About Us

Many phone calls are received daily, from the public, relating to animals which need help. Our reactive and proactive inspectorate respond to all complaints within 24 hours and take the necessary action. We have always preferred the method of education before prosecution and where necessary, our inspectors readily impart advice to the public, which will assist them in the correct care of their animals. In some instances, it is necessary for the inspectorate to confiscate animals and depending on the circumstances, the League may prosecute the owner under the Animals Protection Act.

If you would like to report a case of cruelty to an animal, or would like an AACL inspector to visit you, please contact your nearest AACL Branch.

The League also runs special projects. Their mobile clinics regularly visit disadvantaged areas and treat animals in need at a minimal fee. Awareness campaigns, which address issues such as the importance of sterilisation, are ongoing and it is mandatory that every pet is sterilised by the AACL, before being re-homed. Many schools visit our headquarters and our inspectors and education officers visit schools regularly, to educate learners on the importance of animal welfare issues and pet care responsibilities.

Our aim is to prevent and eliminate all cruelty to all animals, whether arising from ignorance, neglect or deliberate cruelty, and to alleviate suffering by such cruelty.


A non-profit making organisation, and do not receive a subsidy from the government. The Animal Anti-Cruelty League has been protecting and caring for animals since 1956. It is the second biggest independent animal welfare organisation in South Africa, and relies entirely upon the generosity and goodwill of the animal-loving public for financial support.

All monies donated or raised, are parsimoniously managed, to ensure that every Rand is accounted for and makes the difference to as many needy animals as possible. We are an organization that gets involved with all aspects of animal welfare.

  • We provide shelter for abandoned animals
  • Promote an efficient adoption programme
  • Prosecute animal cruelty cases
  • Operate welfare hospitals and provide primary veterinary case for lower income groups
  • Visit underprivileged areas with fully equipped mobile clinics
  • Regularly address schools and clubs on the challenges of animal welfare



Hundreds of animals are treated each week during consulting hours. Payment is made according to income but many pensioners are hard-pressed financially and are unable to pay. The income generated from fund raising subsidizes such cases. The hospital ward has isolation units and two hundred individual cages for animals requiring hospitalization.

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The inspectors undergo thorough training in the administration of the Animals Protection Act and the Performing Animals Protection Act. They are empowered to prosecute within selected municipal districts.

Spot checks are regularly made on pet shops, security firms using dogs, boarding kennels and any areas where the welfare of the animal could be at risk.

All calls received from the public relating to suspected cruelty are investigated. Many of these investigations result in confiscation of the animal and subsequent prosecution of the owner!

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As the Animal Anti-Cruelty League is an independent organisation there is no maximum holding period. Some pets have been kennelled up to eighteen months, before successfully being adopted out to new homes. Every effort is made to ensure that animals are well taken care of during their time with us. At the Johannesburg Society, we have exercise runs, constructed on grass, and our dogs and pups are given the opportunity on a rotational basis, to spend quality time in a natural environment.

An exercise run is also available for cats, which is equipped with scratch posts, trees, toys, etc.

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In 2004, the AACL Johannesburg Society launched their Puppy Socialization Programme, treating corporates to a very different type of animal/social team-building exercise.

The aims of the project are three-fold:

To provide an opportunity for corporates, their clients, or staff, to experience a unique hands-on team building exercise.
For corporates to take with them the knowledge that they have personally benefited the animals that are in the care of the League.
To shift their expectations of a welfare organization, i.e. that there is a positive side to animal shelters

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During 2006, the Johannesburg Society launched a unique Old Age Village for their more mature cats and dogs. The village is located on grass, with well equipped Wendy houses providing snug and warm sleeping quarters. These more mature pets, while still being available for adoption, are provided with a quality age-appropriate lifestyle during their time with the AACL, away from the hierarchical pressures of younger and more dominant animals.

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If you are interested in joining either our children’s Volunteer Programme (9-18 Years), or adults’ Volunteer Programme, please contact your nearest AACL branch.

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Through awareness campaigns, important issues such as sterilization are consistently brought to the attention of the general public. Our personalized hands-on, interactive Education Programme, reaches over 50 000 primary level students per annum. If you would like our Education Officer to visit your school, please contact our Education Officer on (011) 435 0672 and or email at educate@aacl-jhbnb.co.za

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Our survival depends on your donations. This could be by way of ad hoc donations, or in the form of a debit order, which ensures a consistent monthly income to the League. Memberships to the League, as well as bequests, are also vitally important to our economic sustainability.

With your help, we can continue improving the lives of animals. Become a member of our team – Your contribution is vital and every bit helps!

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Boss became the mascot of the League when he was rescued by a passing motorist who had seen him lying on the side of the road, for 3 days, initially presuming him dead. He survived thanks to the dedication of the local Animal Anti-Cruelty League.