THREE years ago well-known local fine art photographer Marlene Neumann started the Buckaroo Initiative in aid of assisting animals in distress.
The Go & Express teamed up with Neumann as the main media partner. Neumann and her team spent two years revamping the kennels and grounds at the East London SPCA (ELSPCA), with the project at the animal sanctuary ending last year.
For the past year every Monday, Neumann and her Buckaroo volunteers along with the ELSPCA, go into townships and sterilise dogs.
The Buckaroo project funds the sterilisation drive and, to date, over 200 dogs have been spayed and neutered. For the past five months, the project has been working in the Chintsa East township.
“The township is small enough for us to make a difference. The local people are receptive to the help and appreciate it,” Neumann said.
“We have sterilised 75 dogs there with the help of the ELSPCA. They have been fantastic and dedicated to making a difference. “Every week we collect dogs, sterilise them and take them back the following week. We have also placed kennels for the township dogs who have absolutely no shelter from the rain or cold. The Buckaroo project also funds their medication should they need treatment,” Neumann said
“As you can imagine we see all sorts; [and] I have had to toughen up a lot. We have also managed to rescue a few dogs and find homes for them. I remember one in particular was a puppy who was on death’s door. The SPCA treated the puppy and Buckaroo fed it special food for three weeks. “Fortunately it was adopted by Sonja Williams, the pup named Leo now lives in paradise,” Neumann said.
Thank you to the Buckaroo project. Each time there is a drop off, Neumann hands out food to the owners and they are taught how to feed and take care of their animals.
“Sometimes they call me now when they see something not right with their dogs. They slowly understand the value of their dogs and cats. The need to help these animals is so great,” she said.
Neumann and her Buckaroo team are dedicated to raising funds and generating awareness to assist the dogs that have no one to care for them. It is important to get to the root cause of the over population of these animals. Sterilisation is the only way.
Neumann has sent out a plea to the public for food, blankets, collars and old kennels that can be dropped off at her centre at 8 Kent Road, Vincent. Or you can call 083-321-3391.