Dancers Love Dogs care for an­i­mals

Char­ity holds con­cert to ben­e­fit furry friends in need

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - ABHINANDA DATTA

FOUR years ago, an ema­ci­ated puppy in the throes of death was drag­ging it­self along the N2 near the air­port. A dance teacher saw the dog and jumped out of her car to fol­low it. While she searched for the puppy, she saw hun­dreds of home­less dogs in need of ve­teri­nary care.

The puppy was even­tu­ally found and named Miles. The lit­tle crea­ture found hope and Brigitte Reeve Tay­lor dis­cov­ered the true pur­pose of her life.

“I am not sure how the uni­verse works and how events hap­pen to change our lives, but res­cu­ing Miles on the N2 in Fe­bru­ary 2012, was my ‘Ah ha!’ mo­ment. Driv­ing with him in the car to my vet, I just knew I needed to make a big­ger dif­fer­ence. I truly be­lieve Miles picked me, to change my life,” Tay­lor said.

She wanted to help the an­i­mals and the an­swer was sim­ple: she would com­bine her train­ing in the per­form­ing arts with her love for an­i­mals and raise money for the dogs through dance. A lov­ing owner adopted Miles and Dancers Love Dogs was born.

“Dancers Love Dogs came from a con­cept that I used to raise money, for the Reach for a Dream foun­da­tion many years ago. This is what I know and this is what I am most com­fort­able with – putting on pro­duc­tions.

“Hav­ing 35 years of dance teach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, I used my con­nec­tions in the dance and the­atre world to do a col­lab­o­ra­tion of dance for an­i­mals.”

Ev­ery year, the or­gan­i­sa­tion has an event where dancers and per­form­ers col­lab­o­rate to as­sist the an­i­mals in need of ster­il­i­sa­tion, specif­i­cally in the town­ships.

The main prob­lem with pet an­i­mals is over-breed­ing. The an­i­mals are eu­thanised as there are just not enough homes for all the pup­pies.

Ster­il­i­sa­tion is the only way to elim­i­nate the need to eu­thanise healthy, adopt­able pup­pies.

“Shel­ters are over-run with an­i­mals need­ing to be homed. Ster­il­i­sa­tion im­proves health, in­creases life ex­pectancy and im­proves the an­i­mals’ be­hav­iour. It re­duces the pets’ urge to roam and re­duces in­ci­dents of sev­eral se­ri­ous health prob­lems, like can­cer, which are ex­pen­sive to treat,” said Tay­lor.

Each ticket sold will fund one ster­il­i­sa­tion.

Cur­rently in its sixth year, the or­gan­i­sa­tion has raised R1.83 mil­lion and ster­ilised 9 105 an­i­mals.

The dancers are also gain­ing from this ex­pe­ri­ence. Tay­lor said they do not pay for any­thing to put on the show and do not re­ceive pay­ments ei­ther. From the per­form­ers, print­ing and prizes, ev­ery­thing is based on do­na­tions. They pay the vet di­rectly for the ster­il­i­sa­tions.

Dancers Love Dogs 2017 will take place at the Artscape Opera House on Novem­ber 1. Tick­ets are avail­able through Com­puticket and cost R300 each.

PIC­TURES: SUP­PLIED

The dogs will join the dancers on stage.

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