What we do

25 years of making a difference. Find out how your support changes lives.

A registered non-profit organisation, TEARS Animal Rescue is one of the country’s leading animal welfare organisations.



Our mission is to provide a sanctuary for companion animals in need, striving to end homelessness, neglect and abuse in the communities we serve through medical assistance, humane education, rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming.

We believe we can do this by fostering a partnership approach through individual and corporate giving, and by working together with community and animal welfare groups to create a better world with compassion and understanding towards animals.

Together we CAN make a difference.

Our Footprint

Veterinary Service

Free sterilisations and subsidised healthcare for low-income communities.

Mobile Animal Clinic

Collects and returns animals in need of treatment and sterilisation as well as abandoned, homeless, injured and abused animals. Provides vaccination and parasite control management in low-income communities daily.


Up to 150 cats in our care. Maternity Wing. Feral Cat Sterilisation Project.


Dog and Puppy rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming - up to 100 dogs in our care.

The Communities We Serve

Ocean View


11:30 to 12:30: Police Station 



2pm: Green Apostolic Church Overcome Heights 



2pm: Berg Street, next to Taxi Rank



10:00 to 11:00, Pokela Road (next to the clinic)



11:00 C Camp Old Clinic

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Our History

How it all started

TEARS Animal Rescue's mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home domestic animals, as well as provide veterinary services to local communities.

As a pro-life, registered, non-profit organisation, we rely on the support of caring individuals and corporates to assist us in fulfilling our mission to bring relief to animals in distress, whether through intervention, education, medical assistance or rehoming.

Emma Geary-Cooke
Emma Geary-Cooke

The seeds that would eventually grow into TEARS Animal Rescue were planted when three women – Emma Geary-Cooke, Joan Bown and Marilyn Hoole – visited Masiphumelele with a bucket of tick dip and a packet of de-worming tables. It was the desperate state of the dogs and cats they found in this impoverished area that motivated the women to begin to dream of starting an organisation that would alleviate the suffering of the animals they were trying to help, but on a much larger and more effective scale.

Tragically, Emma was killed in a car accident. Devastated but undaunted, Joan and Marilyn were determined to carry Emma’s dream forward. In January 1999 The Emma Animal Rescue Society (TEARS) was established in her memory.

At this time the plight of domestic animals in Masiphumelele had reached a crisis point. Mange was rife and many animals were skeletal – their guardians living in abject poverty, sometimes unable to feed themselves. De-worming, vaccinations and sterilisation were unheard of. Female dogs suffered from malnutrition and were unable to feed their puppies; many died.

TEARS had started a clinic in Masiphumelele by March 1999, treating animals for fleas, mange and tick infestation. Food parcels were handed out. Animals needing veterinary attention and sterilisation were identified and arrangements made to have them treated by local vets.

Founder, Marilyn, says, “We began to accumulate unwanted and stray animals and desperately needed facilities in which to house them. We began to rent kennels in Ottery for our rescued dogs. Cats, kittens and puppies were housed at the home of a TEARS’ committee member in Muizenberg, which also served as TEARS Headquarters.”

TEARS was later able to move to rented premises in Sunnydale and has grown into an established and sustainable non-profit organisation with a compliment of over 73 staff caring for around 300 dogs and cats on site at any given time.

Wenga Farm, bought by the organisation in 2007, houses the TEARS Cattery, its boarding facility, the Community Cat Project and a small clinic.

TEARS founder and director, Marilyn Hoole
TEARS founder and director, Marilyn Hoole

It is the responsibility of the Board – all of whom serve on a voluntary basis – to guide strategy and objectives around TEARS’ survival and long-term sustainability. TEARS employs around 73 permanent members of staff who are assisted by our dedicated volunteer team who freely give of their time and skills to walk our dogs, socialise our cats, and help out at fundraising events.


Board Members:

Marilyn Hoole (Co-Founder & Director)

Ian Reid (Director)

Bev Peetz (Director)

Mary-Anne Greisdorfer (Director)