Photo Credit: Charne Swart

Jack was rescued as a tiny puppy after his mom was bitten by a cobra; he was taken in by an anti-poaching dog trainer and will one day soon help save South Africa’s wildlife.


Hoedspruit, South Africa (08 May 2023) – A volunteer from the Hoedspruit Animal Outreach (HALO) turned a tragic rescue story into one that is warming our hearts! Charne Swart rescued a litter of puppies after their mother had been bitten by a cobra in her efforts to protect them. She took the one-week-old puppies to HALO where they could be cared for until old enough to be adopted out.

HALO is a small NGO dedicated to uplifting the lives of community dogs in the rural communities around Hoedspruit. They vaccinate, sterilise, give free emergency care and rehome unwanted dogs and puppies.

When Charne got the puppies to HALO, they quickly started medical care for them as being so young and without mom, they were already dehydrated. Thankfully, the team of volunteers were able to bring them back to strength and help raise them. One of the puppies, now named Jack, has gone on to become an inspiration!

“Halo has dedicated foster “moms” that step in and help, Jack and siblings were lucky to go to two great foster moms who bottle-fed them until they were on solids and old enough to be homed. Jack was adopted when he was almost 2 months old by Protrack who has a dedicated anti-poaching dog training unit.”

Most times, anti-poaching canines are breed specific but not in Jack’s case. Being adopted by an anti-poaching trainer, Jack was taught basic skills early on and took to every skill with gusto. He quickly showed he had a knack for learning and before long will be receiving the same training as his anti-poaching counterparts.

“He has become part of the family and is loved by everyone. When he reaches the age of 1 year we will start his training. Dogs at the age of 2 are deemed most suitable, as they are able to focus on certain tasks, but do not feel any pressure due to imposed responsibilities.

Jack has already showed great promise and learns quickly, he has an excellent nose so starting him slowly at the age 1 already won’t be a big ask for him. He went from an orphaned puppy to a working dog in training in the first year of his life, just imagine what the rest will look like. The sky is the limit!”

What sets Protrack apart from the industry is that most of the dogs in training are rescues too. This is huge, especially because there are so many intelligent dogs just waiting to be adopted and given the opportunity to shine!

Charne recently took up a position at the training institute and has been in awe of seeing Jack’s progress and how fast he has grown up. When she rescued him, he was only 1 week old, now he is a 6-month-plus ball of love just ready to learn what he can.

“Most of the dogs at Protrack are rescues and they have all either been trained or are currently undergoing training. Our dog handling facilities are excellent, they have big enclosures that are kept clean and they have a beautiful obstacle course that is currently being upgraded.”

“Having dogs join in on our patrols is such an amazing experience for both dog and handler and we have been able to secure many arrests thanks to our fury partners in anti-crime. We hope to in future have a dog and handler present on every patrol.”


Charne encourages people to support Halo as they are based in one of the poorest communities in South Africa and rely on support to help as many dogs as possible. You can find out more about Halo via the website here. You can also find out more about Protrack and the training they offer the public via the website here.

Source: Supplied
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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