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Mission & Vision

not-266530TEARS Animal Rescue (The Emma Animal Rescue Society) is one of the country’s leading organisations; its mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home domestic animals, as well as provide veterinary services to local communities.

As a pro-quality of 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.

Located in the False Bay area of the southern Cape Peninsula, we typically serve the communities of Ocean View, Masiphumelele and Red Hill, Mountain View, Capricorn, although we assist animals and guardians throughout the Western Cape when our services are needed.

All the animals in our care have been abandoned, abused or neglected so following rescue, individuals are rehabilitated using best veterinary and animal behavioural practices to prepare them for adoption into new homes. An important part of TEARS’ mission is to re-unite lost animals with their guardians, and carry out a wider programme of veterinary outreach and humane education in our communities, that promotes the responsibility and burden of care we have towards the animals that share our lives.

Our vision is one of continuous improvement and expansion in order to rescue, rehabilitate, re-home, or re-unite every domestic animal that has nowhere else to turn and is in need of a champion.


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 60 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:
Co – Founder & Director – Mrs MA Hoole
Director – Ms B Bresler
Director – Mr I Reid
Director – Ms L Black
Director – Mr D Thompson

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 founder and director, Marilyn Hoole

TEARS founder and director, Marilyn Hoole

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 50 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 Feral Cat Project and a small clinic.