Network for Animals (NFA) and The Emma Animal Rescue Society (TEARS) traveled to Hillview, a poor and dangerous area in Cape Town, South Africa, to rescue dogs in need of medical attention.

Hillview was recently devastated by a fire that swept across the suburb, leaving many residents destitute and no longer capable of caring for their pets.

David Barritt, chief campaigner for NFA, said that they had planned to visit Hillview three times before but that the security company had refused to let the rescuers go in due to danger presented by gangsters there.

“We had never been here before. It is heartbreaking to see hundreds of dogs scavenging for scraps. Within 20 minutes, our rescue van was full,” said Barritt.

“It wasn’t hard to find them. Everywhere we looked we saw injured and sick dogs. I don’t think I saw one healthy animal. We rescued a dog run over by a car, dogs infested with ticks, dogs with mange, and dogs on the brink of starvation.”

NFA has been helping South Africa’s poor areas for several years now to help alleviate the suffering of forgotten animals. About 85% of companion animals in South Africa are kept in townships. Many of these pet owners cannot afford veterinary care.

“What we saw in Hillview shocked us. We have to do what we can for all the township animals suffering in every corner of South Africa. We cannot do so without the donations we receive from animal lovers around the world,” said Barritt.

“This rescue operation is certainly an achievement to be celebrated, but it is only a drop in the ocean that features one poor suburb in a country filled with poverty. There are millions upon millions of dogs and cats roaming the streets struggling to survive but thanks to our supporters and our partners at TEARS, we have started to make a difference.”

You can find out more about Network for Animals, TEARS and our mission in South Africa by clicking here.