FOUR years ago, renowned fine art photographer Marlene Neumann initiated a project that would help change the lives of many stray animals in and around East London.
The Go & Express partnered and assisted Neumann and the Buckaroo initiative with the “give a rand give a buck”.
She believed that if everyone gave just R1, there would be enough money to make a difference to the lives of animals in need.
Over a period of 18 months, Neumann and her team raised R1.2-million which was used to revamp the kennels and grounds at the East London SPCA.
Neumann pioneered the project and today she has managed to ensure that the SPCA is listed as one of the gardens in the Pam Golding Gardens of East London weekend.
She did not stop there. The Buckaroo initiative has expanded to assisting township dogs.
Neumann and her team, with the help of the ELSPCA, have sterilised more than 400 dogs in the last 15 months.
The project funds the outreach programme and the East London vets have also come on board to assist in terms of sterilising.
“We are sterilising 28 dogs a month now. Each week I am personally involved with which dogs need help,” Neumann said.
She and her team have been working closely with the community in Chintsa East Township and have expanded to Brakfontein.
“The dogs are in a really bad condition, with mange and malnutrition.
“We have to feed them up first over a period of three weeks before we are able to take them in to be sterilised. It is a real epidemic as owners cannot afford to have their dogs sterilised, which perpetuates the problem and the cycle continues. It has been noted that over a period of eight years, one female dog [and her offspring] can reproduce 10000 puppies.
“I don’t think anyone is aware of the desperate situation these animals are in. We have to do something to take the pressure off of the local sanctuaries.”
The Buckaroo project is desperate for monthly donations in order to continue the sterilisation drive, and to feed the dogs beforehand.
If you love animals and want to make a difference, please drop off food at the Centre for Photography, 8 Kent Road, Vincent or contact Neumann on firstname.lastname@example.org