The Nelly Story – an Eight Month Journey

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A call was logged at 17h00, a Thursday afternoon on 19 December 2019. Inspector Jeffrey was dispatched to Khayelitsha, Town 3, near the Kuyasa Educare Centre, approximately 34km outside Cape Town CBD via the N2 highway.


Khayelitsha, home to more than half of Cape Towns unemployed, is a partially-informal township in Western CapeSouth Africa, situated on the Cape Flats on the outskirts of Cape Town. It is reputed to be one of the largest and fastest-growing townships in South Africa. The Xhosa name Khayelitsha, translated from one of the eleven official languages in South Africa means New Home. More about Khayelitsha (  


On arrival, Nelly, a Siberian husky weighed just under 17kg and was seriously underweight, healthy Huskies her age weigh approximately 25kg, she was scared, starved and suffering.

Nelly had already endured so much before she arrived at the Cape of Good Hope SPCA. Her owners had left her with a family friend. Sadly, as her untreated mange condition worsened the very man tasked with caring for Nelly attempted to dump her. A passerby saw what was happening and intervened, appalled at what he was witnessing, compelled to help the innocent animal before him. He called the Cape of Good Hope SPCA.


Arrival at the animal hospital
Nelly was admitted to the animal hospital for her initial checkup with the veterinarian. She had till then been left untreated for months – her mange was severe and incredibly painful with an itching raw skin draped over her emaciated frame. If that wasn’t enough, x-rays determined she also suffered a previous leg injury that had been left untreated for an undetermined period. A crooked leg gave her an odd little gait.
The ethical dilemma

Nelly needed high intensive care, love and support with high cost without any guarantees for success. Her clinical prognosis was not good. Her contagious condition posed a threat to other animals, and orthopaedic complications in her leg did not bode well. Her status veered some towards a decision nobody wants to make, the recommendation for an ethical decision, euthanasia. Then they intervened.

The intervention begins

Real love is more than skin-deep. He was shocked when he visited Nelly for the first time in the weeks after her admission, “I couldn’t believe this was the same scared, shy little dog I helped” – said Inspector Jeffery, the inspector who rescued Nelly.


Nelly’s transformation is nothing short of miraculous thanks to the love and treatment she received from dedicated staff who committed to her eight-month journey to recovery.  

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