The pets of Khayelitsha are in need of your help. Winter in Cape Town is a distinctly unpleasant experience for many – storms that bring sharp winds, icy-cold air and sleeting rains are common. These conditions are unpleasant for humans and animals alike.

The team at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic have created an easy way for the public to help the pets of Khayelitsha stay warm. Members of the public are encouraged to take part in the fifth annual Wagging Winter Shoebox drive. 

“We know many members of the public become distressed about the cold weather and the effect it has on township animals. We know people want to help but do not always know how to do so. With this drive you can choose which pet you wish to help and pack a shoebox filled with goodies to keep them warm this winter,” says Marcelle du Plessis, Fundraising and Communications Manager.

“We usually host a kennel building day on Mandela Day but, due to COVID-19, we will not be hosting the event this year. In its place we are hosting a ‘lockdown version’ where we send you an instruction manual and you can build a kennel to donate to us from home.” 

According to du Plessis, the Wagging Winter Shoebox is a fun way for the public to help the animals of the Mdzananda Animal Clinic.
The steps are easy to packing your Wagging Winter Shoebox:
  1. Find a shoebox (or any box)
  2. Choose which pet you would like to pack for (puppy, kitten, dog or cat)
  3. Pack it full of goodies for your chosen pet
  4. Drop it off at one of the drop points 
Goods suggested to place in the boxes include Hills A/D tinned food for recovering pets, Milko Pup or Kitty Milk for bottle fed pups and kittens, soft food, pellet food, cat litter, a hot water bottle or heating beanbag, washing powder to wash blankets, a roll of black bags for daily disposal of dirty newspaper cage lining, leads, collars and dog jackets.
The drop spots to deliver your shoeboxes include:

– Khayelitsha: Mdzananda Animal Clinic, 21297 Govan Mbeki Road

– Sea Point: 2A Pavilion Place, 281 Beach Road (24h security)

– Mowbray: Mowbray Veterinary Clinic, 84 Durban Road

– Newlands: Larysa 082 321 3119

– Kenilworth: Alice 079 186 4866

– Blouberg: Michelle 072 600 8001

– Edgemead: Annette 083 321 7226

– Gordons Bay:  Valery or Cheryll 021 856 3554

– False Bay, Capri Village: Debora 082 3666 726

– Constantia Hills/Tokai:  Ann 082 4144 771

– Gardens/ Higgovale: Shannon 072 424 0853

– Hout Bay: Stefanie 082 390 1670

– Kraaifontein / Brackenfell: Mariska 072 716 9959

If you prefer to sponsor a shoebox instead of packing a box, this is also very welcome. You are also welcome to sponsor half a box or any amount towards a box – all donations are appreciated.
Puppy Shoebox : R400
Dog Shoebox: R300
Kitten Shoebox: R350
Cat Shoebox: R250
Bank Details: Mdzananda Animal Clinic, Standard Bank
Account number: 075595710
Branch: Rondebosch
Branch Code: 025009, Savings Account.
Use the relevant reference: Pupbox + your name / Dogbox + yourname / Catbox + yourname / Kittenbox + yourname.
The past few months have been challenging for the beloved animal clinic. Since the start of lockdown they have been losing approximately R200 000 every three weeks. This is attributed to a loss of income – an example is being unable to earn income from their on-site vet shop and adoption fees. They also had increased expenses , like having their wholesalers run out of stock and them needing to find alternative, usually more expensive options.
The clinic was robbed at gunpoint on May 6, with the robbers making off with cell phones, computers, computer screens and an undisclosed amount of cash. The clinic has had to up its security by reconfiguring the cameras, modifying their gate and hiring a full-time security guard. Security alone costs the animal clinic R13 000 per month – an expense they’ve not had before. 
“We are so blessed that members of the public supported us with donations during this difficult time. We want to thank them greatly and, in return, we want to make sure they know that we are hard at work, daily, making sure the animals of Khayelitsha have a safe space for recovery from illnesses and injuries and a safe haven for the homeless. We also work hard with community members on education and information spreading and we are very happy to say that, daily, we are seeing more and more wonderful community pet owners,” du Plessis says. 

During winter the Mdzananda Animal Clinic is packed to the brim with pets needing medical assistance. Some reasons include hypothermia as well as broken bones due to people driving recklessly in bad weather and running pets over. 

“Most pets live outside. Many do have kennels, but there are also many who don’t. Hypothermia is always a concern if pets are outside in very cold and rainy weather without shelter,” says du Plessis. “We are however happy to say that we have seen an increase in community members investing in kennels for their furry friends,” du Plessis adds.

For more information please contact [email protected] or visit
Picture: Pixabay

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.