Feed Hungry Tummies

Animal shelters are always running out of food to feed their precious dogs and cats, so make life a little easier on your local shelter and donate some pet food. This can be something as simple as dry pellets and tinned food, or you can opt for something extra special and donate treats, gravy or food bowls. If you're feeling extra generous, you can even create a hamper filled with yummy treats, bright and colourful toys and something a little more practical, like tick and flea repellent, cat litter or shampoo.

Help Pay Their Bills

With the high cost of vet bills, it's a wonder any animal shelter is left standing after the COVID-19 lockdown. Spare a thought for the injured and sick animals at these shelters this winter and donate a little something. No matter how big or small your donation, it will be much appreciated. If you are unable to donate even a small amount of money, consider asking friends and family to donate on your behalf in lieu of a birthday gift.

Keep A Fur Baby Warm

If there was one thing that every shelter across the southern hemisphere could ask for right now, it would probably be blankets to help keep the animals in their care warm during the cold nights. Help out your local animal charity organisation and donate a few used blankets, towels or dog jerseys. Or if you don't have any to spare, why not buy a few? With winter warmer specials left, right and centre, you'll probably be able to find a few warming blankets at just about any store.

Knit Away

Are you still sitting at home during lockdown? Then why not take up knitting as a hobby and knit a few blankets, jerseys or even toys for a pooch or kitty? You can even get your friends, family, colleagues or fellow community members to join in and start a drive to collect knitted blankets for those in need. It's a wonderful way to get closer to your community and keep busy while helping those in need.


Image sourced from Doris Metterniche via www.pixabay.com

Support Local Initiatives

Another great way to help out charities across Joburg is to support one of their many initiatives. Here are just some of the initiatives in our city:

Pug Rescue

Pug Rescue is an animal welfare organisation based in Benoni. As the name suggests, they take in unwanted and neglected pugs (and honorary pugs) and give them love and care until they can be re-homed. Currently, they are selling masks and buffs for adults and children for R85 - R120 in gorgeous pug-inspired designs. Order yours by emailing [email protected] and help make a difference in the life of a pug.

Paws R Us

Paws R Us rescues dogs throughout the city and cares for them at their shelter in Midrand until they find their furever homes. In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, they are selling a range of stylish buffs. These cost just R90 for one, R85 each for two or R75 each for three or more. Email [email protected] to purchase yours.


Saints in an animal charity shop that sells donated secondhand items and gives the proceeds to animal welfare organisations across Joburg. Help this wonderful shop help others by donating your unwanted clothing, books, homeware or trinkets to their shop. Alternatively, visit their shop in North Riding and purchase a few odds and ends or bid on exclusive items on their Facebook page.

Santa Cause For Paws

Santa Cause For Paws in an online shop selling beautiful customised mugs, handmade baby blankets, unique trinkets and pet treats in a bid to earn much needed funds for animal shelters. Help thousands of homeless animals in the city by purchasing some of the exquisite items on offer at the store, perfect as a gift for your loved ones.

Adopt, Foster or Sponsor

Lastly, one of the best ways to help your local animal shelter stay afloat is to adopt one of the animals in their care. Adopted animals have lots of love to give and truly make the best companions. If you are unable to adopt, why not foster an animal until they find their furever home? If this is also not an option, you can choose to sponsor an animal for just a small amount, ensuring they will stay warm and fed for at least a short while.


Image sourced from Congerdesign via www.pixabay.com

Do you know of any other ways to help local animal charities survive the winter chill? Let us know about them in the comments section below!

Parkview Charity Christmas Market 2019

Get your Christmas shopping done early while supporting a worthy cause. Join the Parkview Charity Christmas Market 2019 and browse through their selection of stalls selling delectable food and unique trinkets. Or have a blast with the many fun activities and entertainment on offer. All proceeds from the market will be donated to charity. 

Garden Of Lights

For just R25 per person, you and your family can enjoy a spectacle of lights. You can also visit and take a photo with santa, visit Santa’s Workshop, the Mystic Castle and the Magic Sweet Shop. If you’re hungry after all the festivities, stop by at the food stalls for some Frosty Melts, Smile Donuts, Gourmet Chariots and more. All proceeds will be donated to charity. Booking is essential and the event is weather dependent. 

Spoil A Rescue This Christmas

This Christmas, spread the joy by giving some much-needed attention to the pugs and honourary pugs of Pug Rescue in Benoni. For the cost of R20 or a tin of Husky with gravy, you get to spend an hour enjoying the wags, snorts and glob of the wonderful pooches waiting for their furever homes. Visitors can choose between the 8:00 slot and take the dogs for a walk, or the 10:00 slot, where they can cool down at the pug pool party. If you're not available on 1 December, then join Merry Pugmas on Saturday, 7 December 2019 for a day of fun.

Christmas Spectacular

This Christmas, head to the Alexander Theatre in Braamfontein for a Christmas Spectacular. Presented by Hillsong South Africa, this family-friendly musical stage show is bound to get even the Grinch in the festive spirit. Feel the jingle in the air as you enjoy a live performance of all your favourite Christmas carols. And in true festive spirit, the funds raised from this show will go towards bringing some festive joy through Hillsong's community outreach programme.

FURRstive Christmas Market & Adoption Day

Animal lovers, unite. Visit A New Hope Dog Rescue for their FURRstive Christmas Market & Adoption Day. Entry to the event costs just R20.00 or a donation of a can of tinned dog food. The day will be filled with loads of fun, from pony rides to market stalls. Spend the day meeting all the beautiful furbabies looking for their furever homes. 

Drinking Olympics

PET RESCUE, in association with Women For Animals Alliance, will be hosting a very special Christmas Charity event this festive season. This Christmas, gather your friends, co-workers and family members and drink for a rescue. Bookings can be made for a team of four members and includes a welcome drink. All funds raised from this joyous event will go towards animal charities in the area to help them survive the up-coming busy season.

What A Feeling

Join Paws R Us SA and Pekingese Rescue of South Africa this December for a throw-back party unlike any other. Let out your inner 80s child and dance away to the classics from Madonna, Michael Jackson and U2. Apart from the delicious a la carte menu, visitors can bust a move on the dance floor, get refreshments at the cash bar, browse through the craft stalls or take a snap at the adorable shelter dog photo booth. All proceeds will be used to suppawt shelter dogs during the festive season.

Picnic With Carols

Wetnose Animal Rescue Centre invite you to join them for a delightful picnic this joyous season. Bring your friends and family along for a magical evening under the stars, complete with Christmas carols and a special screening of The 12 Dogs Of Christmas. If you'd rather not make the trip at night, join them for a day of wagging tails and sloppy kisses while spoiling the shelter's animals before the Christmas rush hits.

Special Mention: Santa Cause For Paws Pledging

Santa Cause For Paws is an animal welfare organisation and online store that aims to make a difference in the lives of animals in shelters this Christmas. They plan to do this by collecting boxes of treats for puppies, kittens, cats and dogs and dropping them off at various shelters on Christmas Day. You can help by pledging to donate a box, containing 2 things yum, 1 thing warm, something fun and something useful. Or, you can offer out your workspace or home as a drop-off zone. Help put the wags back in the tails of unwanted and abandoned animals this Christmas.

Do you know of any other Christmas events for charity? Let us know in the comments section below!

Santa Cause For Paws

Santa Cause For Paws is a registered NCP in Joburg. Their aim is to assist unwanted, homeless or otherwise neglected animals in any way they can. They do this mostly through raising funds on their website. Despite the name, this organisation runs year-round in a bid to help as much as possible. They have an online store selling trickets and gift ware, with all proceeds going to various charities across Joburg. They also do what they can to help other charities helping animals in townships, feeding ferals and fostering homeless furbabies.

Gift Ware

Throughout the year, Santa Cause For Paws sells a range of gift ware on their online store. Items include handmade gifts, personalised mugs, silver jewellery and Christmas baubles, among others. The proceeds of these items go towards assisting animal welfare organisations across the city. These items can be delivered at an extra cost, or can be collected from pick up points in Kempton Park, Krugersdorp or Strydom Park at no cost. Here's some more details about their offerings:


Santa Cause For Paws offers a wide range of gorgeous mugs that are fully customisable. The printed mugs are available in a range of options, with cartoon depictions of every dog and cat breed imaginable. Buyers can get their dog's or cat's name printed beneath the photo and can choose what colour they want their mug to be. You can also get a photo of your precious furbaby printed on your new mug. Or choose from a selection of funky printed mugs.


Looking for an outstanding gift for that someone special? Look no further than Santa Cause For Paws. This store has a wide range of gorgeous silver jewellery that makes the ultimate gift for any animal lover. Items include cat, dog, crescent, horse and paw shaped pendants.


To add a personal touch to your Christmas tree this year, why not invest in decorations made just for you? SCFP crafts unique Christmas baubles personalised with your name. You can also choose to have the bauble printed with a silhouette of your dog or cat or choose to have stars, paws or hearts crowning your trinket. Baubles are available in blue, copper, gold, green, red, silver, pink, purple, white, black and turquoise with names and designs in black or white.

Handmade Gifts

If there's a bundle of joy joining the family this Christmas then SCFP has just what you need. Gift the little one with their very own handmade blanket. These super soft blankets are adorned with teddy bears and are available in a range of colours. Pair this with a gorgeous handmade crocheted plush toy, and baby will be sleeping through the night in no time.

Biscuit Buckets

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a special gift for our four-legged furbabies. And Santa Cause For Paws has just what you need to get your pet's tail wagging. Gift them this festive season with a yummy Doggylish Treat. Or, make their next seven years with their very own Biscuit Bucket. Filled with an almost endless supply of Beeno Biscuits, these buckets are personalised with your dog's name.


This Christmas, thousands of animals will be in animal shelters across Joburg, waiting for their furever homes. Santa Cause For Paws aims to add some wag to their tales this festive season by gifting as many animals as they can with their very own box of treats. You can help them achieve this by pledging to donate a box, or a few boxes, to a kitten, puppy, cat or dog.

Each box should be packed with two things yum (food and treats), something warm (a blanket), something fun (a toy), something useful (tick and flea solution, brush, leash, colour, shampoo) and an optional staff item (a gift for the hardworking staff at the welfare organisations).

After packaging and labeling the box, pledgers can then drop off the donation to one of the many drop-off points across the country. To see the various drop-off points, click here. The package will then be dropped off at shelters throughout the country.

Help Out

There are many ways you can suppawt this extraordinary organisation. Other than suppawting their online store and pledging to donate a box, you can also volunteer, offer your home or business as a drop-off point, assist with transport or make a donation. This year, Santa Cause For Paws aims to raise R140500 for animal welfare organisations across South Africa. They also aim to give 1105 boxes to cats, 1705 boxes to dogs, 595 boxes to kittens and 765 boxes to puppies. The final date for drop-offs is on Sunday, 1 December 2019. Alternatively, you can make a donation until Tuesday, 31 December 2019.

For More Information

To find out more about this pawsome organisation, email them at [email protected], visit their website or follow and like them on Facebook.

*Images sourced from Santa Cause For Paws



Many people adopt rabbits, especially during Easter, without knowing the full consequences. Rabbits can be notoriously difficult to care for, especially for children. They need a lot of care such as food, daily exercise outside their cage and special food. Many people choose to "set them free" and leave them in a park. This is problematic as bunnies are domesticated, not wild, and they also breed, creating a population problem. Berario Bunnies and The Strawberry Foundation catch these rabbits and offer them TLC until they can be re-homed.

How you can help: donate cages, blankets and money; can volunteer to help catch the rabbits; foster and adopt rabbits.

Exotic Animals

Hedgehog Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre is based in Germiston. They take in injured hedgehogs and rehabilitate them. They will also offer homes to unwanted hedgies and care from them until they can be homed. The great thing about this rescue centre is that they do not discriminate against other animals. They also offer their services to other exotic animals like birds, reptiles, hamsters, rabbits and rats.

How you can help: donate items on their with list which include: bowls, waterbottles, fleece, newspaper, heating pads, wheels, hay, toys, cages, F10, cleaning products and food for kittens, rats, rabbits, crested gheckos, bearded dragons and hamsters; sponsor an animal; foster an animal and adopt.

Cats and Dogs

We can't leave out cats and dogs. But there are just so many shelters giving love and support to these amazing creatures (thankfully). We couldn't fit it all into this article. Find out more about dog shelters in our Joburg Animal Rescues article. You can also read up on where to adopt pets in our nifty Best Places To Adopt A Pet article.

How you can help: As with all the other organisations on this list, the shelters mentioned in the above articles are always grateful to receive donations in the form of money, blankets, food, bowls and other items on their wishlist. The best way to help any animal charity is to adopt, don't shop.


Farm Animals


Many people take in cute little piglets without knowing the needs of such a pet. When they realise the necessities of such animals, they often realise that they are not equipped to handle this. This is where Pigs 'n' Paws steps in. They home many unwanted pet pigs and give them all the care they require. They also take in doggos and pupperinos, because, well, who could turn away a pooch?

How you can help: sponsor a pig; donate building supplies, blankets and food; contribute to vet bills and volunteer.

All Farm Animals

Asher's Farm Sanctuary is based in Pretoria, but it's well worth the visit. They rescue farm animals and offer them forever homes, providing them with food, shelter and lots of love. Their animals aren't up for adoption but visitors are welcome to tour the farm, which is free of charge. They have an on-site store and vegan café (which serves the sought-after Beyond Meat Burger) and the proceeds from these go towards the care of the animals.

How you can help: go on a tour; support their shop and café; volunteer.


Wild Animals

Feral Cats

South Africa has an increasing feral cat population. Not many people or organisations know how to deal with these animals. Feral cats are not tame or stray. They are wild animals, many of which have had hard lives. Therefore, unless they are very young, they can't be homed. This does not make them a burden. They do help control the population of mice, rats, snakes and frogs. The best we can do for them is TNR - trap, neuter and return. This process involves feeding the cats in the same location everyday, the cat is then trapped so that they can be spayed or neutered. Cats can also be treated for any injuries at this stage. Then the cat is released back. Being sterilised will reduce the population over time. Several organisations can help with this such as Feral Care Friends, Feral Cat Assist and The Cat Foundation.

How you can help: provide food, water and warmth for the cats; check your car bonnet and other warm places on cold mornings before driving; donate to feral cat organisations; contact a feral cat organisation to assist with TNR and don't leave poison around for other pests like mice.


Unfortunately, South Africa has a lot of stigma about owls. As such, people fear them. Owls are also dying out because they get sick when eating poisoned rats, and other pests. Owl Rescue Centre in Hartbeespoort offers sanctuary to such owls. They home them and care for them but they never tame them. These owls get as little human contact as possible to remain wild. They take this a step further by preventing owl poisonings. How, you might ask. Well, they provide rat traps to the public, they will then collect the rodents caught in the trap and feed them to their owls. It's a win-win.

How you can help: donate money; donate plastic bottles (which they use to build owl house, bat houses and bee hives); give them your rats; don't leave out poison for pests and sponsor an owl.

Other Wild Life

Friends Of Free Wildlife is a community organisation that cares for injured or otherwise incapacitated wild animals in need of help. They are strong believers in rescuing, rehabilitation and then releasing the animals back into the wild. Animals that they help include wild birds, genets, jackals and bats. They will assist in any way that they can with any wild animal, whether they are on your property or are injured.

How you can help: volunteer your time; get a MySchool card and donate money or supplies. Click here to see their wish list.


Ark Animal Centre

This amazing animal charity specialises in caring for puppies and pregnant dogs, which they take in from across Gauteng. They are self-funded and have a no-suffer policy. We love what great care they take of all the furbabies in their care. This Mandela Day, on 18 July 2019, you can spend your 67 minutes cuddling their puppies, walking the older dogs and helping out where you can. There will be drinks available at their coffee shops and you can do a little retail therapy at their second hand shop. They ask for donations of pellets and tinned food, mops and brooms, black bags, cleaning products and second hand items for their shop. If you are unable to make it on this day, you can still help out by making donations, fostering dogs, sponsoring dogs, sponsoring a sterilization, volunteering and adopting. Check out their Facebook page for more information about this event.

Find more information here

Pug Rescue

Based in Benoni, Pug Rescue South Africa rescues, rehabilitates and re-homes pugs who are found on the streets or whose owners can no longer care for them. They also take in other breeds, calling them honourary pugs. This institution has a special place in our hearts because they go out of their way to ensure that each and every pug and honourary pug receives all the love and care they deserve. They have a no kill policy, meaning all animals that can be saved from their injuries are cared for no matter how expensive or extensive their recovery is. On Sunday, 21 July 2019, you can spend your 67 minutes helping them out in honour of Mandela Day. For R67, you can spend 67 minutes spoiling one of their beloved dogs. Book a time slot, either 09:00 or 11:00, at [email protected]. If you are unable to attend or would like to do more, they ask for donations of R67, Husky dog food with gravy, wet wipes and automatic washing powder. See their Facebook events page for more.

Find more information here.

walking dog


A New Hope Dog Rescue

A New Hope Dog Rescue is a dog shelter in Joburg South. They rescue and re-home dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds. This animal charity will have a Mandela Day event on Saturday, 13 July 2019 in Bryanston. All that you need to do is play with their rescues for 67 minutes at the charge of a bag of dog food. See their Facebook page for more information about this event. Other ways you can help them is by donating, fostering, supporting their shop and adopting one, or more, of their lovely pooches.

Find more information here.

SPCA Randburg

Randburg SPCA will be offering two Mandela Day events. On 18 July 2019, the SPCA is hosting an event where volunteers can spend their 67 minutes fixing and cleaning wooden kennels that will be donated to less fortunate animals in townships. The second, taking place on 27 July 2019, is their first Carnival fun day. The whole family will be able to enjoy live music, food, drinks, stalls, Junior Iron Man and make-a-treat. Pre-booking is requires, check out their Facebook page for more. Other ways you can help are to donate funds, items for their second hand shop and adopting one of their precious animals.

Find more information here.



Santa Cause For Paws

Santa Cause For Paws is not an animal shelter. Rather, they are an online store that does everything they can to help raise much needed funds for animal shelters. They do this by running various causes, selling an array of gorgeous items and collecting donations. This year for Mandela Day they plan to pack gift buckets filled with gifts, food, treats and blankets. These buckets will be donated to animal shelters across Joburg. They are asking for volunteers to help pack the buckets and for donations of things to fill the buckets. This event is taking place in Kempton Park 14 July 2019. If you are unable to attend, you are welcome to donate money to the cause. Alternatively, you can support the online shop and purchase personalised mugs, blankets or jewellery.

Find more information here.

Kitty and Puppy Haven

This animal welfare organisation specialises in caring for and re-homing kittens and puppies, as the name suggests. Volunteers can spend their 67 minutes painting, toy and treat making. They welcome all donations, but, they require kitten and puppy food, blankets, food bowls and toys in particular. See their Facebook page for more information about this event and to see their full wish list.

Find more information here.

dog playing


Other Charities To Help This Mandela Day: 

Animal Allies: on 21 July 2019, Animal Allies will be holding a spay day in Katlehong. Contact them to find out more.

Pet Rescue: On 18 July 2019 spend your 67 minutes with the animals at Pet Rescue for R67, or make a donation if you can't make it. Contact them to find out more.

Other SPCAs: Unfortunately, we can't cover all the SPCAs across Joburg, contact your local SPCA to find out what they need this Mandela Day. Or put together a box with a blanket, pet food, toys, food bowls and a treat and drop it off at your local SPCA.

Wollies Animal Project: At the time of writing, Wollies had no events for Mandela Day planned, but a donation of food, money and blankets will always be appreciated.

Trix 4 Animals: This shelter is run by people who still have to work a full-time job. That's dedication. Help out this Mandela Day with donations. Contact them to find out their wishlist.