News / South Africa / Local News

Natasha Pretorius
3 minute read
19 Feb 2019
10:19 am

Fora shelter manager named animal hero of the year

Natasha Pretorius

The shelter's Linda Scrace doesn't work for awards, but her achievements are a testament to the integral work she does.

Linda Scrace with one of the dogs that she helped nurse back to health after it was burned by boiling water.

Linda Scrace from Friends of Rescued Animals (Fora), not only has a passion but also a deep love for every animal in her care.

Her dedication and constant efforts to make lives better for four-legged friends ensured that she received the AnimalTalk magazine’s Top Dog Animal Hero of the Year Award recently, reports Krugersdorp News.

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She said that as a little girl, she used to pick up animals and bring them home, and her dad used to joke that he would send her to the SPCA if she continued bringing sick and homeless pets home.

At the age of 15, she already knew she wanted to work with animals. After school, she started working with horses, and in 2003 she was working on a stud farm in the North West. She and the owner had an argument about the way he treated the animals and he eventually assaulted her so badly that he broke her neck. She was almost paralysed and had to have countless operations.

Many years later, in 2013, she was contacted by Fora’s new chairperson, who wanted her to manage the organisation for them. This is how she ended up at the shelter.

When an animal comes in and the organisation has to decide whether it is going to invest in the animal, the decision rests on one question for Linda: “Can we improve the quality of that animal’s life? I know what it is like to live in pain and I don’t want that for my animals.”

She said she did not expect to get the award, and had to be nominated by someone, but for her, this was just her everyday job. She does not go out of her way to win awards, she does the work because she loves the animals.

The shelter was also nominated as AnimalTalk’s charity of choice and received a R46,000 donation, which Linda said would be a great help.

The most challenging part of her job is when she has to tell people that the shelter is at full capacity and they don’t understand.

She explained that 98% of the animals they take in are the result of irresponsible animal ownership. Most animals are not sterilised when they get to the shelter, and therein lies the biggest problem.

With all the bad Linda has seen over the years, the one thing that keeps her grounded is her sense of humour. One thing she can attest to is that cats are unforgiving creatures. The marks on her arms are proof of this.

The organisation is currently appealing for donations, after a debilitating distemper outbreak currently underway at the shelter. The shelter needs funds for snap tests to determine how many of the animals are infected. There will also be no new intakes until the shelter has received the all-clear.

Banking Details: FORA, Nedbank Florida, Branch #190541, Account No 1073-509-893

Anyone able to drop off bleach, pine gel, F10, clean mops and brooms, and plastic water bowls would help greatly in minimising the risk of infection at the shelter. Fora is located at 1A Windsor Road, Luipaarsdvlei, Krugersdorp (Mogale City) Gauteng.

Check out Fora’s Facebook page for updates, and to get involved in helping Linda make the world a better place for abandoned animals.

Additional reporting by Nica Schreuder. 

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