Even pugs deserve love


Pugs are a funny breed. Unathletic and alien looking, the flat-faced pooches waddle their way into the hearts of their owners with confident quirkiness. They may well be the most dependent of dogs, so if they end up on the street, lost or abandoned, the situation is particularly dire.

Cheryl Gaw is a pet owner who fell for their charm. Devastated by the realisation that masses of them end up without homes, she founded Pug Rescue South Africa nine years ago. During that time, Gaw and her team have been a safe haven for over 1 500 pugs. Their aim is not merely to house the dogs – Pug Rescue’s mandate is to rehabilitate the injured and eventually rehome each and every animal.

Gaw explains that one of the biggest problems facing pugs in this country is the lack of diversity within the breed’s gene pool: “We see how badly bred pugs are and we see the enormous health challenges that they are facing.” Specialist breeders are needed to take care of this, but until then, Gaw will continue to care for sick pugs. “Every rescued pug deserves to be healthy and to live in a loving home,” she says. Gaw won’t stop until this is the reality for each pug she finds.