For several years, Lady the Rottweiler-cross dog was a familiar sight on her street in Fisantekraal. Her owner, who ran a car repair business from home, treated her as a combination of money maker (from selling her pups) and security system – she most certainly wasn’t a ‘pet’. She had nowhere nice to sleep or good food. Every single time she went into season, she got pregnant. At one stage, her hips and back legs were wobbling from poor nutrition and overbreeding. At night, she slept in an old wreck of a car and, during the day, she had her job to do, guarding the property. Her owner’s response when we tried to explain that she was going to die and was probably passing on hip dysplasia to her pups: he laughed in our faces. We called in an inspector to no avail – things briefly improved but soon went backwards again.
All we could do was regularly check up on her. We wished we could whisk her away but her owner refused. Even though he didn’t care about Lady’s well-being, he would not allow her to go elsewhere to have a better life, nor would he put any effort into providing it himself.
But that changed when Greenville’s first homes were completed. This man was lucky enough to receive a house. Lady was not so lucky. At first, he took her with him as a guard dog but it wasn’t long before he drove her back to the old home, dumped her in the street and left her there – he did not like her pooping in his new yard, he told his old neighbours. By this time, she was already a middle-aged dog. The kind-hearted neighbours fed her, allowed her to sleep in their yard, and looked after her as well as they could with very limited funds but winter was coming. Very concerned, they contacted us saying that they did not think she would survive the winter if we didn’t take her.
On 30 May 2020, we sent out an urgent appeal for help: a massive cold front was coming with freezing temperatures and torrential rain. Lady urgently needed to be uplifted or we would be forced to put her to sleep. Lady has stiff hindquarters and leaving her out in that weather would have been cruel (we later discovered that Lady has severe spondylitis of the spine and a cruciate ligament rupture, as well as a bladder infection).
We begged and pleaded for a foster – anywhere to just get her off the street! We despaired – finding foster homes is a massive battle at the best of times, never mind for older, bigger dogs. It quickly became a life-and-death situation.
Then, an amazing family stepped forward. The Uys family opened their hearts and home to her. The night before the worst storm of 2020, in the middle of lockdown, Lady was uplifted and went home with the Uys family. She is a ‘forever foster’ – not really eligible for adoption because of all her health issues so we look after her veterinary care while the Uys family give her as much love as humanly possible for her last years. She is as happy as a bug in a rug and we are over the moon.
We are very grateful to Corné, Diana, and Edwina for covering Lady’s high vet bill (she had to be x-rayed and received treatment for her bladder infection and pain).
You too can help to change the world for animals like Lady. Please visit our Get Involved pages for more info.