The Domestic Animal Rescue Group, more commonly known as DARG, is nestled along Main Road in Hout Bay, and was established in 1999 as a pro-life, non-profit organisation and adoption facility. DARG supports the rescue, care, rehabilitation and re-homing of domestic animals that have been neglected, abandoned and abused. As a registered PBO (Public Benefit Organisation), DARG can issue a tax certificate for any donations received - making that donation tax deductible. The organisation provides basic medical care and animal support to the greater Hout Bay community including the lower income communities of Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg.
DARG plays a pinnacle role within the Hout Bay community through the day-to-day care of their resident animals (180 dogs and 80 cats) as well as veterinary assistance to lower income household pets. Since January 2016 they have provided veterinary support for over 1000 animals in the community with an average vet bill of R70 000 per month, 250 free pet sterilisations for pets in the lower income community of Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg and they also attend to an average of 25 pets per week that are bought in for mange treatment, medical care, de-worming and vaccinations.
If it was not for the sheer determination of the 24 permanent staff and the many generous volunteers, none of this would however be possible. DARG does not receive government assistance and as such relies on the goodwill of public donations and fundraising efforts to keep its doors open. For those of you wondering, there are numerous ways to get involved, be it from the comfort of your own home, attending an event or joining in the active volunteer programme:
The public is encouraged to become a DARG member by committing to our R50-a-month-pledge in order to get the 3000 pledges a month necessary for the day-to-day costs involved.
An SMS channel whereby every sms donates R25 which is the average cost to look after an animal per day.
Working with children who are passionate about animals – to do fundraising at their schools (e.g.: DARG has a young man who is trying to earn his Leaping Wolf badge for Cubs by doing the Color Run in Cape Town to raise funds for DARG).
Miss SA 2015 finalist Taryn Morris hosted the Bark Out Loud comedy event earlier this year.
A leading coffee brand donated R1 per cup of coffee from their lounge at the Homemakers Expo 2016.
7 heavy metal bands have recently hosted an event called “Hard Cause For DARG’s Paws” with all door-takings going to DARG.
The resident cat of a prominent hotel along the Atlantic Seaboard, recently hosted a “High Tea By The Sea” function and donated all of her birthday gifts to DARG
Anyone interested in hosting a fundraising event on behalf of DARG is encouraged to contact the organisation with their ideas.(See contact details in their advertisement in this issue.)
DARG is registered on www.doit4charity.co.za which is a safe and secure channel for anyone who is doing an event and wants to raise funds for DARG.
DARG recently launched a “CORPORATE DESTRESS” program whereby companies book and pay for dogs and puppies to go to their offices so that the staff can interact with them and destress.
Companies donate items to DARG that can be used as prizes or auction items. Examples include merchandise from international sports brands accommodation from some of the leadingand prominent hotels along the Atlantic Seaboard.
Volunteer programmes include dog walking, cleaning the facility at Main Road, Hout Bay, washing dogs, cat grooming and puppy and cat playtime as well as making treats and toys for the animals. Volunteers need to book with the DARG office in advance and adult supervisions is required for under 13’s. Over can become dog walkers but will need to register and attend an orientation workshop first.
Besides monetary donations, DARG is always looking for tinned pet food, large plastic dog beds, fleece blankets, extra-large Jojo kennels, cat and dog toys and treats, cow hooves and general maintenance items such as cable ties, shade cloth, fencing, poles, bricks, cement and paint. Donations of old household items, bric-a-brac and clothing are greatly appreciated as it is sold at the monthly Saturday market held on the first Saturday of every month at their premises in Main Road, Hout Bay between 10h00 - 15h00.
After facing near closure in June 2014 the DARG team has worked hard to upgrade the facility for the health and well-being of the animals they care for. There have been huge successes with companies and individuals coming on board to help DARG with their goal to make this a shining example of a rescue and adoption facility in both the Cape Town and South African environment. However, covering monthly overheads remains a constant struggle so feel free to contact the friendly people at DARG to get involved with such a dynamic and passionate team at such a wonderful organisation.
I was lucky enough to witness for myself the dedication, time and effort that the amazing people at DARG put in, going above and beyond to give these animals a loving and kind home. I therefore want to urge everyone to go get involved in some way and help this much needed organization continue to provide such a loving and supportive home to our furry friends. The self-fulfilment and pleasure that you get out of it is truly the greatest reward!
DARG's Community Programs:
FREE PET STERILISATION: to the communities of Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg to address the problem of pet overpopulation and reduce the number of unwanted, neglected and abused cats and dogs. This is carried out at DARG’s expense. The public can donate R250 to Sponsor-A-Snip.
WORKING WITH OLU’S DREAM: a program that promotes literacy with children by reading to the DARG cats and dogs.
WORKING WITH THE UNDERDOG PROJECT: to help ‘at risk’ youth in the community through animal assisted therapy.
THE UBUNTU @ DARG VEGGIE GARDEN SUPPORTED BY THRIVE: DARG has provided a small plot of land for Ubuntu 4 All and Thrive for a veggie garden to create an opportunity to change the lives of youth in the community through skills training. This is part of the GRIPP program (Gang Related Intervention and Prevention Program).
OTHER COMMUNITY SUPPORT: Programs to educate and promote the ethical and humane care of animals and the supply of kennels and fencing to reduce the number of animals kept on short chains without protection from the elements.