Saving our furry little friends

2016-06-28 06:00
These Mitchell’s Plain women run a non-profit organisation aimed at protecting the rights of animals. Pictured are Gabriel and Shahieda Easton with Vanessa Martin and her dogs Kimmie and Lady.  PHOTO: Samantha lee

These Mitchell’s Plain women run a non-profit organisation aimed at protecting the rights of animals. Pictured are Gabriel and Shahieda Easton with Vanessa Martin and her dogs Kimmie and Lady. PHOTO: Samantha lee

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A local pair are giving a voice to the voiceless in Mitchell’s Plain.

Since February this year, the Mitchell’s Plain Animal Welfare Society has grown from strength to strength with big dreams ahead.

Vanessa Martin, chairperson of the society, says she has always had a love for animals. “I used to work in Lentegeur and I always saw this little dog roaming around. I used to feed her but I felt she needed a warm accepting family,” she recalls.

She wanted to do more and enquired about getting the dog off the streets.

Through several partnerships, Martin was encouraged to start her own organisation in Mitchell’s Plain and her passion grew from there. “It was a calling. From the time I saved that little dog, dogs have come my way,” says Martin.

She focussed mainly on dogs but since the addition of Shahieda Easton they are also taking on cats. Martin had been chasing a pack of stray dogs in an open field near Lentegeur Civic when she was introduced to Easton. Easton says she too had been rescuing cats for more than 26 years.

“I mostly nursed cats and animals that had been knocked over,” says Easton.

The two have since come together to fight for the rights of animals in Mitchell’s Plain.

“Our main concern is abuse. We (recently) came across two dogs tied up. What we need is to educate people on how to look after their pets,” she says.

Easton says there are good people who are doing a good job of caring for their pets.

“Many people lose their jobs but that doesn’t mean they can’t look after their pets. What people don’t realise is that having a pet is a 20 year commitment,” she says.

The two say they see people lose interest in their pets after they grow old and often starve them or put them down.

To date the women have visited many homes, rescued hundreds of animals and since February have sterilised more than 50 animals. In future the organisation hopes to own their own shelter, run education drives and have a mass sterilisation drive in Mitchell’s Plain. “We also hope to have a container to create a mobile clinic in Mitchell’s Plain to bring the services here,” says Martin.

They thanked their supporters and organisations they have collaborated with in the past.

V Visit their Facebook page: Mitchell’s Plain Animal Welfare or call Martin on 071 100 2110.

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