima, adopted from a foster mom in Johannesburg South.
“I adopted my Calico Love, Jemima, from a foster mom in Johannesburg South in 2017. She’s a princess and a hunter of note. She loves cuddles and kisses but will tell you quite loudly, with claws, when she’s had enough love.
“My home is full of sloppy kisses, paw prints and cat hair, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I just have to convince my hubby we have space for more fur babies...”
Laura and Brent Dodd share beautiful Bella, who was adopted from Labrador Lifeline South Africa.
“Bella was surrendered by her owners, who were unfortunately leaving the country. She came from a loving home, and she now lives a continued life of luxury filled with love. She loves swimming, and her stuffed unicorns, and we absolutely adore her!”
Brenda Diamond shares Evie (left) and Bowie, who were adopted from Raise ‘n Rescue.
“In May 2019, we adopted Evie and Bowie from Raise ‘n Rescue. By some fate, although they weren’t siblings by birth, within a day these two were causing utter mischief together as if they’d known each other forever and being were utterly adorably cute.
“With guidance from Raise ‘n Rescue we slowly introduced our older rescue cat, Leia, to them. It took some time, but they now all play together and even sleep together (sometimes!). In fact, Leia has taken on a mothering role; when she’s not tumbling around with them, she watches like a proud mother.
“They say every cat has a different “purr-sonality”, and never have we experienced such mischief makers! Of course, that means there’s never a dull moment in the house, whether it’s Evie trying to “help” with cooking supper or Bowie trying to catch a hadeda in the garden! And when all the mischief making is done, they couldn’t be more affectionate, purring for attention and snuggling up close.
“They’re now both six months old, and we cannot wait to see what more craziness they get up too. Follow the daily lives of Leia, Bowie and Evie on Instagram: @leiabowieandevie.”
Photographs by Alicia Thomas
Angelique Nefdt shares Misty, who was adopted from SPCA Louis Trichardt in 2017.
“Bubbly, energetic, kind, happy-go-lucky Misty joined our home in October 2017, and life has been a blast with her ever since.
“She was rescued from the Thohoyandou streets, where she seemed to have been in some sort of accident that left her with an amputated leg and scarring on her back. However, this has never stopped her love of fun and play.
“She’s our daily inspiration and has taught us that your outlook on life is more important than your circumstances. Misty spends her days bathing in the sunlight, napping on comfy oversized beds, playing with her canine siblings, patrolling the kitchen for snacks and filling our hearts with joy.”
Anneke van Vuuren shares Jan, who was adopted from Raise ‘n Rescue.
“About 19 months ago we were ready to adopt a new kitten and asked a volunteer at Raise ‘n Rescue to look out for one for. Within weeks they let us know that a new litter had arrived and that they had the ideal little one for us.
“In the beginning, Jan was very skittish, as he wasn’t used to human touch, but he soon surrendered and became a very loveable and happy kitten.
“Today, he’s extremely fat and fluffy, enjoying the garden with all the hideaway corners and nooks!”
Andrew Prince shares his pack of precious rescues – Skollie, Stevie Nix and Athena.
“Skollie Boy, my Scottish Deerhound, joined us in 2014. I was visiting my parents and came across a gangly young pup that had been found on the side of a national road by a road builder. He was only the size of a boot and was bleeding from all openings.
“He was the oddest-looking hound I’d ever seen that blossomed into a magnificently handsome boy. Whilst his looks have changed he is a proper goofy, and I’m constantly laughing at his behaviour and antics.
“Stevie Nix, my Africanis (and aka my first wife), came into my life in 2012. It was love at first sight. After visiting a friend in hospital, I came across an individual selling this tiny puppy on Bree Street. After a firm chat, I convinced him to let me have her and, after a snack and a widdle, I realised that Stevie Nix was all mine.
“Athena(kie) the Pit Bull was rescued from a terrible life; she’d been the victim of dog fighting and had literally been left for dead. When I saw her post on Facebook I was drawn to her, and, after visiting her at the vet where she’d had an op to save her leg, there was no turning back.
“I must be honest, she came with a few challenges for all of us, but, with perseverance, positive training and much love, she’s one relaxed girl who is happiest when she has a ball in her mouth.”
Timo (left) and Anna
Ernestine Strini shares Anna, who was adopted from A New Hope Dog Rescue.
“After loving her family for nine years, they felt Anna was ‘no longer needed’. She was surrendered to A New Hope Dog Rescue where her shelter mom, Olivia Stirling, made her feel at home and much loved.
“Of course, nothing compares to a real home, and we fell in love with her the moment we saw her. Timo (another of our adopted dogs) adores her and has taken on the role of her ‘Big Brother’, and they’re never far apart from each other.”
Left to right: Keanu with Gucci, Chloe with Ella, Roxy with Ginger, Wayne with Coffee Cat, and Desiree with Bear
Photography by Jaqcui L. Photography
Desiree Palos shares her family’s precious rescue cats.
“On the 20th of March 2017, I sadly lost two beloved pets, my Maltese Poodle, Candy, and my Russian Blue cat, Max. I was left with Nixie, my skinny ginger cat who’d been found in a box with a puppy on a vet’s doorstep; she was adopted through Heidi Tietz, who was involved with rescues eight years ago. My husband said: ‘NO MORE PETS!’
“This was not to be – obviously. I thought Nixie was lonely and needed a friend, so I adopted marble tabby Ella. She was a feral kitten born in a builder’s pipe in Aspen and is very shy and timid. Unfortunately, Nixie hated her from the start.
“A few months later, my friend Jacqui saw some kittens that had been abandoned at a house in Walkerville and taken to Dr Erasmus. Ella needed friends as Nixie was horrid to her, so we soon welcomed Bear and Gucci, my other marble tabbies who often get mistaken for Bengals.
“Aspen Hills has a feral cat programme, so when my friend Zia, who’s one of the ‘nursery’ moms, got yet another intake of kittens, I spotted stripey tabby Sassy and beige fluffy Maine Coone-look Wolfe and I couldn’t resist... again! They are a year old now.
“During this two-year period, Ginger – aka Fatty Boom-Boom – and Coffee Cat also rocked up to join the gang (read Coffee Cat’s Happy Tale here).
“Eight really is enough now!”
Cheryl Price shares Asha, who was adopted from Animal Welfare Society Port Elizabeth.
“We lost two dogs this year and we have one old girl who has cancer, and so our last year’s rescue, Mac, will probably be an only child in the near future. But my daughter, who regularly checks the AWS Facebook page, said that there was a GSD that we should go and have a look at. I’d decided that we only wanted to adopt an adult dog, because they’ve already done that high-energy puppy stage.
“There were plenty of young, funky puppies and teenagers… and one very sad and depressed German Shepherd girl. We went home to think about it. As we had experience, having owned dogs for well over 30 years, we decided to take her despite her few little issues. We knew youngsters would find homes very quickly, and our very thin, unhappy-looking girl probably wouldn’t, and we really felt that we’d be able to give her the chance of a good life.
“We’ve called her Asha – Sanskrit Indian for ‘hope’ and Swahili for ‘life’. We felt that this was fitting as she’s been given hope of a good life. She’s adapted very well, and brother Mac has a playmate (they both behave like puppies).
“She’s gentle and she’s kind, and she loves us from the bottom of her heart, as do we, her. A rescue dog has such a sense of gratitude and appreciation, because I believe they know that we’ve saved them and given them hope for a better life.”
Lauren Donald shares Killer (aka Monkey)
“We suspect that our tabby girl belonged to one of my in-laws’ neighbours; when we were still living with the in-laws, she always slept in our house but left before any of us got up, and she was always in our yard.
“We were on leave one week and saw her hiding in the garden and started feeding her biltong from a distance. She slowly came to trust us, and we started leaving bowls outside our bedroom window and a little warm covered place for her as she was still skittish.
“When winter hit, my hubby went outside one day and found her sitting on the patio trying to hide from the rain, so he brought her inside to sleep on our bed. After that, she never left. We had her spayed, vaccinated and microchipped. We tried collars, but she lost every single one of them!
“She became Daddy’s girl, slept on our bed, and even stole food off Daddy’s fork when he was eating and not paying attention, and had breakfast with Granny every Sunday in the lounge. Granny always made her her own piece of toast with liver or fish paste, which she’d cut into little blocks, and they’d eat breakfast together. She still wandered a bit but always came home for food and sleep.
“We moved into our own house in 2011, and Monkey decided to be a stay-at-home girl. She loves sweetcorn, peas, mashed potato, and anything spicy. Our vet says she’s the healthiest-looking 12-year-old cat he’s seen in a long time! Although she was diagnosed with the beginning stages of kidney disease three months ago, you wouldn’t say so, because she still looks great for her age.
“We call her Monkey because, when she was younger, she clambered into the trees and literally hung off branches that were too thin or small to hold her weight – and then meow at you to take her down. She’s such a character!”
Photo credit: Alicia Thomas
Lesley Gaigher shares Elvis, who was rescued during an Outreach in May 2018.
“Elvis’s previous owner surrendered him to us because he couldn’t provide him with the necessary veterinary care as he’s a special needs dog. He most likely contracted distemper when he was a puppy, which caused damage to his central nervous system, severely affecting his balance. He shakes, rattles and rolls day in and day out.
“Once back in town, we had him thoroughly checked by a vet who assessed that, despite the ‘great shakes’, he’d definitely be able to lead a relatively normal but unquestionably happy life in a home where he’s loved. He became my foster baby, and, not long thereafter, once we’d established without a shadow of a doubt that our dogs wouldn’t harm him, we submitted the paperwork to officially make him a part of our family.
“Just over a year later, I’m still just as smitten as day one – if not more so. I find myself purposely lying awake in bed at night so I can pet him a little longer. Elvis is the embodiment of positivity. His condition has never held him back – once he gets going, you need to be ready to race to keep up! Sure, he trips and pops wheelies, but still he runs with such gusto that all you can do is stare in wonder with the biggest, cheesiest grin on your face!
“P.S. I know that his previous owner loved him too and wanted more for him than he could offer, and I wish I could show him how happy Elvis is today. His goodwill towards a little broken body has meant the world to us, and I’m so grateful that by a stroke of luck the universe chose HIM to be MINE!”
Zhané Mills shares Molly, adopted from the Sandton SPCA.
“I went to Sandton SPCA looking for a Calico kitten in October 2015. But in the end, I fell in love with my adorable Molly, who is white, not calico.
“Molly is a real Tomboy and loves climbing trees and hunting. She resists my kisses and hugs, but when she’s curled up asleep, she allows me to kiss her and love her (such special moments).”
Tanja Henderson shares Cassie, whom she adopted in September 2014 after she was dumped at the Virginia SPCA.
“This amazing SPCA, which operates on such limited resources, made sure she was sterilised, vaccinated and microchipped before she was adopted.
“Cassie has blossomed over the last five years into a beautiful, wilful, chatty girl who rules my life. She loves to snooze on top of the electric blanket at night in winter and basks in the sun in her catio during the day.
“I’m so grateful to the SPCA for giving Cassie a second chance in life and allowing me to be her mom.”
Photo credit: RailTime Photo
Elizabeth King shares Sally, her adored rescue Border Collie.
“Sally didn’t have an ideal life; she was bullied by other big dogs and didn’t get the attention she craved. Truthfully, Sally ‘adopted’ me rather than the other way around.
“She came with a few challenges: she had ‘no ears’, no manners and chased everything that moved, but she’s now a big help working sheep and helping me train our latest rescue, Duke (read the Happy Tale). She’s the most loving and most expressive dog I’ve ever met – it was up to her acceptance of Duke as to whether we’d adopt him or not.
“Duke is her best mate, and she refuses to share him with others; she’s quite a jealous girl. They play like mad things and are a perfect match, loving the same games and having the same overdose of energy.”
Lauren Donald shares Yoda, who was adopted from Animal Anti-Cruelty League Bellville.
“In 2011, when we’d decided to buy a home of our own, I started looking for a sibling for our other rescue cat, Monkey, as I felt she needed some company while we were at work. I told my friend Alma Schaap, then working in the adoptions department at AACL Bellville, that we were looking. In early September, she let me know that they had a mommy cat which had just had kittens and that we should come and meet them.
“We fell in love with a little black soul who looked like Yoda from Star Wars! I visited him every single weekend until October, when we moved into our house. We moved in on the Saturday, and on Monday I went to collect him.
“With all our furniture being black, it was and still is often hard to spot him, unless he has his eyes open, and as a kitten he’d always sit on hubby’s favourite spot on the couch and was almost sat on a few times!
“He grew up into a gorgeous, big mommy’s boy. He sleeps in my arms every single night and actually calls me to bed at 9pm, as that is his bed time – he set it himself, not my training at all. I call him my cookie monster, because if you mention cookies, his eyes go huge and he meows and licks his lips.
“He’s a very talkative boy and doesn’t wander at all. He loves playing with Rascal, our other cat; the two of them do circuits around the garden and through the house every single day. Yoda doesn’t like getting his paws wet and hates the feel of grass under his paws, so if he follows me into the garden, he only walks on the stepping stones, and if he has to walk across the grass, he usually moans the whole way!”
Hendrik and San-Mari van Rooyen share Savanna, who was adopted from SPCA Randfontein.
“This adorable pup entered our home on the 27th of June 2019, although she entered our hearts long before that. We have lovingly named her Savanna due to her brownish colour, and she happily shares her new home with Pit Bull-mix ‘sister’, Lexi.
“Sadly, Lexi lost her Scottish Terrier ‘brother’, Jack, earlier this year to cancer, so she’s extremely excited to have a friend again.
“Savanna has adjusted well and is a lively new addition to the Van Rooyen family.”
Paul Marincowitz shares Billy, who was adopted from Friend of the Rottweiler Rescue & Rehome South Africa.
“Billy was born on the 28th of June last year in Rustenburg. His owners were backyard breeders, and they advertised him for sale on Facebook. He was eventually confiscated by the SPCA and Friend of the Rottweiler Rescue & Rehome SA due to the poor conditions he’d been kept in by the ‘breeder’. They’d clearly thought that breeding was just an easy way to make some extra money.
“In November 2018, Friend of the Rottweiler Rescue & Rehome SA flew him down from Johannesburg. He’s been at my side ever since.
“He has two bursts of energy per day where he runs up and down my house and in my garden. The rest of the time he’s quite relaxed, and he also gets on well with my cats.
“I will forever be grateful for the work Friend of the Rottweiler Rescue & Rehome SA does – it’s quite unbelievable how many dogs get surrendered to them – they have more than 50 in kennels in Johannesburg at the moment!”
Linda Smit shares Whiskey, who was adopted from Bunny Tales Rescue.
“Whiskey had been found dumped in a box with two other baby bunnies. My partner, Christopher Grobler, and I designed and hand-built her cage over a period of a week.
“She has free roam of our garden and house at all times, and she sleeps indoors. After only three days of being home, she was eating snacks out of hands, bonding with our two dogs and even sitting on our couch.
“She’s a happy bun; she’s extremely playful and loves jumping, hopping and bolting around the garden, and we’re so happy that she’s part of our family.”
Geoff (left) and Petal
Vanessa Nicholls shares Geoff and Petal, who were both adopted from Springs SPCA and Kempton Park SPCA.
“We had a Maltese Poodle for 17 years and, sadly, we had to put her down due to bladder cancer. I was heartbroken, so, in her memory, we decided to get a dog from the SPCA who needed a loving home.
“We adopted five-month-old Geoff from the Springs SPCA. We don’t know his story but sense he was abused; today he rules the house and is a lovely little boy. He’s now almost three, and we’re so glad we adopted him.
“We recently had to put our Toffies, a Dachshund-mix girl who was almost sixteen years old, to sleep as she had kidney failure. Again, I was heartbroken and the only way to heal was to adopt another doggy needing a loving home. We adopted three-year-old Petal from the Kempton Park SPCA in Toffie’s memory. She’s settled in so well and has such a gentle, sweet soul, and we’re so glad we adopted her too.
“We’ve been blessed to share our lives with so many beautiful doggies, and I firmly believe in adopt, don’t shop.”
Ros Nightingale shares her rescue cat, Fuzi (aka The Fuze).
“Fuzi was rescued as a five-week-old kitten from a stormwater drain at my place of work. He was covered in ticks and almost dead. He literally couldn’t stand up and was freezing cold.
“I took two empty milk bottles, filled them with hot water, wrapped them in towels and gently lay him in between them. His first poo was just cockroach wings and legs, showing what he’d been eating to survive. Over a few hours he warmed up enough to eat a little food and drink a few drops of liquid.
“I fell in love with him and, long story short, I still have him. He got really sick, and we discovered he suffered from stomatitis and Calici virus. We had to remove all his teeth nearly two years ago, but he’s done so well – his gums hardened and he has a good appetite and is so much better now.
“He’s eight years old, still going strong and the vet reckons he’s a Maine Coone cross. Whatever he is, I love him endlessly!”
Photo credit: FurEver Photography
Samantha Lledo shares Oliver, who was adopted from Spaniel Welfare SA.
“Oliver was only five months old when he was rescued by Lesley-Ann of Spaniel Welfare SA.
“Oliver was the tiniest of bundles (only 4.7kg) when I first fetched him from his foster family in February 2019. He was very nervous and growled at everything, and when I took him to meet his new sister, Daisy, he wasn’t at all sure about her!
“But very quickly, love blossomed between the two of them and he started initiating play with her.
“He stayed at home with me for around two weeks to bond and then went to join his sister at doggy day care for a few days a week. Initially, he was really nervous and didn’t want to play much unless his sister was in his section and, even then, didn’t want other dogs to approach him. But about two weeks later, one Monday morning, it was as if a lightbulb came on and he started being the life and soul of the playground!
“Now, he cannot wait to get into the car in the mornings to go to day care. When he gets there, he doesn’t even look back – just slips inside quickly to go and see his friends.”
Maureen and Allison Andreka share Hazel, who was adopted from Animal Welfare Society Port Elizabeth.
“We adopted Hazel in December 2015. When she arrived, she had a runny tummy, which was worse the next day. We took her back to AWS PE for help as per the adoption arrangement.
“She was treated for worms and came home with us, but she just got worse and was losing weight fast. On day three, we took her again and the vet started treatment for parvovirus; she stayed at the rescue centre for a week on treatment.
“We were terribly worried about our little girl and weren’t sure if she would make it… but she did. I can only commend AWS Port Elizabeth as I know the treatment is expensive, but they treated her at their cost (for which we gave them an additional donation above her adoption fee).
“And just look at her now! She’s so loved by all, especially by our rescue cats – she’s their favourite go-to pet.”
Hazel sharing her bed with Siam-I-Am, our rescue from Animal Outreaches
Photography by Strike a Pose Photography
Left to right: Bailey, Shumi, Charlotte, Shae, Monty, Kim, and Dudley in front.
Charlotte Brennan shares some of her bevy of rescue dogs.
“Bailey is a beautiful white German Shepherd-mix dog. She was at the Sandton SPCA after having been living rough on a golf course for months. I saw her picture online and I couldn’t get her out of my mind.
“She was absolutely petrified in her pen; she was shaking from head to toe and was skin and bones as she was too stressed to eat. Our eyes met, I went inside her pen... and straight away she jumped at me, wagged her tail, bowled me over with affection, telling me to pick her!
“And of course, I did.
“Shumi, is our five-year-old German Shepherd-mix boy. He was left at Barking Mad/Dogtown at the age of just four months old as his owner couldn’t keep him. The day he arrived, I was told to sit with him. I think that was orchestrated… It worked, and within ten minutes I phoned my husband and signed the form.
“Shae was adopted from PAWS R Us (link to her Happy Tale). She’s a German Shepherd-Husky-mix girl and has come a long way from being very shy and mistrustful of humans. She was not very confident around men, even walking wide detours around my husband, Kevin. With a lot of patience, Kevin eventually gained her trust. It took a couple of years for her to be totally at ease, but now she happily goes to him for cuddles.
“Shae has lived most of her life within a pack of ten rescue dogs.
“Monty is a Shiba Inu mix (according to my husband! I had to Google the breed…). His mum and her litter were found in a derelict house in Pretoria that had been occupied by some drug addicts. They’d abandoned the dogs without any food or water.
“A very kind lady left food and water for them until they were eventually caught by the SPCA and relocated to Roodepoort. But Monty escaped – something he’s very good at. He lived rough for about three months; there were sightings of him, but by the time I got there of course he’d moved on. Once, he was spotted fast asleep on the grass at a big intersection, unfazed by the busy traffic around him; we nearly had him, but he disappeared again until he was caught after going into someone’s garden. I took him to Barking Mad/Dogtown SA to stay for a couple of weeks until I had a plan for him.
“Guess what the plan was? I adopted him.
“Kim is one of our two red-haired twins; they’re Chow Chow-mix girls. They’d been at Barking Mad/Dogtown SA for quite a while after having lived in a feral state on a dump south of Johannesburg. They didn’t interact with people, preferring each other’s company only. Many hours were spent sitting with them in their pen to no avail, and we had no idea if this adoption was going to be a success or if they were just too wild.
“But it was like magic: it took only a few days for them to come around and to enjoy mountain walks with us. As unsocialised to humans as they’d been, once at home they adjusted very quickly, and it was only two weeks before they went for long off-lead walks.
“Dudley was a misunderstood and temperamental Cocker Spaniel whose family found him too much to handle and posted a desperate plea on Facebook.
“He has been a challenge at times; for example, I remember my dad having to sleep in an armchair as Dudley had taken over his bed and wouldn’t get off. But now, at 14 years old, he’s mellowed and has been such a lovable dog. I’m so glad we saved his life!
“Nearly all my dogs have gone to obedience training – they enjoyed the stimulation and social side of it. They’ve also enjoyed hiking and long walks in the park every Sunday. People would give me a strange look when 10 dogs get out of the bakkie, almost like the ‘mini trick’: how many people/dogs can you fit in a Mini? (Answer: as many as possible!)”
Anna-Marié and Daniel Schoeman share Gingi, who was adopted from Cat Trapping in the Winelands.
“We feel so privileged to have been approved to adopt little Gingi. We experienced the most amazing service from this organization, and their dedication to find the best homes for their cats is incredible!
“Initially, Gingi was very nervous and sought refuge under our couch, but he slowly learnt to trust us. He’s settled in and literally took over our home (and our hearts!).
“Gingi has brought a whole new dimension to our lives, and he certainly is a blessing in our home!”
Photo credit: Maxine Richards @maxine.richards.photo on Instagram
Geraldine Bruce shares their Spaniels, Harley and Lulu, who were adopted from Spaniel Welfare SA.
“We had one Spaniel and were considering giving another a home. I saw a post on Facebook featuring two Cocker Spaniel pups which had been surrendered and immediately contacted Spaniel Welfare South Africa. After a prompt home-check and approval, we agreed to foster both pups but then proceeded to fall madly in love with both of them!
“I would love people to recognise the wonderful work the animal welfare organisations do. Lesley-Ann and her team at Spaniel Welfare SA are amazing and work tirelessly for the Spaniels (and, occasionally, other animals too). I also want your readers to know that specific breeds and puppies are available through these organisations. Adopt, don’t shop… I’m so glad we did!”
Maureen and Allison Andreka share Raven, who was adopted from Cat Rescue-PE.
“We adopted Raven in January 2017. She and her siblings were living on the streets.
“She’s grown into the biggest, fluffiest cat we have ever had and is the last of five rescues we now have in our family.
“Her favourite ‘sibling’ is Hazel, our rescue dog.”
Lauren Cooper shares Bobby, her precious “foster failure”.
“I agreed to foster Bobby after his very sad start in life. He’d spent his puppy years locked in a garage where his young owner left him day after day. Naturally, I failed completely as a foster parent because I fell head over heels in love with him.
“He settled in immediately with his big sister Rosie (adopted from Animal Welfare Society Philippi) and became a total Mommy’s boy. He’s never very far from my lap, if not on it.
“He has the most beautiful manners and is, all in all, the best boy ever.”
Kyleandra Neal shares Suika (the dog) and Yukino (the cat), who were adopted together from FORA two years ago.
“They are now inseparable and extremely spoilt.”
Gey Van Pittius shares Penny, who survived against all odds.
“Penny had been dumped in a car park in Johannesburg as a little puppy and taken to a rescue centre. Because she was born with a few complications – hydrocephalus, spina bifida and syringomyelia – she wasn’t advertised for adoption. We found her wobbling around in the background at the rescue centre and scooped her up.
“Onderstepoort’s vets gave her a very poor prognosis: six weeks to six months at the most. But, five years on, she’s our little joy. Her body shakes and twitches come and go, and she wears a diaper as she’s incontinent, but it doesn’t bother her, and we’ll love her unconditionally forever.”
Lauren Donald shares a bit from her rescue cat, Indy.
“My name is Indy, but my human parents call me Rascal. My mom was a feral cat living in a factory when I was born. My dad works there, and I met him when I was a few months old – he was leaving work and spotted me, so I went up to him to get some petting. He tickled my chin and rubbed my head and ears. I’d never felt love like that. Not everyone in the factory was like him…
“I followed him to his car and saw him open his door to get in, but just then a friend called him. While they were chatting, I decided that it would be great if I could always be loved... so I hopped into his car while he wasn’t looking. When he got into his car and saw me sitting next to him, he laughed and called mom to tell her. She said to bring me home!
“When I got home, they gave me all this yummy food, and I didn’t know what to eat first – the delicious wet food in gravy or the tasty biscuits! Mommy said I’d never go hungry again, and she’s taken care of me.
“The rest is history now, and I’m living a life of luxury! I’m still a little wild, but mom and dad love that about me. I have a big sister and brother and I love playing with them. Brother and I often get up to nonsense, but it’s part of living life, and it makes mom and dad happy, which is the best part.
“I hope that by reading my story it will convince other humans to save more kitties like me.”
“This was taken on the day I came home; mommy gave me lots of cuddles.”
Diane Miller shares Potato, who was adopted from Witbank SPCA.
“My daughter desperately wanted a Toy Pomeranian for her birthday. For months I kept on checking all the local SPCAs. I was looking for a male, as I already have a female Collie cross.
“Well, you can imagine my excitement when I found a little boy Toy Pom at Witbank SPCA. I called immediately, only to be told – to my dismay – I was number five on the list of people who wanted to adopt him. But, three days later, they called me back: he was available if we wanted to meet him. So, we drove the 150km from Alberton to Witbank to meet him and complete an adoption form.
“Long story short, we collected him a week later.
“He’s such a very happy boy who follows us everywhere (I cannot even go to the bathroom without him following me!).”
Brenda Meyer shares Cody, her rescue all the way from Kenya.
“We lived in Kenya while on a work contract and had adopted two other rescues, Galen and Aisha (their story will be featured soon as a Happy Tale), and then decided on a third, Cody, an English Sheep Dog from KSPCA (Kenya Society for the Protection & Care of Animals).
“When we returned to SA, these babies had to come too. Cody and Aisha flew to South Africa together and have been home now for over two years. He’s the cutest boy ever and loves playing.”
Galen, Aisha and Cody relaxing on the bed
Alfred (left) and Eddie
Photograph by Strike A Pose Photography
Candice Lipchick shares Alfred and Eddie, who were adopted from Kempton Park SPCA.
“I adopted Alfred and Eddie in July 2017.The second I saw them both in their cage I fell completely in love with them. They had arrived at the SPCA together; they had been found in a drain. They shared a cage and were inseparable. When I went to the SPCA to look for a doggie, there they were – Alfred jumping up at the gate of the cage and Eddie sitting behind him. And that’s how it still is.
“Alfred is the boss; I have nicknamed him “Paw Patrol”. He’s the most lovable, amazing, intelligent little dog who gives kisses to everyone he meets. Eddie has got the most beautiful nature and personality. He likes his alone time, and I will often find him sitting under a tree on his own. He’s also such an affectionate little boy; I call him my special soul child. Alfred and Eddie love to play ball, go for walks and, most of all, playing with each other. They’re the best of friends and cannot be without each other for a second or Eddie cries.”
Bernice Mong shares Sokkies, her new rescue baby.
“On a Wednesday morning a friend called me and told me he was on his way to Rosslyn to see a client and had seen something fluffy lying in the middle of the road on the white stripe. At first he thought nothing of it, but then something told him to turn around and go check. What he found was this little fluff ball lying there, shaking and scared. Had he not turned around she could very possibly have been driven over, as she is so tiny and it was a very busy road.
“My friend said he unfortunately couldn’t keep the kitten and wanted to know where he could take it to a safe place. At first, having seven cats already, I thought I couldn’t take this baby, but my boyfriend had been saying for a while that he wanted a kitten. Since he was new to the cat world he’d grown to love all my cats but had never experienced having a kitten to raise. So I took this as a sign and told my friend I would take her.
“He met me at Old Chapel Veterinary Clinic where they did a checkup and aged her at approximately five/six weeks old. The vet said she was a healthy kitten, very clean and tame. This drew us to the conclusion that she was not a feral kitten that had got lost but that someone had probably dumped her there.
“We have named her Sokkies, as she has the cutest white paws. She has the sweetest personality with a lot of spunk and attitude for her age; a real busybody wanting to explore everything. She now has a loving home with us with three doggy and seven kitty siblings to play with. She brings us so much entertainment and joy in the home, and we are so happy she was rescued and found us. Rescues are the best!”
Bridgette Allan shares Abbye, adopted from Spaniel Welfare SA.
“In March last year, Spaniel Welfare SA posted a photo of her as a forlorn little stray. She’d been handed in at a vet, and they were looking for her owners – who never came forward.
“I applied to adopt her immediately, but she was in Cape Town and placed in foster care. The foster mom decided that she would keep her, and I was terribly disappointed.
“Then, a month later, I received an email from Spaniel Welfare SA asking whether I’d still be interested in adopting her as the foster mom was finding having four dogs hard to manage. Of course I jumped at the chance and Abbye was flown up to Durban a couple of weeks later once she’d completed her course of vaccines.
“Abbye is definitely not 100% Spaniel – we’re sure she has terrier of sorts in her, so we’re keen to do a MuttMix test sometime just out of curiosity.
“Abbye settled in immediately. She’s an independent little soul so was not really interested in the other dogs. She’s very demanding of affection from her humans, though. I think, given a chance, Abbye would literally climb under our skins.
“She’s a very well-behaved dog generally, but she’s caught on to barking furiously at the local troop of monkeys, and she let Bailey, our little black Spaniel, teach her how to dig for moles in the garden!”
Lucy Brennan shares Scarlett, who was adopted from Aniwell South Africa.
“Scarlett was abandoned as a kitten in a warehouse where she survived for two years before being rescued. When I adopted her, she wasn’t very domesticated and had clearly been badly abused; she was frightened of everyone, even voices on TV.
“Fast forward four years, and for the first time she worked up the courage to sit on my lap for a cuddle – she’d been working up to it for months. You can see now that she finally has found some peace and safety, and she’s my absolute love!”
Wendy Groenewald shares Max, who was adopted from Roodepoort SPCA.
“I adopted him on the 13th of April. He was extremely scared; he used to hide in the kennel and face the wall and wouldn’t even look at me while I sat and spoke to him in his kennel. The staff members couldn’t take him out of the kennel as he would not walk on the lead; he’d bite at it to get loose, which he did at our first meet and greet. It took them 40 minutes to catch him again on the premises.
“I visited him constantly to gain his trust over four weeks. I took him treats, spoke to him and showed him that not all humans are bad, and I finally got Max to look at me and not the wall when I came to visit.
“I took Max home on the 13th of April after all the paperwork, relevant meet and greets and home inspection and neutering were done. It took me two hours to get him out of the car once home, then another 40 minutes to get him to move on the harness to the back yard. Once there, he buried himself away under the plants (13h00), I put his food down right next to him, which he ate only once I left, and he finally came out of hiding at 18h30 that evening and started smelling around the yard and saying hello to my other two GSDs.
“By the second day he warmed up to me and didn’t run away when I called him, and by the third day Max was a completely different dog! He’s very gentle and loving; he loves getting rubs and kisses and very slow movements with your hands so as not to frighten him. He soon realises that you want to love and rub him and not hurt him.
“He’s gained a lot of confidence, now walks on a harness, sits on command, fetches the ball and brings it back. I recently introduced the brush to him, and he’s now allowing me to brush him for short periods of time. He’s become part of our family. He still has a way to go with trusting humans, but he’s getting there. He’s also picked up some weight, and most importantly, he has a loving home and a second chance in life. With his confidence growing daily, Max the Greatest is evolving...!”
Gey Van Pittius shares Odi, who was adopted through Cast Aways Sanctuary in April.
“This little old man captured our hearts when we saw him on a Facebook post. Left behind when his owners emigrated, this little 13yr+ boy was lost and confused in a kennel.
“The very kind and supportive Cast Aways Sanctuary carers found him a foster home until we found our way to him. Odi (wan-kenobi as we like to call him) has now found his forever home with us and our furry family.”
Odi in between his new sisters Penny (left) and Hannah, and on his way to his forever home
Billy Scheepers shares Halo, who was rescued as a stray.
“I rescued this gorgeous girl from the Hout Bay area in 2016; she was a stray and had got into trouble for catching and eating chickens in the local township. I named her Halo.
“I took her to our boarding kennels and then collected her two days later for a fundraiser walk at Rhodes Memorial. While at the walk, I realised that Halo had imprinted on me, and when I returned her to the kennels after the walk, Halo decided that there was no way she was ever going to leave my side again. I put her in her run and was speaking to the other volunteers when Halo came over the roof of the kennel building, came to me and stood firmly at my side. I listened to her plea, put her in my car and brought her home.
“I contacted a behaviourist who informed me Halo suffers from separation anxiety, and in her mind I’d become her safety net. After some training and research I learned about her anxiety, and today I’m a proud mom of a beautiful girl that totally completes me. She is my wing lady, my shadow, my heart – she is my Halo!”
Michelle Smith shares Oupa Frik, who was adopted from Love-A-Bull SA.
“My son Christo was looking for a senior to adopt, and Frik had been taken in by Love-a-Bull SA after the Purrpaws for Life fire at the perfect time. We’re so happy that he walked straight into our lives and hearts after his ordeals.
“He’s adapted so well, and we’ve fallen completely in love with him. He’s the most gentle, loving boy who’s enjoying his lazy peaceful days, loves his food, sleeping in, and most of all, his ball! For a boy of approximately 10 years old he still has loads of vooma when he knows it’s time to play.
“It’s been such a blessing and honour to make him part of the family, and though we don’t know anything about his yesterdays, we sure know his tomorrow and the rest of his days are in the centre of our lives and hearts. His body may be scarred, and we don't know from what, but his heart for sure is still pure as gold. We love you, Frikkadel!
“We also want to thank Judy Meyers and Love-a-Bull SA for the wonderful work they do, in rescuing Frik and blessing us with the rest of his golden years. Please remember the oldies and consider adopting them; they have the kind of love and wisdom no other dog can offer! If anyone would like to sponsor one of the precious rescues just like Frik still waiting, or if you would like to donate towards the amazing work done to give a Pit Bull a second chance at a happy tale, please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Linda Piegl shares her Little Luna, rescued from a feral colony.
“Little Luna has many fond nicknames. ‘Tail-less Wonder’ is because she was born without a tail, the result of interbreeding in her feral colony. But her lack of tail isn’t a lack as far as she’s concerned. She’s fearless – climbs and jumps higher than my tailed cat and is such an inspiration. She has two tiny vertebrae where her tail should be, covered in fluff, and from the back and when she runs, she looks like a bunny rabbit.
“She’s also ‘Kitten Face’ – as the runt she’s remained small with the cutest kitten face right up until now – her 13th year on earth. She also has a tiny heart.
“Finally, she’s ‘Cujo Cat’ (after the Stephen King novel about a rabid dog) – ask the vets who have been clawed on the cheek after looking into her mouth or ripped to shreds after they attempted to remove stitches. It took two people to restrain this kitty of 3kg that time.
“The wildness of a feral is in their DNA. Luna taught me this. Who could guess that at home she is snuggly and loving – she adores being under the duvet in winter lying in the crook of my arm with her head on my shoulder. Her other favourite position is sitting on my shoulder like a monkey and being carried around.
“I’m so grateful for the miraculous day a very snuffle-sick, two-month-old Luna chose to leave her mom and the colony to go home with me. I’d crouched down by a palisade fence to greet her. I didn’t know at the time, but it was Mom next to her. A pretty, teenage tabby girl. Luna squeezed through the palisade and stepped onto my lap. I hope Mom knew I’d make her baby better, but my heart still breaks when I think back to taking Luna from under her nose.
Months later, in the sunlight, I saw the tabby stripes in Luna’s black fur...”
Luna and Karma (her older “sister”)
Andrea Trollip shares her precious boy named Blue.
“I took Blue in as a near-dead foster weighing 720g. He was worm-infested and couldn’t drink or eat without assistance. He and his sister were found on the road with no mom in sight.
“He became a foster fail after an adoption fell through and is now a boisterous eight-month-old, weighing 22kg and living the good life.”
Photograph by Alicia Thomas
Kotie Jacobs shares Chloë, who was adopted from SPCA Louis Trichardt.
“I’m so grateful to have found Chloë. She is the cutest, darling little dog, and I’m besotted!
“And she’s so very protective of me. She lies across my table at work, sometimes so stretched out that I can hardly get anything done!
“She enjoys car rides with the window down, feeling the wind blow in her hair. I absolutely love having her around.”
Tracy Barlett shares her latest golden oldie, Shayla, who was adopted from Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre.
“We were NOT looking to get another dog as we already had five golden oldies – plus a cat – but Shayla captured our hearts and arrived last Monday, very shy and unsure of her new surroundings.
“Our daughter, Lily, quickly made her feel at home, and it’s been so amazing to watch her come out of her shell and blossom. She is now running up to us to greet us when we arrive or wake up in the mornings and has cheekily nicked Rusty’s bed too.”
Julia McCarthy-Page shares Bailey, who was adopted from CAAA (Capetonians Against Animal Abuse).
“I had been looking for a cat for a while before I contacted Dee of Happy Tails, and believe it or not, within minutes she sent me a photo of a kitten that immediately stole my heart.
“I named her Bailey, and she is the sweetest, kindest, and most gentle Calico who loves a good cuddle. I can’t wait to get home from school every day to see her.
“The bond we share is like no other!”
Noleen Fourie shares Jessie, who was adopted three years ago after she’d been rescued from a horrific puppy mill.
“It took a lot of work and patience to increase her confidence, and while she will always be a sensitive soul, she is filled with so much joy today.
“Some might say that Jessie was lucky to find a home with us, but the opposite is true: we are the lucky ones.”
Sarah Bernhardt shares her new best friend, Nibbles, adopted from Critter Rescue SA.
“My mom and I moved from George to Johannesburg, and I kept on asking her for a pet, as she works hard to support us and I get lonely.
“On 3 December 2018, I walked into my room and I found Nibbles, my new hamster. My mom adopted him from aunty Karien from Critter Rescue SA.
“I love him so much, and he is my best friend in the world.”
Viv van Rensburg shares Marley, who was rescued from a puppy mill.
“Marley is four years old. She has such a stunning nature and simply adores attention. She and my granddaughter, Morgan, love to spend time with each other.”
Johné de Coning shares little Fergie, who was recently adopted.
“Fergie was a stray and was taken in by an elderly lady who couldn’t keep her. Nobody came forward to claim her, and I couldn’t resist when I received the email from Jeanne Louw looking for a forever home for her.
“I’m absolutely in love! She licks my face like a lollipop and purrs like a Ford tractor. She was meant for us!”
Photo by Caroline Hartley Photography
Beth Dewar shares Bandit, who was adopted from TAR (Township Animal Rescue).
“Bandit is the baby of the family at just two years of age. He was rescued by an animal welfare organisation as a tiny puppy with his 11 siblings, 10 brothers and one sister, after they were born at the bottom of a garden. His mother was well cared for enough that she was allowed to stay with her family after being spayed.
“We got him to be company for one of our other dogs, Snowy-Bear, as his brother Mason, with arthritis, is not up to keeping up with him, and Snowy-Bear was getting very lonely.”
Caroline Hartley shares Leo, who was adopted from Paarl SPCA.
“I adopted Leo and his brother Felix; unfortunately, they both had leukaemia and Felix, sadly, passed away in December 2017.
“Leo has just turned four and is still going strong, and I cherish every moment I have with him. He is the kindest soul. He loves his hugs and he will stand up against ANYONE to be picked up and cuddled. Leo is a very serious cuddle bunny!”
Photograph by Alicia Thomas
Corné Redelinghuys shares little Jules, who was adopted from SPCA Louis Trichardt.
“Jules changed by my life after all the things I went through. I was looking for a baby girl, especially a Jack Russell. I’m recently divorced and needed someone to love and to cuddle. While on holiday, I scrolled through Facebook posts, and ‘BOOM’, this little face popped up on my screen, and I told my friends there and then that this was ‘the one’!
“I get so emotional when I think of her that day. She is the happiest baby ever, and my light, my travel partner.
“We are planning to travel to Namibia this year; I think she needs her own passport! Together we are better!”
Photography by Jackie Wernberg Photography
Lyn Veary shares Kitara, who was picked up as a stray on Kommetjie Road near Oceanview, Cape Town.
“Oceanview [an impoverished township] is renowned for dog fighting. Kitara was found nearby and dropped off at Noordhoek Vet, where my friend worked. I wasn’t looking for another dog as I already had two, but when I got the call to come and look at Kitara, I’m sure my friend knew exactly how this story would pan out.
“When I got there, my friend let her out of the cage, and I immediately recognised her as a Pit Bull. Admittedly, I was wary at first – I had my seven-year-old son with me. She came rushing out of her cage, straight at my son; she was wagging, kissing and smiling (I’ve never seen such a smiley dog). Needless to say, the decision was made: I would foster her until we could find a suitable home.
“Nine years later, I concede defeat; this is definitely a foster fail story. Kitara won me over very quickly. Apart from a few adventures (like scaling an eight-foot wall after a troop of baboons), life with her has been amazing.
“She has completely changed my perception of the Pit Bull breed. They really are the most intuitive, sensitive and loving dogs I’ve ever come across.
“Kitara is a real princess and sleeps on the bed with her head on the pillow. She has to taste everything I eat. Her morning routine consists of licking out either my kefir or smoothie glass (kefir is her favourite). She’s on cannabis oil twice a day to help manage her arthritis aches and pains, as she’s about 11 years old now. Kitara really is such an amazing companion – I can’t imagine life without her.
“I’m a very happy Pit Bull mom and I’ll definitely be adopting Pit Bulls again in the future.”
Carroll and Eddie Dantu share Lucky May, who recently joined their family.
“We are thrilled to have been able to offer Lucky, who is 27 years old and a former show-jumping pony, a retirement home with Squiggles, our 20-year-old rescue horse, who’s just as happy to have a companion again (her long-standing partner passed away recently from old age).
“Within 24 hours, Lucky and Squiggles were walking all over the plot together. Lucky has a gentle nature. With thanks to my niece Dee and Happy Tails, we were fortunate to find him and we hope for a long and happy life for both him and Squiggles.”
Joanne Kontaxopoulos-Rabe shares Goggo, who was rescued during a marathon.
“My husband and I were running the Bronkhorstspruit 32km race in February 2017. 90% of the marathon route is in a remote area with large spreads of empty land. About 10km into the race, my husband heard a faint cry for help.
“There, in the middle of nowhere, we found a little ginger kitten, all alone with no food or water. He was emaciated, covered with ticks and fleas, and in a very bad state. Being an animal lover and even greater lover of cats, we promptly collected the kitten, which had obviously been very cruelly dumped where he didn’t even have access to water or anyone to notice and rescue him.
“Fortunately, as founder of Harties Feral Cat Rescue, I drive around with cat food in my car, so we could feed him on our way to Harties. He just gulped down those pellets; he was too hungry to chew!
“Goggo is now part of the family and big brother to all the rescues that I bring home to foster. My other cats usually give them the cold shoulder, but Goggo showers them with love and attention. He has the most stunning personality, and we have a very special bond.”
Nikki Pietersen shares little Tekoda (Koda for short), who was adopted from Kleinmond Animal Welfare Society.
“I had absolutely no intention of adopting another pet in the near future. But after seeing her little black-and-white face and hearing her screams for company, my heart was breaking.
“I decided to take her home, intending to foster her and to see if our other rescue dog, Visla-German Shorthaired Pointer Lili, would accept her. Well, it was a complete foster fail – we adopted her after only two days. She’s slotted right into our family, and we love her to bits!”
Tekoda with her big sister, Lili a rescued Viszla/GSP
Ros Nightingale shares little Lucky, her latest adopted cat from Nicholson’s Rescues.
“My boy Lucky is a long-haired Siamese-mix cat. He was only 12 weeks old when I heard of Lynette Nicholson through my daughter, Lauren, who has fostered many kittens and found homes for them (and kept the ones they fell in love with).
“I decided to adopt Lucky because, aside from being absolutely gorgeous, he was old enough to use a litter box and young enough to integrate well with my other two rescue cats. He’s now four months old and they all play up a storm together!
“Lucky has certainly brightened all of our lives, making adopting him the best decision ever!”
Claire MacIntosh shares Maggie, who was adopted from Animal Ambulance.
“Meet the new addition to the family: Maggie!
“Maggie is a timid Boerboel (with maybe a little bit of Boxer in her) of about seven or eight years. She was used for breeding over and over again and brought to me so that she could get the chance to have a proper home for the first time in her life.
“Before coming to me, the Animal Ambulance vets checked her over, vaccinated and dewormed her, treated her for the many ticks and fleas that plagued her – and, most importantly, spayed her.
“Maggie took about a week to settle in and find ‘herself’ – and her voice! She did give me a scare last week when she didn’t want to eat, and I whisked her to my vet; fortunately, there was nothing wrong – I was just being paranoid.
“She’s now perfectly fine and bounces around barking for her supper!”
Laura and Brent Dodd share Fenton, who was adopted from the Pietermaritzburg SPCA.
“After one of our dearly loved Labradors passed away, I asked the SPCA to keep us posted for anything that even slightly resembled a Labrador, and we were very blessed when we received a call to say that Fenton was available for adoption.
“We’ve had him for only a short few months, and he’s grateful for every piece of love and attention, especially when he’s allowed to sleep in our bed. He fills our lives with so much joy.”
Photo credit: Ashleigh Pienaar
Stephanie Pienaar shares Fly, who was adopted from Animal Welfare Helderberg in 2009.
“I was fostering for PETS and they sent out an alert that Animal Welfare Helderberg was overloaded with cats and kittens; they were in desperate need of fosters. I was planned to foster two adult cats (I already had two at home), but when I heard Fly’s story and saw her, I knew I needed to take her. Fly had already been rehomed three times – before she was even six months old.
“The timing was perfect, and I was about to move into a townhouse in Thornton. She fitted in perfectly with my other rescue kitties, Sparrow and Pearl, who adored her and made her feel right at home.
“She sleeps wrapped in my arms every night (just on my hand if it’s too hot) and goes everywhere I do. She rules the roost at home – all three dogs will not walk through a doorway if Fly is on the other side! Fly is also a bird catcher (fortunately, as she has aged, this has decreased).
“When I lost Sparrow, Fly was devastated – he was her best friend, and the two of them were always cuddling together and playing. She’s never fully recovered from the loss, even though it was seven years ago, but has adapted and plays with the other cats when she feels like it.”
Anne van den Berg shares Harley-Blu, who was adopted from Grace Animal Sanctuary.
“From teenie-tiny freckled rescue pup to fully fledged ‘Domino~Diva’ – that’s our Harley-Blu!
“Having just lost my dad to cancer, all it took was a shared Facebook post from a friend saying ‘What’s one more?’ to get me to apply to adopt Harley-Blu. Her name was inspired by my dad’s blue Harley-Davidson motorbike. He’d always wanted a blue-eyed Dalmatian, and it was as if he’d sent her from another realm to help us heal.
“She’s slotted in beautifully with her Dalmatian sisters, who are twins two years her senior; in fact, the three of them are inseparable!
“Harley-Blu came with an abundance of love, toothie grins, snoring and farts!”
Pat Deysel shares little Duke, who was adopted through animal rescuer Kerstin Fuchsloch.
“Duke is our albino Yorkshire Terrier-Pekingese mix dog, and he’s the love of our life.
“He’s such a cutie pie and just loves to be cuddled all the time. He’s a very special and affectionate little boy.”
Jen Hopping-Mills shares little Roxy.
“Roxy is a ‘Daxi Taxi Fail’ from almost a year ago. I was only supposed to pick her up and take her to her foster Momma, but she didn’t make it to her foster Mom... she decided to stay with me instead.
“She came into my life for a reason, as I lost my 12-year-old little girl in October last year, so God had a plan.
“She’s come such a long way in the 11 months we’ve had her... From a little frightened fuzzy bag of bones to the brave Ball Bonkers Baby that she is today (balls are her life). And she is mine! #blessedbeyond”
The day I picked her up... She stared at me all the way to her foster, and that’s when I realised I couldn’t go through with it and we drove all the way back home – to her new home.
Zelda Wiltshire shares Ziggy, a toy/miniature French poodle who was adopted from Poodle Rescue SA in September 2018.
“We wanted a friend for our three-legged poodle, Mr Marley (also adopted – see October 2016 here http://www.happytailsmagazine.co.za/look-at-me-now/). When we got him, Marley looked like Bob Marley with his dreadlocks; we decided to name our new poodle after Bob Marley’s son, Ziggy Marley.
“From the time we took him out of the cage at the airport he was just this little happy bundle of joy. He never cried once and we all just fell in love. He’s got the cutest teddy bear face you’ve ever seen and has the funniest little crooked teeth.
“It took Marley a little over two weeks to get a liking for this white fluff ball, but now they are just best mates. And, of course, my husband has fallen in love (for the second time) with this new Poodle boy. I cannot imagine our life without our two adopted Poodles.”
Peroni (top) and Pelforth
Jean de Groot shares Pelforth and Peroni.
“Pelforth and Peroni were born in the bush to a cat owned by a lady who had fallen on hard times. SAM (Sedgefield Animal Matters) fostered them initially until we adopted them.
“My husband, Frank, is a vet and I am a vet nurse, and the kittens have joined our household of two Hong Kong streets cats (where we lived previously), a dog inherited from my mother when she passed away, and four rehomed birds: an African Grey, a Senegal Parrot, a Ring-neck Parakeet and a Lovebird. So we have quite the menagerie.
“They have settled in well and are playing up a storm with Biddy, our dog; they are eating or playing with each other non-stop. They have certainly brought more joy to our lives.”
Alicia Thomas shares Lily-Mae, who was adopted from SPCA Louis Trichardt.
“Lily-Mae arrived at our SPCA quite worse for wear!
“For the first two weeks I had to put splints on her front legs, as she was so underfed her legs were buckling but, with the right meds, good food and lots of love she bounced back quickly!
“It was a sure-fire foster fail, and Lily-Mae was going nowhere; we adopted her and have not looked back once.
“She keeps us very busy and goes everywhere with me. She will protect us with her life, and her unconditional, grateful love is unmatched. She teaches me so much about life every single day!”
Carolyn Malan shares Toby, who was adopted from Hermanus Animal Welfare Society.
“I saw Toby on HAWS’ Facebook page around November 2018; I contacted HAWS and started the adoption process in December 2018.
“He arrived at our home in Vredenburg on the 29th of December 2018 after some very kind people, Victoria Bedritskaia and her good friend Mariechen Du Toit, transported him from Hermanus.
“Toby is a very dear boy and he has settled so well into our home; a lovely dog who likes to always be close to us.
“We live very near the Berg River in Velddrif, and he loves a trip on our boat!”
Anoux Massey shares Liebe, who was found on a dumpsite 12 years ago.
“Liebe is my oldest right now and has her own bed in our bedroom. She is the alpha female, and my brood has much respect for her. Besides her love for us, she also LOVES apples!”
Lisa van der Westhuizen shares Sherlock and Grayson, who were adopted from Capetonians Against Animal Abuse on the 6th of July 2018.
“Sherlock and Grayson are the most loveable boys ever. They love to be close to me all the time and have me wrapped around their little paws.
“Sherlock is very much a mommy’s boy; he comes for loves and kisses every evening before bed time. Grayson is my little mischievous naughty boy who, believe it or not, absolutely loves to bath with me!
“They both enjoy waking my husband and me up in the morning by nibbling our toes – then we know it’s food time. They are our children and rule the roost in our house.
“They are extremely playful yet unbelievably loving and want to be with me 24/7. They bring incredible joy to our lives.”
Neldi Vergers shares Bruno, who was adopted from Hermanus Animal Welfare Society.
“When I saw the post on Facebook highlighting Bruno at HAWS, we instantly fell in love with that sweet face.
“When we first met him, he was a little shy and didn’t want much to do with us. We collected him on Wednesday, the 6th of February, and now he is much happier. Bruno loves attention and giving and receiving love.
“He is part of our family now and we are very lucky to have this gentle giant with us.”
Allison Spolander shares Kodi (previously named Yuki), who was adopted from Cape of Good Hope SPCA.
“Adopting Kodi was the best thing we could have done – he fitted in perfectly right from the beginning. His first night with us went extremely well; he was calm and happy, slept by my bedside all night, and joys, no oopsies (a great relief).
“He has bonded with every member of my family; my hubby, Selwyn, our son Josh, and of course his new mamma, me. And we regularly Skype with my eldest son, Ryan, and his fiancé, Katie, in the UK, so they got to meet him too!
“He loves his toys and seems to have a fetish for soft blankets and slippers.
“Kodi has settled in beautifully, and he gets loads of attention from friends who have come to meet him. Even taking him on his walk, the kids we meet adore him (he is very handsome). He has even met a few horses on his walks and he isn’t too fazed. We’ve had many offers to doggy-sit from friends who just love him!
“So, all in all, a very happy family has been blessed with a very special boy.”
Sharon King shares Olivia, the latest addition to her family.
“Olivia and her two sisters were rescued from an Eastern Cape backyard breeder. They were malnourished and suffering from rickets. I found homes for her two sisters here in Napier, where we live, and organised a lift for them so all three arrived here together. They were no more than eight weeks old.
“Olivia, Grace and Lucy are all blue in colour, and when they arrived, they all had blue eyes. Olivia is the only one that has retained the blue eyes; the others now have pale-olive eyes. They are the most gorgeous hounds, and my guess is that they are Boerwindhonde (South African Greyhound) – they all have huge paws, and at six months old, Olivia is already bigger than my smallest Greyhound.
“Olivia regularly has playdates with her sister, Grace; her other sister, Lucie, joins in when her mom is able to bring her.”
Photography by Kym Clayton Photography
Johan du Toit shares Nols, adopted from Animal Anti-Cruelty League Bellville.
“Nols was caught in a cat trap at a factory in Parow. They phoned us as she was really bewildered and scared; we collected her immediately and Lolly became Nols in the Du Toit Household.
“She has been with us for three months; about three weeks ago she suddenly came out of her shell and is just a joy with all the other dogs. She adores her mommy, Stephenette, to bits and always sits behind her, even at the dinner table.”
Anoux Massey shares Grietjie, who was a township rescue.
“Grietjie was saved from an abusive group of young boys. It didn’t take long for her to settle in and now she is the ruler of the roost in our home.”
Jade Dickson shares Koda.
“Koda is two years old and was found in a Tshwane township with his mom and siblings around a hot fire. I adopted him when he was just eight weeks and he’s come a long way since then.
“Koda brings such happiness to my life – his smile brightens up everything!”
Annemarie De Beer (founder of Cat Trapping in the Winelands) shares little Coco, who was trapped at a restaurant on a wine farm in Franschhoek where we TNR-ed (Trap-Neuter-Release/Return) the whole colony.
“Coconut is a foster fail. He decided that he’s not leaving me and, so, he didn’t. He loves to talk and answers me; he listens so well when spoken to.
“I love Coco and he lies on his Mommy all the time just purring and licking away. He also never wanders off far and stays close to home so that he can see me. He’s my best reward ever.”
Dr Erika de Jager of Zuri Orphanage shares little Spokie.
“A woman brought a Fox Terrier to my practice to be spayed. She was already heavily pregnant and I said I’d take one of the puppies.
“Three puppies were born and she brought all three to me to choose. Spokie was the middle-sized puppy and I chose her – and the rest is history.
“Spokie is always happy and loves all the animals on the farm, from cats to aardvarks. When she was a year old, to our horror she disappeared, returning a day later with one front leg almost without any skin. She’d been caught in a snare. After many weeks of treatment, although her little foot is misformed, she’s running around on the farm, watching over the other animals as if nothing ever happened.
“Spokie sleeps on the bed every night with me and I love her very much.”
Jaco Sapet-Nel shares Jasper, who was rescued in 2013.
“At two years old, Jasper had already been rehomed a few times. But, with us, he has now found his forever home, where he lives in harmony with his two kitty ‘sisters’, Marmite and Tequila.”
Gaby Drews shares Mamma Mia (Mia for short), one of three puppies rescued from a farm.
“Mia’s siblings all found good homes, and whilst Mia had to be rehomed away from us for six months at first, she came back into our lives and we felt the need to build a home – aptly named Casa Mia – so that we could keep her. She’s been back with us for two years now.
“She’s still a little untrusting of people, but we’re making good progress. Mia’s favourite place is on the bed. She’s a lovely dog and life is good having her with back with us.”
Tracey and Stephan Burke share Darwin, who was rescued as a newborn.
“Darwin has turned heads and captured hearts all through his nine years in the Burke household.
“Diagnosed with cancer as a one-year-old younster, it was touch-and-go for a while, but the chemo worked, the hair grew back and Darwin has ambled through life ever since with the most loving disposition and friendliest nature a dog could possess.
“Raised in a home of four rescue dogs and six cats, this adorable mutt with his pot belly, turned-out feet and scraggly fringe definitely rules the roost and occupies prime spot in the heart of the Burke home.”
Photo credit: Ashleigh Pienaar
Stephanie Pienaar shares Bean, who was adopted from TEARS in 2016.
“Bean (Caribbean) is our youngest rescue cat, and he was adopted at eight months of age. He adores our rescue dogs (see Look at me NOW! July 2018); they cuddle, play, chase and lick each other.
“He’s very playful and will play with anything he can find, even paperclips. He doesn’t enjoy being on his own for long and will go over the roof into the back garden to play with the dogs while I’m at work. Like our other two rescue cats, he loves going to visit my gran in Betty’s Bay, which has an open space on the mountain and many creatures to play with.
“Bean is a great hunter but knows better to bring his catches into the house. I tried getting him to sleep in our bed, but he’s just not interested – he loves sleeping on the beanbags in the lounge or sharing the dogs’ beds with or without them.
“Life with our Bean is wonderful!”
Photo credit: Natalie Russell
Saskia Spagni shares Anto, Timmy and Jack (left to right), who were adopted together from Animal Welfare Society Stellenbosch.
“When I was still a student at Stellenbosch University in May 2008, I volunteered for the Animal Welfare Society of Stellenbosch (AWSS), running their first website and taking photos of the dogs every week. On a cold public holiday weekend in May 2008, I was taking photos and noticed three little black pups that had just arrived. They reminded me of the three monkeys – don’t speak, don’t hear, don’t see.
“They were in a terrible state: barely any fur due to mange, skinny to the bone and infested with fleas. Elmarie, the lady who runs the cattery, told me that they were found wandering along the road, eating leaves.
“That night, I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned, constantly thinking of them. The next morning, I took them flea and mange treatment; I returned the following day, too.
“I posted a ‘foster needed’ ad on Gumtree; someone in Table View volunteered. I took the trio of stinky pups to the sweet young lady (probably in her early 20s) who had a toddler, and, after a week, she called me saying that it was just too much for her. It was winter, cold and rainy, and the kennels at AWSS were open to the elements.
“At that time, I only had one rescue dog, Chico (who passed away at 16 years of age in January 2018), and we lived in a two-bedroom, third-floor flat. I decided to foster the pups until they had enough fur to be ok to go back to AWS.
“I took the pups in and built a makeshift kennel with my bed base. They were a lot of work. Timmy had damage on his cornea and needed eye ointment four times daily; they all needed to be bathed regularly for the mange and, of course, they were three very rambunctious three-month-old pups – and I was a full-time student. I remember at our early walks on the rugby field, Jack and Anto ran off after Chico, but Timmy was still too weak, so I had to carry him.
“But I managed, and when it was time to take them back, I just couldn’t do it. That’s how I ended up with four dogs. The ‘pups’ are now eleven years old and have already gone grey, but they’re still very much loved.”
Photograph by Kym Clayton Photography
Johan du Toit shares Missy, adopted from Animal Anti-Cruelty League Bellville.
“Missy – or, as we call her, Bobbejaan – was rescued in Mitchells Plain with her babies.
“She became the office dog at AACL and was adored by everyone. When mom Stephenette went to adopt Jazz (another one of our family) they fell in love with each other and Missy came home to join our family.
“She loves cuddling and is a very special soul.”
Jessica Morgan shares Sebastian, who was adopted from Cat Rescue-PE.
“Sebastian was rescued with his mother and sister; he and his sister were each missing a back leg.
“Sebastian has opened up my eyes and heart; he is so special to me because his disability hasn’t stopped him at all. He walks, runs, jumps and plays like a normal kitty, which he is to me.
“He settled into the domesticated lifestyle so beautifully. Even though he was initially feral, his little heart was open to love, and within an hour of arriving at my home, he was in my arms. He loves cuddles and snacks and is one very curious kitten. He has potty-trained himself, which is mind-blowing to me; I put him in the litter box once and he’s been going there on his own since.
“And he’s so intelligent! He loves to talk (and loves to scratch my couches too). He is such a beautiful soul and I am so lucky to have him.”
Tatum van Rensburg shares Sarah Bear, who was adopted from Project Dog.
“Sarah Bear was rescued by Project Dog after being found abandoned in a field at the age of just five weeks. A few weeks later, our beautiful bear came to live at her forever home with us. After getting her hernia fixed and some good old-fashioned loves and cuddles, she settled in quickly with her new cat and dog siblings.
“Sarah Bear came to us filled with anxiety and nervousness. But, through training and constant love and affection, she is slowly becoming more confident.
“She’s a friendly, fun-loving young lady who enjoys chasing her kitty siblings and barking at birdies. She also enjoys long walks on the beach, stealing her daddy’s pillow and playing with her sister, Xena Weiner the sausage dog.
“She is our whole world and together we are a family.”
Tyler Vivier shares her newest family member, Maui-Maui.
“Maui-Maui joined our home after the loss of a beloved family member. He is a 12-year-old ‘kitten’ with a heart of gold and a thirst for ankles at 3am; he even wears an ‘ankle biter warning’ tag. He loves cuddles and has the loudest purr that lulls you off to sleep.
“We never knew that having him as part of our family would fill our home with so much more love.”
Charlotte (left) and Frankie
Carien Eloff shares Charlotte and Frankie.
“In 2012, I moved into a pet-friendly flat with a small garden area and was working from home, so I felt the time was right to get a dog. I found Charlotte through Adopt-A-Dog.
“She had been picked up at the DuNoon dump as a newborn, where she lay next to her dead mother; she was fostered until she was around seven weeks old. When I fetched her, she was so tiny that a friend of mine made a jacket for her from a sock. Today, Charlotte is a hooligan and absolute clown, and I love her to bits.
“On a freezing winter’s morning in 2014, Charlotte and I were snuggled under the duvet when I saw a Facebook post from Cape Dachshund Rescue about a little black-and-tan boy at the Winelands SPCA.
“His owner had left the farm and just abandoned all the animals: chickens, a goat, a Labrador and three Dachshunds. Frankie’s beautiful eyes stole my heart and Charlotte and I raced to Ashton to go and fetch him.
“He was just skin and bone and very depressed. Today he’s known as Frank the Tank; the sweetest, gentlest dog you’ll ever meet, and in stark contrast to Charlotte, a real lapdog and cuddle bunny.
“The two of them love each other very much and, needless to say, I adore them both!”
Lauren and Marissa Rembach share little Frankie Milkpaws, who was adopted from SPCA Vereeniging & Vanderbijlpark.
“What a privilege to be approved by the SPCA Vereeniging & Vanderbijlpark to give a forever home to this little bundle of energy.
“Frankie has brought love and light into our home and is a companion for our lonely three-year-old rescue, who sadly lost her two 17-year-old ‘brothers’ this year – they crossed the rainbow bridge within five weeks of each other.
“We are truly blessed to have Frankie as part of our family.”
Photograph by Alicia Thomas
Ronel Roux shares Dempsey, who was adopted from SPCA Louis Trichardt.
“We fell in love with a photo on Facebook – a little doggy with a beautiful face, and the name Dempsey.
“We assumed we’d never be so lucky as to become Dempsey’s family, but, as they say, you never know if you don’t try. We contacted SPCA Louis Trichardt all the way from our home in Hartbeespoort (four hours away). To our joy, they were happy to do a home inspection. We were hoping it would go well because that face cried out and said: this is his forever home.
“SPCA Louis Trichardt were amazing, and, less than a week later, they brought Dempsey home to the eco-estate in which we live in Hartbeespoort.
“Dempsey fitted in from the first moment he saw his new Dad. He loves all his brothers, four- and two-legged. And, of course, Mom is his favourite as she’s the only girl in the house. We had to teach Demspey to climb the stairs, but sleeping on the bed came naturally to him.
“We can’t imagine our lives without him. He made our family whole, and, needless to say, he is the most spoilt.”
Lalie Van Dyk shares Lola, who was adopted from BARC (Benoni Animal Rescue Centre).
“Twelve-year-old Lola had been taken to the vet to be euthanised as her owner was moving into an old-age home. The vet just couldn’t do it and surrendered her into BARC’s care, where she remained for eight months.
“I’m a long-time supporter of BARC and regular visitor to their charity shop, which is where I first met Lola. The moment I laid eyes on her, I felt like I’d known her for years; we had a bond straight away. When I talked to her, she would communicate in her own little way – rubbing her head against my hand, following me around the charity shop, rubbing against my legs and, when I picked her up, a big ppppurrrrrr. I got to know her better with every visit and finally knew I had to adopt her.
“On the 29th of November, I saw a Facebook post where someone asked what our Christmas wishes would be – I commented that I’d wish to adopt Lola!
“The very next morning I took my husband to meet Lola. I had the form in my hand when Charmaine came to me and said BARC would love to grant my wish! Someone had tagged Lauren from BARC in my comment about my wish! I was completely out-of-my-skin excited, with happy tears running down my face.
“They visited us for a home inspection and immediately told me that Lola had found her forever home… with us. I was jumping around like a mad woman because I was just so happy, and the very same day, we brought her home.
“Lola is just such a blessing. She loves lying in bed or on the couch with us and enjoys playing ball with the kids and housekeeper. She adores walks outside on the grass and rolling in the sand – I always towel her down and brush her after a sand-rolling session, which she loves.
“She is such a gentle kitty-cat and just has so much love to give and loves receiving it too! She loves it when I get into bed and jumps up to snuggle, either lying on top of me or right next to me – she’d sleep for days if I didn’t get up. I think she just needed our family to find herself again and feel happy and loved; she needed to be somewhere where she belongs.
“I couldn't have gotten a better Christmas gift. For that I would love to thank everyone at BARC, especially Lauren and Charmaine, as well as for all the things you all do for the fur babies out there! My heart is happy and I am all smiles – and so is my Lola.”
Photograph by Kym Clayton Photography
Lara Portlock shares little Ozzy, their precious Maltese.
“Ozzy was rescued on the Milnerton beachfront when he was only about two months old. The family that found him took him in, but, unfortunately, their German Shepherd had other plans and attacked him. They decided that the responsible thing to do was to rehome him.
“Coincidentally, my husband, Simon, had visited them just a few days prior to the attack and had told them he’d happily give Ozzy a home if things didn’t work out. So, when he was bitten, luckily for us they contacted Simon and asked to take him up on his offer to give Ozzy a home. And this is how our precious Ozzy came into our lives.
“Ozzy is quite a character; he is spunky and full of life. He has the cutest quirks, like getting so excited for his dinner that he twirls in circles, or taking his kibbles one at a time to his bed, where he nibbles them quietly. He also is a very good watch dog with a brave little heart and is always on the alert.
“He is now almost nine years old and his favourite pastime is to lie quietly under my desk, curled up in his little bed snoozing the day away. We are truly lucky to have him in our lives.”
Sven Finkeldeh shares Erik and Maddox, who were adopted from Aniwell South Africa and moved to Vietnam with them.
“We brought Erik and Maddox all the way with us from Cape Town, South Africa, to Hoi An, Vietnam. In December 2018 it was our four-year adoptaversary.
“They have settled into their new home nicely and are enjoying the tropical climate. There are lots of butterflies and dragonflies that they love to chase after.
“When they’re not getting up to mischief, they like to try out new napping and grooming spots.”
Photo credit: Brendan Bromfield
Taryn Murdey shares Sushi, who was adopted from Kloof SPCA in 2015.
“Sushi loves showering me with lots of living presents (13 bats, five snakes, two or three blue-headed lizards – the list goes on). He is very affectionate one minute, often purring and drooling lying on my chest, and then the very next minute he’s tackling and biting me, especially when he’s hungry.
“He often sits on the edge of my bath and laps up my bath water or jumps into the empty bath when I walk into the room, and then he waits for me to put the cold water tap on so that he can drink fresh running water – he’s quite the spoilt cat. And I’m quite the proud mom!”
“The first photo I took of him the day I met him – how could I resist!”
Linda Piegl shares Edie and Danté, both of whom were rescued by her from puppy traders when they were just two months old.
“Edie and Danté are my ten-year-old precious pups. They’re siblings – I know, it’s hard to believe; clearly, they had different sires.
“Edie is the female ‘Half Jack’ (half Jack Russell, although she acts like she’s a 100% JR) and it is her doing that we are family today. After rescuing them, they were in the footwell of the passenger seat in my car. Edie jumped onto my lap while the male was cowering behind the gearbox, looked me in the eye, imprinted on me and promptly fell asleep.
“Danté looked at this and decided to be brave and join her on my lap. I was well and truly done for. Even though the vet we were en route to said he would find them homes, it was my home they came to.
“Edie is my little diva. She has to be the centre of attention or she goes off in a sulk. She’s a goat in dog’s clothing – eats anything and everything, from licking shampoo right off my head to loving lettuce.
“Danté is a mishmash that turned out simply gorgeous. The vets reckon there’s Labrador, Dachshund, Ridgeback, Jack Russell and who knows what else in his mix. My protector, he’s always nearby, incredibly attached to me and feels my every mood.
“He has bandy legs, and when he was six months old, one of them was completely bowed (apparently a Labrador ailment). He became the Bionic Pup after corrective surgery and a steel plate that’s still there.
“They have enriched my life beyond measure and I’m grateful every day that they put their pawprints onto my world and into my heart.”
Brendon Thorpe shares Beetle and Yogi, their beloved rescue hounds.
“We’ve always been a rescue-pet household. Yogi, our furry ball, was rescued from a building site by my son about eight or nine years ago. Poor little Yogi was being tormented and stoned by the labourers; my son immediately intervened and Yogi came home with him – and never left.
“Our other hound, Beetle, came from Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre as a puppy. She’d been rescued in Fisantekraal township, malnourished and beaten. Although advertised as a “medium dog” she’s turned into a 45kg brute, but she still thinks she’s a lap dog.
“Unfortunately, Beetle is ‘socially awkward’, so we’ve not been able to bring another mate into the pack as such, although my wife, Belinda, threatens to adopt every time she reads one of the rescue stories. Our compromise always ends up with another donation!”
Sawyer (left) and Josie (right)
Megan-Jayne McFall shares Josie and Sawyer, who were both adopted from Animal Anti-Cruelty League (Epping Branch).
“Neither my husband nor I had ever had cats before, but they’ve just changed our lives.
“Tortoiseshell Josie and white-and-ginger Sawyer are both so loving; they just love to be near us all the time (and in winter, they love to snuggle with us on the bed). They are indoor cats but are harness trained, and we sometimes take them for walks in the local park.”
Kerry MacDonald shares Kong, their new addition to the family.
“This little prince arrived in our lives to help us heal after an incredible loss of our gorgeous boy. Kong is a Visla-Border Collie mix and he’s already filled our home with unconditional love and laughter.
“His massive paws and puppy eyes are so adorable; he’s still so clumsy, being only three months old. Kong is already adored and totally spoilt. Guess where he sleeps (the bed!)… problem is, he’s going to be massive.”
Helen Jones shares Oliver, who was adopted from Angels Refuge in Mafikeng.
“I’d been trying to persuade my husband for three years to adopt a cat. Finally, he agreed and Oliver joined our family.
“Oliver is five-and-a-half years old now, having spent the first five years of his life in a shelter. He weighed in at just 2.9kg and had a horrible case of faucitis (inflammation of mucosa in the mouth) and really bad teeth. He now weighs a healthy 4.7kg, and although he has only four teeth left, he still loves his crunchies.
“He’s the most loving cuddle-kitten there is. He’s also very chatty and we often have long conversations. We love him to bits and call him our Fuzzball, or Olliepops.”
Jürgen Buchelt shares his latest rescue named Zena.
“Zena is my two-year-old tan German Shepherd. I was made aware of her in late December 2017 when she was about 18 months old and had been surrendered half a year earlier.
“When I saw her the first time she was in very bad shape; she was quite underweight (only about 75% of her ideal weight), badly traumatised, sporting a recent bite scar on her nose and – sorry to say – she was sorely in need of a bath.
“I took her home, gave her a good bath, had her checked out by my vet, and the very next morning, she went on her first hike to Myburgh’s Waterfall in Hout Bay.
“Zena has since overcome her fear of other dogs and strangers; she just needs a little bit of work to be more confident walking in a crowd of people. She and I love walks on the beach, hiking and forest walks, and we’re currently training to become a K9 Search and Rescue dog-and-handler team.”
Teddy and Summer
Nola Payne shares Teddy, who arrived as a stray in March 2018, and Summer, who was recently adopted from Critter Rescue SA.
“Teddy was found on someone’s pavement; the people didn’t know how to look after him and, via the animal rescue network on Facebook, he landed up with me.
“He was still a youngster of about four months old and slotted in quickly with my older female. Unfortunately, she had to be put to sleep in July, so Teddy had been alone since then; he became quite skittish and preferred the safety of his hutch. Guinea Pigs are herd animals so don’t like being alone.
“I recently adopted little Summer, who’s still learning to trust me to be handled and to settle in. Teddy is so happy to have her as a new friend.
“Their favourite foods include small snacking cucumbers, and they also love their special Guinea Pig kibbles.”
Photo credit: Mariaan Browne
Kathryn Schmelzer shares Luna, who was adopted from Animal Welfare Society Port Elizabeth.
“Luna, a Pitbull-Jack Russell mix, is the love of my life. She was just a pup when I spotted her sharing a kennel with three other smaller dogs, looking very confused and overwhelmed. As we looked closer we saw her tiny little body and one bright-blue eye; she was about five months old. We had no idea what breed she was – a Pit Russell? She was absolutely perfect, and we knew she was The One.
“The moment we saw her we knew she would be our new fur daughter. She came home the very next day and was welcomed by her new sister, Rottweiler Nala.
“There hasn’t been a day that goes by when I don’t look at Luna and feel so lucky to have such a character as part of the family. She looks unique, has the best smile, loves meeting new dogs, is the best travel companion, loves her walks and just adores being the cute girl she is.
“I’m so proud to say that Little Luna was adopted from Animal Welfare Society Port Elizabeth. Having been the adoption specialist at AWS PE for the last four years, I cannot encourage people more to look at their local shelter. You will find the perfect pet when you least expect it. I never thought that day when we visited would I find my little Luna… but I’m glad I did.
“Last year we welcomed a new addition to the family: Jonty, an older rescue Boerboel-mix male that Luna has bonded with. They’re best friends and I often catch them in action, rolling and playing in the garden. They snuggle together at night and have an amazing bond. I’m sure they both know they came from the same shelter.
“Luna often joins me for school visits when I do educational talks, and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner to join me. She loves the attention and is a great little ambassadog for AWS PE.
“Luna has brought me so much joy, happiness, love and memories to treasure. She really is one of a kind, my Pit Russell.”
Petula Goliath shares Crystal, who was adopted from Oscar’s Arc.
“Crystal stole our hearts when she rolled on her back for a tummy rub! She goes everywhere with us.
“She’s an expert at ignoring you when called but is quick to respond when she hears a crisp packet opening.
“We love her to bits and are so glad she chose us as her family.”
Photography by Pet Portraits
Dana Wainman shares her little Sanchez, who was rescued from a puppy mill four years ago.
“Sanchez is 20 years old! When I rescued him, he didn’t have a single hair on his body and was named Pinky because of his appearance. Much to my surprise, once on good food and tick and flea treatment, he has turned into the most beautiful swan. He has no bottom jaw and no teeth, and that is the reason his tongue hangs out.
“My pride and joy; my little man.”
Roxanne Hugo shares Rosie, who was adopted from HART (Helderberg Animal Rescue Team)
“My son, Oliver, and Rosie the cat were best friends at first sight.
“Although she’s still not sure about her new furry brother and sister, she’s very inquisitive to find out more about them. She loves giving morning kisses before food time and enjoys being tickled with lots of cuddles.
“She’s such a lovable little girl and is full of energy. We are so happy to have her be part of our family.”
Sasha-Lee Feller shares Bugsy, her rescue bunny.
“When I adopted Bugsy from bunny rescuer Blaise Canham, he was called Charlie Brown. I wasn’t too sure of his past so I thought I’d give him a new name to go with his fresh start by having a second chance at being loved, cared for AND having a loving new home.
“When I did bring him home with me, he had Gastrointestinal Stasis and was very lethargic and didn’t want to eat. I took him to the vet and he was treated; he’s since recovered and now his health is perfect!
“Bugsy is a pure-bred Jersey Wooly Rabbit. He needs regular brushing and grooming as his long hair can get matted and it all just lands up being like a big ball of hair – almost like Bugsy himself – a ball of cute fluff.
“Bugsy has a girlfriend, Coco, who also has white fur; he also has two other friends – Bentley and Daisy.
“He enjoys the heater in the winter, and in summer, he’ll lie in the sun all day. He has free roam of my flat with his girlfriend and two other friends (they are all sterilised). I live in a flat, so, on nice days, I take all four of my bunnies to my parents’ or my boyfriend’s parents’ house for some nice run-around time in the garden.
“Bugsy is just my cutie-patootie! He has such a soft, loving nature and just loves to be cuddled.”
Left to right: Bentley, Daisy, Coco and Bugsy
Sarah Oxley shares Lexi and Hayley, her precious rescue cats.
“Light-grey Lexi and dark-grey Hayley were rescued from a mine in Rustenberg while my brother was working there. They were about two months old, and both had very bad snuffles, so their eyes were in bad condition.
“After lots of tender loving care, they both recovered well and are now extremely happy and healthy ten-month-old cats. They’ve been inseparable from when we got them and chase frogs, attack the broom and even nap together. They are fascinated by everything, including the bath.
“We can’t imagine our home without these two playful and loving fur babies.”
Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/Kritzography/
Sharon Blackwell (“Oliver’s spare mom”) shares Oliver, who was adopted from Boxer Rescue South Africa by his other mom, Renee Rossolimos.
“Oliver celebrated his second adoptaversary with us on the 20th of October 2018. He’s our mischievous boy and we simply adore him.
“I cover for him a lot and see life through his eyes where I get to relive my childhood with a dog, my best friend and one who pulls me through my darkest of days.
“Oliver is love – he is innocent, pure joy, exhausting and a reminder of