Passion for animals sees rise of township project

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Seeing dogs filling run-down kennels at the East London SPCA moved fine arts photographer Marlene Neumann to start her Buckaroo Projects – sterilising animals and providing basic animal healthcare in previously disadvantaged communities.

REACHING OUT: Local hero Marlene Neumann, who runs the Buckaroo sterilisation drive which focuses on healthcare for dogs Picture: SUPPLIED

The project was founded on “give a rand, give a buck”, asking every person in East London to donate R1.

Over the period of a year, the initiative raised more than R1-million to revamp the East London SPCA in 2014.

Neumann never looked back. As her love for dogs grew she decided to expand her reach to neglected and malnourished dogs in townships and informal settlements in and around East London.

“When I started working in the townships, I discovered how great the need was. People and animals are starving and a struggling person fails to take care of his or her animal,” she said.

In the last nine months alone, Neumann and her team of 12 women have treated 270 dogs from Ducats and Nompumelelo.

Recently, she has done a lot in the Cintsa East township where they sterilize, treat, feed and give blankets to dogs.

The East London SPCA helps with the sterilisations of dogs and, through fundraisers and donations, they are able to feed and nurse dogs back to healing.

Neumann believes that taking care of dogs in the home provided holistic healing for the community.

“We teach dog owners that if you’ve got a healthy dog, you’ve got a healthy life.”

Through educating communities about animal health, she believes they have been able to save a lot of dogs.

Their latest drive saw them delivering 30 dog kennels and 80 food parcels and blankets for dogs in Cintsa East.

Neumann’s passion for her work comes out whenever she speaks about the Buckaroo Project.

“I have learned to beg and ask for what we need, and I intend on doing this for as long as my heart can carry me.”

She said the help she had received from the East London community had gone a long way in furthering their cause.

“I’m a great believer in giving back to life because it isn’t just about you.”

Buckaroo Projects is selling animal charms to raise more funds for the sterilisation drive at R20 each.

lTo support the project, contact Marlene Neumann on 083-321-3391.

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