BD-Award-Shaygam-Featured.png BD-Award-Shaygam-Featured.png

Shaygam Newman, a crusader for animals in a desperately poor South African slum near Cape Town, has won the 2019 Brian Davies Award. The annual award, named after NFA’s founder, is given to an individual or organization that does exceptional work for animals in difficult or dangerous situations. Your support today to enable NFA to continue this program would be gratefully appreciated.

Shaygam lives in Hangberg, a place where 7,000 people exist almost without hope. Very few people have jobs. Many live in rickety shacks on a steep mountainside, without electricity or running water. Rubbish piles the filthy streets, and gangsterism and drug abuse are commonplace. Huge resentment about the situation periodically spills over, leading to violent confrontations with police.

Street dogs rank nowhere on anyone’s scale of concern, except for one man: Shaygam Newman.

When Shaygam started his amazing work, street dogs in Hangberg had absolutely no care. They were thin, hungry, diseased and abused. Gambling on illegal dog fights is rife and so there were many abandoned, terrified and aggressive fighting dogs.

Shaygam is an orphan and when he was a child he found comfort among street dogs, sleeping among them at night for warmth. Shaygam vowed he would repay street dogs.

He colonized a piece of mountainside and scrounged old fencing to secure it. Then he started caring for dogs. His first rescue was a fighting dog that was so aggressive even his owner was afraid of him. Shaygam adopted him and, within weeks, the fighting dog became a friendly loving animal. “I have a gift,” Shaygam said when asked how he achieved that.

Shaygam then started making regular visits to street dogs in the area, feeding them whenever he could find money to do so.

When he found a sick animal he would carry it on foot to a friendly vet several miles away.

Then he started ‘Shaygam’s Crew’, a group of youngsters whom he taught to love and care for dogs, and who patrol the streets checking on the dogs and their well-being and teaching people how to look after them.

With financial and logistical help provided by NFA supporters, in three years, Shaygam has turned the situation around. Where once street dog lives were virtually certain to be nasty, brutish and short, hundreds of animals are now regularly fed, monitored and medically treated.

We salute Shaygam’s extraordinary achievement!

Shaygam is a poor person who works in a difficult and dangerous place. He has few resources and the money we provide, with the help of supporters like you is absolutely vital for him to continue his work.

Slowly, Shaygam is expanding his help for street dogs to a wider area and he vows never to stop. “The dogs are my life. That’s what I do, that’s who I am.”

Winning the award is recognition of the wonderful work Shaygam does. Please, it would be so kind if you helped him continue by making a donation today.

For the animals,


David Barritt
Executive director
Network for Animals

P.S. Hundreds of dogs in Hangberg owe their lives to donations made by people like you. Every single donation will help Shaygam continue his work. Please give the dogs a better life by donating now.

Sign up to our newsletter