Patience is key

In my own words …

Volunteer Tracy shares her heart-warming story about her personal experience at the Sandton SPCA

Clara, a gorgeous, loving and gentle black five-year-old female labrador/staffie crossbreed, came into the SPCA extremely nervous and would not allow anyone into her kennel in the beginning because she was scared. On the day she moved to adoptions and I visited her in her kennel, she nipped my hand out of fear – but as I gazed into her eyes, I saw she was afraid and knew that love and affection would gain her trust.

Over several weeks, it took many little steps to gain Clara’s trust. It started off with us sitting in her kennel just talking to her and feeding her treats. Then we were able to take Clara out for regular walks . . . and slowly, a more happy and confident Clara emerged.


Each day when Linda and myself would come to volunteer, Clara would get so excited to see us – and the feeling was mutual, of course!

When Clara was adopted by a special family, we were concerned as Clara had only bonded with Linda and I and was not yet comfortable with people who she did not know. Thankfully, her new family soon had faith and believed that Clara would learn to trust them.

The day Clara was due to go home, she didn’t want to leave the SPCA as that had become her safety blanket. It took over an hour to coax Clara into her adopter’s car.

In the days after Clara went home, Clara’s new family were extremely patient but they were concerned that she wouldn’t allow them to touch her and she was too afraid to come inside the house.


When they called me for advice, I recommended that they give Clara time to settle and allow her to adjust to her new surroundings even if it meant that she chose to sleep outside. Clara was curious to come inside the house and one day, she plucked up the courage to pop her head into the house but ran out again shortly after. Slowly, the family saw signs of improvement as Clara also started to allow her new family to occasionally stroke her.

It was only on day seven that Clara finally felt comfortable enough to come inside the house and sleep indoors, along with her two other fur-baby siblings.

Love and patience transformed a fearful Clara – and it all started at the Sandton SPCA, and with the support of animal lovers like you.