Life with Hayley an Angel in Disguise

Hayley on the day she was adopted from Ark Animal Centre

Hayley on the day she was adopted from Ark Animal Centre

A lovely update from Diane on her Ark baby, Hayley, who she adopted a year ago from Ark Animal Centre, and how she filled the lives and hearts of a family in mourning…sometimes the “rescue dog” isn’t the one being saved. Read their story below 🙂

Hey all… So it’s nearly a year since I adopted Hayley. At first she was a major pain and chewed my bed, Oakleys and more…. But she has crept into the heart of her big brother, granny, aunties, uncles and pretty much everyone. Most importantly, my heart.

Unfortunately she has irritable bowel syndrome which had earned her the nickname: Princess Poopy Pants. When she farts and you are driving, you find a park. FAST!! Hayley got her Bronze Canine Good Citizen in November despite everyone (including me, excluding the KUSA judge) thinking she could not do it. She is excelling as an obedience dog and will be doing her first obedience completion next month.

Training aside… She has become my cuddle bug and K’s best friend. KD has lost a load of weight with having her around and hates when she has school cause she is not around. For my family, Hayley has been a healing tool after the loss of my dad. I fostered her a week after he died and she crept into our hearts. My sister in law is a cat person and actually had to get a dog after Hayley came into our lives!!!

Mom often says how much Dad would have loved her. I think she would have adored him and think he may have stollen her from me. Thank you for recommending this very special girl to me. She has changed my world and refocused my whole family at a time when we needed something more than sympathy.

Written by: Diane Logie

Team Work in Action

Most of you who read the news will be aware of last weeks protests in Durban Deep, Roodepoort area where a few people were shot, while hundreds others protested over housing by throwing stones, burning tyres, tree trunks and causing a disturbance.

We receive a call from Jennifer who works at CLAW, asking us if we can take in any of their puppies as the protests were getting violent and they were fearing for the dogs and pups safety. Our manager, Tracy, obviously said yes and told Jen to bring as many as she could.

Jennifer said that while Cora (CLAW’s founder) had managed to get into the office early that morning, their other staff had to scale the walls to gain entry. While driving out on the way to Ark, they had to maneuver through the debris and burning barricades on the road.

Jennifer arrived at Ark a couple hours later, where we unloaded about 15 very confused but relieved pups. It was like a scene out of a wild west movie, but thankfully no pups were harmed and the other puppies have settled in too beautifully at Ark! Thanks to CLAW for making sure these babies were brought to a safe place, and may they continue to make a difference! As we always say -> Team Work Saves Lives…..literally!

Below are some pictures of the pups arriving at Ark:

My Adopted Puppy by Hazel Hynek

hazel hynek adopted baby from Ark johannesburg puppy shelter - tyson3

A lovely story from one of our Ark parents and their journey of adopting a rescued puppy 🙂 

In Febuary of this year my dear uncle Ken, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. They determined it was terminal and that he had, had very little time left. In the March, the love of my life and baby girl, Dalmation, Sidney, was poisened and unfortunately did not make it. Although we still had two amazingly beautiful doggies, Queenie and Trixie, I didn’t have MY doggy sleeping next to me anymore.

By June, I decided I NEEEEDED a puppy. After BEGGING my mom for 3 months solid, eventually she decided we could get ONE puppy. She thought it might help bring some positive energy into our home.

In August we adopted my baby boy, Tyson and after seeing her naughty boy ,Eddy, my mom couldn’t resist taking him home too.

These two puppies helped so much in creating such beautiful memories with my uncle Ken. He was constantly giggling at their little antics and they both loved him dearly. Uncle Ken passed away 29/10/2013. Uncle Ken lived with us, throughout the remainder of his days. Eddy was by his side even in the last few days of his life.

I just wanted to take a second of my day to share with you all, just how wonderful this organization, the Ark Animal Centre is and just how much impact they have in our every day lives. They give you, not just a puppy or two, but rather, a beautiful bundle of joy and abundant love.

You helped bring a bit of light into our home, when I didn’t think it possible. On behalf of uncle Ken and the rest of the Hynek family, I just want to say thank you!!!

Adopt today guys. It was the best decision we’ve ever made! 

Written by: Hazel Hynek

Harley’s Story – A New Life for A Rescued Dog

harleys story rescued dog thats adopted and homed ark animal shelter blog cover copy

Written by Harley Scorgie, an adopted Pekingese boy. What his first few days in his new home was like 🙂 Such a cute story every pet owner should read! ♥

I was a bit scared when you dropped me off in my new place, but my mom gave me a styling new designer collar which now has my name on and a big bed all to myself – at first I didn’t know what the bed was but mom showed me that it is where I sleep at night and I also find that it is a useful hiding spot from my friends who stay with me for all my favourite toys.

rescued dog adopted from animal shelter johannesburg

This is my version of helping mom unpack her clothing boxes from her move – it was hard work!

The first night I slept all the way through and mom said that I was such a good boy, she says I’m not allowed to sleep on the bed but in the morning she wakes up and lets me come and cuddle in the pillows with her – I love it!!

rescued dog adopted from animal shelter johannesburg


rescued dog adopted from animal shelter johannesburg

Cuddling with mom in the pillows every morning is the best!

On Day 3 mom took me to her office, it’s such a cool place because everybody gets to bring their dogs so I have lots of friends to play with and we have been going there every day. I have all of mom’s colleagues wrapped around my little paw because of my cute face and I make sure they give me as many tummy tickles as I want (tummy tickles are my favourite by the way!)

rescued dog adopted from animal shelter johannesburg

First day going to the office – mom says I’m a good driving companion and sit like a good boy the whole way

rescued dog adopted from animal shelter johannesburg

Cuddles from Carina in the office!

rescued dog adopted from animal shelter johannesburg

Half falling asleep on Byron’s shoulder – he likes to take me for walks in the office gardens

It made mom very sad when she realised that I didn’t know what stairs were in her house so we practiced for a few nights going up by using treats, I was very scared but on the third night I managed to make it all the way up to the top. Mom was so proud that she started crying! Now I’m a master of the stairs and spend all day following mom up and down which she says is good for me since I get spoilt with so many treats so I have to keep fit.

rescued dog adopted from animal shelter johannesburg

My friends and I – Minki (bottom left) is mom’s roommates dog and we also have a foster called Zigga at the moment (top left)

When we come home from work, I go for a walk with mom and her roommate around the complex, her roommate has a Yorkie called Minki and is busy fostering another Yorkie from Ark Animal Centre, called Zigga so we are all friends and love our walks together. I’m not a huge fan of the harness and lead but mom says it’s for me to stay safe so that we can live together forever, I do however enjoy playing hide and go seek with her when I see her take it out and I make her chase me.

harley and minkie with doggy outfits clothes on

Minki and my new outfits for the park

Mom is busy teaching me how to play ball, she had to go and buy special small tennis balls for me because normal tennis balls were too big for my mouth. So far I understand that I must fetch it but mom keeps on telling me I must bring it back to her but I prefer to sit and chew it – she says we need to work on our communication.

When I first arrived I liked to mark my territory all over the house, mom didn’t seem to like that too much but after a week of her showing me I was naughty for doing that, I’ve worked out that I must go outside. Every time I go outside now mom calls me a good boy and I sometimes get a treat – Beeno’s are my favourite!

stephanie scorgie and harley adopted pekingnese

I love my new mommy!!

Mom says that in my letter I must tell you that she says thank you for letting me be part of her life because she doesn’t know what she would do without me now. I also want to say thank you for rescuing me and making sure that I went to a home with lots of love.


Harley Scorgie

Coco the Cleft Palate Jack Russell’s Happy Ending

coco cleft palate puppy posing copy

My name is Coco and I’m a cleft palate pup that would like to share my story with you

I was born on 6th March 2011 along with my brothers and sisters.  For reasons only later revealed my mom wasn’t able to feed me and rejected me. Her owners brought me to my new family when I was a day old and that’s been my home ever since.

jack russell puppy cleft palate

I was hand reared with a bottle and Milk-o-pup formula and always battled to suckle properly, often the milk would come out my nose.  I was fed every 2 hours but only managed a measly 2 – 5ml at a time.

At 5 weeks my new mommy introduced me to soft puppy food but that didn’t work out at all, everything came out my nose.  They thought I might have a cold and took me to the vet who informed them that I in fact had a cleft palate and it would probably be best if I was put down.

My new family was heartbroken after doing such a great job with me for 5 weeks and headed home, straight onto Google, and there they found out all the info they would need to keep me alive.

jack russell puppy cleft palate

I was given water from a hamster bottle on a stand as I needed to drink upright so the liquids didn’t go into my lungs.  As I got older I only eat dry doggy food and drink water, mom treats me with cut up Vienna’s too.

jack russell puppy cleft palate

For Easter 2011 my family and I were heading to Badplaas with their caravan and were involved in a terrible accident, with a truck, fortunately we were all ok but the van and car were write offs.  Every-one was so concerned about me (I was 6 weeks old) but I was none the worse for wear.

jack russell puppy cleft palate car caravan accident

That year my family moved and one day, just for a split second, the gate was left open and I decided to go for a walk.  I got rather confused about where I was and got lost.  The family was frantic; half the neighborhood was out looking for me.  Luckily they found me and now I have a collar with my name and number, just in case.

jack russell puppy cleft palate

One day we went to visit family and I was playing in the garden with their dog when all of a sudden I couldn’t breathe! It was awful! My throat closed up and I was turning blue. My mom was blowing down my nose and throat thinking I choked on something or was stung by a bee.  I was rushed to the vet who put me in an oxygen tank for the night; it was so scary to be alone! I’ve never spent a night without mom, her bed is my bed and she’s not here. We don’t know what caused the attack and every now and then if I get too excited it happens again, not that bad though and I don’t go to the vet, mom calms me down on her bed then I’m fine.

As far as my diet goes I only eat dry, solid food and drink water.  Every now and then I still have water running out my nose but I’m otherwise 100% Jack Russell.  I love riding in the car, teddy’s (emptying them is so much fun) but my rope is my favorite toy and Google is my best friend as without it, I probably wouldn’t be here.

Written by: Coco & her mom, Vionne Kruger

Toby & Master a Township Love Story

toby and master township love story blog cover copy

You often hear of the horrible animal stories from the townships of South Africa, but you very rarely hear of a good story…well this is one of those. A story that gives hope and shines light on some special people living in Johannesburg’s informal settlements…

Wendy McWilliams, one of our fantastic volunteers had told us about Toby and his amazing dog. She brought Toby and Master to visit us on Sunday – and were we in for a treat.

Toby is the most amazing person, he is a security guard at a complex, lives in a shack in Kya Sands Informal Settlement and is an avid animal lover. His dog Master who he has had since he was a puppy and is now 5 years old, he has trained himself – with no formal training whatsoever.

toby and master township love story 003

This is how our meeting went. Toby arrived, I asked him if he needed his dog vaccinated – No, he is fully vacced, sterilised, de-wormed and rabied. Oh! So would you like help with basic training – No, Master is well versed in training, here is a demonstration.

Well after the basic sit, paw, down, we then moved onto tricks, fetch, stay, etc. For the first time that day I was in awe, I thought we could teach Toby, but no Toby has a lot to teach us. We then entered the shelter, I was a bit concerned, firstly with an adult dog entering into a pack of dogs who had been watching the goings on behind the gate and secondly with a few of the dogs being a bit racist.

toby and master township love story 001

Well! Toby and Master walked in quite casually and were greeted by all our dogs with absolute glee. Master was so well socialised and got on phenomenally with dogs and small puppies alike. Dolly who is racist went up to Toby and asked for love – all our mouths dropped open – this has never happened before. Toby has a way with dogs very rarely seen. He is absolutely gentle with them and they respond incredibly.

So why was Toby there? He would like to learn Tracking with Master and would also like to find out where he could do a formal course in Dog Training.

toby and master township love story 002

What we would like to do for Toby – Find a Tracking group in the Kya Sands vicinity, organise a course in Training and mostly if we could find a job for Toby working in the animal field, as we feel his talents are absolutely wasted in the field he is currently in.

If we could we would hire Toby in a second, but we can’t, so if anyone is looking for a fantastic employee please consider Toby, you will not be disappointed. If you would like to contact Toby, please let us know at and we will put you in touch with him.

Until next time,

Tracy Otto, Ark Animal Centre Manager.

SMS ‘Donate FOOD’ to 48748 & help us feed our rescued puppies! R10/sms.

Journey of a Rescued Puppy

gina's story rescued puppy dog from spca

During February 2012, I decided to join in for a day at the SPCA to help feed, dip and deworm some dogs from a local township. Francois and I spent the morning handing out food to children bringing their puppies and dogs in.

One small boy came along with an incredibly weak, sick looking puppy and as he walked away she just collapsed in front of us. Francois rushed her to the vet’s room at the SPCA but found no one there. In the front office, the lady at reception reckoned the puppy had maybe a few hours to live but without a vet they couldn’t euthanize. Francois quickly rushed her to the nearest vet and was met with the same story, and if we wanted to try we could just take her home and see if she makes it through the night.

rescued from spca township day horribly skinny and burned puppy rescued from spca township day horribly skinny and burned puppy.JPG1

The first person I thought of who would be willing to take in a sick puppy was Tracy from Ark Animal Centre, without question she told us she would be at the shelter waiting. We were all a little shocked at just how yellow Gina’s eyes, gums and skin was from the biliary, unfortunately the vet had dewormed her which didn’t help matters. She was taken home so Cara could treat her (Tracy promised me Cara could save ANYTHING!).

Within just days she looked like an entirely different dog, still recovering from the biliary, burn marks and having no food but with a little more life in her wagging tail. We visited every few days while deciding whether or not we would be able to keep her. It was astounding how she improved day by day, turning into a little monster until we could barely remember the sad little pup we first brought in.

gina recovering in loving arms of steph

Now we’re sitting with a 10 kg puppy with more life in her than we can handle and a whole lot of character! And she still has those beautiful gentle eyes she uses to get whatever she wants. As I’m writing this, she’s lying in the back of the car on her favorite bed, holding a toy between her oversized paws. She’s exhausted after a weekend of running around Clarens, meeting dogs everywhere along the way and sleeping in a king sized bed. Because life is just so tough…!

cute ears of dog

So we just want to say a huge thank you to Tracy and Cara as well as the rest of the family (dogs included of course) for allowing the monster into their home so that we could find the perfect home for her with us.

gina the ballerina dog dog with ballet shoes

Gina Update: She’s DOUBLED in size and weight. Yes, that Jack Russell sized dog is now heading on 20kg with Great Dane legs on the way! She’s a proper lady and the most precious thing first thing in the morning when she yawns like a bear and hides under the blankets to avoid the cold ♥ We couldn’t be happier!

By: Stephanie Emmy Klarmann (Gina’s Mom)

rescue dog gina running

Pure Love by Fee Riley


I lost my Roxy and Dizzy in April and May 2011. I was adamant that I would NEVER open myself up to the hurt again, of loving an animal and losing them. Losing my girls broke me in to a million tiny pieces. In July 2012, after crying myself to sleep every night and “falling off the rails”, I happened across a picture on the newly formed FaceBook Page of Ark Animal Rescue Centre (top left picture) o

f a girl who had been “unwanted’ and my heart pulled in her direction. I went to meet her, my heart breaking, feeling guilty and I fell so in love. A few days later, she came home to me and she healed me and maybe I healed her too. I called her Rozzy because I truly believe that Roxy and Dizzy sent her to me. She is Roxy and Dizzy squished together, in so many ways. If you ever doubted what a rescue animal can do for you … trust me, they are AWESOME ♥
Written by: Fee Riley

Miley and Mika – puppy love ♥

Miley and Mika

Miley & Mika… those two names were rather famous on Ark Animal Centre’s Facebook and Twitter accounts — Miley’s water broke on the evening of 21 May 2012 sending Ark’s followers into a buzz of excitement as they sat waiting in anticipation of the birth of Miley’s puppies.

Miley when her water broke

Puppy number one was born soon after her water broke. She was later named Mika by her loyal Facebook supporters, who had been waiting like excited parents for the news of her birth.

Mika seconds after birth

 A while after Mika was born, an empty sac came out along with this very strange black, green, slimy, smelly thing. We later discovered it was an unborn puppy that had died in her womb.

The empty sac and puppy fetus that came out after Mika.

After the shock of the strange black stuff Miley started contractions again. We were excited, Facebook was excited and we were all waiting. And waiting. And waiting. We waited so long Miley even had a quick nap.

Miley and Mika napping

Little Mika had her first taste of milk!  She clearly loved it as she never stopped drinking after that and became a little pig! 🙂

Mika having her first taste of milk

Still in labour Miley and Mika were bonding nicely, but we were getting very worried. We gave her 20 more minutes & then rushed her off to the vet.

We could definitely tell that there was another baby inside but it seemed that her labour had stopped. Once we got to Fourways Vet at about 11pm, Dr. Pranish examined Miley. He was fantastic with her. He gave her 2 shots of oxytocin which should have helped the contractions. We did an x-ray which showed us that the baby was lying sideways and needed to move down. Miley’s uterus was, by now, very tired and therefore was not contracting. Below is a picture of the x-ray:

The baby that was stuck inside Miley

Tracy stayed with and comforted Miley through the entire night. Eventually after the injections had no reaction. We took Miley to Northrand Animal Clinic in Kyalami, where Dr.’s Mike and Eilmien York did a cesarean on her. While Miley was in theatre, little Mika was safe with Tracy waiting for her mom to return.

Mika waiting while Miley was in surgery

 Eventually after what felt like ages for us at the office and our Facebook supporters, we received news that Miley was fine! But, there was some bad news…the puppy that was inside her womb had died. The labour had stopped because the puppy had got stuck. We think – due to Miley’s petite frame, and she was probably mated with by a larger male dog causing the babies to grow too large to be delivered.

Miley recovering at home with Mika

After many hours and thousands of prayers, thoughts and good energies sent to Miley, she returned to Tracy’s home as a foster to recover from her operation. The vets had sterilised her at the same time, so she won’t have to go through this trauma again.

She is a very strong little girl and we are so proud of her for pulling through this ordeal. She is an amazing mom to Mika; doting on her every second.

Thank you so much to all our incredible supporters who followed our posts and supported this very special girl! ♥ Without you, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do! THANK YOU!!!! ♥ xXx

Keep watching our Facebook and Twitter pages as well as our blog for updates on Miley and Mika. 

Miley and Mika, mother and daughter bonding

—- And most importantly —-


Tracy’s 25th Wedding Anniversary


This is a bit off the topic of animals…..but it is related in a way.  Our amazingly talented manager, Tracy, celebrated her 25th Wedding Anniversary today, 11 April!!

All of us here at Ark would like to wish her and her husband, Alan, a wonderful HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!! We hope there are many more years of fun, love, happiness and excitement to come in the next 25 years! 🙂

Tracy is such an amazing lady, only those who have witnessed her welcoming smile, contagious laugh and addictive personality will understand what a truly one of a kind lady she is. From 6am to 10pm every day she dedicates to rescuing, loving and improving the lives of animals in need.

We won’t go on and on about how fantastic she is, because when she reads this post she’s already going to be blushing! But we want to say we as Ark Animal Centre are very proud to have the best manager we could ever have wished for!

Thank you for being so incredible! 🙂