Residents do their duty for DARG

A number of prominent Cape Town restaurateurs are putting their hands up to support the Hout Bay-based Domestic Animal Rescue Group (DARG), which recently embarked on a R50 pledge drive in a bid to keep its doors open.

The Sentinel reported earlier this month that the NPO and pro-life shelter, which assists with the rescue and rehabilitation of neglected, abandoned and abused domestic animals, has experienced an influx of unwanted litters and animals requiring urgent medical attention, which has completely exhausted its cash resources (“DARG pledge to keep doors open”, Sentinel, November 11).

DARG’s challenges have not been lost on Cape Town restaurant owners, who have conceptualised unique fund-raising efforts of their own to support the organisation.

Spiro Ragavelas, owner of Spiro’s in Hout Bay, recently hosted a fund-raising dinner evening, which brought in R10 000 for DARG.

“As a community, if we can help, we should. People love animals, and it is fantastic to be able to give back in this way,” Mr Ragavelas said.

“I have been at my premises for six years now, and am very much part of my community. I am never going to be a millionaire, but as long as I’m happy and my family’s happy, preparing some food for a good cause is something I will always want to do.”

Massimo Orione, of Massimo’s restaurant in Hout Bay, explained he had taken his own love of animals to the plate to raise funds for the group.

“We have a border collie called Luna, and so we’ve named a pizza after Luna. With every Luna pizza sold, R10 goes to DARG,” he said.

“From January this year until last Sunday, we worked out that we had raised R23 000 through the sales of the Luna pizza, which is a lot of money. But we also have customers who ask if they can contribute R10, even if they haven’t had the pizza.”

Mr Orione added that his restaurant was one of the few dog-friendly restaurants in the Cape, so it stood to reason that customers frequently opened their hearts and wallets to DARG.

Another restaurant to have come on board is The Village Idiot in Cape Town CBD.

Owner Pini Potgieter said: “The cry for help on HBO (Hout Bay Organised Facebook group) brought tears to my eyes. I have two English bulldogs, Hippopotamus Maximus and Chunky Monkey.They are my fur babies and I wish all animals can have as good a life as they do.

“People need to support this charity because the animals need us. Some animals are more caring than humans and all of them deserve a chance to live. I’ve taken to Facebook and Instagram with fliers I post and boost on a regular basis to gain traction for the cause. Currently I think DARG is limited to mainly Hout Bay residents, where our following reaches all the way to the northern and southern suburbs.”

She said they had also printed out flyers which they had placed on tables. Customers can donate any amount starting from R1.

DARG fundraiser Debra Buys said it was extremely “heartening” to have big restaurant names like Spiro’s, Massimo’s and The Village Idiot coming on board to assist DARG.

“We are so grateful for this support which will help keep DARG’s doors open. We are busy engaging with other restaurants around Cape Town who are very excited to get involved in this fundraising drive,” she said.

For dtails, contact Debra Buys at