Izelle Marallich, the new chair of Langebaan Animal Care (LAC), aims to uphold the rights of the animals they shelter.
Previous chair, Brett Ellway, recently handed over the LAC reins to Marallich.
Weslander reached out to Marallich to discover her early roots in animal activism and what she hopes to achieve as the new chair.
“I grew up in Durban and matriculated at Afrikaans High Durban North.”
Marallich recalls that she’s always had a true passion for animals.
“I would always be the one taking a stray home and was mocked by my family that no poor animal could go for a walk near our house as I might just think it’s a stray and take it home.”
She adds that as a child she fed cat colonies with her left-over food.
“I could not understand why all these cats had no home or food and why people got angry with me feeding them. I dreamt of one day having a huge hotel just for animals that had no homes so they can be warm and safe and looked after.”
She explains that she wanted to become a vet until she realised she had to euthanise animals as a vet.
“I use to rescue the neglected and lost dogs and cats that came my way and rehomed them. I also fostered a few dogs for animal rescues in Cape Town. But doing something on your own without proper support becomes overwhelming.”
She later decided the take a break from rescuing animals for a few years, until she crossed paths with a LAC volunteer, Linda Rootman, walking one of their shelter dogs last year.
“She inspired me to join her walking the shelter dogs and I haven’t stopped since,” says Marallich.
“There are so many animals that need help in the world and it really can feel overwhelming. But I have realised with a team you can make a difference, maybe not in the world but in your area and that is better than nothing.”
She adds that LAC’s dogs are well looked after and get walked each week by volunteers who give them lots of love and rehabilitation.
When asked what her goals are as the chairperson, she said: “I hope I will be able to continue the good work my predecessors did and just make the organisation stronger. My biggest goal is to open a cat sanctuary as cats are abandoned regularly and we have nowhere for them to go to at the moment.”
“We will also be building a new shelter soon, which we hope the community will support and get involved in,” says Marallich.
”We also need more volunteers. There are a lot of different areas where you can help us. So take the first step and contact us because you can make a difference.”
For information contact Izelle Marallich on 083 790 0653 or visit their website: www.langebaananimalcare.org.
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