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Today we want to thank Sidewalk Specials for our newest member of the OurHood team, Lady. 

Sidewalk SpecialsAbout 1 year old, Lady is a foster from Sidewalk Specials, a non-profit dog-rescuing company set up by British born Rachel Sylvester. Despite moving to South Africa in 2012 to pursue a career in acting, the vast numbers of homeless and abused dogs led her to embark upon a new mission: to rescue as many dogs as possible using a network of Fosters and Social Media. Based in Cape Town, the organisation is run entirely by volunteers who work tirelessly to rescue abandoned and mistreated dogs from townships, as well as directly liberating dogs from euthanasia lists. They also run sterilisation drives to prevent unwanted puppies from being born into abuse and neglect.

Unlike your traditional dog home, Sidewalk Specials has no shelters but relies completely upon fosters to house and look after the dogs until they can find the right home for the right dog. Not only does this mean ‘no overheads,’ but more importantly, ‘no stressed-out shelter dogs.’ This is also great for those dog lovers who are not able to commit to adopting a dog full-time… although once you foster, it may be hard to let them go!

Pets are a well-known way to strengthen neighbourhood ties and increase a sense of community. Studies have proven that pets help to build social bonds between neighbours, with dog owners five times more likely to get to know people in their neighbourhood. Research also shows that dogs make a neighbourhood feel safer, not only when out and about, but also within homes. A barking dog will both alert you as to any unwelcome intruders and effectively deter potential criminals and burglars. Of course, dogs should not be a replacement for other security measures, such as alarm systems, but they can be a comforting addition.

To find out more about Sidewalk Specials, including the dogs they have available and how you can foster, head to their website or follow their Instagram. They hold regular adoption days, including Oranjezeicht market where you can find them the first Saturday of every month.

In need of a reason to adopt a four-legged friend? Research shows that owning a pet has mental, social and physiological health benefits. Alongside keeping you fit, healthy and improving your heart health, interacting with an animal can cause the body to release serotonin and dopamine, also known as the ‘happy hormones,’ reducing stress, depression and anxiety.

The OurHood Team 🙂

Connecting Neighbours, Strengthening Communities