When you walk into the Domestic Animal Shelter, you are met with an overwhelming sense of love and affection. You are surrounded by smiling volunteers and staff, wagging tails of dogs, the friendly barks of gentle souls that adore the kind touch of a friendly visitor. The location of the shelter is massive, huge lawns and fields where the animals can run and play, usually on the end of leashes held by devoted volunteers and friends of the organization.
The shelter is home to nearly 2 hundred dogs, cats, pigs, chickens and goats. Who all needed a loving home, and special care. Many of them are lost and injured. Many of them are abused or have been neglected. Some have lived in this facility for most of their lives, and will remain there until a family welcomes them into their home. It’s a very special place, filled with very specials souls, and it warms the heart to be in the company of such light and sunshine. What a beautiful world it would be if people had hearts like dogs, the beautiful innocence seen in the eyes of these animals.
When I first visited the shelter, my eye caught a broken fence at one end of the “Donkey Run”, a large field where handlers could take each of the animals out and let them run around freely. A couple moments of their day where they could feel the grass under their feet, and smell the fresh ocean air. Good Hope Volunteers, in the spirit and memory of Nelson Mandela, donated time and expertise to rebuild this fence and make sure that is was secure enough for all the animals that call the shelter home, to use.
Mahatma Gandhi said it best when he announced that the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged the way its animals are treated. And the team of volunteers who came to build this fence showed this exact thing. Greatness, humanity and kindness.
And remember, in the words of Anatole France: “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains awakened”. This is the pleasure of this volunteer project, the kind gentleness which we welcome volunteers into Hout Bay, and the pure love which we find all of our volunteers show these animals, these pure and innocent animals, who regardless of race, creed or color still wag their tails at strangers, welcoming them into their home, and share with them these precious memories forever.
Learn more about volunteering in an animal shelter in Cape Town.
To be part of our amazing volunteer community, please contact us.