Yoga class with homeless dogs

2019-01-22 10:04
Yoga time at De Waal Park.

Yoga time at De Waal Park.

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De Waal Park in Oranjezicht was the home to the second Downward-Facing-Adopt-a-Dog yoga event on Saturday 19 January.

The event organised by Mdzananda Animal Clinic was attended by 90 yoga lovers and dog lovers from different areas.

Mdzananda Animal Clinic is a permanent Veterinary Council-registered, NPO animal clinic in Khayelitsha, a township just outside of Cape Town.

The clinic serves an average of 700 animals per month through consultations, hospitalisation, general and orthopaedic surgeries, ongoing sterilisations, mobile clinics and an animal ambulance. Mdzananda has a strong focus on community empowerment and education to ensure responsible pet ownership into the future.

Those attending enjoyed an hour-long, gentle-flow yoga class while meeting a variety of homeless dogs up for adoption. The class was led by local yoga instructor Lee-Ann Elliott, and was guided by Tombstone Pete’s live acoustic music.

Marcelle du Plessis, fundraising and communications manager, says: “Our first Downward-Facing-Adopt-a-Dog took place in October last year. This year we had more people attending which was really good. We managed to raise R10 400 and one little dog was adopted which is really nice,” she says.

The event aims to raise funds for the NPO animal hospital, but mainly aims to introduce people to pets needing homes.

Mdzananda experienced an enormous influx of homeless pets during the festive season. They usually cater for 10 dogs and 10 cats in their small stray unit and currently have 30 of each.

“Our small stray unit is packed to the brim,” says Du Plessis. “Being an animal hospital, our focus is medical treatment for pets of the Khayelitsha community. We do, however, not turn pets away and have found ourselves with a stray unit that is currently filled over capacity. We had numerous pets handed over to us during the festive season, some even tied to our gates or thrown over the walls at night.”

The yoga event was created with the aim of bringing dogs for adoption to an easily accessible location. Here people can meet them while enjoying a yoga class. “Many people are too scared to visit our organisation as we are based in Khayelitsha. This makes it more difficult for us to find homes for pets. We always encourage people to visit as the experience of driving through the diverse and creative community is one everyone should experience. It also opens one’s eyes to the struggles in Cape Town for both humans and pets,” says Du Plessis.

For more information, contact, visit their website on or visit the Facebook events page at

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