Lily taking Helen for a walk in the park…
While the picture above shows Lily just being a dog and running around with her mom in the park, eight years ago, she was as close to death as a dog could get. At the time, Lily was lame in her hind legs and lived next to the Luhlaza High School near Cape Town. She would drag herself around the school to get scraps from the kitchen and food that was left out for the resident cats.
One day, Lily went inside one of the school classrooms in search of food and left a mess. This infuriated school principal Manono Makhaphela, who instructed janitors to get rid of her once and for all.
Tomorrow 9am at Khayelitsha Magistrate's court hopefullyjustice will be served……. the principle and janitors of…
The janitors wanted to pick Lily up and leave her outside the school grounds in the hope that this would solve the problem. The principal, however, ordered them to do something that horrified everyone—bury her alive next to the tennis courts. One of the janitors, Poto Mfengu, knew this was completely wrong, but “was desperate to keep my job” as he told IOL News. Out of fear, he and his colleague did what they were told. So Lily, unable to get out, was thrown into a 6-foot hole and covered with dirt.
The story of Lily continues
The kitchen staff were appalled at the sight and heard Lily crying out for help as the sand covered her. She continued to bark as long as she could, until one of the cooks, Bukelwa Mbulawa, called the Mdzananda Animal Clinic, which gives stray and abandoned dogs and cats life-saving veterinary care and tries to re-home them.
By the time the clinic’s staff could get to the school, Lily had been buried for 20 minutes. They dug her out as quickly as they could, and she could finally breathe again. As Dr. Edson Man’Ombe of the clinic said, “when we lifted the dog out of the pit, it was actually active, blinking its eyes and wagging its tail.”
Justice for Lily at last – the dog that was ordered to be buried alive by a school principal and rescued by the…
Next came the struggle to rehabilitate Lily, which was aided by generous donations from the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Freelance journalist and member of the Mdzananda clinic board Helene Walne stepped in to adopt Lily, and the vets went to work to help her.
As Walne told The Sunday Times, “staff at Mdzananda decided that acupuncture was going to be the best way to open up the communication between her back legs and her brain so she could learn how to walk.” The treatment worked miraculously, and Lily was not only able to walk; she could run. She even became a bit of a celebrity, receiving a visit from Helen Zille, who was the premier of the Cape region, and was featured in a popular South African travel magazine.
Remember Lily who was buried alive. She is featured in April's Getaway magazine. She went on a road trip to the Karoo with her journalist mom Helen and this is the story about the road trip.
As for the principal and janitors, justice was eventually served, as they were brought up on charges and forced to face their actions. The janitors were charged with animal cruelty and fined, as was the principal. However, this wasn’t the end. The South African judicial system also favors restorative justice, in which the wrongdoers are forced to confront the consequences of their crime. This meant getting the janitors and the principal to understand that dogs can feel pain too and deserve to be treated with respect through animal awareness workshops held at the school.
As the principal told News 24, “This project made me understand that even if an animal is not yours, it deserves life. I was closed off but I see dogs now that are hungry and need help.” An incredible end to a story that shows the power of education to change hearts and minds.
Lily was rescued by staff from Mdzananda 2 years ago after she was buried alive at a local high school on the orders of…