Caring for Hout Bay’s abandoned, abused cats and dogs

12-year-old Alfred has been at the Domestic Animal Rescue Group longer than any of the other animals at the shelter.

Alfred, a 12-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier cross pit bull, is still looking for a home after having been at Hout Bay’s Domestic Animal Rescue Group (DARG) for 10 years, longer than any of the other animals at the shelter.

Darg is a pro-life, non-profit organisation that rescues, cares for, sterilises and re-homes previously abused, neglected and abandoned cats and dogs in the Hout Bay area.

Alfred was found wondering the streets of Hout Bay, malnourished and in poor condition, according to Faustina Gardner, Darg’s managing director.

Alfred adores people and loves to snuggle up, and while he is a senior citizen in dog years, he loves toys, says Ms Gardner. “At our last market, he picked a toy and didn’t let go.“

Winter tends to be a quite period for adoptions at the sanctuary, says Ms Gardner, and she encourages the public to visit and see if there is a furry friend waiting for them.

“Darg works with a certified behaviourist and their focus is on homing the suitable dog or cat to an adopter.”

She says several things thing need to be considered when adopting an animal, including its energy level, to ensure that it is not too boisterous for a family with a young child, for example.

“Apartment living is suitable for some dogs; however, not all dogs cope in this type of environment. A Jack Russell can happily live in an apartment if the owner is very active and makes sure the dog gets out for runs daily. Darg is very good at matchmaking, which is why they have an extremely low return rate.”

The centre receives lots of injured and sick animals, but it is helped with these cases by Hout Bay vets who give it a charity discount, says Ms Gardner. Nevertheless, the steady stream of animals arriving at dog can prove financially challenging.

Darg has a garage shop, book store and an online store that the public can support. The centre also accepts books, second-hand clothing, kitchenware and other bric-a-brace for these charity stores.

Darg holds a market every month. There is entertainment for children and the public can meet the dogs and cats. The next market is weather dependent and scheduled for Saturday August 6. For information contact Darg at 021 790 0383 or

Alfred and his chosen toy.
Darg runs a garage shop and other fund-raising initiatives.