Since its inception, Dogtown has rehomed 1 022 dogs and is currently working with 150 dogs and two cats with the ultimate goal of rehoming them.

“We are often thought of as the last chance for misunderstood and abused dogs and, while that is true, our real purpose is to work with the dogs in our care so that they may be paired with a family and leave the shelter, making space for another abandoned dog,” says Dogtown founder Tracy McQuarrie.

“The 1 022 dogs that have been adopted from Dogtown were adopted by people who were carefully matched with the right dogs, dogs that match their lifestyle. These pet lovers also adopted them knowing so much about them from their time and enrichment at Dogtown,” says Tracy.

Tracy’s motto is ‘save more lives’ and she believes that we don’t need more animals coming into the world. Instead of buying a puppy, we need to save the ones that we have already brought into the world.

Pets are a lifetime commitment and you can and should commit to a dog by adopting your pet from a shelter such as Dogtown.

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Tracy’s journey saving lives started with a website, and a click-to-feed programme that has donated around 6 000 000 bowls of food over the past ten years. The programme currently distributes over 60 000 bowls of food to rescue centres around the country.

It was after a visit to Best Friends Animal Society in the USA that Tracy set up the local animal shelter, based on the Best Friends concept

Dogtown is situated on a 50-hectare farm where each day the 34 staff work on caring and enriching the lives of the dogs in their care. The dogs have spacious gardens and pre-made houses in a layout called Octagons, which were built with sponsorship from Yankee Candle, Montego Pet Nutrition, My School and private donors.

Apart from the Octagons, whose happy-go-lucky residents are available for adoption, there is also Shady Pines Retirement Village for the pensioner dogs, Thunderville for dogs with noise phobias or who are scared of thunder, and a dedicated rehabilitation area where accredited trainers and behaviourists work with misunderstood dogs daily, helping them to work through their fears and issues.

The website,, is rated the number one animal website in SA by Alexa

Barking Mad’s Facebook profile has 102 453 followers who share and network missing dogs and those ready for adoption. The newly created Dogtown Facebook page already has nearly 8 000 followers. Find the page at Facebook/dogtownsa