In my native South Africa, a wonderful effort is made to create awareness for Women and Child abuse as well as HIV. Sadly, animal rescue and probably more importantly, education on how to care for domestic animals, is not on top of the priority list. In fact, it is very low on the list.
This fact, fueled by Hazel’s deep love for animals and her admiration for the generous souls that run shelters and ‘deal with the stress of animals every day, in addition to the financial stress of running shelters that rely 100% on donations’ was a huge contributing factor to Hazel starting ten10.
As you read this, Hazel is most likely running around doubling up on her training run to also serve as a ‘lost animal search & rescue’ in her surrounding neighborhoods. Yes, you read that right. While getting her mileage in for her ten10 campaign, where she will run 900 km over 10 days, with the last 90 km’s being the Comrades Marathon, she also searches for lost dogs (that she became aware of via their small community group consisting of four magnificent ladies).
These runs are done while being followed by a support car, with the sole purpose of the car being to put the animals in once found, and to transport pamphlets to distribute (paid for out of their own pockets) in the event that they can’t find the animal(s).
“God puts me in the right place at the right time”, and with those words I could feel my ears warm up with Hazel’s bright smile over the phone over 14 000km away.
If you happen to drive around the suburb of Primrose in Johannesburg, South Africa one day, and you see a woman running frantically searching under bushes and in drains, followed by a car with a female driver looking to capture something, don’t worry – they are professionals!
Maybe just give them a nod and a wave and say “Heroes, we salute you!”.