Saving animals a life’s calling for resilient EL Pet Pals founder, Kriel

An abundance of love, a warm bed, tasty treats and a much happier second chance.
This is what each and every animal that is brought to Sue Kriel is given.
The animal lover opened East London Pet Pals in 2011.
She has since saved countless animals, and whether it takes three weeks or three months for them to recover, Kriel gives every animal a fighting chance.
“I was part of a group of volunteers at the SPCA and after that I realised that East London was in need of a real sanctuary, a safe place where animals could be taken to to get help,” explained Kriel.
“I don’t care what condition they come to me in, I will work with them, nurse them and I won’t give up hope.”
Kriel has been the driving force behind many miraculous canine transformations, from dogs that are severely dehydrated, covered in mange crusts, burnt, beaten, wounded or unable to walk, to those on the brink of death, who have turned into healthy, happy and playful pooches.
“Most of the dogs that come in are suffering from malnutrition, mange and dehydration from wandering the streets, but we’ve also had cases where dogs have been hurt,” said Kriel.
“In some cases even the vets tell me there is no hope and that they won’t make it, but it’s amazing to see the dogs completely turn around with some love and care,” she said.
“That’s what keeps me going and keeps me positive.”
Home to 165 dogs and 69 cats EL Pet Pals is based in Wilsonia and is a paradise for abandoned and mistreated animals.
Huge colourful kennels, beautiful gardens, comfortable beds, a troupe of wagging tails and excited, boisterous barks welcome all who visit.
Pet Pals is a no kill animal shelter meaning that no animal is euthanised unless they are suffering from fatal illnesses or wounds.
“Pet Pals is a place where animals are shown love, even if it’s only for the last days of their life,” said Kriel.
“I won’t euthanise one animal to make space for another, so it’s a bit tough sometimes because we’ve had to turn some animals away.
Kriel’s vision for Pet Pals is for it to be not only a sanctuary for dogs and cats, but for people too.
“I want to encourage people to spend time here, children, the elderly. It can be very therapeutic,” said Kriel.
She hopes to develop a small coffee shop and trail walk at the animal sanctuary. A kiddies party venue has also recently been introduced.
“The most important thing is that the animals are cared for, but I want people to enjoy coming here and spending time with the animals too,” said Kriel...

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