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WATCH: Homeless man reunited with his dogs

15 February, 01:07 PM

Sharlene Rood

Johannesburg - When two "good Samaritans" in a blue Peugeot offered to take Jonathan Plaatjies’ dogs home to feed them, he was extremely grateful. 

Plaatjies, who is homeless, was begging for food outside the Melville Spar last week. He is reliant on the kindness of strangers for food.

He sent his beloved dogs- Blacky and Brownie- with the helpful strangers to be fed.

But by 20:00 that evening they had not returned.

A distraught Plaatjies asked Ian Logan, owner of Ratz bar and diner in 7th Street for help.


The trio is a familiar sight in Melville.

“Jonathan has been coming here for a few months…He would always ask for some food for the dogs, not for himself and we help them out. He is always with them, they’re a closeknit team,” says Logan. 


Plaatjies asked Logan to help him make some posters to try and find his dogs.


They were a birthday gift from his uncle and he’s had them since they were puppies.

“My two dogs are the most important things in my life. I was so heartsore” said Plaatjies.

“I was willing to do everything in my power to get them back.”


Logan says he was entirely unimpressed by whoever took Blacky and Brownie.

“You don’t just take away someone’s family from them. That’s his family, really all he has in life.”


Logan sent out a plea for help on the I love Melville Facebook page and it generated a massive community outpour for help.


Some residents made posters while others offered to help by donating food.  And there were those, that were just angry.

Primrose Newham commented: “Return Jonathan’s dogs, you had no right to take them!”

Gaynor Lawrence shared in this sentiment. “Just because Jonathan is homeless, doesn’t mean he doesn’t love or care for his dogs – kindly return his companions.” 

Griselda Lara Fowle said she had seen Plaatjies in the area. “The dogs adore him. Don’t leave his side. He feeds them before he eats.”


Logan’s post went viral and by Monday morning, it had reached Cynthia Swanepoel, Kennel Manager at the Randburg SPCA.

“They [the dogs] came in on Thursday afternoon quite late, after we had closed,” said Swanepoel.

An unknown woman had apparently found them at the side of the road and took them to the SPCA. 


Logan took Plaatjies to the SPCA on Tuesday afternoon, where the trio had an emotional reunion. They had been separated for a total of five days.  


 Blacky and Brownie will stay at the SPCA until Thursday where they will be vaccinated, dewormed and sterilised. 

“We will send them home with some food, blankets and a nice big bed,” said Swanepoel. 


“Now that the dogs have been found, everybody wants to help,” said Logan.


“Some people are talking about trying to get him [Jonathan] a job, and a place to stay and lots and lots of people want to donate food and blankets for the dogs.”


“Hopefully he is going to have a lot of assistance from now on.”


Donations can be dropped off at Ratz bar and diner in Melville.


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