THE Buckaroo Project, the brainchild of fine art photographer Marlene Neumann, who spent two years with her team revamping the ELSPCA, is now on another mission.
Neumann and her Buckaroo team have been working closely with the ELSPCA over the past year addressing the overpopulation of dogs in the townships and informal settlements.
In the past few months the project has sterilised more than 170 dogs in Ducats, Nompumelelo and the Chintsa East settlement.
Neumann and her team visit the areas and assist in collecting the dogs and follow through with dog food, shelters and education.
A story that is close to Buckaroo’s heart is about a dog called Sissy. A few weeks ago Neumann, who is passionate about animals, said on one of the days something caught her eye up on the hill. A white dog was tied to an enclosure on a very short chain. The thin dog had two puppies suckling from her.
Neumann was told the dog had a broken jaw.
After receiving permission from the owner, Sissy and her puppies were taken for observation to the SPCA.
“We all had a sleepless night that night worrying about the outcome. The good news arrived when the manager of the SPCA, Allen Westerberg, called me to say it was a broken tooth and an abscess that had formed underneath the tooth,” Neumann said.
“After spending a week at the SPCA of operating, fattening up, deworming and spaying her and her two pups, Sissy was taken home. She now runs free and is no longer chained up.
“I could not believe how excited she was to be home, the look in her eyes when she looked around for her pups and the relief when she saw they were all home.”
A lot of work has been done, especially in Chintsa East. Neumann praised the ELSPCA, especially senior inspector Lionel Taylor and field officer Zuki Lupuwana for the amazing way in which they had helped these animals.
The project also received 15 “old kennels” from Pet Pals and have placed them with some of the dogs they have been working with.
“When I first started my work with the ELSPCA, I felt deeply sorry for those dogs, but when I started working in these areas I realised we have a dog epidemic on our hands. Wherever you look there is a mother with eight puppies. Sterilisation is the only way. My mind was completely blown,” Neumann said.
“It is so bad that we gave out food parcels not only for the dogs but for their owners too. A generous donation of 20 food parcels has been donated to the Buckaroo Project by Karuna Harry, from Harry’s Printers.”
Neumann and her team will deliver the dog food and food parcels a week before Christmas.
Neumann is pleading with the public of East London to drop off dog pellets and old kennels and blankets at her photography centre at 8 Kent Road in Vincent or call her on 083-321-3391.