Assistance for cat shelter

A small group of volunteers assisted in a project that helps to improve the living conditions of a cat shelter solely managed by Gerda du Plessis.

Du Plessis has been managing the Roodepoort based cat homestead from her small holdings for the past 14 years where she provides shelter for more than a hundred cats.

According to Du Plessis, the majority of cats that she house are mainly throwaways from the community.

“The majority of these cats are dropped off by people around Bela-Bela claiming that they can no longer afford to look after these cats. I do not believe in saying no to a homeless animal and always take them in,” she said.

However, due to financial strain, Du Plessis said that she cannot afford to look after these animals.

“I live alone and look after the cats by myself. It is not always affordable to feed so many cats and keeping their enclosures clean, is also a schlep as I have a full time job as well.”

Fortunately, Du Plessis’ plea for help was heard by two local organizations that opted to help.

Project Feline was started by Limpopo Crime Intervention (LCI) from Bela-Bela and aimed to have the local community assist by volunteering their time at the shelter.

“We heard of Du Plessis’ problem and opted to assist,” said the organization’s provincial head, Ettienne Kuhn.

Another well-known organization, Change for Bela-Bela, also assisted in the worthy project.

“The facility was in a very bad state and in urgent need of a clean-up. It was no easy task to complete, but everybody pushed through until the very end,” said the organization’s founder NJ van Heerden.

Despite the help received, Van Heerden noted concern over the lack of community involvement. 

“One concern was the fact that many other community members reportedly offered their assistance in regards to this but when the day came to act on it, nothing came of it. Those tendencies should be frowned upon,” he said.

Kuhn said that the project would not have been successful without the assistance of their contributors.

“It was tough, but most of the enclosures have been cleaned. A big thank you also to business for contributing the needed materials to repair the damaged enclosures, as well as the volunteers who gave their time.”   

He added that the project is one of many projects that LCI would like to undertake to better the lives of animals.

Justin Steyn

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