Furry four-legged’s friend

2017-04-11 06:02
Some of the kittens that are cared for by Shelley Rawsthorne at Animal Rescue and Rehab Centre.Photo: supplied

Some of the kittens that are cared for by Shelley Rawsthorne at Animal Rescue and Rehab Centre.Photo: supplied

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kalisha.naicker@media24.com

SINCE childhood Shelley Rawsthorne­, an Upper Highway resident, has had a love for animals.

When she was 16 she started feeding feral cats and rescuing them, today at the age of 49 she runs the Animal Rescue and Rehab Centre (NPO) in Crestholme.

“I opened the shelter because of my passion for animals. I have a few very loyal friends and supporters who come around on Sundays and help with the many chores.

“I also feed 140 feral cats in Durban and 18 township dogs and feral dogs in Durban. I work full-time in Durban as well.”

There are not enough hours in the day for Rawsthorne because she said she sleeps only a few hours a week.

“I get home at about 10pm, then spend four hours feeding, medicating and loving all the cats, and another two hours for food prep for the following day. My cats are on a predominantly raw diet so there's a lot of food prep,” she said.

Rawsthorne’s dedication, however, outweighs her tiredness as she is always touched when the animals respond to her care.

“When I rescue an animal that has no hope of survival and nurture and love them, when I watch them heal, and it thrives this brings me immense joy. Also there are times when I rescue kittens out of drains, which is the most awesome feeling.”

She said community help is always needed at the shelter. “I always try to get visitors on Sundays to come and give the cats extra love.

“I feel guilty that I have so little time to give them all the special individual attention they need.

“Also, any donations of food or funds towards vet bills would be greatly­ appreciated as my cost to look after the cats amounts to over R1 600 a day.

“I encourage the community to visit the shelter to see the incredible work we are doing.”

To find out more about Animal Rescue and Rehab Centre or to help, contact shellr@cellc.blackberry.com

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