North Coast animal lover dedicates life to rescuing pups
EVEN though she is no “Rockerfeller”, a deep-seated love for animals drives Seema Duwarkah to rescue and home numerous puppies found neglected on the North Coast.
Seema, as she is known to everyone, currently has 20 young dogs she is looking for homes for – 11 of which are at the Ridge Vet in Umhlanga receiving medical care.
She has also recently teamed up with the Quarter Centre in Ballito to host an adoption day at the centre at the end of January 2015.
She says she would rather rescue the puppies – and sometimes kittens – herself to give them a real shot at life.
“There are so many dogs that can be given a chance at life if one just takes the time to help them,” she said.
Seema lives with her brother’s family in Glenhills, Stanger, but does a lot of dog grooming and pet sitting work in Ballito and surrounds.
She started out her animal-orientated career as a volunteer at the Dolphin Coast SPCA, and went on to Ballito Grooming parlour. She then became an assistant at Dr Kurt Landsberg’s veterinary practice in Salt Rock, where she thrived. When Landsberg moved his practice to Umhlanga, Seema worked for the new owners for a time, but then determined to do pet grooming and sitting on her own. She is still in constant contact with Landsberg, as most of her rescue animals go to him for care.
“I don’t know where I would be without Dr Landsberg. He gives me very reasonable rates for my rescue babies, and he even bought me grooming equipment when I first started out,” said Seema.
Seema started rescuing dogs when she noticed her neighbours in Glenhills did not look after their pets well. She saw they were not well fed and started buying brown bread to feed them.
“I didn’t have a lot of money, but the dogs really appreciated the bread I managed to give them and I wanted to do more for them. The owners were aggressive when I approached them about it, but backed down when I offered to pay for vet bills and food,” she said.
Seema managed to get a lot of the dogs sterilised, but stopped getting too involved when people started to take advantage of her. She said one neighbour sold the dog food she bought so he could buy alcohol.
“Some people don’t feel the same way about animals as I do. I still just do what I can,” said Seema.
From there people started to call her when they found abandoned dogs and puppies, and now she is flooded with rescues. She is not a registered rescue effort, but does what she can in her personal capacity.
Seema said for a long time she has struggled to accept help from the community in her endeavours to save puppies, but now realises she cannot do it all on her own.
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