Despite limited funds, an innate love for animals drives Seema Duwarkah to rescue and home mistreated puppies on the North Coast.
Seema currently has about 18 young dogs seeking homes. The animals have been abandoned, mistreated or found living in the bush.
She says she would rather rescue the puppies – and sometimes kittens – herself to give them a real shot at life. She is not a registered effort, but does what she can in her personal capacity.
“There are so many dogs that can be loving pets, rather than being put down, if one just takes the time to help them,” Seema said.
She has also recently teamed up with the Quarter Centre in Ballito to host an adoption day, planned for 14 February 2015 – the perfect Valentine’s gift.
Seema lives with her brother’s family in Glenhills, Stanger, but does dog grooming and pet sitting in Ballito and surrounds. She set off on her animal-orientated journey as a volunteer at the Dolphin Coast SPCA, and went on to work at Ballito Grooming parlour. She then became an assistant at Dr Kurt Lansburg’s veterinary practice in Salt Rock, where she thrived. When Lansburg moved his practice to Umhlanga, Seema soon decided to start pet grooming and sitting on her own. She is still in constant contact with Lansburg, as most of her rescue animals go to him for care.
“I could not do this without Dr Lansburg. He gives me very reasonable rates for my rescue babies,” said Seema.
Seema began rescuing dogs when she noticed her neighbours in Glenhills did not look after their pets. They were starving and started feeding them brown bread.
“I didn’t have a lot of money, but the dogs really appreciated the bread. I wanted to do more. The owners were aggressive when I approached them, but backed down when I offered to pay,” she said.
Seema managed to get many of the dogs sterilised, but stopped getting too involved when people started to take advantage.
“Some people don’t feel the same way about animals as I do and they do get neglected. I still just do what I can,” said Seema.
From there people started to call her when they found abandoned dogs, and now she is now flooded with rescues.
Seema said for a long time she has struggled to accept help from the community, but now realises she can save more animals with more hands to help.
“I feel bad accepting money from the community as I was the one who took on the rescue operations. But my friends helped me to realise that people actually enjoy getting involved and feel good for supporting a worthy cause,” she said.
Seema has a handful of foster homes across the coast that help look after puppies while they are looking for “forever” homes, but she really needs more help.
“We have so many dogs at the moment, and the more people can help, the more we can save. I could not do this without all the wonderful people who help me with the pups,” she said.
She also works with animal organisations like PACT and Puppy SOS KZN.
If you can help in any way, contact Seema on 0733522836 or firstname.lastname@example.org.