In the past week the WOOF Project, based at the V&A Waterfront, managed to help 18 dogs find new loving homes through their efficient adoption processes.
The WOOF Project is the main initiative of Oscars Arc, a registered charitable trust in Cape Town inspired by one woman’s love for her adopted shelter dog. Since their inception in 2017, the project has managed to increase the province’s overall adoption rate by 42%.
“The initiative was inspired by a dog I adopted many years ago from a shelter in Cape Town. Oscar changed my life and travelled around the world with me. He inspired me to create the trust and help other people realise how amazing shelter dogs really are,” says founder Joanne Lefson.
During his lifetime, Oscar became known as an ambassador for the cause and made a name for himself by visiting 45 countries to promote adoption. Highlights of his adventures include walking the Great Wall of China in 2009, climbing Machu Picchu and sailing through the Amazon.
The WOOF Project has managed to increase adoptions mainly due to their passion for shelter dogs and their innovative and efficient adoption process.
“We take dogs from existing shelters and help them get adopted through our easy processes. All dogs are ready to go and the steps for adoption are easy and efficient for those looking to adopt,” says Lefson.
An important part of the work that the project and the trust does is also educating people and breaking down the stigma that shelter dogs are depressed or unsuitable as pets. The dogs are taken out of a shelter atmosphere and displayed in inspired locations so they can be exposed to the public more.
“We want to change the perceptions about shelter dogs and make people realise that they are amazing companions,” says Lefson.
You might recognise the WOOF Project from their cute pop-up container often based at the V&A waterfront near the Food Market. They are present at this location between 9am and 5pm daily and now at the Old Biscuit Mill on Saturdays.
Their latest location will be added in February where working professionals in the CBD can more easily visit to see the dogs up for adoption in person. In early February, their Foreshore location will launch and be open daily from Monday to Friday. If you’re not looking to adopt an animal, however, you can also support the initiative in a variety of ways.
“People looking to get involved can visit our website volunteer, donate or even see the dogs up for adoption and apply via our online process,” says Lefson.
While Oscar is no longer with us, Lefson continues his legacy and strives to remind people everywhere that dogs are so much more than pets. They are companions, travel buddies and man’s best friend to be treasured, loved and cared for even if they come from a shelter.
Find out how you can support the Woof Project and the Oscar Arc Trust here.