Queenstown Nelspruit Swellendam Heidi Dog SPCA Rabies Thanks pup
Photo Credit: Blue Bird from Pexels

Heidi’s story and Joe’s heroics have made headlines for bringing the community of Clarens together; the Cluny Animal Trust shared a happy update about the pair.


Clarens, South Africa (13 March 2023) – Last week, the Cluny Animal Trust shared the heartwarming story of Heidi, the stray dog that was found after howling in the mountains. Out of fear, she bit her rescuer Joe, but this week, both are on the mend.

The Clarens community WhatsApp groups were ablaze with concerned citizens last week who were reporting the sound of a howling dog in the mountains. The community launched a rescue mission and after several hours, she was found waiting on a cliff face. Local resident, Joe took his dogs up and spent several hours tracking Heidi, who was named after her rescue for being found in the mountains.

Joe spent a good amount of time sitting near her, speaking softly and coaxing her off the cliff face she had perched herself on. When she was brave enough to venture closer to him, he was able to slip a lead around her neck. This startled the poor dog and she returned his deed with a frightened nip of his hand. Undisturbed by the nip, Joe led her back down the mountain and to the safety of the Cluny Animal Trust team that had been in Clarens for a clinic outreach.

The Cluny Animal Trust team had attempted to secure a rabies vaccine for Joe through the state vet however, there was no stock available. According to the team, the community contributed towards the vaccine which Joe was then able to access through private medical care.

Joe has since completed his four vaccinations against Rabies. This was done as a precaution as Cluny had no medical history for Heidi. Heidi has been confined to quarantine since her rescue until it can be certain she doesn’t have Rabies. Her quarantine ends on the 14th of March 2023, so things are looking good!

The Cluny Animal Trust shared the update this morning, stating that they were blown away by how the story was making headlines both locally and internationally, after being featured on Good Things Guy.

They shared that a few things were still up in the air. Someone had come forward to claim Heidi but after the Trust requested proof of ownership, the person switched off their phone and has been unreachable since. The team will keep her until she is reunited with her family, or is classed as a stray and adopted out to a forever home.

While she waits for all the legalities, she has been healing well. The wound on her leg is looking very good and soon she will be spayed to prevent her from having any more unwanted litters.

“She will remain in isolation until tomorrow morning, which will be slightly more that 7 days since she arrived at our clinic. From there we will need to work on her confidence as she is a very small and scared little dog, thankfully she has been able to interact with Jan (he is vaccinated against Rabies) and although she is quite timid, she does seem to understand and respond to a gentle tone and a kind hand. She LOVES laying and rolling around on the grass, which makes us think she has been kept in terrible circumstances before she got stuck on the mountain, after the zoomies, she loves nothing more than a patch of grass in the warm sun.”

It is clear that Heidi is in need of some TLC so the team has planned to keep her for a time, so they can make sure she leaves them as a whole and happy hound.

“Some time at our clinic, with our team and our pack of calm and relaxed clinic dogs will do wonders for her and we have also been chatting about bringing in a local dog trainer to work with her. This little girl just needs, time, space and love, which we will make sure she gets in abundance!

As Heidi, will probably stay for us for a little while, if you would like to donate any funds towards her ongoing care, then we would really appreciate that. Please could you use HEIDI as a reference, so that we can tag any donations directly to her care.”

Many have reached out wanting to contribute to her care. The Cluny Animal Trust welcomes any donations which can be sent via direct deposit using the details below.

Cluny Animal Trust
Standard Bank
Account Number – 035 278 846
Branch – Bethlehem (055033)
Swift Code – SBZAZAJJ

“If you do donate, please would you send your proof of donation to imogen@clunyanimaltrust.co.za as we would love the opportunity to say thank you! Of course, if you prefer to remain anonymous, we understand that too”

Sources: Cluny Animal Trust
Don’t ever miss the Good Things. Download the Good Things Guy App now on Apple or Google
Have something to add to this story? Please share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens, or share your good news with us by clicking here or click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to, and he truly believes there’s good news around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:

Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll leave you feeling a little more proudly South African.

Facebook Comments

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *