The 4paws Animal shelter is appealing to the community for help with the two vehicles it uses.
The vehicles, a Nissan bakkie which is 11 years old and a Ford Bantam bakkie which was received eight years ago, are in bad shape and are a financial drain on the non-profit organisation.
“I think our cars are just old and tired now,” explained Tammy Lemmon, senior manager and animal carer for 4paws. “There have been so many problems – we keep having to replace tyres, we recently had to buy new batteries for both vehicles… We’ve had to spend about R60 000 on just one of the cars since the beginning of the year.”
The vehicles are an essential part of the running of the shelter.
On Mondays and Wednesdays, staff collect feral animals who have been trapped in a number of areas, on Tuesdays and Thursdays the vehicles are taken into townships where staff carry out door-to-door inspections of animals and treat any that are in need, and on Fridays the cars are used to pick up donations made by the community.
Over and above the daily scheduled uses, staff members need to use the vehicles when they hear of an animal in need of rescuing and also to transport sick or injured animals to the vet.
“A few weeks back, we had to rescue Amber [a mixed breed dog currently living at 4paws] and her seven puppies from Rustenburg, so we’re not even just travelling in Gauteng.”
Besides the inconvenience and financial burdens associated with malfunctioning vehicles, Lemmon is also concerned about safety.
“A few weeks ago a wheel came off [a vehicle] while I was driving it. It’s not safe for me, it’s not safe for the other staff members who need to use it and it’s not safe for the animals that need to be transported.”
Lemmon is hoping that members of the community will be able to help 4paws so that the time and financial resources currently being used on repairs can instead be used to care for animals instead.
Here’s how you can help:
- If the two cars that 4paws currently own are to be used in the future, they will need a full inspection to find and correct any current problems. After that, Lemmon hopes that monthly services can also be arranged to keep the cars in good condition.
- If anyone is able to help raise the money to buy new vehicles or know of a way to get sponsored vehicles, you can contact the shelter to offer your aid.
- If you are unable to provide financial support towards the organisation, Lemmon suggests that you can simply volunteer some of your time to spend with the animals at the shelter so they get to experience love.