Klaserie River Sands

Dog Food Drive: for the love of dogs and rhinos

For all the animal lovers out there, we call on you to join us in a food drive for anti-poaching dogs – For the Love of Dogs & Rhinos. We are calling on the public to come together on #WorldRhinoDay and support the K9 Unit in the Kruger National Park by donating food for the canine heroes in the fight against poaching.

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While many of us enjoy the Kruger National Park as tourists, there are always poachers somewhere in that vast wilderness and a ranger with a working dog, hot on their heels, who live in the knowledge that they might have to give up their lives for a cause bigger than themselves. These dogs, along with their handlers and the rangers, risk their lives every day to save our precious rhinos. Much time and money goes into training and maintaining these dogs, and many of the successful poacher arrests have been due to these hard working canines. But these dogs need our support. One of the easiest ways to keep this four-legged force mobilised is through the donation of food. Hence the creation of a Dog Food Drive. If you love dogs and our rhinos, simply donate a bag of food and we will make sure it gets to the rhino dogs.

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There are three ways you can get involved in the Dog Food Drive:

1. Drop off a bag of food at a drop-off point near you! Kicking off on #WorldRhinoDay the public will have from 22 September 2016 until the 30th of September to drop off as many bags of dog food as they can at a selection of drop-off points around South Africa. Please only purchase Hill’s Performance or Hill’s Advanced Fitness as this is what the dogs are used to – any change in diet can affect performance. Speciality vet stores should stock these brands. These hard working dogs need very specific and reliable food that consistently provides all the nutrients and energy they need. These foods are designed for very active working dogs, with not only extra protein and energy, but also the correct minerals and antioxidants too! FIND A DROP-OFF POINT HERE. No drop-off point near you? Collect from your friends and family and email us to arrange collection.

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2. Buy a bag of food online via YuppiepetThis amazing online pet shop has discounted the Hill’s Performance and Hill’s Advanced Fitness pet food by 20% for the Dog Food Drive! Purchase your bag online and Hill’s will deliver the food directly to the K9 Unit in the Kruger National Park. If you only have goodies in your cart for our rhino dogs then please use the following shipping address on checkout: Kruger National Park (street address & city), Mpumalanga, 0000 (postal code), South Africa. You do not pay anything towards shipping fees. You can also donate ZAR50 to this cause on yuppiepet.co.za and this money will go directly to buying food from Hill’s for the dogs.

3. Donate money to the cause! Live outside of South Africa, can’t afford a bag, or want to give a little bit extra? Send an email to knpk9unit@gmail.com requesting the bank details, which will be sent to you along with a reference that should be used when making the transfer. Get your friends, family and school involved – from ZAR10 to ZAR10,000, all donations are welcome and all funds go directly back to the K9 Unit in the Kruger National Park through the SANParks Honorary Rangers, the official SANParks volunteer organisation.

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Maj Gen (ret) Johan Jooste qualifies the canine involvement in anti-poaching rather simply by saying, “they are game changers”. And they truly are. Kruger’s canine unit has about 52 dogs operating in a Big Five area that many now refer to as a war zone. These hardworking dogs have a number of different functions, including the tracking of poachers in the park and the detection of contraband at entrance and exit points.

While the dogs are lovingly cared for by the team in the Kruger National Park, the cost of fighting the rhino poaching crisis is so extremely high that any funding has a variety of resources it needs to be spread between. Something as simple as providing dog food means that vital monies can be spent where – such as to combat poaching. The more help we can muster, the better.

And with your help we can show our anti-poaching dogs just how much we care. Our rhino dogs are thanking you in advance for your generosity! #fortheloveofdogsandrhinos #rhinodogs

For more information, email me.

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Janine Avery

I am the first to confess that I have been bitten by the travel bug… badly. I am a lover of all things travel from basic tenting with creepy crawlies to lazing in luxury lodges; I will give it all a go. I am passionate about wildlife and conservation and come from a long line of biologists, researchers and botanists.

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