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The Cost of caring

The Ramblings of a Crazy Dog Lady
The Cost of Caring

If I could get a rand for everytime someone said “it’s just one more dog”, I could probably fund Dogtown problem-free. As I explain to roughly 20 people a day. It’s never just the case of “just one more dog”. In your household when you add a new fur kid to your family, there will be a few logistic and financial adjustments, it will be extra food and medical bills when needed. When it comes to a rescue centre it’s not that simple. At Dogtown we pretty much run to capacity daily and as one fur kid heads home, another on our waiting list enters the gates of Dogtown. Now to take in that “just one dog” a secure garden needs to be built – this is in the region of R10,000-R15,000 depending on the size of the garden. Then there’s a kennel, here we are looking at about R1400 each. Food for a month comes to about R400. Initial vet visits for every new dog intake consists of a general check up and sterilizations, micro-chip, vaccination and deworming. This amounts to roughly R1500 per dog. When the dog is a puppy, it is substantially more. Now that bundle of fur can’t feed and care for itself can it?
I think most people believe there is a magical world where people volunteer all their time, to a full time job, for no pay but sadly this is just a magical fantasy,  so we need a human dedicated to the wellbeing of that fur kid. A human that is qualified to care for a dog in an unnatural setting. At Dogtown each caregiver is responsible for roughly 10 dogs. This is what we believe is the maximum amount of dogs one person can manage to make sure they receive mental, physical and emotional stimulation each day. If we cannot provide them with that then we are just incarcerating the dogs for a crime they did not commit.
Unfortunately in this day and age people cannot dedicate themselves to a full time job for no pay, so a salary is needed for this caregiver. We work on a cost of R1000 per dog for the caregiver and their shared assistant, the assistant makes sure the houses are cleaned and the gardens are kept tidy. We also have full time trainers and people who keep the flow of the centre going, people that manage the admin side, run the adoption process, do the home checks etc, we have our web-site costs that helps find a home for said fur kid. There are electricity and water costs, petrol and car costs, telephone and office costs, all these things make for a smooth running ship.
So you see just one dog can cost a rescue centre on average an additional R2000 per month and that is if the dog is healthy… which most of the time they are not. Never mind the initial outlay to build a space for them at the centre which is roughly R17,000. Now think about it, if we receive about 20 calls a day, that’s and additional R40 000 a month we need to find, when we barely make ends meet at the moment.

Yes it is an incredible privilege to work with dogs every day and help save lives but sadly a centre cannot successfully run on love – it needs funds and lots of them. Not a day goes by where we are not trying to see how we can raise more funds so we can help more dogs but its tough, everyone is struggling. So please believe us when we say we would love to take in your dog but we cannot take in even one more dog, because unless we reduce the care of the dogs already at Dogtown we need to make sure we can afford the ongoing costs to keep this beautiful soul in our care.
Dogtown is a pro-life centre so if it takes a week, a month or a year to find that furkid a home, we need to make sure we can afford to keep that baby healthy and happy till that pawfect forever family comes along.
So how can you help?
One of the best ways to help us is to sign up for a monthly debit order, this allows us to see what funds we can count on each month.

Why not gather a few of your friends and commit to help us care for a specific dog at our centre.

Sign up as a furry feeder to help us cover the food bill each month.

Volunteer your time and help us give our furkids even more fun times.

Make us your beneficiary on your MySchool card, if you don’t have one contact pat@dogtownsa.org and we will sign you up. This costs you nothing and is a huge help for us.


Commit to your own fur kid for LIFE, Your dog is family.
Help us save more, we would love to give more furkids the special Dogtown Love and Care and with your help, we can.

Email pat@dogtownsa.org today if you can help in anyway.