Sisters Lea, Tegan and Paige Thiele have set up a charity to help dogs, cats and pet owners in an impoverished area of South Africa.

The siblings – who live in Hoppers Crossing, Werribee South and Ballarat – started Tin Can Town Inc Australia in 2014.

Tegan said they founded the charity after she and Paige visited South Africa to volunteer at a wildlife sanctuary, as part of a working holiday.

While overseas, they met some volunteers from Tin Can Town which provides care and outreach veterinary work to animals owned by residents of a settlement called the Symphony Way Temporary Relocation Area.

The township, which is about 15 minutes away from Cape Town, is known as ‘Blikkiesdorp’, which means tin can village.

Tegan said that while in the township, she met a dog owner who could not afford a cancer treatment for her pet – the treatment would have cost about AU$14.

Tegan said she offered to pay for the treatment and, on arriving back in Australia, the sisters decided to do all they could to help the town and its animals.

They now fundraise to help Tin Can Town volunteers provide medical care and food to the pets of Blikkiesdorp.

The sisters said that most other charities would not go into Blikkiesdorp and nearby areas due to the high crime rate, so there was a lot of demand for the Tin Can Town services.

“I like that it’s not just helping a dog, it’s helping many animals as a whole community,” Tegan said.

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