Animal clinic is ready for furry patients

Community leaders Jan Phillips, from Hangberg, and Kenny Tokwe, from Imizamo Yethu, with Darg managing director Faustina Gardner, holding SA celebrity dog Mr Miyagee.

After two years in the making, the Domestic Animal Rescue Group’s clinic is ready for its furry patients.

The guest of honour at the launch of the Rush Ndou Community Clinic, on Saturday, was Mr Miyagee, a long-coat chihuahua that is hailed as the country’s smallest celebrity dog.

Community leaders Jan Lewis, of Hangberg, and Kenny Tokwe, from Imizamo Yethu, cut the ribbon to the clinic, watched by representatives from some of the local schools, Darg board members, volunteers and sponsors (“Darg clinic to help animals in IY, Hangberg”, Sentinel, February 10).

The clinic, at the entrance to the property, is named in memory of Rush Ndou, the adopted daughter of the clinic’s primary sponsor, who also attended the event but wishes to remain anonymous.

He told the Sentinel that his 12-year-old daughter, who died of cancer, would be thrilled to know the clinic would allow Darg to continue its work, including large-scale sterilisations and increased pet-care education. Rush had four cats and eight dogs including her puppy, Banjo, a service dog trained to pull her wheelchair.

Jacqui Paton from MySchool, another major sponsor, attended the launch.

Mr Tokwe said there were people from 15 African countries living in some 25 000 shacks in Imizamo Yethu. “The number of dogs and cats is unknown. Last year, Darg and other animal organisations, came to various collection points in the township to do sterilisations. It is most helpful to the community,” he said.

Mr Lewis said the clinic was a step forward in bringing the cost of animal care down for the community of Hangberg.

It also helped to see Darg operations manager Jeremy Braaf driving around the harbour community collecting sick animals because many people could not afford to get to the clinic, he said, adding that the community could also buy pet food at cost and second-hand items from Darg.

Inside the clinic, Deidre Strauss, of Hangberg, was seeking treatment for her Yorkshire terrier, which had diarrhoea. Darg nurse Liz Roodt was examining a sample under a microscope, and the animal was soon given an injection and Ms Strauss heard about a special diet she could put her pet on until its condition improved.

Darg’s managing director, Faustina Gardner, said the clinic would allow them to provide their own vet-care services at cost. The vet bills for the service averaged R55 000 a month but had been as high as R120 000, she said.

As part of the opening, Darg has secured funding from non-profit Dancers Love Dogs to sterilise about 200 animals.

Ms Faustina said it cost R4500 to sterilise 10 animals. Anyone who donates this amount has their name or their company’s name added to a sponsorship board on the side of the clinic wall.

To support Darg, email info@darg.org.za or call 021 790 0383.

The clinic while it was still a work in progress in February this year.
This dog came to the clinic with a dislocated shoulder but has been stitched up.
George Wolfaardt of Observatory with clinic architect Hugh Paver, also from Observatory.
Local community leaders, representatives from some of the local schools, Darg board members, volunteers and sponsors attended the launch.
Celebrity dog Mr Miyagee was the guest of honour at the launch.
The new clinic features a sponsorship board for those supporting the sterilisation drive.
Deidre Strauss, left, with her dog being cared for by nurse Liz Roodt.
Tracy Dicks examining a sample in the clinic.