About Us

Our Story
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Since 1951

Saving Animals & Finding Homes

NPO: 009 263 / PBO: 930 031 101

our mission

Knysna Animal Welfare Society’s Mission is to provide primary health care, to prevent overpopulation of dogs and cats in our community through education on the responsibilities of pet ownership with the emphasis on sterilisation, to provide a temporary shelter for stray, unwanted or homeless animals, and to maintain a vigorous adoption program that includes health screening, vaccinations and mandatory spay or neutering. All activities are in compliance with the national and municipal laws and regulations and performed by a humane and professional staff.

our objectives
  • To prevent cruelty to animals and to promote animal welfare.
  • To provide a safe haven for lost, stray, abused or neglected animals, or to refer such animals to another appropriate organisation.
  • To find new homes for such animals where they can receive quality care.
  • To provide inspections of premises where animal abuse or neglect has been. reported, provided that lawful authority has been obtained in order to do so. Where appropriate, Inspectors may issue advice and/or warnings to the person(s) responsible for the welfare of animals under their control, and, where necessary, put into motion the confiscation of abused or neglected animals.
  • To promote on-going education on the welfare of animals so as to foster a culture of caring and the humane treatment of animals.
  • To co-operate with Veterinary Surgeons, Veterinary Clinics, other Societies or Associations with similar objectives to achieve our common aims.
  • To pursue such other lawful aims in the field of Animal Welfare as may be determined by the Committee.
  • To provide veterinary care including the performance of surgical procedures through its Veterinary Clinic to the public who qualify for such in terms of the set qualification criteria as determined by the Committee.
  • To establish and maintain animal hospitals and similar undertakings
  • To protect animal and bird life in their natural habitats.
  • To affiliate or join with any other Society in Southern Africa having the same or similar objectives.
  • To manage its resources responsibly and efficiently at all times to support the achievement of its objectives.
where we come from

About KAWS

Knysna Animal Welfare Society (KAWS) was first registered as a welfare organisation on 24 September 1951, and celebrates over 70 years of caring for animals in need, in communities from Sedgefield to Harkerville. Over the years, the society has grown to meet the increasing demands placed on it. Today, KAWS has a staff compliment of twelve dedicated men and women, including a full-time veterinary surgeon . Part-time staff as well as volunteers, from dog walkers to those working in the KAWS charity shop and a myriad of tasks in between, also play a vital role in keeping the wheels turning.

KAWS runs a daily clinic and hospital at their Knysna kennels, offering services to those who cannot afford private care for their companion animals. The society also has three inspectors who are out in the field, providing a 24-hour service, 365 days a year, rescuing and caring for animals in need. They investigate cases of animal cruelty, abuse and neglect, and proactively inspect the condition of domestic animals, ensuring that there is adequate shelter, food and fresh water.

KAWS’ primary focus is on the prevention of overpopulation of dogs and cats through education about the responsibilities of pet ownership, with the emphasis on sterilisation. Mass sterilisation days are held as frequently as possible in the disadvantaged communities. On these days, veterinarians provide their services free of charge, and assisted by the KAWS staff and a large group of volunteers, they sterilise as many as 85 dogs and cats in a single day.

KAWS provides a temporary shelter for stray, unwanted or homeless animals, and maintains a vigorous adoption program in the attempt to rehome as many animals as possible. Space at the kennels is very limited and members of the public who may not be in a position to provide a permanent home for pets, are urged to foster puppies and kittens as well as adult dogs and cats until a ‘forever home’ can be found.

KAWS is a non-profit, self-funded Public Benefit organisation, and raising the funds to keep the society going is an ongoing battle. Much of KAWS’s success can be attributed to the caring public whose all-round support and participation through donations of money and food to the kennels, and of goods to the charity shop, as well as bequests, are the lifeblood of the society.  We are able to issue a Section 18A certificates, so donations to KAWS are fully tax deductible.

What we do


Rescue, rehabilitate, rehome

Our mission is to relieve the suffering of animals.  Your contribution provides homeless and rescued animals with veterinary care under the direction of our veterinarian and veterinary assistants who focus on sterilisation, vaccination, and the treatment of minor injuries and illnesses.

Inspectors & education

We currently have three inspectors working in the area from Harkerville to Sedgefield.

Services offered:
collection of injured, unwanted and stray animals
dipping days in local communities
24-hour emergency on call service
community education


073 461 9825


Knysna Animal Welfare Society offers the following services and facilities:
Safe haven for stray/unwanted animals
Holding kennels open 24 hours

KAWS Clinic

Our veterinary services (see listed below) by our resident veterinarian, Dr Anesca Loots, are available to pets whose owners are on certain means-tested benefits. If you fall into this category, you need to check to see if you are in the catchment area.

Services offered:
minor injuries/surgical procedures
tick and flea treatments


Our KAWS team

Kennel Team

The wonderful team at the kennels under the leadership of the Kennel Manager, Belinda Speed, consists of our superstar veterinarian, Dr. Anesca Loots and her assistants Dirk, Monwa and Wazeem, our three inspectors Helpus, Lastborn and Victor, our efficient office staff Ashra and Raven, Zuzelity in the cattery, our caretaker Marius and, last but not least, our cleaning lady Memory.

Charity Shop Team

Our hardworking team at the shop under leadership of the Shop Manager, Retha Havenga, consists of Leonard, Sailes and our cleaning lady, Memory.

KAWS Staff photo 2022