An Alternative Approach to Animal Welfare

It should be established at the outset that The Society for Animals in Distress (SAID) is not a ‘homing’ organization. And only by visiting our special farm is one able to appreciate the uniqueness of our dynamic Society. As a major non-profit provider of professional veterinary services since 1958, we strive to create a safe and healthy environment for all animals within educated and prosperous communities north- and north-east of Johannesburg.

Teams of Animal Welfare Assistants (AWAs), in vehicles equipped with two-way radios and veterinary supplies, are dispatched daily to Tembisa, Winnie Mandela Park, Ivory & Ebony Parks, Diepsloot, Olievenhoutbosch, Mooiplaas, Zevenfontein and Cosmo City.

These ‘Mobile Clinics’ respond to emergency calls received at our headquarters, The Paddocks, and our teams treat the animals on-site where possible. Regular de-worming of all animals they come into contact with is just one of SAID’s daily priorities. Preventative treatments and vaccination against infectious diseases are another. AWAs will also trace the owners of animals on the streets and advise them on all aspects of responsible pet ownership.

Welfare is provided to those who cannot afford treatment for their animals, and all cases are followed up regularly. Prior to leaving their designated areas each day, our teams will collect animals that may be scheduled for surgery at our hospital on the following day. Serious cases are brought to our farm for intensive care or surgery in a caring environment.



Helping More Animals

In More Places

More Often



18 million laying hens in SA live their lives in huge sheds filled with rows and rows of tiny cages. Five hens occupy each cage, the space allowance for each one, within the cage, is exactly as big as shown on the grid. The hen is de beaked so that when she goes crazy in this little space, she does not peck her cage mates to death.

If you still buy battery eggs, you might as well have put her there yourself.

click here for more info


Incongruously situated in the midst of burgeoning townhouse-complexes in Vorna Valley, Midrand, our 11-acre farm, The Paddocks, is a beacon of hope and healing for some 80 small and 40 large animals belonging to low- and no-income earners.

Our small-animal hospital is a constant flurry of activity with surgery being performed three days a week by qualified veterinarians. Emphasis is placed on sterilisation, with as many as 15 procedures taking place on ‘surgery’ days. But even with 12 private veterinary practices in the Johannesburg area assisting us with pro bono work, we are barely able to keep up with the demand.

Due to the expansiveness of our work, SAID’s financial requirements are quite different to those of many other animal welfare organizations. With 800,000 formal dwellings in Tembisa alone, housing a conservative average of six people per residence, we have the unparalleled task of providing veterinary care to animals belonging to some five million owners in this area alone. Add to that a further eight over-populated areas of activity, and one begins to comprehend the enormity of our task.

In addition to our small-animal commitments, we have an ongoing initiative in 14 local coal-yards that began in 2004. The consistently good health and wellbeing of some 365 working horses and donkeys is an achievement of no small proportions. And as if the aforementioned activities are not enough for a staff of just 38 dedicated people, up to 10,000 Grade II learners benefit annually from SAID’s ongoing Education Programme in 50 disadvantaged schools. The unprecedented success of this initiative is largely responsible for the increasing demand for sterilization of domestic pets.

Schools 30 50 53
Large-Animal Treatments 15,416 * 14,635 19,547
Small-Animal Treatments 27,441 ** 31,489 32,525
Mobile Clinics, Call-Outs & Treatments 23,283 ***35,392 50,554
* Decrease due to education of owners on early detection of illness.
** Increase due to education resulting in a reduction of serious cases, and an increase in on-site treatments
***Increase due to expansion of areas of activity.


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How you can Help s

Donating Goods :

This is a real WIN-WIN!

Firstly, we guarantee that everything you donate is strictly controlled and converted into cash for our animals. What we don't sell, we use either in our offices, hospital or around the farm.

As long as it's wearable, readable, edible, driveable, pushable, drinkable, useable and sellable - WE WILL COLLECT IT FROM YOUR HOME AT A TIME THAT SUITS YOU within a reasonable distance from The Paddocks !!!

We are always grateful for animal food, kennels, cages, collars and leads.

Books :

You can play a huge role in the fundraising process by donating your time to our book library. This involves accepting all new donations of books, sorting and preparing them for book sales.

Donating Money :

- Once-off, or regular cash donations are always deeply appreciated, and are allocated with the utmost integrity.

- A monthly debit order from R50 upwards, is one of the greatest gifts you can give to our animals. Guaranteed regular income enables us to budget more effectively and plan our activities and projects accordingly.

- We also have quarterly appeal campaigns, so look out for these and contribute what you can. 

Click here for our Xmas appeal competition.          

- My School Card is a very useful way to support our cause, as every time you do your shopping and swipe your card, a percentage of your purchase amount goes towards our running costs. So you contribute without spending an extra cent!




Whenever you book online to stay at City Lodge, you can choose one of three charities to benefit from a percentage of your booking fee. The Society is fortunate to be one of these NPOs, along with Operation Hunger and The SA Development Board.


My School Card Details are :

Toll-free on 0860 100 445

- Look out for our 'Sweet Deal' vending machines at selected venues. You can purchase candy and
help animals at the same time.

Click here to see 'Sweet Deal' 1.                                     Click here to see 'Sweet Deal' 2.

Click here to see 'Sweet Deal' 3.                                     Click here to see 'Sweet Deal' 4.

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Gift shopp


The Society's fundraising efforts are exhaustive, and include our presence at many shows and promotions during the year.

Click here to order your Animals in Distress Christmas cards.

We sell a variety of stunning and unique animal-related stock items all year round. Our range consists of irresistible soft toys, key rings, novelty purses and bags, branded Frisbees, notebooks, pens, bookmarks and much more.

We always have stock of ANIMALS IN DISTRESS T-SHIRTS for all shapes and sizes, including children. These are striking in navy blue and white, and currently well-priced at R50.

We also have our own range of music CDs, specially sponsored and recorded for The Society. Each CD is just R50-00, and all proceeds go to our animals. There are three available at the moment; Underdog, The Coal-Yard Song/Amazing Face and The Puppy Song. (Please click on Songs on our Side Bar to listen to clips).

Please contact us to find out what’s in stock

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At The Society for Animals in Distress, we wholeheartedly believe in what we do. We actively encourage visitors to our premises to see our work for themselves, and to make educated decisions as to how they wish to become involved.

We believe it is vital for all donors to all charities to know exactly what they are giving their money, time or gifts to.

Questions and Answers :

Q Do you have animals for adoption?

A Occasionally, but we are not a ‘homing’ organization.

Q Where do the animals go when they are better?

A Because we are not an “adoption agency”, all the animals in our care have owners who are monitored and constantly educated on the care of their domestic pets and larger animals.

Q Are you a “no-kill” organization?

A Absolutely. Our latest statistics reveal that less than one percent of animals treated on our premises are euthanased.

Q Are your euthanasia methods humane?

A Without question. Our veterinary care is of the highest standard, and our hospital is run by caring and qualified staff.

Q I would rather support you, and would like to bring my pets for treatment at your hospital.
Is this possible?

A No. We are governed by SA Veterinary Council regulations, and are only permitted to treat animals belonging to the financially disadvantaged from indigent communities.

Q Do you need blankets and carpeting for your kennels?

A Because most of our animals are ill (often contagiously so), injured or recovering from surgery, stringent hygiene is practiced in our hospital. We cannot use any materials that are not machine-washable, such as underfelt, carpeting and standard-issue grey blankets that disintegrate.

Q Where do you get your funding from?

A We rely on the generosity of our Members, Supporters, the general public, and some generous corporations. We receive no government support, so our fundraising activities are exhaustive and include : quarterly newsletter appeals; regular shopping-centre collections; shows and promotions; annual golf day; static donation tins; sale of jumble, books and household items. We also receive bequests and some annual Trust Fund allocations. Regular approaches are made to corporations and grant-making organizations in an attempt to broaden our funding base.

Q Is the Society run by volunteers?

A No. We are a dynamic, professional organization that requires the skills of professional, paid staff. We have a handful of hospital volunteers, as well as a database of dedicated people who raise money for our animals at regular shopping-centre collections.


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