Their Humble Beginnings

Samantha Berger gave up her life in the corporate world to fulfil a dream of making a difference to the lives of many abused, abandoned and neglected domestic animals. Starting with two litters of stray kittens housed in her spare room, soon Samantha was caring for over 300 animals with the help of 18 staff members.

Needless to say, the journey has been fraught with what has seemed like insurmountable mountains to climb, tears and heartache. They have had to move properties three times before finding their current property in Midrand. They have been crippled by burglaries and faced the devastation of a fire. Rand Water tore up their property, with very little compensation, and made it almost impossible for them to operate for seven full months. But the challenges they face fade away when they look at all the lives they save.


Creating A Happy Home For Animals

Kitty and Puppy Haven have seen the most broken and traumatised animals learn to trust again. They nurse their fur babies physically and emotionally and make them whole again. And Samantha and her team say there can be no greater reward. Their slogan is 'We Change Their Destiny'. Once an animal comes into their care, no expense is spared to meet all that animal’s needs and to find them the perfect forever home. Some animals, like their feral cats, will spend the rest of their days at Kitty and Puppy Haven as they can't be homed. But this foundation still loves those animals like their own and sees to their every need. Anyone who has seen their Cat Sanctuary will attest to this.

Right now, Kitty and Puppy Haven are in crisis mode. Their sanctuary is closed due to the national lockdown. They have had to move 14 members of staff onto the property, both to care for their animals and for their own safety. Kitty and Puppy Haven are housing and feeding them and doing everything possible to ensure their comfort during this time. Their operating costs have risen and they have absolutely no income. They still have to pay salaries, rates, water and electricity, provide food for their animals and staff and pay for veterinary visits and care. Their operating costs are over R250 000 per month. And at the moment, they are unable to conduct fundraisers, receive physical donations, operate their shop or process any adoptions.


How Are They Coping During This Time?

Some may ask why Kitty and Puppy Haven did not go the foster route and seek homes for their animals during lockdown. The answers are simple:

How Can You Make A Difference?

The situation is dire and that is why Samantha and her team are appealing to the public for help. They are asking the public to help them get through by making a donation, no matter how big or small. Anything will help and will be greatly appreciated. It can be a once off, or a monthly donation (just request a debit order form). They are a registered Public Beneficiary Organisation, so donations can be tax deductible and they can issue an 18A tax certificate.

Donations can be made to:

Kitty and Puppy Haven
Nedbank, Cheque Account, Sandton City
Acc. No: 1970845082
Branch code: 197005
Reference: Lockdown Crisis

For More Information

website | 010 224 0760/010 224 0763 | Facebook page | [email protected] | 37 Modderfontein Road, President Park, Midrand, Johannesburg

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.

Why Adopt

There are many misconceptions out there that animals in shelters are broken, that you can't find the breed you want and that there are only old animals available. None of these could be further from the truth. Shelter animals are full of love and affection, and still have a full life to live and loads to offer. They are also available in any age, breed, gender and colour your could wish for. There are many shelters that are breed specific, too. Here, we don't discriminate against age, gender or breed so we stuck to shelters that offer diversity.

An added benefit of adopting is that you'll save a fortune. Buying pets can easily costs an arm and a leg. And you will still need to take your new pet to the vet for all their shots, deworming and micro-chipping. Shelters on the other hand, include all of these in their adoption fee. At shelters, you'll also have the option of adopting older pets, who tend to already be house-trained and more calm and well-behaved than younger animals.


Irwin Animal Rescue

Irwin Animal Rescue Centre NPC is based in De Deur. They rescue, rehabilitate and re-home animals who are abused and neglected. This shelter takes in dogs of any breed, shape, size, colour and age and offers them a mid-way home until they can find furever homes. One only need go through the photos on their Facebook page to see how happy and full-of-life the dogs in their care are. This is definitely the place to find older dogs of any breed, suitable to any family or lifestyle.

Find more information here.

Paws R Us

Based in Midrand, Paws R Us rescues, shelters and re-homes unwanted dogs and strays from across Johannesburg. This no-kill shelter has over 200 dogs in their care, and are working hard to build a Paws Haven. When visiting this site, you'll be amazed at all the love and affection you'll receive from these lovely furbabies. They have dogs of all shapes and sizes including small and large dogs. So, pay them a visit if you're in search of your next lap dog or wanna-be lap dog.

Find more information here.

A New Hope Rescue

This shelter, in Joburg South, fosters unwanted dogs until they can be re-homed. They care for all types of dogs, and even a few pups! All the dogs here have hilarious personalities and attitudes, so this is just the place to adopt the next Instagram star. They have a large variety of smaller dogs including Dachshunds, Terriers, Jack Russells and mixed breeds (our personal favourite) for those without a large garden.

Find more information here.



Kitty Shelter

Kitty Shelter is a no-kill welfare organisation in Norwood. They care for both adults and kittens. The adoption price, which is much less than buying a cat, includes sterilization and up-to-date vaccinations. They work on a foster programme, where their kittens and cats are cared for by foster families until they find their furever homes. This means that the animals here are already used to people, other animals and kids.

Find more information here.

Kitty and Puppy Haven

This no-kill shelter specialises in puppies and kittens, hence the name. Their animals come from veterinarian practices, low income areas and welfare organisations. They give every animal medical care and will not consider euthanisation. And we must say - these animals are absolutely adorable. One doesn't have to browse far down their Facebook page to fall in love.

Find more information here.


The SPCA has a branch in almost all towns across Joburg. They take in any animal irrespective of the type, gender, colour, breed or age. Their Cattery always has many different cats. Whether it be kittens or adults; mixed or pure bred; male or female. What we love about the cats here are their various attitudes. There's always the friendly cat, trying to get as close to you as possible. As well as the playful kitten, the chatty fur ball and the shy one hiding behind the rest. Adopting an animal here is cheaper than other shelters. And, they will also give your future furbaby all their shots, anti-parasite treatments, a chip and even a care package.

Find their various branches here.




We all love cute, furry and oh-so adorable bunnies. However not everyone is able to give them the proper care they require. Some people will re-home their pet rabbits but others choose to release them in parks. However, pet rabbits are domesticated and are therefore unable to care for themselves in the wild. Berario Bunnies and The Strawberry Foundation both rescue these rabbits from the park. They also provide homes for rabbits whose owners are unable to care for them. They will feed and care for these rabbits until they are able to find a furever home.

Find out more information about Barario Bunnies here and The Strawberry Foundation here.

Exotic animals

Despite its name, Hedgehog Rescue and Rehabilitation cares for most exotic animals. These include hedgehogs, rats, rabbits, hamsters, reptiles and birds. They take in injured or unwanted animals and rehabilitate and care for them until they are homed. Get in contact with them to find out what you need to know about the needs of exotic pets before adopting one. And if you decide to adopt, Hedgehog Rescue is able to help you find a loving and adorable scaled, feathered or quilled friend.

Find our more information here.


Pigs are some of the smartest and cutest animals around. And they certainly make some of the best pets - for those that are able to care for them. Unfortunately many aren't, hence their own shelter in Hennops. Pigs n Paws take in pigs and dogs, and allow them to roam freely on their small holding. If you're looking to adopt a pig, dog or both, and are able to care for them, pay them a visit and meet their feisty furries.

Find out more information here.