Left to right: Ben the Boerboel, Gemma the Pomeranian (peaking in from the back), Judy, Hazel the Afrikanis, Molly the brown Daxie and Maggi the black and tan Daxie
Written by Founder – Judy van der Westhuizen
Eight years ago, I ventured into a rural, severely impoverished township called Khetani in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
A dog named Boxer
I was horrified to see the state of the animals there and bonded with a chained dog named Boxer (with no Boxer in him but rather a pure Africanis). I guided, coaxed and pleaded for him to be unchained and, eventually, got my way.
Boxer was a boisterous male, and whenever he heard my car arrive he’d run to me and try to get into the car. I realised he’d need to be rehomed, as he was in the streets and not too street-wise. He’d been chained to a drum on a 1m heavy chain for some time.
Tragically, before I could home him, he was knocked down by a car and died. I was mortified and heartbroken. This is where my rescue journey – and Khetani Animal Rescue – began…
Caring for Khetani
I registered Khetani Animal Rescue (KAR) as a non-profit organisation (NPO 162-993). We made an agreement with some local vets so that animals in need could visit the vet for medical problems and sterilisations, and we could pay monthly.
KAR has a feeding scheme, has kennels made, and basically cares for all the dogs in this township. The main aim is to sterilise as many dogs as possible and prevent abuse and cruelty. Needless to say, some terrible things have been witnessed and some soul-destroying decisions made.
I don’t only concentrate on this area but will go wherever possible, or see to it that someone attends to a problem, anywhere in KZN or SA. Networking is the key!
Khetani Animal Rescue organised a steri campaign in which 132 animals were sterilised in three days. We’ve also supplied 200 mattresses and 400 blankets to the K9 working dogs (security animals), and we’re currently engaged in improving the lives of security dogs in the Durban area.
Hundreds of dogs and cats from all walks of life have been rehomed, whether due to emigration of owners or surrender of unwanted animals.
Furthermore, we arranged a “Ban the Bang” rally, have demonstrated outside the Chinese Consulate in Durban annually (re Yulin dog-eating festival), and I’m on committees to change animal laws and curb dog fighting.
Animals are animals wherever they may be – China, Mauritius or South Africa. We can all be rescuers by sterilising one animal. Together we can make the difference in a life and, in so doing, change our world… one animal at a time.
How you can help Khetani Animal Rescue
KAR’s bills amount to R6,000 to R10,000 monthly. I don’t draw a salary, so ALL proceeds go to animals. To fund all of this, Khetani Animal Rescue does fundraising and car boot sales, and is a beneficiary of the Woolworths MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet programme.
My wish list is simple: I need funds for sterilisations and food.
You can donate in the following ways:
Khetani Animal Rescue
Bank: First National Bank
Branch code: 250102
Account number: 62621459595
Estcourt Veterinary Clinic
Bank: First National Bank
Account number: 52200009093
Client reference: 08964
Aloe Vet Ballito Clinic (Pty) Ltd
Bank: Investec Bank Limited
Account number: 10011612358
Client reference: 7605
SMS “donate Kar” to 40580 (R20 per sms)
You can also donate dry dog and cat food, which can be dropped off at various points, and donate old clothes and unwanted goods, which we’ll collect from you.