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Wollies celebrates seven year’s of serving the animals

“I am constantly reminded and thankful for the support we got from the public as we would never have been able to do it without them."

Despite the current lockdown blues, tails were wagging at the Wollies animal shelter as they celebrated their seventh birthday at the end of May.

Even though Wollies started off as a community project, they formally started operating as a registered NPO on 28 May 2013 and built the shelter which now stands at 101 Rooikat Street in Hesteapark in the north of Pretoria.

“It was hard in those early days,” said Wollies owner and founder Cilla Trexler.

“Back then we could put jerseys on all of our doggies every night to protect them against the winter cold. Now, of course, this isn’t an option anymore with all the animals we have. We must find other ways of keeping them warm, but our love for animals has always been constant. However, the need is simply overtaking the means too rapidly. Those were the days.”

Trexler has fond memories about the team of animal lovers and their family of supporters who has grown with them throughout the journey.

She describes the last seven years as “hard, exciting, wonderful and rewarding”.

“I am constantly reminded and thankful for the support we got from the public as we would never have been able to do it without them.

“There were tough times when we really thought we would have no choice but to close the shelter, but giving up just wasn’t an option.”

She remembers the very first donation made to Wollies, which was R300 per month.

“That was a lot of money at that time.”

Trexler said Covid-19 has intensely affected Wollies, especially with the fear-mongering reports on social media that the virus can be spread by pets.

“That led to panicked members of the public surrendering their pets to Wollies for no other reason. Families and pet owners had to surrender their beloved animals because they themselves were receiving a reduced income or no income at all anymore and could barely feed them themselves.”

“Still we keep going. These troubled times have been challenging for the shelter’s donors. Many of our usual supporters are unable to donate as usual due to the difficult financial climate.”

Trexler said there has been a “paradoxical” upswing in adoptions though.

“The lockdown has positively increased the public’s awareness of the benefits of animal companionship. Thus we managed to place more puppies and kittens than we usually can this year,” Trexler concluded.

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