In January 2021, we donated ZAR7,500 to the African Wildlife College K9 Unit, to assist with their dogs veterinary fees. Their target was to cover vet fees for their 35 dogs at R400 per dog over 12 months, which they succesfully managed to achieve, ensuring all 35 of K9 heroes are now covered!
The aim of the AWC K9 unit is to develop canine capabilities in tracking dogs and free-running packs to combat wildlife crime. The unit was established in 2015 in response to the rising levels of wildlife crime. Rhino poaching in the Greater Kruger in particular called for increased efforts from conservation management teams, which required deploying more Field Rangers with specially trained dogs. Using dogs – both on-leash with handlers and off-leash as free running packs (the Taxan hounds)– proved to be a game changer as part of the anti-poaching toolkit and continues to be incredibly effective in helping to combat wildlife crime. In 2018, Texan-born & trained high speed tracking dogs joined the unit. Between February 2019 and July 2021, the hounds were deployed 167 times with 97 successes.
These incredible working dogs require a great deal of training and care to ensure they are able to operate at their optimal levels. Over the last few months we have seen a resurgence in rhino poaching in the greater Kruger area. We will continue to do everything we can to support counter poaching efforts so that we are able to make a difference in this ongoing scourge. Thank you for helping us and this K9 unit, especially the free running tracking dogs who have been the game changer in the fight to protect rhinos!
Our heartfelt thanks to each and every one who donated to support these special pooches.
To learn more about how this K9 unit support anti poaching, check out this video HERE.