Cape Town, amongst all the negative and heartbreaking news, there’s always that one special positive story that lights up the lives of many, and Riley Valentine’s story is one that will be remembered for a long time.
For Riley’s 10th birthday on September 27, instead of a usual birthday bash or celebration, he decided to do a donation drive for stray and abandoned dogs that land up at the Animal Welfare Society of SA, as he has a soft spot for them.
Riley volunteers at the Animal Welfare Society of SA on Saturdays where he walks the dogs in the field, cleans their bowls, picks up poop and plays with them.
Riley has a Jack Russel named Milo and the two are clearly inseparable.
Riley and Milo when Riley was three-years-old
The donation drive is in aid of collecting dog food and blankets for all dogs at the Animal Welfare Society of SA. So far, Riley has received four donations of food and three monetary donations as not many are able to drop it off in Mitchell’s Plain. The family plans to purchase more dog food with the money to add to the collection.
The donations are coming in at a slow pace and Riley is despondent on some days says mom, Venecia Valentine. “I assured him that things will come in a bit closer to his birthday.” The family started the drive a month before his birthdate on August 27.
The family would love to gather some doggy toys, leashes, blankets and doggy jerseys, even if it’s second hand, it can be washed.
“When he is older, Riley wants to be a veterinarian. It’s all he has ever dreamt of doing,” Venecia says.
“We plan to do the handover on Friday, September 24, Venecia adds. “Please support my child, he is so excited and please text to arrange drop off or collection times. Thank you.”
Milo and Riley now. Milo has been a part of the family and Riley’s life since 2017.