Uitsig – Family Members

Heidi Swart, Co Director of Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre

Heidi’s involvement with Uitsig started in 2009 after arranging a Pamper Pet day for another organisation she was then involved with, but preferring the camp ‘pack’ environment Heidi chose to join the Uitsig family.

Heidi and her 4 Labradors reside on the farm together with the adopted, rescued and foster animals. Heidi is instrumental in bringing the ‘One by One’ sponsorship program to light and is also responsible for the Centre’s monthly newsletter “The Bark & Mew Chat”, the Facebook page and assists with other duties such as home checks and adoptions on an ad-hoc basis.

Leslie van der Watt, Centre Manager & Caregiver;

Leslie met Denay when deciding to adopt a kitten, this was soon followed by another and since then Leslie has taken home 6 animals to date. A true reflection of the “Adopt, do not Shop” philosophy, a firm friendship was formed and Uitsig has now become Leslie’s second home.

Leslie’s gentle manner and unconditional love towards the animals have proven a great asset to the centre and brought many an animal back from the brink where they have learnt to trust again and give life a second chance.

Leslie set up the Uitsig Charity shop to help raise funds and support the Centre.

Rhoda & Nicky de Kock (mother and daughter)

Rhoda and Denay previously worked together at the Vet; sharing Denay’s passion for animals weekends were spent assisting Denay with feeding and cleaning runs. In time, it became apparent that more was required, and Rhoda resigned from the Vet to focus on Uitsig.

Rhoda & Nicky found that working with rescue animals, in a pro life environment, provided a huge emotional reward, so this mother and daughter team joined the Uitsig family. Rhoda is very involved with the well being of the animals where Nicky’s focus is fundraising, and to promote teambuilding at Uitsig, thereby creating awareness to the Centre’s cause.

Rhoda helps with adoptions and has become “God Mother” to all the animal souls living at the Centre.

Nicky is always available on Saturdays as our “Gate Girl” directing people to the right person/places and showing potential adopters the animals, basically coordinating everything.

Surinda Smit, Lutzville Retirement Village

Surinda recognised the healing abilities of animals through her daughter being bi-polar, and then started visiting Huis Sonop, a home for people who have been forgotten or abandoned by their families, after having realised the true therapeutic value of interaction between animals and people.

When Surinda’s husband was transferred to Lutzville, it was the start of the Uitsig Retirement Home for dogs. Surinda finds satisfaction in knowing that the dogs twilight time will be spent in a loving home environment. Uitsig provides for their needs and Surinda for their well-being. The dogs also assist with therapy, by visiting with Surinda the local rehab facility for alcohol and drug addiction.


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