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The De Rust Animal Health Trust



Photo by Alvesgaspar - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, by Alvesgaspar - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, De Rust Animal Health Trust was originally formed in September, 2007 by a concerned group of De Rust residents in order to assist the wider community in maintaining and caring for the health of their animals. This is particularly the case in the poorer communities such as Blomnek where in many cases owners do not have the financial ability in order to care for their animals adequately.


As a concerned community organization we strongly believe that this effort deserves the wholehearted support of the wider De Rust community in assisting with donations of both cash and pet products.  Our local vet Dr. Garth Ryder has over the years been very supportive in providing either free or subsidized services to those pet owners requiring assistance.  However, in these tight economic times the demands have grown significantly and now require a much wider range of community support.


Attached below is a short summary of the work carried out by the "De Rust Animal Health Trust" since its inception as well as its banking details. We believe that all donations, both large and small, will greatly assist the Trust in carrying out its mandate of assisting all owners in maintaining and promoting a better understanding of what is required in order to ensure that their pets are both healthy and happy.  Please assist us in this worthy cause. 


Donations: We are encouraging interested individuals and organisations to make donations to this important community effort either on a regular monthly or annual basis.  All contributions will be greatly appreciated.   


Banking Details: De Rust Animal Health  Standard Bank Oudtshoorn  Branch Code: 050514 Account #: 187341443 





Some Historical Facts 


De Rust is a lovely picturesque village situated in the heart of the Klein Karoo at the entrance to Meiringspoort, a magnificent river gorge cutting through the towering Groot Swartberg Mountains.  As is frequently the case in small rural villages, there is the sad problem of neglect and mistreatment of animals.  The causes are mostly due to poverty and ignorance, with some cases of cruelty.  Many people see the need to have animals, yet they are negligent in understanding the animal’s needs.  Frequently they do not have the means to reasonably feed themselves, let alone their animals.



Out of the love of animals and sincere empathy with and concern for the welfare of deprived family animals, the De Rust Animal Health Trust was conceived.  The individual voluntary efforts of the local Vet and a local farm resident culminated in collaboration and a combination of forces that ultimately led to the formation of the Trust in September 2007 (a not-for-profit organisation). 



  • The prime focus of the Trust is to enhance the living conditions and health of dogs and cats belonging to the local poorer community. 
  • Cooperation of the animal’s owners is obtained through explaining and educating them on the basic needs of the animals.  This enables the provision of basic medical assistance and improved conditions with shelter and water. 
  • Food is provided in essential cases, but the ideal is to educate the owner on their responsibilities towards the animals. 
  • Preventative treatment such as deworming and vaccinations is provided.
  • Emergency treatment in cases of illness or injury is given.
  • The aim of the Trust is that no animal should be denied treatment due to a lack of funds.
  • Sterilisation of the animals is also provided to try and reduce indiscriminate breeding and an overpopulation of animals.
  • The re-homing of animals where appropriate 



The Team is made up of the following members: 

  • Sue Harriss a local farm resident, who carries out extensive field work and some primary healthcare with the animals
  • Dr Garth Ryder the local Vet, who provides materials, expertise, treatment, the use of his facilities and field work
  • Lee-Ann van Sittert and Elmarie Swiegers from Animal Care Team in Oudtshoorn
  • Samuel Snyman - Clinic Assistant
  • Diane McLean a local artist, who looks after the administration and bookkeeping and
  • Alice Le Roux an Oudtshoorn based practising accountant, who looks after the accounts and governance of the Trust.

 The Trustees are Diane, Sue and Alice. 



As at October 2018, the following has been achieved:

  • Sterilisations:  approximately 500 dogs and 600 cats.
  • Emergency treatment of numerous animals injured as a result of neglect, abuse or motor accidents.  In some cases orthopaedic surgery was carried out.
  • Treatment and rehabilitation of injured wildlife such as various types of buck, tortoises, baboons, wild hares and birds of prey.
  • Ongoing treatments of dogs and cats, especially for mange, which is prevalent in the area.  Free shampoo and dip is provided when requested.
  • Vaccinations: parvo and distemper are an ongoing problem so whenever possible, young animals are vaccinated against these diseases.
  • Shelters:  numerous shelters have been provided for dogs kept in the open to help against the extreme climatic conditions of the area.  And, a number of animals now have running lines in place of stakes and short chains, with some running free in fenced areas.
  • Re-Homing:  Numerous Border Collies, through the SPCA and Border Collie Rescue in Gauteng, and several mongrel puppies and kittens as well as cats, locally and as far afield as Prince Albert, Port Alfred and Knysna.


For More Information Contact Us:  Diane 082 297 6977   Garth 083 417 4251   e-mail:  


De Rust 

October, 2018