“The greatness of a nation and it’s moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”

Our History

The history of Hermanus Animal Welfare Society

Can you believe we have been helping the lost, sick and abused animals of Hermanus since 1969. Improvements have been taking place continually which have enabled us to provide a safe haven for the animals in our care.

The Society was founded by Lynne Penver and friends, Marjorie Wallace, Maureen Poole and Tiny Cloete. They realised even then that there was a need to provide care for neglected, lost and sick animals. Initially they cared for the animals in their own homes, paying the costs themselves.

Purchase of land and first buildings constructed

In 1983, land was purchased in the industrial area at 4 Steenbras Street and the first buildings were constructed. By 1984, Cyril Schaeffer, the then Chairman of HAWS, realised that expert veterinary care was needed and so HAWS started transporting the sick animals to the nearest veterinary clinic, then in Caledon. Later, the vet in Caledon then travelled once a week to Hermanus to attend to our sick animals.

This continued until 1992 when, due to the growing demand in Hermanus, a deal was made with  the veterinarian, Dr Russel Reuvers, to treat the HAWS animals on site. He closed his practice in Caledon and transferred his clinic to the HAWS premises in Hermanus. This continued until 2012 when due to increasing costs, the agreement was legally terminated. HAWS sent out a tender to all the local veterinary practices asking them to submit their proposals and prices.

In the interim, a mobile service was set up, operating from the back of our animal ambulance. Staff from the kennels visited the Townships giving general animal health advice, vaccinations, flea treatment and dipping. Appointments were made for animals requiring sterilization and very sick animals were taken to the kennels for further care.

Opening of the first HAWS clinic

In order to provide a better and more cost-effective service to the people living with low incomes in the Hermanus area, a decision was made to open our own HAWS Clinic. In June 2013, the clinic doors were officially opened, thereby enabling us to help many more needy pets and more importantly, to also increase the number of sterilizations, helping to reduce the continual increase of litters.  It also allowed us to provide much needed education to the people and to improve the lives of many of the needy animals in Hermanus.

The Hermanus Animal Welfare Society Charity Shop

The first Charity Welfare Shop was originally located in Long Street in Hermanus and was run by Marigold Michel. The volunteers manning the shop referred to it as “The Black Hole”. The building was demolished in 1985 and we were then forced to seek alternate premises.  A lease agreement was entered into with the Overstrand Municipality and the HAWS Town Charity Shop moved to 18 Mitchell Street in the CBD, our existing premises where you will still find us today.

Despite Covid and the slump in the economy, a decision was made in 2020 to open a second HAWS Charity Shop. We were fortunate in securing leased premises at the prominent Gateway Centre and the shop was officially opened in October 2020. The decision proved to be a vary good one as the Gateway HAWS Charity Shop is doing very well, offering a great service to many customers from Zwelihle, Mt. Pleasant and Hawston.

The town shop grew from strength to strength. So much so, it became very apparent that a larger shop was desperately needed. The shop was extended in 2022 and customers now have a much bigger and brighter shop to browse through. A new addition to the HAWS family is our warehouse in Mimosa Street. It is from this depot where all our donations are sorted and securely stored, ready to be distributed to the two shops