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Shelter gives neglected animals second chance at love

A small shelter in Soshanguve is making a big difference to animals in need.

Tebogo Maredi, a resident of Soshanguve in the north of Tshwane, has been a champion for animal welfare for many years.

He is both managing director of an animal shelter and an animal welfare inspector.

In 2022, Maredi started a shelter after witnessing the neglect and abuse of animals in his community.

“We witnessed a lot of neglect and abuse of animals in the township and informal settlements,” said Maredi.

Teboho Maredi rescued a puppy from a school drain.
Photo: Facebook

He explained that the shelter is home to over 48 dogs, and he works with other shelters to help even more animals.

He added there’s a limit to how many animals the shelter can take in at any time. When this limit is reached, other shelters and the SPCA are contacted to help with any additional animals.

“As we have limited space in our kennels, we also help and rescue over 20 animals per day, which we take to other shelters that we work with,” said Maredi.

He explained that they have good working relationships with other shelters and the SPCA, as most of their rescues are taken to the SPCA when they do not have sufficient space.

Maredi is passionate about ensuring that all animals in his care receive the best possible care, and he works tirelessly to ensure they are all healthy and happy.

The shelter is not only a place of refuge for animals but also a place of education and outreach.

“We have two educational centres serving children from underprivileged households whereby we feed them on a daily basis when they come and attend our classes,” said Maredi.

His shelter has a very clear policy when accepting new animals.

Teboho Maredi with one of the dogs at the centre.
Photo: Supplied by Teboho Maredi

Their policy states that animals must be surrendered by their rightful owners, and the owners must provide proof of ownership.

Led by Maredi, volunteers have created a place where animals who have suffered abuse, neglect, and illness can find healing and love.

They provide veterinary care and a safe place for the animals to recover.

“The shelter also takes in sick, injured, abused, neglected and emaciated animals. These animals are given access to veterinary services,” said Maredi.

He said the shelter provides a safe and comfortable environment for the animals, with spacious kennels.

To him and his colleagues, it is not just a shelter but a place of transformation where even the most broken animals can find hope and a new beginning.

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According to Maredi, the most rewarding part of working at the shelter is the love and affection that the animals provide.

He believes that animals can offer relief and therapy for people who spend time with them.

“Animals offer therapy and stress relief as they are innocent and love unconditionally. Once you get into the shelter, you will experience a lot of love and compassion,” he said.

Maredi said the biggest challenge the shelter has faced is getting funding.

He said due to lack of funding, they are struggling to cover vet bills, rent and other expenses.

Despite the challenges of running the shelter, Tebogo and his team have been able to keep it going thanks to the public’s generosity.

People interested in donating, volunteering and fostering the animals can visit www.soshanguveanimalshelter.org.za.

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