Gauteng couple drive 1 200km to rescue stray dog


When he saw pictures on Facebook of the starving South African mastiff (boerboel) that had been wandering the streets of Durban for months it broke his heart, says Jacques Jordaan (34) from Centurion, Gauteng.

On weekdays he enjoys scrolling through his feed at lunchtime while relaxing in the sun, Jacques tells YOU.

On 10 September he came across a post in which a Durbanite pleaded for help for the dog, which at that point had been wandering the streets of Newlands West for weeks. And Jacques knew instantly he had to help the dog.

He forwarded a message with pictures of the dog to his wife, Carina (29). “I think we have to rescue him,” he wrote, and she agreed.

“I’ve never in my life seen a dog looking so sad,” Jacques tells YOU. “There was something in his eyes that tugged at my heartstrings. I just knew I wouldn’t be able to ignore it; that we had to rescue him.”

So, on 13 September he and Carina drove the 600km from Centurion to Durban to rescue the lonely pooch.

“We had an idea of the area in which the dog would be because we’d contacted the person who’d originally asked for help on Facebook,” Jacques explains.

“The man told me the dog lived in an abandoned building, so we drove around the area in the hope of spotting him.”

After about 30 minutes in the area they saw the dog.

stray dog
stray dog

“At first he was scared and wanted to run away but later he ran into the abandoned building. We blocked the exits and caught him with a blanket.”

The dog, whom they immediately started calling Bruce, was sickly – emaciated, flea- and parasite-ridden and close to death.

Jacques and Carina loaded him in their car and for the second time that day drove 600km, back to Centurion, where their first stop was a vet.

“We were grateful when the vet said things weren’t as bad as they looked – we just needed to get him to eat and drink lots of water. And he was given medication too,” Jacques says.

By his second day in their home Bruce was a different dog, he adds.

“We fell in love with him. He quickly started wagging his little tail or turning onto his back for a belly rub. He got well quickly and we love him.”

Seven weeks after his rescue Bruce weighed 48kg – a full 14kg heavier than when they found him.

For about two months Bruce and the couple’s other dogs, Meisie and Rocky, got along like a house on fire, Jacques says. But it broke their hearts when Bruce and Rocky started fighting, though both are castrated.

“We realised we’d need to find Bruce a new family and it broke our hearts,” Jacques says.

“We love him dearly but it wasn’t possible to keep him here. We immediately started looking for a new family – and quickly found a single mom with a teenage son, a large garden and a swimming pool for Bruce.

“They’re his family now, though it breaks our hearts every time we see a picture of him.

“But we’re grateful we could save Bruce, and that he’ll now have all the love he deserves.”

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