Fallen Angels was founded in february 2014 by three active people in the animal rescue community. As their slogan says “From Torn To Reborn,” their aim is to not only rescue, foster and rehabilitate animals but to also to help with therapy for children using these animals. This organisation works purely on donations and sponsorships and they get no funding from the government as they are a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO).
Fallen Angels are based purely in the Western Cape and work around the Blouberg and Melkbos area. There are few dedicated staff who use their time to make the dogs and cats feel at home. Volunteers are always welcome as they have a set base at which they look after these animals, this is in Melkbos. Dogs and cats for adoption are regularly put on display to find their fur-ever families in shopping centers and people may also go to the Melkbos base to find their new pet.
Fallen Angels aren’t directly helping the community like giving people food or picking up litter from the beach but they are helping by saving lives of animals that would’ve had a worse quality of life if they lived on the streets or neglected by their owners. By doing this, they are relieving other people from these duties and those people can have the chance to change the community in their unique way.
On monday the 20th of July, a small group of us met at the Fallen Angels base at 9:00 in the morning. Once we handed in our various donations, we were escorted into a small house like building. We were greeted inside with an array of excited dogs and one of the owners of the organisations, I didn’t catch her name. We waited until the whole of the group had arrives, put away our belongings and played with the dogs until the lady who gave us the instructions came.
A white bakkie came into sight along with a trail of dogs. Once the bakkie stopped, a lady stepped out and introduced herself as Gayl. She told us to walk towards the sandy dog enclosure and meet a man called Joseph who would give us the instructions for the day. We all walked until we met Joseph. We all walked through the gate not without a few incidents of escape… The dogs were extremely excited to see new people and jumped on us in glee. We were all handed our very own pair of bright yellow gloves and split up into the separate sections. We were told to sweep and replace the contents of the kennels.
In my section, Yasmin and I teamed up as a kennel cleaning duo. I first would take out the dog’s carpet and destroyed blankets and then she would sweep out all of the sand. While she was doing that, I tried to get all the sand off the newer carpets and put them back if they were worthy enough, if not, I would just replace it. Once the sand was gone and the carpets clean, we put a new blanket it. The blankets kind of felt like those insulator blankets you would find in the roof.
We, along with another team finished that enclosure and went onto the rest of them and finished around 12:00. This is when we had lunch for about half an hour. We went back to work and since we had finished majority of the kennels, we were promised that we could walk the dogs after the final section was done. This section had a tortoise in it. We all chose a dog with a collar on and took it on it’s adventure outside the kennels.
It had been quite fun on the walk except for a few falls but running with the dogs gave us the workout for the day. We went around the whole of the plot and we met up with Joseph outside with hut type room. We heard whining and snuffles and were surprised with day old puppies with their mum. At this point, it was time to say a last goodbye to the dogs and put them back into the enclosure.
What I enjoyed the most about the experience was that I got to lessen the workload for the people that keep up the place. I got to do the jobs for them for a change and let them get to other things that could help the organisation. I also liked that I got to play with the animals and give them a bit of excitement in their lives. The only thing that I didn’t like was leaving, it was such an amazing experience that I just wanted to stay and help some more.
Before I went to assist at Fallen Angels, I didn’t know the extent of the amount of animals that don’t have homes but once I arrived, I was shocked by the abundance of dogs that don’t have a permanent home in this world besides the safe haven. My friends and family could definitely gather spare blankets and pitch money in to buy a whole lot of food to donate to the NPO as well as volunteer monthly. Personally, I would love to go back and give them some of my time to help them with the excellent work that they do and make sure that it stays running with a constant supply of helpers.
Donating food or clothing is one thing, you don’t really feel like you’ve helped that much but by physically making a difference in the organisations makes me feel somewhat fulfilled as a person and as a piece of the community puzzle.
I’ve realised that I can’t take my situation at home for granted. I know they’re dogs but if I put myself in their situation and compare it to my current livelihood, I realised that I’ve been taking my home and good community for granted, not totally oblivious to the other scenarios in this world but I do sometimes forget how lucky I am.
I feel very fortunate that I have a happy, permanent family and community that supports and protects me as well as anyone else who needs it. I’m lucky to have the opportunity to go to a good school as well as be able to help people with still being in a stable home. I’m really thankful for all my friends and how caring and genuine they are.
I don’t see myself as anything to important for the time being. I see my space in the world as a placeholder for something that I could become, maybe even make a difference. The smallest gesture could make a big change in the world.
If you would like to adopt an animal, please think of the ones up for adoption first, there are thousands of pets looking for homes that don’t get preference and then they end up having to be put down because of the demand of space in animal shelters.
If you would like to donate or adopt an animal, their website is http://fallenangels.org.za/