South African animal welfare organisations are experiencing an increase in the number of animals arriving on their doorsteps in need of a home. While many of these animals are strays or rescues, the sad truth is that a considerable number of them end up at shelters after being ‘surrendered’ by pet owners who are no longer able to keep them due the tough economic times.


“Many people don’t realise that the high cost of living we currently face in South Africa has a ripple effect on animals too. Tough economic times for people usually mean more suffering for animals, as they are often dropped off at shelters or abandoned and left to fend for themselves,” says Dominique Starck at Kitty and Puppy Haven.


This is an epidemic that most shelters are facing nationwide.


Starck says that there are currently just over 150 puppies and 100 kittens at the haven as well as many adult dogs and cats in need of food and care as they wait to be adopted into a forever home. Without donations from suppliers and the general public, she says, the shelter is not able to take in more animals, much less manage to provide for the many abandoned animals they already have.


In most cases, many shelters’ monthly expenses far outweigh their income, creating a dependency on donations by surrounding communities.


Wilfred Cawood, Marketing Manager at Montego Pet Nutrition, says that the increase in the number of abandoned animals in South Africa has reached crisis levels, calling on fellow local businesses to help in any way that they are able to.


“There are thousands of animals out there that deserve to be placed in loving, nurturing homes, but are abandoned in overcrowded, under-funded shelters instead,” says Cawood. “It’s our responsibility and duty, not just as pet food manufacturers and business owners, but as human beings, to do what we can to help these animals.”


Montego has donated over 12 tons of pet food between January and June 2018 alone, which equates to approximately 133,000 meals given to orphaned animals in need. In the past five years, Montego has donated around 136 tons – over 1.5million meals – to nearly 60 South African animal charities, and makes it a priority to donate to needy shelters every month. But, says Cawood, there’s still plenty more that needs to be done.


“Pet food donations are a monthly occurrence, and yes we have donated a considerable amount over the past few years, but we don’t let that make us complacent about the future,” he says.


“There’s still a lot that South Africa can do to help ease the burden on animal shelters. We encourage anyone looking to support or volunteer to contact their local animal shelter to find out how they best need help, or keep an eye out on our website as we have regular initiatives that help charities and organisations.”


Montego Pet Nutrition is a local premium pet food manufacturer. Visit for more information.

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