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General Manager end of year 2021

As Sir Elton John sang us into 2021 with the following words (full acknowledgment and apology to the great Sir Elton John for one major change*):

“Don't you know that I'm still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I'm still standing after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without *you on my mind”

2021 taught us some lessons about life and ourselves, our community and donors, supporters and corporate partners, and we have survived, are still standing and learnt resilience along the way.

Thank you.

To our staff: who carried on regardless, stepped in to help other departments and showed each other kindness in trying times. COVID and safety protocols are always around but part of life and our routine now. Thank you to the Chairman, EXCO and Heads of Departments for supporting me in often difficult tasks and decisions, and keeping the Organisation open. We supported each other in sickness and health and in the losses we experienced too. And with 91% of staff vaccinated, daily and deep cleaning protocols followed, we’re keeping you and our community that we serve safe.
To our donors, supporters and corporate partners: you have embraced the work we do, networked with each other for mutual benefit of all, created new and exciting partnerships with us, shown us kindness from dropping off water when there was a 54hour water shutdown, provided cupcakes to staff when we cancelled our Christmas party due to Omicron awareness, brightened our day with handsome and caring Mr SA contestants, and delivered food, kind words and other wonderful donations when we needed it most.
To our suppliers: for your donations, discounts and readiness to help when we had queries, and keeping in contact to ensure we were all safe in the riots.

To UNISA: for trusting us with the practical training of the Veterinary Welfare Assistants. We had over 195 students in our kennels and hospital assisting us in our work and seeing actual welfare practice too.

To our veterinary locums: for stepping in to keep the consultations open and veterinary services available, and for continuing with our booked sterilisations when we were not always able to do so ourselves.


Our mobile clinic stopped in July due to staff resignations where services were refocused to our main hospital (although we remained available for emergencies). It has given us time for introspection too-was it achieving its primary health care goal of vaccinations, sterilisations and education? There is also growing concern with the surge in rabies cases this year and we held a rabies vaccination campaign to celebrate World Rabies Day on 28 September in Bellavista and Sophiatown (with thanks to the State Vet for donated vaccines.) How can we make a better impact….watch this space for 2022 changes.
Our feral cat programme slowed due to the unpredictability of catching cats and being able to sterilise them with only one permanent vet available at times. So, we got other animals booked and sterilised through our planned inspector package programme.

Kennel adoptions grew and the team explored alternate venues too, to reach potential adopters outside our usual client base.
And then we had the amazing art auction! What a refreshing event off site with full safety protocols and such kind artists and collaborators who donated their art. We shared gin and wine tasting, decided which pieces we would love to bid for, and watched the sun set from a beautiful Roodepoort/Northcliff balcony.

With donations comes educational support and we look forward to training to improve how we care for and feed the animals in our care in hospital and kennels.  With the food donations, we are also able to expand our pet feeding scheme, ensuring animals stay in their homes.

Our Education Programme started to recover and the development of the “Classroom Introduction to Responsible Pet Care Ownership Lesson Plans for Teachers” was very well received by teachers.
This is a valuable tool for teachers when visitors aren’t allowed, and our Education Officer can’t visit the school.
On behalf of the Chairman, Management, staff and animals in our care, we thank everyone who has contributed towards our Organisation this year. We are humbled and deeply appreciative of all that you have done to keep us standing.
As we travel towards an exciting 2022, let us continue to show each other kindness, compassion and support.
And with full acknowledgement to Monty Python, ‘Always look on the bright side of life.’
Chairman: Mr. A.J.M Guia & General Manager: Sr. Cindy-Lee Price
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Holiday travels with your pets.

The festive season is here, so as we all step up and get our COVID vaccinations to keep ourselves, family and friends safe, we look to the possibility of finally leaving on a long-awaited holiday.

So, whether you are reuniting with friends and family, revisiting favorite places, or discovering new destinations, there is nothing like a road trip and for pet owners, hitting the road is even better with four-legged companions in tow.

If your pet has never travelled long distances before, you should take them for short trips around the block.

This will not only help pets get used to traveling in a car but will help you
get a sense of how your pet responds to sensations like wearing a safety harness, traveling at varying speeds, and suddenly stopping or starting. A few trial runs will ensure all parties are better prepared to hit the road for extended vacations.
Safety first:
Make sure you are always transporting your pet safely. There are a few basic safety precautions to consider whenever you travel with your pets, including restraints, up-to-date health checks and vaccinations and pet-friendly travel kits that include everything from water, food bowls and doggie bags. How do you plan to safely transport your pet – by crate, carrier, or safety harnesses?

Just like humans should wear seat belts in case of an accident, pets should be properly strapped in, whether in an enclosed pet carrier or a travel safety harness. These restraints do not just lessen the chances of serious injury to your dog during an accident — they can also keep them from escaping inside the car and distracting you while driving.
Packing for the Trip:
Sufficient food and water: If you are making an extended trip, you will want to pack plenty of food and water for your pet during stops. You cannot be sure that you will have access to clean water on the road, so make sure to pack enough bottled H20. Don’t forget a collapsible travel bowl and poop bags.
Familiar objects:
The scent of home can help pets better relax on the road, so make sure to bring along their blanket, favorite toys, and other objects with familiar feelings and scents.
It is a sad fact of pet ownership; dogs and cats sometimes make a break for it and get lost, especially when in unfamiliar surroundings. Up-to-date ID tags or a microchip can dramatically increase the chances of lost pets finding their way home. Talk to your veterinarian, Animal Welfare Organisation like AACL about microchipping your pet to further increase the likelihood of a reunion, and don’t forget to make sure your details are up to date with your microchip service provider.

Take along your pet’s vaccination records – just in case!
Are your pets’ vaccinations up to date, including rabies? – if not do so before you travel!

We are currently experiencing an unprecedented rabies outbreak in our country, especially affecting KwaZulu Natal, Eastern Cape and Limpopo provinces. (Media Statment DALRRD dd 25 Nov 2021)

It is deeply saddening that although rabies is 100% preventable, this disease has resulted in the deaths of over 23 people, many of them children this year alone.

Please keep your pets safe during the holiday season and keep your dogs on a lead when walking them. Under no account should you approach or pick up any stray dogs or cats. Do not handle animals you do not know.  The risk of contracting rabies is a huge reality.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a peaceful and safe festive season, enjoy a well-earned break, and we look forward to catching up in 2022.

For more information on rabies please click here>>>> 
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