Zumba and yoga for DARG’s 20th bash

DARG managing director Faustina Gardner and Marmite.

Tails are wagging at DARG (Domestic Animal Rescue Group) in excitement for their 20th anniversary party on Saturday, March 30.

The non-profit organisation which currently houses over 130 dogs, close to 60 cats and other farm animals, will host their first party with their furry friends – which includes doing yoga and zumba dancing with the cats and dogs.

Managing director, Faustina Gardner, says Darg has come a long way over the years and has become a sanctuary for animals, with the focus being on rescuing and helping abused and neglected animals.

“We’re not set up as an inspectorate so we can’t just go and seize animals, but we can go and assist if there’s a lost dog and cats in distress,” said Ms Gardner.

“It’s always a full day at DARG and we all get involved here, whether it’s cleaning the floors, feeding the animals, cleaning them or taking the dogs for a walk.

“We are a very small team so there’s an average of 12 to 15 of us here every day.

“Our staff come in very early and that’s when we do all the cleaning, we then feed the animals with some needing special food or medicine, and our dogs also needs to get walked,” she said.

Darg has an extensive cat garden, outdoor and indoor kennel areas as well as indoor rooms for animals in rehabilitation.

Ms Gardner said they often get involved with schools and hosts events in Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg to educate the youth on the correct way to treat animals.

“Weekends are our busiest because we have a lot of people coming in looking to adopt. When an individual wants to adopt one of our animals, then we usually ask them to come in and spend some time with the animal,” said Ms Gardner.

“We also do a home check and if that is approved we then proceed with a meet-and-greet and often we do a foster programme to see if the dog gets settled in.

“We also have quite a few schools who come visit and we do outreach programmes in IY and Hangberg. We get the children to write letters to our dogs, and get them to write about how they feel about pitbull fighting,” she added.

With little over a week to go for their birthday bash, Ms Gardner says they’re not only looking to raise funds for their furry friends, but also to create an awareness about their facilities.

Last year Sentinel News reported that the City of Cape Town had disconnected the power to the sanctuary, claiming that the electricity account was heavily in arrears (“Darg left in the dark again”, Sentinel News, June 15 2018). The organisation, however, disputed this.

That had been the second time in as many years that the City had taken such action. In July 2016, it cut the water supply, leaving more than 280 animals vulnerable (“Darg’s dry spell”, Sentinel News, July 29 2016).

The 20th anniversary event, marking a history of taking care of animals – often under trying circumstances – will be held at the Darg premises in Hout Bay.

“We’re planning on having a big event where people can come and do zumba if they love dancing, and for those who just want to chill, they can do yoga.

“The zumba will be done with a couple of our dogs who will be in their kennels right next to the class, and cats will be doing a bit of stretching themselves with the yoga class,” she said.

Events will start at 10am and will be on the hour with the last one at 1pm. Classes will be 45 minutes long and costs R50.

There is no entry fee to the event and there’ll be food trucks, bakers and coffee stalls available.

For more detail, call 021 790 0383 or log on to www.darg.org.za