Fair helps older dogs have their day

Animal Welfare Society members, from left, Lawrence Nkotha, Matthew Lenting, Sage Majiet, Shannon-Lee Beukes, Kaylyn Watlington and Sivuyile Kilwa.

Fifteen animal-welfare organisations met at Keurboom Park in Rondebosch, on Sunday, to help get older dogs adopted, as they are often the ones left behind at shelters.

The Paws-A-While Animal Adoption Fair, supported by the City of Cape Town, promotes the adoption of animals from registered organisations that are members of the Cape Animal Welfare Forum (CAWF).

Seventeen dogs – half of those present – were adopted on the day.

The fair’s spokeswoman, Carolyn Dudgeon, said: “Shelters and rescue organisations are full of older dogs hoping for a second chance at life. Many of these animals were once loved by someone, but, for various reasons, end up homeless.

“A lot of people think that if they drop their older dog off at the shelter or surrender them to an organisation, the dog will get adopted and have a great life with someone else. Sadly, most of the time, this just isn’t the case. Many of these animals are overlooked in favour of younger, cuter dogs.”

Open-door shelters would keep a dog for as long as possible, but, due to the constant influx of animals, the reality was that they ended up being euthanised if they did not get adopted, she said.

A dog’s lifespan could range from nine to 16 years depending on its size, with smaller breeds living longer than larger ones, she said.

CAWF chairwoman Karen de Klerk said: “It is a sad reality that older cats and dogs are often overlooked in favour of younger ages. All dogs and cats need good homes, so this month’s fair is throwing the spotlight on all the golden oldies who are often dumped in shelters through no fault of their own, who will make excellent companions and love you forever.”

The markets were doing a good job of drawing the public’s attention to shelter pets and would continue into 2022, she said.

Each organisation has a different adoption fee, though all adoption fees include the cost of vaccinations, a microchip and sterilisation at six months.

Email pawsawhileadoptionfair@gmail.com for more information.

The owners of rescue dog, Justice, created “Just-Iced” gluten-free dog treats, which were sold at the fair.
Back, from left, are Observatory Neighbourhood Watch member Rene Hendricks, CAWF Paws-A-While event founder Carolyn Dudgeon and Cape of Good Hope SPCA animal-care centre manager Zama Mabena. Front: Ward 57 councillor Yusuf Mohamed and SPCA vet shop sales assistant Nedine Naidoo.
Jenny Dodd and Samantha Souma sell their goods at the fair. They are both volunteers at Animals have Rights 2, an animal-welfare organisation based in Observatory.