Kalahari Heart Animal Welfare

12th Feb, 2024

Jonas Louw and Blue, Linda Visser and Klarady with little Yorkie, Buttercup, and Yorkie x Worsie, Scruffy, in the foreground

Written, and photography supplied by Founder, Linda Visser

Kalahari Heart Animal Welfare focuses mainly on the equines, particularly working donkeys, in and around the small dirt-road town of Deben in the Northern Cape, but we gladly help all animals. We’re the only welfare in the area that takes in equines and other farm animals.

Having started out feeding the horses and donkeys roaming the town’s streets, there are now many different aspects to our organisation. These include outreaches where we do general wellness checks, hand out food, and deworm dogs, cats, equines or other farm animals, and aim to sterilise dogs. Our mission is to better the lives of animals and educate people about their care.

The biggest cause Kalahari Heart has addressed is the plight of the working donkeys in our area, and we hope to inspire other organisations to do the same. A number of donkeys have been saved from dire circumstances and rehomed. Some of our best stories are of equines that were relinquished by the owners to us, some of which have remained as permanent residents at KH. Their wounds were horrific, but today they’re healthy and happy.

Ongoing projects

Kalahari Heart has several ongoing projects, with more to be implemented in 2024. Our biggest achievement is working with the rural community, helping, guiding, teaching – not judging.

  • Harness Project: Replacing conveyor and wire harnesses with donated repurposed tack.

  • Halter Exchange: Ineffective, uncomfortable home-made halters are exchanged for proper donated halters.

  • Microchip Project: We have a scanner and microchips and chip all equines.

  • Education Project: We continually educate children about animal welfare by going to schools; children also come to us.

  • Sterilisation Days: The number of companion animals dying due to negligence is very high. By sterilising dogs and cats, we aim to reduce the number of unwanted animals in order to reduce the neglect. We cannot continue to support the community on our vet account; owners need to take responsibility, and we’re doing this through education and steri days. We recently had a very successful steri day, during which 81 dogs and cats were sterilised

You can help!

Our biggest need is feed and medicines; we’re one of the few animal welfares that use natural medications. Being a rural, impoverished town, funds aren’t gained from Deben, and we cater to mostly people who cannot afford basic care for their animals. Donations from animal lovers all over keep us going.

My wish is to buy the 5-in-1 canine vaccinations (parvo is the biggest cause of death in puppies here) and tetanus vaccinations for the equines.

We have an open policy and every donation gets mentioned on our media platforms. Bank statements are available on request from our bookkeeper, Yolandi Ellis, who’s currently helping us get all our tax things in order. As soon as everything is done, we’ll apply for a tax certificate.

We have an amazing lady, Mandy Keats, in Johannesburg who collects items for us to sell here. With Mandy’s support, we’ve been able to buy so many bales of hay, along with natural products like CBD oil, vermate and thermal mud.

Our vet account is very high, but a Deben resident and friend has continually inspired others and done collections at her place of work to make payments on our account as this can get very steep. We have an amazing vet who comes out to help and has so much love for these animals that he helps us even though we often have such a high account.

Thank you so much to each and every one who’s supported us since we started in 2018, for growing with us and for helping us help these precious animals.

For more information, contact Linda Visser on 073 609 2543, email kalahariheart@gmail.com, follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Kalaharihearteben/ or visit https://kalahariheartnc.wixsite.com/kalahari-heart

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