The ESDA 2017 Charity Golf Day will be held on the 6th September 2017 at the Glendower Golf Course. Bookings are almost full, which is good news for this year’s nominated charity, SARAC (Soweto Animal Rescue and Advisory Centre).
If you would still like to participate, contact [email protected]
The Soweto Animal Rescue and Advisory Centre
As a child growing up in Shoshanguve, Jerry Selwane was always drawn to help the bullied, be it people or animals. Whilst employed as an SPCA inspector, he recognised that in a lot of cases education could replace or avert the route of prosecution. People’s attitudes could be changed rather than leaving them with a criminal record.
His dream was realised when he left the SPCA to start the Soweto Animal Rescue and Advisory Centre (SARAC) in November, 2011. He began by walking the streets, checking up on animals, and building good relationships with the community. Those days were tough for him and his family. He had very little support and funding was minimal. Despite this, he started educating the residents, changing their old views of animals as property to one of seeing them as family members. His efforts were appreciated; the community even started calling him ‘Dr Doolittle’.
SARAC has grown from humble beginnings in Naledi, Soweto, to owning their own premises in Zuurebekom. They provide support to the poorer community in Soweto, helping them with dog food, sterilisation of pets, veterinary care, vaccinations and dipping. They endeavour to improve the lives of all animals by building runners for chained dogs or fencing yards so that the dog can have free movement, and distributing kennels, blankets and bowls.
Unless the circumstances are dire, SARAC avoids removing animals, preferring to educate the owner, improve the animal’s life, and monitoring the situation. School and community workshops are arranged to teach animal husbandry (how to care for animals). They believe in addressing the root cause of problems, and not just the symptoms. Education is the only answer to ultimately improve the lives of animals. SARAC also inspects pet shops, abattoirs and ritual slaughters, making sure there is no unnecessary suffering that the animals must endure. Its work is not limited to Soweto; it helps any animal in need and works together with other animal organisations.
In addition, SARAC is an animal shelter for stray, abused and abandoned animals, which are rehabilitated and rehomed.
SARAC is fortunate to have the help of Jerry’s Rangers, community children who help them on outreaches and are ‘watchdogs’ in the community, reporting any animal cruelty to them. It is very prestigious to be a Ranger, and these children are specially selected. They are rewarded every Christmas with a party, gifts and prizes. This not only helps SARAC, but builds a future of aware, animal-loving people, and creates a sense of pride in these children.
For more information, or if you want to offer any assistance to SARAC, please contact Jerry Selwane on 084 911 9459, email [email protected], visit www.sarac.co.za or follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/saracsoweto
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