From Mountain Rescue to the Lap of Luxury

A team effort saves a stranded dog and gives him a home to call his own

In September 2021, a Midlands local’s bike ride turned into a rescue mission when he came across a lost dog on Swartkop mountain near Hilton. Bradley Rudling saw a male German Shepherd huddled about 500m down a steep and rocky hill. 

“He was friendly, but very lost,” Bradley recounted upon approaching the dog, “I noticed that he couldn’t walk very far because he had a bit of a limp.”

Bradley shared his biltong and water with the dog and contacted lost and found pet groups who referred him to our uMngeni SPCA. The poor dog was very thirsty, and finished Bradley’s entire bottle of water. 

Our trainee inspector, Menzi Vilakazi, came out to find the pair at about 6pm. Bradley and the dog waited for over three hours as Menzi tried to locate them in this remote area with poor signal.

Menzi drove as far as he could up the mountain, but part of the road was only accessible by 4×4, so he ended up climbing on foot to reach the dog. 

“At first, I was scared to go up the mountain because I didn’t know what I was going to find. I had to carry the dog because it had a limp.” 

Bradley said on Facebook: “Huge shout out to Inspector Menzi for assisting me tonight with a call into the mountains. Whilst out riding, I came across this stunning male German Shepard and with no way to transport him back to a warm bed and safety. I called upon Menzi to come to the rescue. Approximately 25 minutes along a dirt road to the top of Swartkop mountain and roughly 500m down a steep rocky hill, Menzi came to the rescue. Huge shout out to the team over at uMngeni SPCA for a speedy response.”

Jock on the mountain 

After being brought to the SPCA, the dog was fed and examined by our Vet. He had very bad teeth and both his hips were significantly compromised.

We estimated the dog to be about six years old. He must have belonged to someone at some point because he was very tame. However, even after being featured in local news and on various Facebook groups, no owner came forward. 

After two weeks without any sign of an owner, we put out an appeal for a special home for our Swartkop rescue dog. Because of his special needs, he needed someone who could keep him on anti-inflammatories and treat him with love and patience for the rest of his life.

Not long after being put up for adoption, our special rescue boy was adopted! He is now called Jock.

The person who adopted him (who didn’t wish to be named) was willing and able to meet his special medical needs. According to his adoptive ‘angel’, Jock fitted right in to the family—what a lucky boy! From sleeping out in the open, with no water, food or comfort, he is now all tucked up in bed with a jersey when there is bad weather and gets all the cuddles and love he could ever want. 

We’d like to thank everyone who went out of their way to give this boy a second chance and the happy home that is meant just for him, with special thanks to Menzi and Bradley Rudling. 

This is what makes what we do worthwhile.

Thank you to the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet programme and everyone who has chosen us as a beneficiary so that we can keep saving dogs like Jock. 


Jock in his new home 

Tin & Trolley drive

Look out for our tin and trolley drive in Hilton and Howick this weekend. Any donations of food, blankets or cash will be appreciated!

Taytum and Deanne Goddard do special!

Calves Tied Down On Bakkie.


Hilton College Donation


Every SPCA’s primary function is not Homing Animals it is Preventing Cruelty. However we do re-home animals that have been rescued by us or relinquished to us if we judge them to be potentially good family pets.  We are extremely selective over who may adopt which animals from us. We want to be as certain as possible that the new owners will provide their adopted animals with a loving home for life.

We endeavour to maintain a watching brief over all our adopted animals which is why our animals may not be re-homed outside our area of jurisdiction unless another SPCA agrees to take on responsibility for those animals. We do not re-home pets to areas where there is no SPCA to undertake this monitoring role.

We encourage people from within our area to adopt an animal from us when they have made a conscious decision to get a new pet. Photos and profiles of the animals available are posted on our website and in the local weekly newspaper.

Pictures of cute kittens and adorable puppies with heartrending stories being circulated to thousands of “friends” amounts to emotional blackmail.  Many feel they must “save” these animals.  The animals in our care have, in fact, already been saved by the SPCA – now they are waiting for just the right people to visit the SPCA specifically looking for just the right pet to join their family.

Facebook and other social networking groups are great tools for promoting the SPCA cause but not, in our opinion, for the important and serious task of re-homing our precious animals.


Thank You Tea for SPCA Centre Volunteers

All Creatures Matter

Saying NO to Fireworks