Traveling shelter dog inspires adoption movement

adoption movement

In the past week the WOOF Project, based at the V&A Waterfront, managed to help 18 dogs find new loving homes through their efficient adoption processes.

The WOOF Project is the main initiative of Oscars Arc, a registered charitable trust in Cape Town inspired by one woman’s love for her adopted shelter dog. Since their inception in 2017, the project has managed to increase the province’s overall adoption rate by 42%.


“The initiative was inspired by a dog I adopted many years ago from a shelter in Cape Town. Oscar changed my life and travelled around the world with me. He inspired me to create the trust and help other people realise how amazing shelter dogs really are,” says founder Joanne Lefson.

Team WOOF Project

The team at the WOOF Project.

During his lifetime, Oscar became known as an ambassador for the cause and made a name for himself by visiting 45 countries to promote adoption. Highlights of his adventures include walking the Great Wall of China in 2009, climbing Machu Picchu and sailing through the Amazon.

The WOOF Project has managed to increase adoptions mainly due to their passion for shelter dogs and their innovative and efficient adoption process.

Oscar and Lefson on one of their many adventures

Oscar and Lefson on one of their many adventures.

“We take dogs from existing shelters and help them get adopted through our easy processes. All dogs are ready to go and the steps for adoption are easy and efficient for those looking to adopt,” says Lefson.

An important part of the work that the project and the trust does is also educating people and breaking down the stigma that shelter dogs are depressed or unsuitable as pets. The dogs are taken out of a shelter atmosphere and displayed in inspired locations so they can be exposed to the public more.

“We want to change the perceptions about shelter dogs and make people realise that they are amazing companions,” says Lefson.

dog the project helped find a new home

One of the many dogs the project has helped to find a new home.

You might recognise the WOOF Project from their cute pop-up container often based at the V&A waterfront near the Food Market. They are present at this location between 9am and 5pm daily and now at the Old Biscuit Mill on Saturdays.

Their latest location will be added in February where working professionals in the CBD can more easily visit to see the dogs up for adoption in person. In early February, their Foreshore location will launch and be open daily from Monday to Friday. If you’re not looking to adopt an animal, however, you can also support the initiative in a variety of ways.

“People looking to get involved can visit our website volunteer, donate or even see the dogs up for adoption and apply via our online process,” says Lefson.

The WOOF Team

The WOOF team.

While Oscar is no longer with us, Lefson continues his legacy and strives to remind people everywhere that dogs are so much more than pets. They are companions, travel buddies and man’s best friend to be treasured, loved and cared for even if they come from a shelter.

Find out how you can support the Woof Project and the Oscar Arc Trust here. 


Pet New Years Resolutions – part 3


Image: Pixabay

Pet New Years Resolutions – part 3

Your pets can be healthier and happier in 2024 with some or all of these pawsome pet new year’s resolutions!

A new year brings new goals and more than 300 days of opportunity for you and your pet to bond, develop healthier habits and discover new ways to live a full life. Your pet can live a better tomorrow with your help. An important first step is to avoid becoming overwhelmed thinking you need to make big changes overnight. Baby steps in the right direction are the way to go. The important thing is to make a plan and move steadily forward.

Re-publication: Originally published 18 January 2023


  • Keep toxic substances like medications, cleaning or gardening products, alcohol and toxic plants out of reach.
  • Just because a pet shop or vet sells something, doesn’t make it safe. Buy safe bedding and toys made of natural material without strong smells.
  • Clean their food and water bowls daily. We prefer stainless steel bowls to plastic.
  • Be careful about cleaning products, non-stick pans, air fresheners, or perfumes and candles you use that can affect your pets.
  • Resolve to take the time to safely secure your dog in the car on all car trips, regardless of the length of the journey. Never leave them alone in a car!
  • Start firework preparation before the festivities catch you unprepared.
  • Secure your yard so it is safe and so that pets can’t escape or get poisoned from the street.
  • Keep your cats safe in your yard.
  • Make sure there is proper shelter from all the elements.
  • Have a safe space in your home that belongs to them.


Since our pets spend the most time at home or in the garden, we should do our best to build them safe, entertaining places to rest and play. Make sure all potentially harmful plants or substances are out of reach. Create some nice hiding places and vertical territory for your pets to enjoy and explore. Learn more about zoopharmacognosy, which allows your pet to self-select remedies that best soothe them, especially during periods of anxiety.


Be better prepared for the unexpected. This is a healthy habit and can save you a lot of worries later. Pet owners can now choose from a variety of pet insurance plans that meet their needs and fit every budget.


What do you think your senior pet wants to do before crossing the Rainbow Bridge? You can make the last phase of your pet’s life memorable by compiling and completing a list of activities that will have their tail wagging and your heart soaring. Prepare in advance to navigate the Rainbow Bridge journey and making the tough but kind decision to euthanize your pet.


Image by The Paw Company


  • adopt or foster a pet
  • donate to a rescue or shelter
  • donate pet products like beds, towels, bowls, leashes, collars or food
  • volunteer at a shelter
  • say thank you to rescuers (and a vet)
  • take a shelter dog for a walk
  • sign a few petitions to help us save more animals
  • share lost and found animal posts to improve their chances of being reunited with their owners
  • join a specific cause like “stop fireworks”, “say no to the circus” or sterilizations campaigns


Animals can pick up on our energies. We see how sensitive animals are to our emotional state. They get excited when we are or try to comfort you if you are down by climbing on your lap. If you’re continuously agitated or angry when you come home, this could negatively affect your pet’s emotional state. Maybe a good New Year’s resolution idea this year is to learn how to have balanced energy before coming home to see your furry family. Even though a walk might do you good, maybe not attempt it on a day that you are angry or frustrated or not in the mood because you might ruin the experience for your pet.

Keep in mind that barking, humping and digging for example are natural behaviours, but don’t allow your pet to do things if it frustrates you as this will not be good for either of you. There are alternative and healthy ways to deal with such natural behaviours.


Identify what type of pet sitter service you need. Start your search as soon as possible, ask for referrals and interview potential sitters. For us, a big factor (apart from being trustworthy) is someone who has training in pet first aid (behaviour and grooming are a bonus) and who has professional documentation (forms and terms & conditions). List your pet sitter at your vet.


If you are planning to get a new pet, please do your homework in advance about the specie and their needs. It is important that the animal and breed you choose fit with your family’s energy levels and lifestyle. Please do not support breeders who fuel this massive overpopulation crisis, so opt to adopt from reputable organizations that include home checks, a contract and sterilization.


Image by The Paw Company


Only visit True Sanctuaries and say no to those that offer animal rides, interaction, walk with, pet, or taking of photos with the animals.

  • Use your birthday to raise donations for a reputable animal shelter by asking friends and families to donate or let your wedding registry be donations to an animal shelter.
  • Organize a community clean-up because plastic and other trash are harmful to the environment and animals.
  • Support the life in your backyard like the small ecosystems, and animals and insects that live around your home.
  • Say no to pesticides and poisons because poisoning rats and other animals influences the natural food chain.

Choose to wear it kind by buying and wearing clothing ethically. Avoid leather, fur and wool and try sustainable, animal-friendly alternatives because their lives matter! Don’t buy products that are tested on animals. You can find the approved beauty brands on the Humane Guide.


This is one we really want you to help us with! Try and share an educational post about animals regularly to help others learn more about animal care and welfare. Advocate for the voiceless and the unheard, especially about topics like breeding, selling, petting farms, the circus and fireworks.


Almost done. You have your pet and you have decided to make some pet-positive changes in the new year. You even have some great ideas now for pawsome resolutions. To execute these resolutions though, there needs to be detailed goals and an easy plan to follow every day. It is important to create a plan that you can stick to. Consider asking a friend to check in with and make sure you are keeping to those resolutions. Maybe start a calendar and write down the days and the goals. The most important part…..get excited!

Do you have a New Year’s resolution for your pet? Are you sticking to them?


Source: The Bulletin