My day with Khumba Ncila

Posted on November 22, 2021
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

This is a quote that has spoken to me for most of my life. I know it to be true, however I never really understood the magnitude of those words until recently. Having grown up with dogs from a very young age, a life without them would not only be incomplete, but unimaginable. The unconditional love that they give is something that we as human beings should strive for and so to see the human side bring as much love to these incredible souls is the most touching moments to be a part of. Khumba Ncila gifted me many of these beautiful moments by inviting me to join them on one of their many incredible outreach campaigns that aims to better the lives of the animals of our surrounding communities.

Khumba Ncila / Touching Tails are a non-profit organization that lend their helping hands to the surrounding communities of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. The incredible people who formed this organization give their support to and educate community members in how to best care for their pets and livestock as well as assist homeless animals in need. Sterilization campaigns are done quarterly with the goal being to control the dog populations within the community villages. Fewer dogs allow more care to be afforded to the current population.

I was fortunate enough to be a part of their final campaign of this year by partaking in the second of a three-day long project. This involved the post-op care of each dog who bought their own light and personality to a very heart-warming day in the Mabarhule local community. Volunteering as a post op “nurse” allowed me to observe the incredible vets at work. The pure love and compassion that they possessed for their patients overwhelmed me with an indescribable joy. Aside from the veterinary team, the other members of the volunteers of Khumba Ncila work endlessly to educate and encourage the community to treat their animals with the love and dignity that they deserve.

Over the course of the day, twenty-nine dogs of all shapes, colours, and sizes made their way through the surgery to match the number of the first day of the campaign. With a half-day project still to take place on the final day, an estimated sixty-six dogs would have been spayed and neutered. This is a big step towards minimizing the overwhelming number of puppies being born into an environment where they cannot receive the care that they need. Khumba Ncila also provide all owners with a brand-new dog lead, food, bowl, and medication to treat their dog’s individual needs.

With so many highlights making up such a special day, it is nigh impossible to decide on just one moment that touch my heart the most. From being the first person that a dog received love from when they woke up to the tails that went one hundred wags a minute when they saw their owner’s coming to take them home; the overall experience with Khumba Ncila / Touching Tails was irreplaceable for a heart that will always beat for these incredible souls.

I want to extend an enormous thank you to Natasha Whyte from Khumba Ncila as well as the outstanding veterinary team and volunteers that give this one-of-a-kind organization its heart. We at Leopard Hills will continue to support this incredible initiative. I went home feeling filled to the brim with gratitude and with my heart touched in so many ways. I look at the world with new eyes, I hug my own dogs a little tighter, and I smile with the knowledge that the beautiful animals of the community have you in their corner.

Written by Megan Rodgers

Photo Credits:
Natasha Whyte (Megan with the Dogs Collection)
Samantha Henning (Owner & Dog reunited)
Megan-Amy Rodgers (Touching Tails Recovery & Blackie)

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