Nthabiseng Hlongwane, an unemployed 30-year-old woman from Soshanguve, north of Pretoria has a strange and unusual love. Hlongwane’s bizarre love for dogs has blossomed into caring. She is taking care of dogs in her own community like her own dogs. Hlongwane feeds and bathes the dogs of her neighbours.
When she was younger, her parents didn’t allow her to own a dog or to raise one. Now she goes house to house in the Soshanguve township to look after the dogs. She feeds the dogs with proper nutrition and bathes them to keep them clean. Hlongwane also removes ticks (small blood sucking bugs) regularly.
“I love dogs, they are man’s best friend, obedient and loyal animals. They help to protect us and our properties against criminals who terrorise us by stealing our valuables in our houses,” she said.
“I didn’t like it when I saw that most dogs are not getting proper care. As a result they ended up eating from dumping sites and rubbish bins. I am being driven by sympathy and sorrow for the suffering of dogs. It is the love of dogs that I have and decided to take responsibility to feed and keep them clean at all times”.
“I rely on donations from kind-hearted individuals to help me feed dogs in my own community,” she said. It is unusual that she takes care of other people’s dogs without expectation of payment in return.
Her passion about the good work she is doing and her pictures she shared online attracted sponsors. The sponsors have offered to provide her with dog food and shampoo. She was also given dog handling formal training where she learned about dogs.
Her challenge is to get a proper shelter where she can help to groom and train dogs.
An excited dog owner Keletso Modipa said: “I am very happy and impressed. This is strange in our communities. She is now changing the mentality that black people don’t look after their animals. She is teaching us and until we love our animals. Our dogs are now clean without ticks, strong and healthy as they eat proper dog food.”