Paws for Thoughts this Christmas

Words: Claudia Sherrin | Photos: Various photographers

Janga finds His Forever Home: In 2008, whilst looking for a dog friend for another animal lover, Bernice Hammond of Charm Rescue heard of a female Pittie at FORA. It turned out that a home castration job had been previously performed on the pittie and 'she' was actually a 'he. Bernice immediately adopted him with a view to rehabilitate and rehome the newly named Janga.



Judging by his the wounds and scars, it was suspected that Janga had spent his life in a fighting ring and was in a bad state when he was finally rescued. His ears were either hacked off, pulled off in the many fights he was subjected to or the result of a home job cropping to make him look the part. He was suffering mange and needed a lot of coaxing to eat.


Janga was boarded at Linksfield Club Street Kennels under the marvellous care of Gail Smith, for many months where he was visited by Bernice regularly and slowly learnt how to trust again. Via the animal email network, Janga was brought to the attention of Hilary, Jeff’s animal loving daughter. Sadly Jeffrey had just lost the love of his life, his beloved Staffie Sasha and at first he was very reluctant to take on another dog, worrying that he couldn’t handle another loss. Eventually, Hilary managed to convince Jeffrey to go and meet Janga and it was love at first sight.


“The next eight months with Janga were tough for my dad and he even called me up once to say that he can’t keep Janga anymore,” says Hilary. Janga was destructive, demanding and Jeffrey didn’t think he will be able to handle Janga’s strength but after further coaxing from Hilary, he made the decision to see Janga’s antics through and became very dedicated and committed to Janga.


With Jeffrey’s unwavering commitment, Janga became more secure, confident and proved what a precious boy he is. Jeffrey educated himself on the Pit Bull breed to better understand Janga and his needs. Pitties need to be worked and kept busy.


Jeffrey has spent many hours a week in training Janga. Janga has been nurtured into a well socialised dog - he loves people and other dogs alike. He is obedient, loyal and very gentle. “He wouldn’t hurt a fly”, says Hilary. “My dad was committed and dedicated to giving Janga a better life. A life he now feels safe and secure in, is loved and cared for like he deserves. Janga goes everywhere with my dad and the two lads are a testimony on how saving just one dog’s life can make a huge difference in the grand scale. They are inseparable.”


Janga and Jeffrey are the perfect mascots to the ode of rescue work, dedication, rehabilitation, second chances and what caring can do. Proving again that man’s best friend is his ‘rescue’ dog. A word from Jeffrey and Janga, “When next deciding to get another member of the family, don’t hesitate and adopt a rescue, put your head to the ground, get dedicated and committed to your dog and reap a companion second to none, loyal and unconditional.”


2013 Hero Dogs Calendar
Janga is just one of the hero dogs featured in the beautiful 2013 Hero Dogs calendar that is being sold to help raise funds for four animal shelters in South Africa. The calendar only costs R120 and fifty percent of profits raised from the sales, as well as the proceeds from the Cesar's Way Fun Day, will be donated to Hartbeespoort Animal Welfare (HAWs), Underdogs SA, Save-A-Pet and Animal Action Dog Rescue. To order, email .


Cesar's Way Fun Day
A Fun Day was held on 17 November 2012 at Goldfields Kennel Grounds, in Bedfordview, and R3 681.66 was raised for the four beneficiaries. Visitors to the fun day enjoyed a huge range of animal-related stalls, such as Doggee Snax, Blossoms, Pro-Pet, Shinga Vet Services, Rogue Royalty, Puppy Angel and Doggie Hillfigher to name a few. There were also fun demos by Alpha & Omega K9 Training, Ronnie Magic and her W&G Team, Dave Harris and his Schutzhunds, Paws for People, and Shepherd Towing Dog Academy. A rare dog arena featured Picasso Neopolitan Mastiffs, the Xoloitzcuintle, Southern Star Setters, the Pullie Dog, Dogue de Bordeaux, as well as the Mcnteti Kennels with their Pharoah Hounds. One of the highlight of the day was a fancy dress competition for the doggies, which was won by Teddy the Fireman!


This fun day is a must for any dog lover and will be held again next year, so keep an eye out for the date.



About the Beneficiaries
Animal Action Dog Rescue is based in KwaZulu-Natal and made up of three passionate volunteers, Quicha Morgado, Susie Hart and Kim Samuels, who all give selflessly of their time to rescue and rehome as many abandoned or abused puppies and dogs as possible.


Helping out with the care of the rescued animals is a very small but committed network of foster homes. The volunteers work with extremely limited resources and whilst they do their very best for the many animals in need, they simply can't help them all. For this reason, Animal Action Dog Rescue works mainly with abandoned or abused animals, but is not always able to assist with rehoming of pets. It also means that they rehome only in the greater Durban areas in which they have a dedicated volunteer base.


If you would like to get involved or make a donation, email Quicha Morgado on , Kim Samuels on or Susie Hart on .


The Hartbeespoort Animal Welfare Society (HAWS) has been providing welfare services to abandoned, neglected and abused pets, farm animals, and wildlife in the community of Madibeng since 2000. HAWS is a registered non-profit organisation (WO No: 026-799-NPO) and the ONLY animal welfare organisation covering Brits, Hartbeespoort, and the surrounding areas. HAWS facilities include kennels and catteries that can provide shelter for up to 80 dogs and 30 cats, and is run by a dedicated team of six full-time staff members and a handful of volunteers.


HAWS aims and objectives are:
Rehabilitation of domestic animals and rehoming them into loving homes.
Educating the public on the care of domestic animals and raising awareness of the consequences of ignorance and indifference in the treatment of all animals.
Sterilisation programmes for the animals belonging to underprivileged members of the community.
A veterinary assist programme for the animals belonging to underprivileged members of the community.
Addressing complaints of animal abuse in the community.
Assist in finding the appropriate facilities for any wildlife or farm animals that need care or attention.


If you would like to get involved or make a donation, please email or visit their website for more information.


Save-a-Pet is a ‘No Kill’ animal rescue shelter, situated in Greenbushes, Port Elizabeth. From humble beginnings, its founder, Mrs Mavis Smith, rescued, rehabilitated, and rehomed many rescues from her own home. As the numbers grew, so did the need for a shelter and Mavis was offered space at a local boarding kennel. Then a once in a lifetime opportunity came Mavis's way when a national animal organisation closed down and the premises could only be occupied by another animal rescue organisation. A fund raising drive was put into action and with the help of many volunteers, the once neglected organisation was transformed into what it is today - a dream come true.


Save-a-Pet relies solely on public donations to feed, medicate, and house its rescues. In addition to its own animals, Save-a-Pet, with the help of two very dedicated volunteers, is actively involved in the surrounding informal settlement areas, where sterilisation and medical help is its main focus. Currently Save-a-Pet has 182 dogs in its full time care, many that have been there for more than 10 years.


If you would like to get involved or make a donation, please email Dave on .


Underdogs SA is a registered NPO that was founded in 2011 and specialises in the rehabilitation of American Pit Bull Terriers. Currently, Underdogs SA is the only registered NPO of its kind in South Africa.


Underdogs rehabilitate and then rehome Pit Bulls with the assistance of qualified animal behaviour specialists. Team members have more than 24 years of experience with the Pit Bull breed, which gives them an advantage in rehabilitating and reintroducing well balanced American Pit Bull Terriers back into society. During the time of rehabilitation, these beautiful dogs are shown what it feels like to be loved, are exercised daily, and socialise with other dogs.


A large part of what they do is to help in the struggle against Pit Bull fighting, abuse, and educate the public about this misunderstood breed.


If you would like to volunteer or make a donation, visit their Facebook page and website, or email Estelle Smith on or



So spare a thought for our furry friends this Christmas by ordering your 2013 Hero Dogs Calendar now by emailing .