Family Members

Leslie van der Watt, Centre Manager & Caregiver;

Leslie met Denay when deciding to adopt a kitten, this was soon followed by another and since then Leslie has taken home 6 animals to date. A true reflection of the “Adopt, do not Shop” philosophy, a firm friendship was formed and Uitsig has now become Leslie’s second home.

Leslie’s gentle manner and unconditional love towards the animals have proven a great asset to the centre and brought many an animal back from the brink where they have learnt to trust again and give life a second chance.

Leslie set up the Uitsig Charity shop to help raise funds and support the Centre.

Rhoda de Kock, Animal Care Technician 

Rhoda and Denay previously worked together at the Vet; sharing Denay’s passion for animals weekends were spent assisting Denay with feeding and cleaning runs. In time, it became apparent that more was required, and Rhoda resigned from the Vet to focus on Uitsig.

Rhoda found that working with rescue animals, in a pro life environment, provided a huge emotional reward, so joined the Uitsig family. Rhoda is very involved with the well being of the animals and assists with monthly health treatments and has become a “God Mother” to all the animal souls living at the Centre.

Surinda Smit, Lutzville Retirement Village

Surinda recognised the healing abilities of animals through her daughter being bi-polar, and then started visiting Huis Sonop, a home for people who have been forgotten or abandoned by their families, after having realised the true therapeutic value of interaction between animals and people.

When Surinda’s husband was transferred to Lutzville, it was the start of the Uitsig Retirement Home for dogs. Surinda finds satisfaction in knowing that the dogs twilight time will be spent in a loving home environment. Uitsig provides for their needs and Surinda for their well-being. The dogs also assist with therapy, by visiting with Surinda the local rehab facility for alcohol and drug addiction.

Willemien Viljoen, Walk Club Volunteer Program

Willemien learned about Uitsig from the rescue story about Skye the husky on Furkidz in 2011. After seeing a request to do the Spar Women’s Walk in support of Uitsig, that a friend and Willemien were going to the walk in any case she decided to join the Uitsig group and met Denay. The first time Willemien visited the farm was for the cupcake and champagne morning where she was impressed by the fact that the dogs were in big runs with their K9 friends instead of small enclosures that she thought were standard for animal welfare centres. After speaking to Denay about volunteering where she was told about adoption days and the walk club. Willemien started volunteering at the adoption days and is now a senior free-roaming volunteer. After her first adoption day Willemien wanted to do more so with her husband they started going out to the farm on Saturdays and helped with the breakfast feeding and sometimes dipping when the days were hot enough. When the walk club moved from Sundays to Saturdays they joined them and have been walking ever since. Willemien is now one of the walk club coordinators that assist new walkers and groups coming to walk the dogs, and compiles the monthly Walk Club Newsletter. Willemien is also responsible for making the name tags for easy identification in the doggie camps and the photography of our on-line Adoption Gallery Portfolio.

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