Happy Birthday, Nandi!

NANDI, THE animal charity shop in Lagos, will be celebrating its 10th anniversary on July 20. The charity was originally founded in 1996 by John and Dorreen Pitelan, who had so many stray dogs and cats turn up on their doorstep, that they realised something had to be done.

The couple decided to open a small charity shop in Espiche on Saturdays and Sundays, to try to raise money to provide care and sterilisation costs for the abandoned creatures. The first dog they rescued was called ‘Nandi’ and it is after her that the charity shop was named.

After four years, the original shop moved to the Espiche campsite, where it went from strength to strength. The opening hours were extended to several days a week and more people volunteered to help. In April 2002, the Nandi Fund became a registered charity.

It was with great dismay that the shop was compelled to close in May the following year, when the campsite was sold. By this time, many animals were dependant on the funding from the shop to provide them with food and shelter. The shop remained closed for four months until new premises were located.

The charity shop is now located near the “Ship” roundabout in Lagos, near to the Galp petrol station and Tourist Office. A wide variety of goods can be found at the shop, and donations of good quality clothing, household goods, furniture, books, and many other items, are always welcome. Nandi is able to collect items from your home if you wish.

Last year, after the sad death of cat-lover, Rhona, the Nandi Fund took on the responsibility of feeding the “Ferry Cats” on the riverbank opposite the centre of Lagos. There, a colony of cats has found a safe place to live and are visited daily by representatives from the Nandi Fund, who aim to sterilise the homeless animals and to give them food and fresh water each day. When you realise that each unspayed female cat is capable of producing no less than 70 kittens in her lifetime – and then, of course, her female kittens will also be producing kittens in their lifetime – it’s an awful lot of unwanted cats!

If you are able to help with the feeding of the “Ferry Cats” or any other aspect of the Nandi Fund, please contact Maureen on 282 762 248, Ron on 282 997 382 or Gill on 964 240 091. The shop is open from 10am to 4pm, everyday, and volunteers are always welcome.