Although we are living in difficult times, we can proudly say that Durban is a city that cares. If you want to judge the compassion and empathy of people, have a look at how they treat the most vulnerable – domestic pets.
What is Empathy?
Empathy is feeling what others feel. Empathy is the ability to not only detect what others feel but also to experience that emotion yourself. When we empathise, we ‘feel into’ others and understand how they feel.
We do this with other humans when we are able to imagine ourselves in their position. We also do it with non -humans – with animals, especially our pets.
Anybody who has cared for a cat or a dog or a rabbit will understand their excitement when it gets around to dinner time, boredom when its owners have been away for too long, pain when they stand on a thorn. We smile at a bunch of squealing fat puppies tumbling over each other on the lawn and feel sadness at the gorilla in a cage at the Zoo. This is empathy.
Why do Humans Keep Pets?
Pets cost time and money, and nowadays bring little in the way of material benefits but for most owners pets are not a luxury but an integral and deeply loved part of the family.
We keep pets for company, for comfort and to teach children to be kind and compassionate.
Research says genetics might help explain why a love of animals is something some people just don’t get. We know that not all societies have a tradition of pet-keeping.
Compassion for Pets in Durban
Here in Durban, we have a DNA of care and compassion for our furry friends. So, when Household Plastic recently ran a competition on Facebook to spread some love to our furry friends this winter, we had a huge response.
The Prize was a R1000 Household Plastic Voucher plus R1000 donation to the winner’s favourite Durban based animal rescue charity/organization.
The winner was Ora Leonie Hendriks who generously gifted her R1000 winning voucher to Animal Antics Pet Rescue NPC 2017/659120/08. Animal Antics received a R2000.00 donation from us.
Animal Antics: “We are the voice for the voiceless. We are Based in Bothas Hill KZN and we Rescue, raise funds and re-home lost or abandoned animals. Our passion is the animals.”
It was inspiring yet heartbreaking reading about the incredible work done for our furry friends and seeing the number of nominated charities and organisations. The only way we could choose a winner was to put all the nominated charities in a hat and pick one out, as every single one is a deserving winner.
Durban Animal Care and Rescue Organisations
Amongst the animal rescue and care organizations mentioned in our Facebook competition were:
- A number of SPCA branches
- KZN Valley Dogs
- Bunnville Rabbit Rescue
- Kzn Critters Rescue and rehome
- Bark angel
- Sables Creatures
- Phoenix Animal Care and Treatment
- Kitty Care Durban
- Feeding the Furballs
- Humans Helping Animals
Please look them up on Facebook. You may be able to help.
Connection with Nature
By the ways, the same Study on Pets and humans “shows that affection for pets goes hand-in-hand with concern for the natural world. It seems that people can be roughly divided into those that feel little affinity for animals or the environment, and those who are predisposed to delight in both, adopting pet-keeping as one of the few available outlets in today’s urbanised society.
As such, pets may help us to reconnect with the world of nature from which we evolved.