Sheena and Sarabi (French Mastiff), Cady (American Bull Terrier), and Oden (the farm dog)
Written by Janna Purdon, Board Member and Volunteer of SARABI Paws With A Cause
At the tender age of seven years old, Sheena Cox witnessed her first case of animal abuse: she saw a man dumping a puppy next to the railway line and running away. She quickly crawled through the fence to the tracks, grabbed the abandoned pup and ran home as fast as her seven-year-old legs could carry her. That day, Sheena answered her universal calling to save animals and has been an animal advocate ever since.
After high school, animal lover Sheena went on to study breed-specific animal behaviour and trained as a pet groomer. She eventually opened her grooming parlour, Sheena’s Parlour (now trading as Sheena’s Hiss ‘n Furs VIP Grooming Parlour), at her home in Kuilsrivier, Western Cape.
Sheena has also, for many years, been involved with the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) and SAID Foundation, volunteering to nurse and rehabilitate abused animals, having a special interest and knack for dealing with abused dogs with behavioural issues.
As a result, Sheena’s Parlour became a safe haven for animals from overflowing animal welfare organisations that needed a hand with raising, nursing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals.
In 2019, Sheena started studying to be an animal behaviour practitioner, aiming to better assist the animals in her care. Her long-term vision extends to guiding and educating people to better understand their own animals, the reason for their animals’ behaviour, and how to remedy any issues.
Her mission is to breach the communication gap and create understanding in order to negate “unruly” dogs being dumped and surrendered.
SARABI is born
In 2019, Sheena and her husband, Razeen, registered SARABI Paws With A Cause NPC and found a hectare property to rent in Durbanville upon which to build an animal behaviour and rehabilitation centre.
In October that year, Sheena and Razeen moved into the only building on the farm – little more than a farm shed – in order to start building kennels and runs. Sheena’s Parlour, together with a few friends and members of the public, made monetary donations and building supply donations to start the building of seven runs.
However, the project is far from finished, and Sheena funds about 85% of the costs from her own pocket and the parlour, every month, to maintain what is there and try to build enough capital to complete the project that’s been started.
What SARABI is about
SARABI is a pro-life organisation with a holistic view to rehabilitating and rehoming dogs, cats, birds and other domestic-type animals with behavioural and emotional issues. Where there’s life, there’s hope, and we believe that every heartbeat deserves the best chance at finding a family and forever home.
SARABI’s aim and vision is:
- To assist local communities, animal shelters and NPOs in the Cape Town environs with fostering, rehabilitating and rehoming rescued, abandoned, surrendered and homeless dogs, cats and other domestic animals as and when required.
- To provide a sanctuary and safe space for senior animals to enjoy their “retirement” and possibly find their last forever homes. If the time comes for them to cross the Rainbow Bridge, to be there for them, loving them in their final moments.
- To assist with established community-based and/or local animal outreach programmes by raising awareness and educating the public, participating in dipping, deworming, vaccinating and expressing the importance of sterilisation in animals.
- To establish and host local “Spay-Day” initiatives by offering up premises and donated resources, from time to time, to the SPCA, AACL and other animal rescue NPOs in order for community members to participate in vaccination, dipping and sterilisation drives.
Since August 2019, we have rehomed and sterilised 64 dogs/puppies and rehomed five cats, of which we sterilised three and the new owners sterilised two.
We need your assistance in order to complete all the building on these beautiful big premises so that we have safe, sturdy runs for all dog types and breeds. None of this can happen without funds to pay people for services and building.
Our BIG wish PLEA is for all our SARABI friends, family, fans and Facebook followers to pledge a monthly donation by debit order (minimum R10) to help us cover rent, petrol, vet bills, dipping and food.
- Sponsored building costs to help level ground, mix cement, lay foundations, erect structures (kennel, cattery and rehab training pen)
- Two large Wendy houses or prefabricated, mobile or container homes for our Parlour/Kennel Manager to live in with her foster animals, and Sheena can move out of the food shed
- Plastic shell-shaped splash pools for each kennel run
- Someone to assist with digging and putting in a dog therapy splash pool/swimming pool
- Dog toys and treats
- Dry and canned dog food
- Electric Bug Zappers
- Mister sprayers to put up around all the kennels (it gets hot in summer)
Our banking details are:
Account Name: SARABI PAWS WITH A CAUSE
Bank: Standard Bank
Type: Current Account
Account number: 10 1161 980 18
Branch code: 01-10-01
Swift code: SBZAZAJJ
How you can help
Support has many faces – and one of the best ways is networking. Most South Africans are struggling to make ends meet, so even if you can’t donate, just sharing our Facebook posts is a good start.
If you’re hosting an event, outing, picnic or fun run, we’d love it if you could keep SARABI in mind as one of your beneficiary recipients.
Save all your unwanted cents in a jar and drop it off at the Sheena’s Parlour. We don’t mind counting the bits… with enough bits, it can go a long way.
Unwanted leashes, collars, dog beds, kennels, blankets and toys – we’ll take it all! No donation is too old or too small.
If you’re great at organising fundraisers and have time on your hands, please consider volunteering for us; we urgently need a marketing/fundraiser volunteer to assist us.