21 September 2019
21 September 2019,

The Tale of Oscar’s Arc 

“Dog adoption. Inspired.”

As with most great stories, they start off with humble beginnings. Oscar’s Arc began with a homeless dog who was gifted life to its fullest by his new best friend, Joanne.

Oscar’s Story

In 2009, Joanne took Oscar on the trip of a lifetime and he quickly became the world’s first dog to visit a whopping 42 countries, crossing 5 continents – all while spreading awareness about the importance of adopting homeless doggies – as he had once been. Oscar became the ambassador of the ever-growing idea of the Forever Home.


Oscar and Joanne’s inspirational story is the root of what has now become a World Record holding shelter, sponsored by huge names such as Pedigree and Marltons. They are headstrong in their mission to find a family for every homeless dog that crosses their path through a unique and interesting initiative.


Just two short years ago, Oscar’s Arc began to revolutionise the way adoptions took place, by bringing the homeless hounds to the people. The Woof Project is an initiative that recruits eager volunteers to spend weekends at local shopping malls throughout Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria, helping to facilitate the adoption of these fur kids. With their new and efficient process, it takes only a matter of hours for a dog to go from being stuck in a shelter dreaming about its perfect family, to having a forever home that it will cherish for the rest of its life.

How does it work?

The process is simple. You head over to your nearest shopping mall to do your Sunday grocery haul and come across Woof Project’s impossible-to-miss container. There are dozens of doggies wagging their little tails, wondering if today’s the day. You see one that catches your eye. It’s love at first sight. A volunteer hands you an adoption form. They accompany you to your home to check that your property is pet friendly and safe. The home check passes and you head back to the mall to collect your new best buddy. It couldn’t be simpler.

The results speak for themselves

Since the start of the Woof Project, the shelter has raised successful adoption rates in the Western Cape by a whopping 31%, whilst boasting an adoption rate of 97% achieved by the organisation. On 17 August 2019, on their annual trip to Gauteng, the Woof Project was awarded the Guinness World Record for the largest number of dogs adopted at one event by a single organisation. A heartwarming 56 dogs found their forever homes that day, adding to their nearly 2000 adoptions in 117 weeks of the project running. The reaction is nothing short of a tearjerker – everything the shelter strived to achieve and more.


Founder of Oscar’s Arc, Joanne, shared an inspiring thank you:  

“Emotions run wild. They beat through the heart. Exactly 112 weekends ago, WOOF Project kicked off in Sea Point Promenade. Exactly 2 years later, fists in air and a World Record at our feet.”

Read the full story here.

StudentCo’s contribution

2019 was StudentCo’s second year volunteering for Oscar’s Arc. This year, 12 of our sitters sacrificed hours of their weekends to help out this amazing cause, with some volunteering up to 5 shifts and others motoring around town doing home checks to make sure the houses were safe for the puppers! A very special thank you to pet sitters Leslie, Kiara, Tamsyn, Kabir, Jade, Tessa, Andrew, Llewelyn, Roni, Andrea, Beth and Kelly for their contribution. You are super stars!


We had one sitter in particular who really stood outLlewelyn Barkhuizen. Not only did Llewelyn volunteer for 4 long shifts, sacrificing two whole weekends, he also spent hours on Saturday evening and Sunday morning driving around Centurion trying to locate one of the Woof Project dogs that had slipped out of his harness the previous afternoon. He found the pup early the next morning and returned him to the container. He also helped facilitate the adoption of an old, blind Staffie who had been waiting for his forever home for years. He did all of this with a smile on his face. Our very own Oscar’s Arc superhero!!

Pet sitter Tessa said: “It was so rewarding to volunteer there yesterday and spend time with the most amazing animals and help them find homes. I loved every minute of it and will probably be back later in the week and next time they come around! I’m not usually a person who can go to shelters, because I just cry, so it was amazing to be part of something where I’m making an active contribution in getting these dogs adopted. Andrew and I had a blast, so thank you!


Pet sitter Kelly said: “Thank you for always supporting and encouraging charity work. It’s so nice to be involved in a company that gives back to the community!”


Here at StudentCo, we are passionate about giving back to the animal community. Of the many different shelters and organisations we support, Oscars Arc is by far one of our favourites. When the Woof Project time of year rolls by, our pet sitters leap at the opportunity to experience first hand the magic of playing a part in finding a doggie their forever home.

How can you help?

The Woof Project has made it easier than ever for animal lovers who may not be able to provide a home, to still impact the lives of homeless dogs in every positive way. From being a handler and source of information at the shopping malls to doing the home-checks, Oscars Arc has bridged the gap between a shelter with dogs in cages, to a one-on-one experience between the dogs and their potential new human parent.


Oscar’s Arc is always looking for donations or volunteers to assist. The more hands on deck, the more fur babies they can bring to the people, the more forever homes can be found! If you cannot permanently adopt, they also offer the opportunity for animal lovers to become temporary foster parents!


If you are interested in reading up more about their amazing cause, or want to help in some way – you can visit their website or their facebook page to get in touch and offer up a helping hand.

Planning a holiday? We can look after your home and pets! Complete a quick enquiry, and we will match you with a suitable sitter near you.

Then, fill in our detailed Pet Parent Instruction sheet and enjoy a FREE meeting to discuss your needs and expectations.

Our sitters take care of your fur kids as per your unique, detailed instructions, sending you daily pictures and updates.

We offer daily visits, twice-a-day visits and stay-overs, ranging from only R130 – R250 per day.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

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