"Valentine's Day has become an extremely commercialised event with people spending large amounts of money on gifts, chocolates and flowers," says Marcelle du Plessis, fundraising and communications manager at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic. 

"This year, we are encouraging people to allow a homeless pet to be their Valentine by sponsoring them and showing them some love," adds du Plessis. "If you're feeling out of love this Valentine's month, head over to Mdzananda's website or Facebook page to meet tail wagging bachelors and bachelorettes that you can sponsor." 

The sponsoring options available to the public include:
  • R50 — fleas and ticks treatment
  • R100 — vaccinations 
  • R200 — food for two weeks
  • R450 — meals for a month
  • R500 — spaying or neutering 
The clinic says that donations received will help the chosen dog or cat until they are able to find permanent homes. "The dogs and cats up for adoption have been at our clinic's shelter facility for weeks or months. Some have gone through a lot of trauma [and are] needing extra love," says du Plessis.

"Mrs Jones, for example, was found by one of our staff. She was wondering around the streets. From what we have found out from the community, the owner had continuously bred her to get numerous puppies. She is skin and bones but friendly and happy to be loved. Another is Pinkie, a friendly pitbull cross who was found with terribly mangey skin and emaciated," adds du Plessis.

Individuals wanting to sponsor a pet for Valentine's Day can visit the clinic' website, contact [email protected] or make a donation using the following details:
  • To — Mdzananda Animal Clinic
  • Bank — Standard Bank
  • Account number — 075595710
  • Branch — Rondebosch
  • Branch Code — 025009
  • Reference — pet's name and your name.
Members of the public are also encouraged to visit Mdzananda this February to meet the dogs and cats. Individuals can walk them, brush them and give them "some extra love this month".

For more information, visit www.mdzananda.co.za. You can also follow the Mdzananda Animal Clinic on Facebook or on Twitter