Maureen MacAndrew (77) has been involved in animal welfare work for many years, running the branch of the Karoo Animal Protection society (KAPS) in Ladismith before moving to Aberdeen in 2005.
At that time, there were kennels in Aberdeen run by the SPCA, and Maureen was an active volunteer with the organisation. When the SPCA closed due to lack of funding, Maureen’s sister-in-law, Lynn Holdt stepped in, and with Maureen’s help, ran a very successful operation until she passed away in 2013.
Maureen then took on full responsibility for the local township animals’ welfare, started the Camdeboo Animal Rescue Enterprise (CARE) and opened a charity shop to raise some much-needed funding. This shop is open every morning, manned by volunteers, and relies on donations of mainly unwanted household goods to resell.
Although legally the SPCA is the only organisation that has the power to confiscate abused animals, Maureen’s determination and forceful manner when encountering ill-treated pets has saved many animals neglected or abused by their owners.
Almost every day she deals with cases of sick or injured dogs and cats, provides dip, and deworms puppies. With sponsorship from KAPS, she has arranged for the sterilisation of 60 dogs and 30 cats so far this year.
Being in the Karoo, Maureen comes across cases not usually seen in the cities. One of the more unusual rescues this year involved relocating a monkey that had been kept as a pet, on a lead, to Monkey Matters in PE. She also keeps an eye on the working donkeys in the town, ensuring they have suitable bits, and helping with treatment of minor injuries.
Earlier this year, she was instrumental in saving an orphaned donkey foal. The mother was found in town with lockjaw, and died just a few days after being found by Maureen. With help from a local animal-lover, who hand-feed the foal after its mother died, the young donkey thrived, and was adopted by a local farmer.
Very few owners pay anything towards the costs involved in caring for their sick animals, and finances are always tight. Anyone who would like to help is asked to donate directly to Camdeboo Vet Clinic, Standard Bank account 082 528 799, using the reference CARE.