Oneplan sponsors K9 anti-poaching dog unit - insuring the health of heroes


Jade Poole from I Write Words

K9-Unit blog

The hard-working dogs and their handlers will each be sponsored with pet insurance and health insurance for one year thanks to Oneplan

Oneplan has recently sponsored the heroic dogs and their handlers who form part of the K9 anti-poaching dog unit - an initiative unlike any other.

A little bit about this amazing initiative - Project Rhino

Established in 2011 on World Rhino Day and based in KZN, Project Rhino is an incredible initiative that helps in facilitating rhino conservation interventions that are aimed at eliminating rhino poaching in South Africa.

But here’s the thing…

Not only are they doing good by combatting rhino poaching, but the organisation aims to also help all wildlife by doing so because when one species benefits, they all do.

The initiative brings together “provincial government conservation body, private and community-owned reserves, rhino owners, leading conservation NGOs and anti-poaching security specialists” to all help in the protecting an area of more than 330,000HA.

Here’s where it gets interesting…

The first of its kind, Project Rhino recognised the need for a K9 unit, and so they created one...

K9 anti-poaching dog unit

In 2017, Project Rhino established its K9 unit to help in stopping wildlife crime, serving two functions - detection and tracking.

From the moment the team was formed, the dogs were immediately put to work, showing off their unique skills of tracking down poachers, finding wildlife products and recovering illegal ammunition and weapons.

They hope to grow the dog unit, using trained and certified tracking dogs to assist in the tracking and location of suspects and the gathering of vital intelligence.

Click here to check out a little video on the incredible K9 unit.

The handlers

It takes a strong bodied individual to be a handler. Fit, dedicated and equipped with necessary bushveld and firearm skills, ready to work in dangerous and wild environments - this is what it takes to be a handler. And, of course, they must love dogs.

The dogs of the K9 unit

  1. Gunner, Bloodhound - Tracking dog
  2. Bonnie, Malinois - Tracking and apprehension dog
  3. Phoenix, Malinois - Tracking and apprehension dog
  4. Baily, Dutch Sheppard - Detection and tracking dog

We are going to be writing an article on these precious pooches soon, to help you to get to know them a little better - so keep your eyes open!

Where Oneplan comes in

If you know anything about Oneplan, you will know that we care about our clients, so much so that we designed smart, affordable insurance that is as uncomplicated as insurance can get. And, if you know a little more about us, it’s that we are passionate about organisations doing good to better the world we live in.

Which is why we are sponsoring the health of the dogs and their handlers.

For one year, Oneplan is going to be sponsoring the four dogs and their four handlers with pet and health insurance.

Health cover for both the dogs and their handlers is so important due to them having such a high-risk job in ensuring our wildlife is safe.

The dogs can often track over distances of 20kms or more! Risking their lives in the harsh Zululand bushveld, battling the heat and the elements around them.

We are so excited about this sponsorship for a number of reasons...

  1. We love dogs (hence our pawsome pet insurance)
  2. We care about people’s health (cue health insurance that pays you before you see the doctor).
  3. We want to help support an organisation such as this by ensuring the health of the hardworking dogs and their handlers are taken care of.

How you can make a difference

If you want to get involved and help make a difference, the K9 unit is always in need of dog food, leashes, first aid kits, veterinary supplies and more - please click here to donate!

What happens when Project Rhino runs out of funds?

The handlers and their dogs work tirelessly to create a bond and form part of an elite team. In relying solely on sponsors and donations, the moment that the funds run out, the team have no choice but to let some handlers and their dogs go.

When funds come in again, they have to start from scratch to find the right handler for the right dog and habituate the dog to the harsh Zululand bushveld. It’s a huge task and process to create a team such as this, which is why any and all donations are encouraged.

Every little bit counts. Let’s all work together in making a difference.

Yours in paws,

Oneplan Pet and Health Team

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