Home for stray pets faces eviction
Milnerton activist Cecile Bloomberg desperately seeks new premises for animals
ADOPT-A-PET, which usually finds homes for dogs and cats, must now find a home for itself after being served with a notice of eviction from its Milnertonbased centre.
The animal rights rescue group, started in 1994 and run by Cecile Bloomberg, provides a temporary home at any one time for about 40 cats and 50 dogs who would otherwise have died.
Bloomberg says the evergrowing population of domestic animals has pushed society to “breaking point”. Even with such large numbers, the organisation has a no-kill policy, and instead promotes sterilisation.
The group responds to any call for the rescue of an animal, and does “whatever it takes” to ensure the animal is alive, safe and on the road to recovery.
Once the animals are healthy, they are put up for adoption in homes where they will be cared for correctly.
Adopt-A-Pet now also runs two youth enrichment programmes, at the Windermere High School in Factreton and Sweet Home farm in Philippi.
Every Friday, the participants are taken on trips to historically significant sites such as the District Six Museum and the Slave Lodge, as well as to view the beauty of nature at the Two Oceans Aquarium.
There are also plans to have each of the children who are now involved to mentor another child, to contribute to a gentler, more compassionate society.
The organisation also tries to teach the children respect for their environment and kindness to animals.
Bloomberg says the “immense pressures” faced by young people often push them towards gangs and drugs.
Adopt- a- Pet tries to offer alternatives.
Many volunteers are also serving community service sentences at the centre as a form of rehabilitation.
“Although we started as animal rescuers, we are now rescuing people,” says Bloomberg.
But now, after 12 years at their Milnerton base, the organisation has been evicted and must vacate the premises by the end of February.
Unless it finds new premises, Bloomberg says, all its operations will have to be halted, resulting not only in job losses, but also great risk to the animals they care for.
But Bloomberg is determined to avert any such crisis.
Kevin Beeby, dog trainer and behavioural expert at Adopt-A-Pet, says the eviction came “out of the blue”. He adds that they are “not dealing with furniture here, because these are actual animal lives”.
The eviction, though, is a “blessing and a curse”, he says, saying the organisation has outgrown its 500m shelter. They really need a bigger, centralised clinic.
Landlord Alasdair Cameron said Adopt-A-Pet was a tenant whose lease had expired.
“Their lease will not be renewed as the space is needed for other purposes,” he said.
RESCUED: Chops came to Adopt-A-Pet from Sweet Home Farm in Philippi, suffering from jaundice.
HOME: The organisation also cares for about 40 cats, keeping them fed, healthy and sheltered.
FIGHTING BACK: Animal activist Cecile Bloomberg.