Donated kennels making a difference

Animal lovers are going the extra mile to ensure dogs are properly sheltered and cared for at the coast.

19 May 2019 | Social Issues

Donna Collins; Township Doghouse Project“The situation with township animals is dire . . .”

Swakopmund • Adolf Kaure

The Township Doghouse Project recently handed over doghouses to dog owners in the DRC informal settlement.

The privately funded charity strives to provide shelter for needy animals, especially those tied up and living in chains in the informal settlements of Swakopmund and Henties Bay.

The project's co-founder, Donna Collins, explained from where the donated kennels originate.

“I revamped the initiative to assist Feed a Paw run by Madelaine Strydom who has been providing food and other care for the past five years. We are assisted by Cat Adams Acts of Kindness, who collected sponsors for nearly 30 dog kennels in the past two weeks, some of which were transported from Windhoek. We managed to distribute over half of these with cut-off pieces of mats and blankets in the DRC during the past weeks, with more than 102 produced and distributed in 2018.”

Collins also engaged a street furniture maker, Mary Murembe, to churn out township dog houses from wood pallets, which provides the furniture maker with an income in return. Murembe involved her family and they produce approximately five dog houses per week, depending on the availability of pallets which are donated.

Although the manufacturing process is slower, she receives sponsorship for doghouses to be hand made at her workshop in Mondesa. Four doghouses have been completed with more in production.

Spreading joy

Collins explained that the project intends to spread some joy and will help pets keep warmer, especially with winter approaching. She said it would be wonderful if the initiative could be replicated throughout the country.

“The situation with township animals is dire, with many animals being kept in horrendous conditions. People are impoverished and can hardly sustain themselves. They are not purposefully cruel, but do not always have the means to properly care for their pets. The Township Doghouse Project forms part of the bigger picture which involves the provision of shelter for animals, especially in the freezing winter months, or shade during hot days. It is all part of making the lives of underprivileged animals more bearable by showing the owners the value of the animals.”

Collins said all recipients of the donated dog houses are grateful and appreciative of the gesture.

The Feed a Paw Project, founded in 2014 and which helps the Township Doghouse Project with raising donations, feeds dogs with foodstuff donated by the public and restaurant owners. Through the work of Feed a Paw, hundreds of animals have been sterilised, receive better care and have regular meals.

While feeding the dogs, project members also educate community members on taking better care of their dogs.

Other assistance

The founder of Feed a Paw, Madelaine Strydom, explained what the project involves.

“While feeding we also look for injured or sick animals which we take to the Swakop VET Clinic for treatment. We have a vet sponsor account into which members of the public deposit money used to pay for vet fees.”

Feed a Paw has also been helping Have-A-Heart since 2014. “We have been transporting dogs being cared for by the project to and from the vet. Have-A-Heart pays the veterinary costs.”

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