This story introduces us to an amazing woman who has been inspiring a lot of people on the internet lately. She didn’t have a vehicle, but her dogs needed vet care. So she came up with a genius solution. She loaded her dog and the pooch’s four new puppies into a child’s toy jeep and pushed them, all the way to the clinic.
This wonderful lady lives in Blikkiesdorp, a camp in Cape Town, South Africa, where some of the country’s poorest reside. Many people in this part of the country live in tiny shacks made out of iron sheets, wood pieces and old tires. The roads are dusty and unpaved, and quite a lot of families have to share basic amenities like kitchen sinks and toilets. Gang violence is rampant, making Blikkiesdorp one of the most dangerous places in all of Cape Town.
If it is so tough for humans, can you even imagine now much animals suffer? Dogs and cats usually don’t get anything to eat – even when they are owned by people. Many locals don’t understand the importance of basic vet care, or even if they do, they can’t afford it.
Six years ago, a group of animal lovers started an organization called Tin Can Town. It offers humane, lifesaving animal services to dogs and cats living in Blikkiesdorp. Every Sunday, volunteers go to Blikkiesdorp to neuter and spay animals, give flea and deworming treatments and provide food. They are also on call 24 hours a day to help animals in need, and take them to the emergency vet if required.
One Sunday, a volunteer photographer for Tin Can Town named Tarryn Martin met the woman with the dogs in the toy car. They were standing in line at Tin Can Town’s outreach table, waiting for the volunteers to look at her dog and puppies.
“She lives on quite a far block … and she waited in line for over two hours to have her dogs seen to,” Martin said. “She had taken a scarf of hers, which she had tied to the little car to pull it along.”
It was a very hot day, and the woman had thrown a towel over the mama dog, who was still nursing, in order to keep her cool.
“She [the mother dog] seemed really content just sitting there,” Martin said. “She just laid there and watched everything going around.”
Once her turn came, the woman went up to the volunteers in order to get the dogs examined. The volunteers gave them basic veterinary care like deworming treatment and vaccinations.
The toy car was an amusing sight for everyone, but the reality behind it sucks. Martin explained that it is typical for people to transport their animals in these kinds of containers.
“It’s not an uncommon sight to see various receptacles being used to bring the dogs to the outreach,” Martin said. “We had someone bring their dogs quite far in a black wheelie bin. People also use milk crates or basins. Anything that they can carry.”
After getting the medical care, the woman pushed her dog and puppies in the toy jeep, and walked back home.
“I feel grateful that she’d gone to that length, and that she’d cared for her dogs [enough] to get her entire family to be looked at on a Sunday,” Martin said. “It was very touching.”
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