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Friends’ birthdays benefit local animal shelters

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Pauline Morris and her friends have been donating food to animal shelters every time that one of them has a birthday.   Photo:supplied
Pauline Morris and her friends have been donating food to animal shelters every time that one of them has a birthday. Photo:supplied

FOR about a decade a group of 20 friends have been celebrating their birthdays together, by sharing a meal and exchanging gifts, but one day they realised that they had enough – there were animals in need of so much more.

This was when they decided that every year, on one of their birthdays, they would get together with animal food that they had bought or collected and the person celebrating their birthday would get to choose which animal shelter they would be donating it to.

One of these friends, Pauline Morris, said that being pensioners, aged from 65 to over 80 years, they decided that they did not need toiletries or boxes of chocolates. They knew that animal food was a necessity, and that most shelters in Nelson Mandela Bay were struggling to make ends meet.

“We all had pets of various descriptions and because I had a very sizeable house, most folk brought their pets for an outing. Great, great fun was had by all. Sadly, of the 20, five have emigrated to the UK, whilst another nine have been called to eternal rest,” said Morris.

“Those celebrating a birthday have the right to choose which shelter is favoured. So far recipients have been the Animal Anti-Cruelty League, Save-a-Pet and the Kariega SPCA. All animal shelters have been absolutely delighted by our contributions and always collect as we ‘oldies’ would not be able to manage the weight!”

Morris said that she had always been an animal lover and had had the most precious Maltese, Molly, who passed away almost two years ago, at the age of 14 years.

“I do, however, have another mixture, Tessa, that boards with a good friend and a kitty I rescued from Riebeek College about seven years ago. Pets are not permitted in this retirement village where I am residing; hence I had to make this decision as I would never dream of euthanasia.”

Some of the members of the friend group are Grace Boshoff, Sandy Smith, Brenda Cork, Denise and Gareth Coates, Shirley Payne, Morris and Pam Phillips, who has also involved her family to contribute.

Morris said that they are planning on continuing with this initiative, but sincerely hope that by bringing this into the public domain, others will be encouraged to do the same.

“We would be helping poor unfortunate animals that don’t have a voice to plead for help themselves.”

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