The College’s K9 unit continues to be a game changer for conservation teams across the Greater Kruger working to stem the tide of rhino poaching.
With support from its donors, the SAWC has pioneered an approach to combat rhino poaching that combines well-trained field rangers and the addition of free-running canine assets. The result is that anti-poaching successes on the ground have increased from 3 – 5 % without a canine asset, to over 60% with the use of both on-leash and free-running dogs.
Keeping the dogs healthy and in peak condition is of paramount importance, especially given the challenging circumstances in which the dogs work. While every effort is made to keep the dogs safe and healthy at all times, they operate in the Greater Kruger National Park, and are exposed to all the dangers present in this environment.
“Adding tracker dogs to the field ranger teams has really changed the game, but as their successes increase, so do the risks they face. This is why the College needs ongoing support, including a medical healthcare fund for these valuable, hard working dogs,” notes SAWC CEO, Theresa Sowry.
The College is appealing to people to sponsor a healthcare fund for its dogs. This medical healthcare fund will cover both routine check-ups, occasional illness and injuries, and emergency situations. It costs R5000 per year, per dog and the College has 35 dogs on site.
“If you love wildlife and dogs and can help us cover the cost of vet bills for our hardworking hounds, you can rest assured, given how effective our dogs are in the field, that you’re supporting the most effective anti-poaching asset there is,” says trainer Johan van Straaten.
We are the only applied training facility in South Africa where K9 unit training happens in tandem with real operational experience, whilst testing for best practice. Our dogs are frequently deployed in the Kruger National Park and its associated private nature reserves, which is home to the largest concentration of rhinos on the planet. The accredited K9 Unit trains both rangers and dogs in the disciplines needed to assist in the detection and apprehension of poachers.
It is only thanks to generous donors and supporters like [insert] that the K9 unit has been able to grow and continue innovating in training and equipping its K9 heroes to perform at their best. As we head into the festive season, the dogs will be working as hard as ever; your support will mean that they’ll always be able to access the care they need when they need it.
It will take you less than 5 minutes to set up your free fundraiser page on GivenGain.
Search for the Southern African Wildlife College charity page and choose the K9 Unit Healthcare Fund as your charity project.
Create your project page for the K9 Unit Healthcare Fund campaign – we have made this easy for you with a specially designed Fundraiser Toolkit!
You have access to all the information you could need about the project to share with and inform your network to help you muster up their support to protect our working dogs! Simply load the images and copy and paste the wording supplied, or feel free to make it your own.
Step 4 – Share it with the world!
Share your project with friends, family, colleagues, dog lovers, fellow conservationists – anyone who loves our natural world and wants to help conserve it!
We have also added some suggested social media posts to the toolkit with images to use to help you promote the campaign.
Be sure to use our hashtags –