AACL Durban was founded in 1959 by Joyce Northend in Durban North. With a mere 8 shillings and sixpence, but supported by a small handful of enthusiastic volunteers, she started with her primary objective of sterilising domestic animals. Following her passionate and dedicated efforts, we have been caring for and protecting animals in the Greater Durban Area ever since, working mainly in informal settlements and in outlying, under-privileged areas.
In February 2012, the League’s two properties in residential Durban North were sold and the Branch relocated to its current beautiful location at Artesia Farm in Leckhampton Valley, 15 minutes outside Hillcrest.
During 2014, AACL’s Pietermaritzburg Branch was closed and amalgamated with the Durban Branch, being ideally situated midway between Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
Sterilisation is AACL’s priority, particularly in low income areas where the cost of the sterilisation is untenable. You might ask why? The sad reality is that without sterilisation, female dogs and cats will spend most of their lives bearing litters, until their bodies can no longer withstand the on-going demands of repeated pregnancies. Male dogs are often maimed or even killed in fights as packs pursue any female dog in heat. The end result is a score of unwanted puppies and kittens which are often underfed and neglected, and many die of hunger and disease. In addition to the suffering of these animals, they also pose a risk to people living in those communities as they carry and spread diseases – sadly, one specific risk can be deadly and occurs all too frequently – this is rabies.
It is for these reasons that the League’s Inspectors and Field Workers seek out problem areas on a daily basis, discuss the benefits of sterilisation with owners and secure agreement for them to collect animals for sterilisation and then return them to their owners. Every animal collected for sterilisation by the Animal Anti-Cruelty League is sutured with dissolvable stitches, vaccinated and inoculated against rabies.
Extensive sterilisation campaigns are undertaken whenever funding allows.
An example of such a previous campaign would be during the period July 2013 to March 2016, when the AACL partnered with the KZN Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in its Outreach KZN project. This project offered free sterilisation of dogs and cats within townships and informal settlements.
As transport was a major challenge for many of those wishing to have their animals sterilised, the AACL Durba
n Branch offered its vehicles and field personnel to collect animals from as far afield as Richmond and Umkomaas. The animals were transported to a satellite clinic and returned at the end of the day. The AACL also provided a bag of food for each animal to aid their recovery.
In Hammarsdale and surrounding areas, field workers cleared these areas street by street of unsterilized animals. As community confidence grew, more and more pet owners came forward requesting assistance, and continue to do so today.
During this outreach project, the League collected and returned over 7 000 dogs and cats for sterilisation, vaccination, rabies inoculation, deworming and parasite control.
The League’s fully qualified inspectors operate under the authority of the Magistrate of the various districts in which we operate. The Inspector’s mission is to prevent cruelty to any animal by thoroughly inspecting and investigating all environments in which animals find themselves, preferably educating the public before arguments and prosecutions, except in cases of premeditated or deliberate cruelty. An inspector will always act in the interest and welfare of all animals.
Education is a vital aspect of the League’s objectives. It is recognized that the education of our children at an early age, on the care and well-being of animals, is a most effective way of tackling animal abuse and neglect. We encourage schools to include animal welfare in their development programmes, and invite them to either bring pupils to our premises where we conduct short educational sessions on animal welfare and then take them on a guided tour around our facilities, or allocate a time at their schools where we can come and present an animal welfare lesson in which we teach children the basics of keeping their pets happy, cared for and healthy. Activity books and badges in English and Zulu are handed out at these sessions to reinforce our message at home.
Learners are encouraged to bring to the attention of their educators, any acts of cruelty or neglect which they may witness. This information is then passed through to the League, so that the necessary action can be taken. These Learners are called AACL Action Heroes.
Field workers are trained in the education of township residents regarding the correct care of their pets, dispelling myths about traditional cures that are in many cases detrimental to the health of their animals.
There is a difference between stray and feral cats. A feral cat is typically a cat which has either never had any contact with humans or any such contact has diminished over time. She is usually fearful of people and has learnt to survive on her own outdoors. A feral cat is not likely to ever become a lap cat or enjoy living indoors.
They will search for an environment that offers them a) some security, as in hideaways where they can get some sleep while safe from any danger; b) a source of food, be this rodents, birds and other wildlife in the vicinity, or other food items that they can scavenge; and c) some form of community. This last point is significant in that they tend to bond together as a ‘family’ and may ultimately drive other strange cats away.
It is very difficult to rehome adult cats, primarily because of the vast numbers of cats out there, and the ever-declining number of people who are willing and able to take them in. And this is even more difficult with feral cats, as very few of them ever lose their feral instincts and fear of humans.
Therefore, in our view, the best approach to dealing with feral cat colonies is to take every possible step to trap them, sterilise and vaccinate them, and then release them back into their colony. This approach dramatically lowers the rate of breeding and helps to keep the colony relatively safe from diseases.
Our involvement includes two steps: we encourage local people to create a safe feeding area that will entice cats to come there to feed at set times. Apart from providing better feeding conditions, and potentially reducing the pressure on bird predation, this step facilitates the next step. Here the AACL assists with the trapping of the cats and getting them sterilised and vaccinated.
The acquisition of a mobile dipping trailer, through the sponsorship of generous animal loving supporters, has allowed the League to undertake trips into rural areas and informal settlements, providing a free service in the eradication of tick and flea infestation. Such treatment greatly reduces the ravages of mange and other diseases.
Where stray animals are taken in or animals are removed from their owners, the League will, wherever possible, provide the necessary care and attention to fully rehabilitate these animals for future adoption. In many cases, where females have produced unwanted puppies and kittens, the mother is sterilised and returned home. The babies are removed, nursed to full health, socialised and offered for adoption. All homes are inspected to ensure that animals are being adopted into caring, safe and happy homes, with follow-up inspections undertaken thereafter.
An example of our rehabilitation work is the story of Spirit. Spirit was reported scavenging near an informal settlement in Durban North. It was difficult to catch her, as she kept running away through fear. However, with gentle determination, she was eventually picked up by the AACL Inspectors and taken to the vet for diagnosis. She had infectious mange, was suffering from severe malnutrition, biliary and coccidia. As her medical treatment continued, her demeanour softened and she became the sweetest, friendliest pooch. She was adopted by a wonderfully kind lady and got to live the life of love and happiness that every animal deserves.
We believe every animal deserves a loving home and we are extremely active in rehoming our rescued animals. We have a very strict adoption process and an adoption fee is applicable.
The adoption process entails the following:
- On seeking to adopt a pet, first consider what type of pet you are looking for, taking into account size, breed, looks, etc. We would suggest that you first pay us a visit to view the animals in our care. Alternatively, go to our gallery and view the rescue animals in our care to give you an idea of some of the animals that need good homes.
- A house inspection is then undertaken by AACL personnel to check that the property is secure and has enough space and suitable shelter.
- If all pertinent safety points are found to be satisfactory, the animal will be taken to the home and observed during the settling-in period, especially if there needs to be any integration with other animals on the property.
- A follow-up inspection is undertaken within the next month.
We run a number of commercial operations on the farm to help the League generate income that will help reduce our dependency on donations from the public. These funds help us to continue pursuing our primary objective, that is to help animals.
THE LEOPARD TREE CAFÉ
Our delightful Café is set in tranquil surrounds offering delicious light meals and refreshments. Children can enjoy the swimming pool, slides and swings on the jungle gyms and wide-open space to play in secure surrounds. The Café is also well suited to ladies’ tea groups, book club meetings, children’s birthday parties, baby showers and the like.
An air-conditioned boardroom, close to the tea garden, is the ideal venue for small private meetings or training sessions. Conference rates are negotiable and we can provide meals and refreshments for participants.
Please email email@example.com for any information re hiring out the café’s facilities.
THE CHARITY SHOP
AACL has a very well-run charity shop on the farm in Hammarsdale, which is well supported by loyal local shoppers and visitors that come to the farm. We sell good quality glassware, kitchenware, clothing, books, tools, furniture and much, much more. Our shop is stocked through donations, so please keep us in mind when you next need to get rid of any items you no longer need. We are happy to collect items from your premises, but you are also welcome to drop off items here at the farm.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for any further information.
DOG & CAT HOTEL
We offer short and long-term boarding for both cats and dogs in our well-appointed Dog and Cat Hotels.
Our cat boarding hotel offers 5-star accommodation at competitive rates. 10 plush, air-conditioned suites are situated in secure and peaceful surroundings. Our dog boarding kennels match the Cat Hotel’s state of the art accommodation at competitive rates. Music is played to sooth dogs and ease any tensions, and our guests sleep on raised beds in a safe and secure environment.
Full time personnel see to every need of the residents, ensuring clean living conditions and regular walks for the dogs around our peaceful, scenic property. Whilst you are away, rest assured that your pets will receive the best care and personal attention they deserve.
To enquire or make a booking please email email@example.com or call us on 031 736 9093.
The Cat Haven is a beautiful sanctuary for cats from various walks of life. At any one time, we can have 50 to 60 adult cats living in the haven, the majority of which will live out their lives there. So they absolutely love the many visitors we get there, who spend time brushing the cats and just providing the human contact they all long for.
As adult cats are not readily adopted, we appeal to you to sponsor a cat at a cost of R120 per month. We call this our “Adopt a Cat” programme in which we continue to look after the sponsored cats but the sponsor enjoys a direct link with their selected cat/s – many of our current sponsors come to visit their cats and spend time with them. Should you be willing to “adopt” a cat, please email your colour preference (black and white, tabby, ginger or tortoise shell) to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you a list of the cats available in that colour selection.
Once you have selected your cat, we will send you our banking details and we ask that you please arrange a standing order for the monthly fee of R120. These funds will help us to feed and care for these precious cats who will live out their lives with us. We encourage you to visit your cat when you can as they do love human contact and the attention.
The Memorial wall was built in 2018 and was funded by the CWM Charitable Trust.
So, when that heart-breaking time comes and you have to say goodbye to your loyal furry family member, you can let their memory live on at our peaceful and tranquil memorial wall, either by erecting a plaque in their memory or by laying their ashes to rest in the wall.
Our memorial wall is not reserved only for our furry friends, as we also welcome people’s memories and lives to be celebrated and remembered.
Please email email@example.com for any further information.
As the League does not receive any government funding, we rely solely on the generosity and kindness of the animal loving community to fund the work we do. There are various ways in which you can assist us to continue helping the many animals in dire need.
Donations to help can be made in a number of ways.
The League, as any operation, has various monthly expenses to pay such as vet bills, fuel, staff salaries, maintenance etc. Cash donations are therefore always welcome as we can allocate to them to so many areas in the running of AACL. So, help us help animals by setting up a standing order on your bank account, make individual donations via EFT, Zapper, Payfast or in cash, or support our commercial services and encourage others to do the same.
StandardBank, DurbanNorthBranch (042862)
Account No: 051350521
Donations of Food & Other Animal Products
The AACL typically has over 100 rescued animals in its care at any given time – these include the animals that permanently live on the farm such as the office cats and dogs, all our adoption dogs, Jackson the pig, the rabbits, the Peacocks and the 50 plus cats that live in our Cat Haven. As you can imagine, it is no small feat to feed all these precious animals, so food donations (wet and dry dog & cat food) are always very welcome.
Not only do we need to feed the animals, but they also require blankets, food bowls, leads, deworming, tick and flea treatment, veterinary care at times and so on. Donations of any of these items assist us in our endeavours to take good care of all these animals.
We have collection bins at a number of retailers in and around Durban or you can always drop donations off at the farm when you pay us a visit.
Donations of goods to the Charity Shop
The Charity Shop is one of our onsite fundraising initiatives. We have frequent loyal shoppers from the surrounding community as well as other people visiting the farm. But we need your help to keep our shop stocked with good quality items. When cleaning out your garage or cupboards, please consider donating any unwanted items to us. We sell glassware, kitchenware, clothing, books, appliances, tools, furniture and much, much more.
So please keep us in mind when you need to off load items you no longer need. We even offer a collection service for your convenience. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for any further information.
Volunteers are extremely important to the organisation as they assist in many complementary roles. In the kennels, they help to socialise the animals in our care. This can include bathing and playing with puppies or walking dogs, or grooming and playing with cats.
All that is required is compassion for animals and a willingness to learn, responsibility towards completing requested tasks, appreciating the organisation’s history and how it operates, a sense of humour and getting dirty (in a fun way!).
Life Orientation has become part of the school syllabus and learners can choose to spend their time with animals. We accommodate them through spending allocated hours socialising with our animals or on team projects such as painting the cattery walkway, cattery kitchen, and refurbishing our other facilities. We can customise short lessons to fit in with schools’ planned programmes – these will typically focus on the basic rights of animals, and how children can better look after their own pets.
These volunteering opportunities also give learners an insight into what happens in other communities and makes them aware of what it means to be a responsible pet owner.
Corporate Volunteer Programme
As corporate social investment/responsibility (CSI/CSR) has become increasingly important in the business environment, we have recognised that staff may want to spend time with animals as an alternate option.
Activities could include socialising with rescued animals, walking dogs, and grooming cats and rabbits. Programmes can be tailored to suit the business as well if there is a specific theme. Staff may also like to be involved with practical projects such as painting, maintaining kennels or refurbishing exercise runs.
But volunteers can also be those who love animals but cannot spend time with them due to other commitments.
Perhaps you would prefer to contribute your skills to assist the organisation? With limited resources, our staff may need an extra hand with:
- identifying fund raising projects, and preparing budgets and contact lists for them, or helping man tables at events
- helping review and refine our strategic and operational plan for the organisation
- writing business plans and reports, using our statistics
- helping us to develop our staff. Do you have contact with a motivational speaker? Or skills trainer, such as with computers, software, animal handling, maintenance etc.
BECOME A MEMBER
Supporters of the AACL are encouraged to become members of the League. Such membership gives them the right to attend AGM’s, to elect Committee members, and more importantly to get involved and make a direct contribution to how the Branch gets run.
There are six classes of members, namely ordinary members, junior members up to the age of 18, pensioners, life members, honorary life members and corporate members.
Applications are submitted to the General Manager for consideration by the Committee, and once the application has been approved, a membership fee becomes payable. The membership base is crucially important to the Branch as it provides a diverse pool of talented supporters that can all make a significant contribution to the sustainable management of the Branch by:
- helping identify and elect new Committee members
- supporting the Branch financially and encouraging others to support the AACL
- helping to identify good promotional and fund-raising events, and helping to run them
- helping to promote the work of the AACL amongst the community, particularly with friends and family
- providing feedback to the Committee and/or management re any ideas for improvements, or complaints or other observations.
A legacy, or bequest, is particularly important to the League, as it provides funds for the future and helps the organisation undertake some long-term planning of campaigns and education programmes. Legacy income pays for a large portion of the work undertaken in the community. Your legacy to the Animal Anti-Cruelty League Durban Branch allows you to continue caring for animals long after your death.
How do I go about including the Animal Anti-Cruelty League in my Will?
If you do not have a Will but wish to have one drawn up to include a legacy to the Animal Anti-Cruelty League Durban Branch, you can speak to an attorney, bank manager or trust company who will happily arrange one for you.
Alternatively, should you have an existing Will and wish to add the Animal Anti-Cruelty League Durban Branch as a beneficiary, then a codicil or amendment added into your Will can be made with the assistance of an attorney, bank manager or trust company.
The benefit to you…
Leaving a gift in your Will to the Animal Anti-Cruelty League Durban Branch is an extremely tax-efficient way for you to give to charity. That’s because your gift can be a way to lower the Estate Duty payable on your estate. Essentially this means you can help the Animal Anti-Cruelty League Durban Branch and reduce the amount of tax your family has to pay at the same time.
Should you decide to make a bequest to the Animal Anti-Cruelty League, it would be a blessing to the League and the animals who will be afforded a better life. No matter how long it is before we receive your legacy, there will always be animals in need of protection, rescue and sanctuary.
When we receive your legacy, a plaque will be erected in our remembrance garden at the Artesia Farm, as a lasting reminder of your caring and generosity towards the welfare of all animals.
Support the Animal Anti-Cruelty League effortlessly by swiping your MyVillage MyPlanet card. MyVillage MyPlanet was launched as an extension of MySchool. The MyVillage MyPlanet programme focuses on community upliftment projects and environmental concerns. The supporter card gives you the opportunity to support a cause of your choice in a transparent and convenient manner. Now you can support our cause by swiping your MyVillage MyPlanet card at a number of retailers across the country every time you shop. There is no cost to you!
If you already have a MySchool card, did you know that you can have up to 3 beneficiaries, so if we not a beneficiary, add us today.
New to MySchool? Click here to apply for your MyVillage MyPlanet Supporter card and nominate us as your beneficiary. Then remember to swipe your card at any of the partners nationally and a percentage of your spend is paid to us at no extra cost to you. And don’t forget to keep a look-out for your monthly electronic Supporter Statement from MySchool to see how much funds have been raised on your behalf.
Card usage is the key to the success of the system: Every swipe counts!
Checkers Xtra Savings card
Opt in for Swipe for Good on you Checkers Xtra Savings card and choose AACL as the beneficiary. For every 10 swipes, the Swipe for Good initiative will donate R3 to the League, which equals one meal. The aim is for 1 million meals to be raised for charity.
Don’t have an Xtra Savings Reward Card – No Problem!
Visit your local Checkers store and request a card or go to the Checkers website and click on Swipe for Good, follow prompts to sign up. Already have an Xtra Savings card? – Great, you’re almost there!
Download the Checkers App from the App store, register your details, then follow the prompts to nominate AACL as the beneficiary.
If you experience any problems, call the Xtra Savings hotline 0800333385
You can purchase a number of AACL branded products available through Crossbow Marketing, such as diaries and wall planners. Click here to view the products and place your orders or call them on (021) 700 6500.
Litres for Education
Through participating petrol stations, Litres for Education operates similarly to the ‘My Planet’ program – AACL will receive a donation when you refuel at NO EXPENSE to yourself.
How Does it Work?
– When filling up at a participating petrol station show the attendant your AACL Donor ID disc or quote donor number: 819
– Make sure the attendant writes the sale in the Litres for Education book. It is as easy as that and it doesn’t cost you a cent!
To have your donor disc posted to you, please email email@example.com. Visit litresforeducation.co.za for more information and list of participating petrol stations.
SUPPORT OUR FUNDRAISER ACTIVITIES
Support our on-site fundraising initiatives such as the Cat Hotel, Dog Hotel, Café, Charity Shop and the Memorial Wall. When planning a trip away, don’t forget to book a spot for your pets in our Hotels – you can travel with complete ease of mind, knowing that your precious animals are being well looked after!
We also organise fundraising events, like our much-loved dog walks, throughout the year.
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with what’s happening and when events are taking place.
Note:due to COVID-19 health protocols, our staff have been divided into different shifts so we are not operating at 100% capacity. Please bear this in mind should you experience any service delays.
||ADOPTIONS AND CHARITY SHOP
||LEOPARD TREE CAFE
|Monday – 8h00 to 15h30
Tuesday – 8h00 to 15h30
Wednesday – 8h00 to 15h30
Thursday – 8h00 to 15h30
Friday – 8.00 to 15h30
Saturday – Closed
Sunday – Closed
Public Holidays – Closed
|Monday – 8.00 to 15h30
Tuesday – 8.00 to 15h30
Wednesday – 8.00 to 15h30
Thursday – 8.00 to 15h30
Friday – 8.00 to 15h30
Saturday – 8.00 to 15h30
Sunday – Closed
Public Holidays – Closed
|Monday – Closed
Tuesday – 9.00 to 15h00
Wednesday – 9.00 to 15h00
Thursday – 9.00 to 15h00
Friday – 9.00 to 15h00
Saturday – 9.00 to 15h00
Sunday – Closed
Public Holidays – Closed