Animal care their enduring passion

LABOUR OF LOVE: The members of Hilltop Animal Outreach are, from left, Sue Kietzmann, Louise Impey, Tessa van Heerden and Jeanie Goodrum. Hilltop feeds and cares for animals in disadvantaged areas around East London Picture: THANDEKA NTLONTI

“THERE is so much work to do to change the misery and suffering of animals in impoverished areas of East London,” says Jeanie Goodrum, fundraising assistant of Hilltop Animal Outreach.

Improving the lot of these animals has become the passion of this small group of women who, in their private capacity, have formed Hilltop to undertake this mammoth task.

As urban townships developed in East London, the women identified the need to alleviate the neglect and abuse of animals within these townships by demonstrating all that is required in animal welfare.

“We work closely with Nompumelelo and Mzamomhle townships,” said Hilltop Animal Outreach member for 25 years, Tessa van Heerden.

Regardless of the challenges, their absolute priority is to sterilise animals, remove chains and take injured animals for veterinary treatment. They also provide parasite and mange treatment themselves on site.

The group also supplies shelter in the form of wooden kennels and implements feeding programmes.

In cases of cruelty the animals are removed, rehabilitated and rehomed.

Hilltop Animal Outreach’s aim is to do everything in the most humane way and in the best interest of every animal.

The women are presently feeding, trapping and sterilising cats at Frere and Cecilia Makiwane Hospitals to control the population. Often kittens are found, and all efforts are made to find good homes for them.

Sadly, there will always be a lack of resources needed to benefit the animals, say the women. Hilltop Animal Outreach is solely reliant on the kindness and goodwill of the public for financial assistance and to donate food, blankets, kennels and the like. Anyone who can contribute can contact Sue on 083-539-6872.

There is also always a need for volunteers who can offer of their time, talents and expertise.

“In the end, what truly keeps us going back is the love that each and every one of these animals give in return,” the women agreed.

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