From an interest to a calling

2017-03-28 06:03
 Photo: suppliedTracy Mclelland with her four-legged friends.

Photo: suppliedTracy Mclelland with her four-legged friends.

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KLOOF resident 46-year-old Tracy Mclelland has earned the title of “heroine” as she gives love, care and a voice to the furry voiceless friends in her community.

Mclelland wears multiple hats every day — she is the manager of a financial company, a mother, and in addition rescues and re-homes dogs and cats in her spare time.

From getting the phone call about an abused or stray dog, to going to look for the dog then to finding it and rushing it to the Hillcrest Vet Hospital is all in a day’s work for her.

She said the emotion is an adrenalin rush with her aim of saving the animal. “My heartache is unimaginable when I come across these beautiful souls that have had to endure such pain. The reward in saving them and giving them a happy ending brings me unimaginable tears of joy.”

Mclelland said her rescue days started when she saw a post on Facebook about Ziggy, Zoey, Lucy and Gunner — dogs that were rescued in Durban North.

“I decided to raise funds for them at the Kloof and Highway SPCA. I often went to visit them while they were in the kennels. I realised that attempting to re-home dogs was something I could be successful at.”

Mclelland’s love for dogs soon evolved from an interest to a calling.

“From there on it became a driven passion to save more. Since April 2016, 213 have been admitted to the Hillcrest Vet Hospital. Lots with deadly diseases, mange, wounds and broken bones. Thirteen of the 213 did not make it. Five are at the Hillcrest Vet Hospital, five are at foster homes, looking to be adopted and 190, all at the most amazing forever homes,” she said.

The animal lover’s favourite part about being a volunteer is “knowing that these souls have survived against all odds and now have a chance at life and can learn to trust us humans again”.

“One of my most memorable times was when I got a call about a mommy dog that had been wandering in a neighbourhood. I rushed there, and when I saw her my heart stopped. She had no fur, [she was] skin and bone. It took me three hours to eventually uplift her. She was very aggressive and it was clear she had been beaten.

“She was treated for mange and then diagnosed with ehrlichia disease. This is just one of the stories that keeps me motivated to save as many as I can,” she said.

Mclelland said she is thankful to her family for always supporting her in what she does. She encouraged the community to help defenceless dogs and cats.

“We rely on donations to assist with the dogs and cats’ hospital bills. We always need foster homes because once they are discharged, unlike humans who have a family to go to, these babies don’t. So please find out more on how you can make a difference.”

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