The Tale of African Tails…
Once upon a time in December 2006, an organisation called African Tails was born. Its is set on the dusty streets of Du Noon and Joe Slovo townships in Cape Town, where African Tails strives to curb the over-population and suffering of abused and neglected township dogs.
Everyone at African Tails is bound by their love for the uniquely African dog, known as Canis Africanis, frequently found in rural areas and on the streets of South Africa’s informal settlements.
To give every abused and neglected street dog the happy ending they deserve. Sure, the township isn’t the ideal setting for a fairytale-style happy ending. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Whether it’s finding a puppy a loving new home, feeding a starving stray, curbing the cycle of over-population through regular sterilisation campaigns or simply euthanasing a suffering animal, African Tails is doing its best to write new stories of hope and triumph in the places that truly need them most.
The ever-increasing number of stray dogs adds fuel to the cycle of abuse, suffering and neglect. With this in mind, our key focus areas are:
It has been recognised that the animals in the townships and underprivileged areas of South Africa, whether owned, community dogs, or strays, are in desperate need of access to veterinary services, and to be sterilised to curb the over-population of animals in these areas. We believe that ongoing sterilisation programmes will over the longer term be the solution to the problem, and benefit and offer some relief to other welfare organisations as well. Since 2008, African Tails has sterilised in excess of 8,200 animals.
From the onset, African Tails recognised the need to address the cause, rather than the symptoms, of the dire state of the majority of animals in Cape Town’s informal settlements. With this in mind, we therefore fund and implement active sterilisation and education programmes in our informal settlements, which consist of a majority of black African populations.
We at African Tails believe that pet overpopulation, the resultant neglect, abuse and their relinquishment to animal shelters, and the subsequent euthanization of the majority of these animals, are preventable problems with a rational solution, namely spay/neuter programs which we have implemented in several informal settlements and impoverished areas in the Western Cape. We believe that in addition to saving lives, spay/neuter programs can substantially decrease the number of disease ridden, neglected, starving and abused animals, and also reduce the phenomenal costs animal shelters, municipalities, and the public at large carry due to addressing these animal welfare problems. With a well-funded, well-designed program that also includes a comprehensive education and outreach component, we have experienced huge positive changes in the animal welfare situation and attitudes of the community in township areas such as Du Noon, Joe Slovo, Philadelphia. Based on the success of these sterilisation projects, we are keen to continue making the same impact on animal welfare in various other indigent areas within the Western Cape of South Africa by continuing to perform similar population control initiatives and drives.
Did you know?
South Africa has enough puppies/dogs already, and all the country really needs is enough people to love them. One female cat + her offspring can produce 420,000 cats in 7 years (source: HSUS). One female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 dogs in 6 years (source: HSUS) That’s why it’s so important to sterilise your pets!
We receive calls for help on a daily basis from pet owners in townships, to assist when animals have been injured or are sick. These animals are collected by us, treated by a vet, and returned to the owner once the animal has recovered.
In addition to our sterilisation campaigns, we receive calls for help on a daily basis from pet owners to assist when animals have been injured or are sick. The majority of pet owners living in informal settlements do not have access to transport to get the much needed veterinary help for their animals. Therefore, these animals are collected by us, treated by a vet, and returned to the owner once the animal has recovered. Without the help from African Tails, many of these animals would suffer and die without our intervention. We have paid for drips, broken bones, burn wounds, stabbed animals, and even some that had been beaten by humans. To date, we have treated over 1,300 sick and injured animals. We run several vaccination and dipping campaigns, and provide much needed shelter and food by dropping off kennels and food for hundreds of animals every year.
Education is viewed by African Tails as one of the most important elements of a successful, sustainable and comprehensive pet population management as well as the overall welfare of animals in communities. Our educational interventions depend on, amongst others, culture, age, religion, geographic and socio-economic area, specific animal welfare issues that need to be addressed, and people’s attitudes and beliefs. We focus on educating the public about sterilisation and the positive attributes of the incredible Canis Africanis, as well as educating the township communities about responsible animal care through regular educational sessions with an African Tails representative.
Rescue and Rehoming
So far we have rescued, rehabilitated and re-homed over 1,500 dogs, puppies, cats and kittens, giving them the second chance they need and deserve. The adoption process includes a site visit, official documentation and ensuring that the dog is healthy, sterilized, micro chipped and up-to-date with all vaccinations and deworming. These are the stories that motivate and empower all of us to help relieve, care and educate for the benefit of the many animals that are almost totally dependent on African Tails for their wellbeing and welfare. Without donations, many of these stories would not have been written, so it is thanks to donations to our cause that we are able to achieve these accomplishments!
African Tails does not have a shelter facility. We operate on a system of foster homes in and around the greater Cape Town area. Please contact us to find out further information on any dogs/pups, or if you are interested in adopting, donating, volunteering, etc