How the Thanda Inja Outreach started…
In February 2014, a young man named Eddy, who lives in the Gabon Informal Settlement in Daveyton (Benoni, Gauteng) walked no fewer than 15 kilometers wearing flip-flops to seek medical attention for his dog, Spider, from the veterinary practice closest to his home.
Due to the fact that Eddy did not have the funds to pay for private veterinary care, the staff referred him to the SPCA. Cheryl Gaw, the President of Pug Rescue SA, happened to be at the veterinary practice at the time and noticed his abject disappointment after hearing that the vet could not help him.
When Cheryl heard what the challenge was, she immediately offered assistance on behalf of Pug Rescue SA, taking on the responsibility for payment of the private veterinary costs. The practice was kind enough to assist by offering a discounted rate for Spider’s care. Spider was admitted to hospital, where he remained for a couple of days. It transpired that quite ironically, Spider had been bitten by a spider!
Once Spider was released from hospital, Malcolm Gaw, Director and Chairman of Pug Rescue SA, collected Eddy and Spider and transported them back to their home.
As soon as Malcolm returned to Pug Rescue SA and based on his observations during the trip to Eddy’s home, he communicated to the team the dire need for an animal outreach intervention in Gabon. Pug Rescue SA returned to Gabon the following day to conduct an analysis of the needs of the animals.
We found a little puppy whom we later named Willow, lying under a broken motor vehicle amongst many other sick and starving animals. Willow was near death and in very poor condition. She was surrendered to Pug Rescue and immediately transported to our veterinarians where she was diagnosed as having an advanced stage of biliary. Willow was treated and convalesced at the Pug Rescue SA sanctuary in Benoni, where she grew into a beautiful young puppy. Some time later she was adopted into a loving family where she grew from strength to strength. Willow now lives in New Zealand.