March 2016 - A distressed Khayelitsha community member contacted the Mdzananda Animal Clinic to report the abuse of a Pit Bull.
The Pit Bull was being used for breeding by a family member. She was emaciated and neglected. The food she was receiving was not enough to feed her or her puppies who were only four weeks old and still drinking from her.
The distressed Facebook message read, “Please help. This dog is being abused and neglected.” Horrific pictures of the Pit Bull girl followed.
The Mdzananda Animal Clinic team went to collect the Pit Bull girl. The owner was given the opportunity to explain his actions.
“At the Mdzananda Animal Clinic we believe that education is of utmost importance. Confiscating one pet will simply result in a new pet filling its place experiencing the same or worse conditions. Our approach is always to first attempt education and to work with the owner on changing their mindset. Many people are very susceptible to this, others are not,” says Marcelle du Plessis, Fundraising and Communications Manager.
An education intervention with the owner was attempted with no success. The Pit Bull would not be returned. In partnership with the SPCA inspectorate team the owner was placed onto the SPCA investigations list to ensure that repeated negligent treatment of animals will not occur.
At the Mdzananda Animal Clinic, Khayelitsha, the Pit Bull girl’s journey to recovery started. “She was emaciated and a broken soul. She did not understand what we were trying to do when we stroked her or spoke gently to her,” says du Plessis. “She spent most of her initial weeks with us sleeping tightly curled up to try protect herself from the world. We decided to give her a name – Enzy.”
After being at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic for three weeks two of her puppies passed away. “Although we cannot say the exact cause of their passing we believe it was due to malnutrition as their mom could not provide enough milk for them to grow strongly,” says Rosalind Spencer Stone, Hospital Manager.
Enzy and her last puppy received daily checkups, medication, good nutrition and care. She slowly started picking up weight and acknowledging people when they were with her.
Enzy’s stay at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic lasted seven months. During this time her confidence grew. Bit by bit she started trusting humans and made friends with the staff, following them around the hospital. She engaged in play with the other dogs, found shady spots to sleep in the garden and enjoyed chewing on hoofs. Her weight increased and she grew healthy and fit.
“Unfortunately finding a home for her was not easy”, says du Plessis. “She was ready to be adopted after three month of being at Mdzananda but the right home did not come along. Towards the end of her time at Mdzananda she fell into a deep depression from being in a kennel for so long. A desperate video appeal released on Facebook.”
Monique Quénet from Benoni, Johannesburg, saw the video and immediately contacted Mdzananda to adopt her. “A friend of mine had shared a video. I opened it. As soon as it started to play I was in love. I knew the little girl with the crazy ears needed me. What I didn't realise at the time was how much I needed her,” says Monique.
Two weeks later a flight was booked. Enzy boarded in Cape Town and went home.
“Enzy and her heartbreaking history was in the past. To celebrate her new start I gave her a new name: Daisy-Mae,” says Monique. “Our journey together has not been easy. Initially when I tried to touch her she cowered. It took a lot of time and patience to earn this girl’s trust. One day when I got home from work, instead of being looked at with suspicion, I got a Happy Dance. Daisy-Mae was excited to see me.”
From that day on Daisy-Mae’s life changed. She learnt to trust humans, is now confident and loves life. She is well known in the neighbourhood as the friendliest Pit Bull. The neighbourhood children adore her and many afternoons and weekends are spent in the park with kids stroking her and playing with her.
“She adores children, being touched and posing for photos,” says Monique. “I am pretty sure she has it in her head that her role in life is to show every person that Pit Bulls are the most lovable, misrepresented dogs on earth.”
The Mdzananda Animal Clinic would like to thank Monique for changing Daisy-Mae’s life. When considering getting a pet, adopting from an animal rescue organization or shelter will change a life.
To adopt a pet or find out more about the Mdzananda Animal Clinic contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.mdzananda.co.za