One home. 100 pets. And a lifetime devoted to change


There was a stage in Angi Smit’s life when there were 111 animals in her home. No, she’s not a hoarder. She’s a woman whose unconditional love has prompted her to rescue and rehabilitate creatures in need. Smit takes in pigs, donkeys, cats, dogs, goats, horses, ducks, raccoons – you name it. With a preposterously big heart, she’s on a mission to provide a home for as many animals as possible.

Running an animal shelter isn’t the polygraph tester’s full-time job, but her rescue operation has been active for seven years. Her work with animals stems from childhood passion. This wasn’t something Smit planned on, and it comes with its own challenges. The majority of her earnings goes towards keeping her creatures healthy, paying for their food, veterinary costs, and a roof over their heads. As the number of animals in her care grows, so does her need for more space. Smit tries to rehome as many as she can, but the more difficult cases – pigs are hard to find appropriate homes for – remain in her safe hands.

Smit’s shelter is a constant mingling of wildlife, exotic creatures, and farm and domestic animals. She provides each species with the right care, along with grass, shade, and comfort. Smit also works with a local veterinary clinic, who inform her of any animal in need of rescue. “As challenging as it’s been, I do not have a day’s regret about the work that I do,” Smit says, “and I will continue to do it for as long as I live.” For that, South African animal lovers can be grateful.