East London’s successful animal sterilisation drive, the Buckaroo project, is under threat with only funds to last to the end of next month.
Founder and fine art photographer Marlene Neumann in a desperate plea to the East London community and beyond, is appealing for donations from all animal lovers.
She said donors could assist with dog food, money, dog collars and kennels to help distressed dogs in poor communities.
Neumann, who is passionate about animals, said the Buckaroo project was ongoing in the Chintsa East and Brakfontein townships as well as Nompumelelo, Ducats, Parkridge and Mdantsane.
“What is happening to those dogs in the townships and rural areas is an epidemic. Our sterilisation programme helps the owners to help their dogs. It is a continuation of a project that started about three and half years ago. The owners can’t afford R1800 to sterilise their dogs.
Recently registered as a non-profit organisation, the Buckaroo project works closely with the SPCA to fight mange, ticks and fleas, and starvation in animals.
Speaking to the Daily Dispatch yesterday Neumann said: “We are in desperate need of monthly donations and food. That is why I am appealing to all animal lovers to assist us as we are responsible for these dogs.
“We have sterilised more than 400 dogs this year alone and that makes a huge difference. If people can donate R50 or anything they have and food that would make a big difference,” she said.
On Saturday a Buckaroo team of 11 people went on a drive to Brakfontein where 12 kennels were donated to dog owners.
“We did assessments, fed dogs, dipped them and removed fleas. ”When we do this we sign people onto our programme as a sign of commitment from them to change their lives with their dogs. We don’t just give out food and kennels,” explained Neumann.
Brakfontein resident Agnes Platyi said the programme had helped her and other owners of dogs in changing the conditions of their dogs.
“I have three dogs and they were in a bad condition before this programme was introduced to us. Marlene asked me to tell other people about the programme, and they come with the SPCA and inject our dogs, dip them and give us food for them,” Platyi said.
Nontlupheko Philani, 65, from Kwelerha told the Dispatch her three dogs and three cats were looking better, thanks to Buckaroo.
“I am very happy. They even gave me a kennel where my dogs can sleep now. I used to use my own plates to dish up for the dogs but the programme donated bowls for us,” said Philani.
Anyone who would like to make a donation can contact Neumann on 0833213391. — firstname.lastname@example.org