World Animal Week which runs from 4 to 10 October unites the world in thinking, caring and celebrating animals.

South Coast based non-profit organisation, Edu-Paw, is among those which are passionate and committed to the welfare of dogs in townships, by educating children on basic canine care.

The organisation recently fulfilled a request by Seed of Hope in Bhekwandle and addressed 150 primary school children on pet care. Edu-Paw founder, Cathy Keegan started as a volunteer at Amanzimtoti SPCA in 2016, where she assisted in the adoption kennels on Saturdays.

“It was here where I noticed that there were always children from the township with their dogs, hanging around at the gates of SPCA. They would ask for food for their dogs as well as for their pets to be vaccinated. Even though the SPCA faced its own pressures, it never turned any of the youngsters and dogs away,” she said. Keegan’s son subsequently influenced her to approach the SPCA manager with a proposal to start an education programme for children to help them to better take care of their dogs, giving rise to the birth Edu-Paw.

In partnership with the same SPCA, an average of 50 children from Malukazi, Umlazi, Folweni, Philani, Umbogotwini and other areas receive dog care lessons from Edu-Paw volunteers on Saturdays.

Dog food, shampoo, collars, leashes, and blankets are provided by Edu-Paw to the excited children.

Amanzimtoti SPCA also provide primary canine healthcare which includes de-worming, vaccinations and sterilisation.
Commenting on why animal care and the significance of World Animal Week, Keegan said, “I have loved dogs since I was a child. A dog is the most faithful and loving friend you will ever find. Wicked and selfish individuals starve and ill treat their dogs. Cruelty cannot be condoned.
“The five animal freedoms that should be respected by people are: freedom from hunger and thirst, freedom from discomfort, freedom from pain, injury and disease, freedom to express normal behaviour as well as freedom from fear and distress.”
For donations or more information contact Edu-Paw on 031 904 2424