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July 18th, Nelson Mandela’s birthday, has become an international day of remembrance in South Africa, a day when all residents are encouraged to honour the work that Mandela did to unite the country by giving back to their local community.

This year the K2 South Africa team wanted to use Mandela Day as an opportunity to support local animal charity K9 & Bridgers Rescue with their Mandela Day Steri Drive.

Unlike many other local animal charities who focus solely on rehoming animals, K9 & Bridgers Rescue’s mission is to:

  • Educate pet owners about delivering adequate pet care
  • Vaccinate animals to avoid disease
  • And to ensure animals are sterilized to avoid over population.

The charity were keen to organise a dedicated sterilization day, but were in need of the manpower to help make this happen – this is where K2 South Africa came in.

Relocation Manager Tania Law, who was the driving force behind K2’s involvement in this initiative, comments:

“We heard about K9 and Bridgers Rescue through networking with local contacts. Their unique vision really resonated with the team here and, as an office of animal lovers, opting to give our time volunteering at this event was an easy choice.”


In order to adequately support the needs of the local community, the event needed to be fairly sizeable, requiring several weeks of planning.

The first step in the planning stage was sourcing an appropriate venue. Somerset West Night Shelter opened the doors of their Family Shelter, offering it up as a space within which to safely host and operate on the animals.

Work was required to make the shelter fit for purpose, so some K2 team members headed in over the weekend before the event to get the site ready. Once the shelter had been cleaned up and kitted out with blankets and crates for the animals, it was ready for the Steri Drive.

The day kicked off around 7.00am, with the first batch of volunteers arriving to assist with set-up, ahead of the vet arriving kicking off proceedings later in the morning. A real community effort, a local grocery store also donated snacks and drinks to keep volunteers fed and watered throughout the day.

All of the team based at K2’s Cape Town office took time out during their working day to do a volunteering shift and there were jobs for everyone. Those who didn’t want to take a hands-on role with the animals were able to offer administrative support, assisting with the registration and signing in process.

As part of K2’s ESG strategy and commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, employees are encouraged to actively support not only the company’s chosen global charities, but any additional local, national and global causes that are of particular interest to them. Earlier this year, K2 introduced a new charitable leave policy, allowing employees to take up to 2 days paid leave to do work for a registered charity.

Tania continues:

“Through working at K2, it was fantastic to be a part of an initiative that has had a tangible impact for the local community, and to have the opportunity to offer practical assistance to a charity who are working hard to make positive change.”

Throughout the course of the day, 26 dogs were successfully sterilized. During a lifetime, the average female dog can have up to 10 litters with between 1 – 10 puppies. Conservatively, at 5 litters of 5 puppies for the 18 female dogs spayed, 450 puppies were prevented from being brought into homes unable to care for them.

Read more about K2’s ESG and CSR commitments.


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