Whenever there is a desperate dog tied to a post or a starving stray wandering around, there is only one person to call – Dr Dolittle.
So what do dogs tell her?
“Just give me love and stop hurting me,” she exclaims.
Table View’s 52-year-old Cheryl-lyn Potgieter (aka Dr Dolittle) can’t really speak to animals, but she can certainly speak up for them.
“They just want to be accepted,” says Cheryl-lyn.
This Table View Neighbourhood Watch volunteer sometimes gets calls in the middle of the night to respond to an animal in distress, but her warm bed is never keeps her from rushing to the animal’s help.
Just last week TygerBurger published a photo of Daisy, who had gone missing near Koeberg Reserve, and readers responded in droves to point Potgieter in the right direction.
The scared and highly-strung Daisy ran away from her foster home and was spotted on the beach front near Melkbosstrand.
At the time of going to press, the dog had not been captured, but she has apparently become big news in Duynefontein.
Daisy is just one of the many animals Dr Dolittle has saved from the harsh injustices of the world.
She, along with animal anti-cruelty unit’s Inspector Luke Keyser and the SPCA, will not rest until every dog lives a dog’s life.
“If it wasn’t for the neighbourhood watch and all the people and organisations that help me then I would not be able to do this,” she says.
Her list of “thank you’s” is almost as long as the one with all the animals on that she rescued.
When her phone rings she dreads the possibility that some animal has been tied up somewhere or another might have been run over.
But no matter what gruesome sight she might be facing when she arrives, Potgieter perseveres.
“I will handle the dogs others think are too vicious. Just the other day there was a Border Collie in a squatter camp that bit a vagrant. The dog was apparently chained every day. It was put down the other day,” she adds with disgust.
“I have no time for humans! There is nothing I wouldn’t do for an animal. Poor animals are put down for how humans treat them.”
The hair raising stories she has to tell make one wonder why she does it on a voluntary basis, but for every sad story there is a happy one.
“There are so many with happy endings! One time at 06:30 I heard on the neighbourhood watch radio that a vagrant had just stolen a Boerbull and an Alsatian. Boy oh boy! I jumped out of bed and was in the middle of the road a few minutes later. I caught the guy! The Alsatian had a skin problem, so we took her to a vet.
“When the owner came to pick up the dogs I said that we do have a foster home for the sick Alsatian if he doesn’t want it anymore. He surrendered the dog and today he is as happy as can be! You should see that dog today, oh, he is so beautiful,” she says passionately.
Potgieter has seven of her own dogs and despite her calling in life she still manages to give each one the attention they deserve.