Last weekend my friend Maughin and I were off on another #MAndMAdventure around Joburg, and we got to speaking about some of the local businesses that we have blogged about have really stood out for us. She had shared a picture on her story that morning about a business called “To The Bone” and I had been drawn to the image, so I wanted to know more.

Maughin told me about the amazing work that they are doing, and I knew that this was something that I needed to jump on and help create awareness. I’m sure by now you know just how much I love my animals, and I consider them my fur-children. So when I hear about a business like To The Bone that is working so hard to make a difference in the lives of animals around South Africa, I really want to help them to increase their reach and help more animals.

So, read on to see more about why I am now completely obsessed with To The Bone…


Your name: Maryke van Rensburg

Business name: To the Bone

Social media handles: Instagram; Facebook and Website

Some fun facts about you:
I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 20 years.
We have 5 rescue dogs.
If I could live anywhere in the world, it would be Iceland.
Pineapple on pizza is a must!

What is To The Bone:
To the Bone is an online store that does good for the community. The intention of our online store is to incorporate our passion for animals and all living entities into a worthwhile platform.

Thus, when you shop on our online store, a big portion of every sale goes towards a worthy project.

Maryke, to the bone

Since the launch of our online store (November 2020), we’ve already completed three outreach projects and we are currently busy with our fourth one.

Where did the passion to start this project come from:
Most people don’t know, but To the Bone was born during a very traumatic and difficult time for me (probably still is). I’ve been in the animal rescue world for years, unfortunately, I was mauled by a power breed at the end of 2020, I’ve undergone major reconstructive surgeries, most done on my right arm, 5 to date and it is still ongoing.

I wanted to create something that will not only help vulnerable animals but also communities in need. Due to what I’ve been through, something that is very important to tothebone is animal education for the community members.

Our current project is a Kennel Drive in the informal Ocean View community (based in Cape Town, South Africa). The kennels will not only benefit vulnerable animals in need but also the community. This programme is aimed at upskilling youth from Ocean View. We teach them how to build kennels and we also incentivize them for their participation. We also teach the youth about pet education and how to keep their pets safe. After the kennels are build we distribute them to pets and community members in need.

Have you always had a love for animals:
As a child my first word was “Woef” (which means dog in Afrikaans), so yes, I’ve always had a big love for animals, ever since I could remember.

You are running an amazing special currently with your mini pet portraits – please tell me more:
I am actually a qualified artist and I studied BA in Applied Design, specialising in mixed media (photography and illustration). My passion for animals led me into the animal welfare world, but I thought it would be a perfect combination to combine my two passions art and animals and at the same time help to raise funds for animals in need.

Since the dog attack I haven’t been able to take any photo’s (as I can’t lift my camera) or do any drawings, it took me quite a while to be able to move my fingers again and especially to be able to write again. My hand and arm will never be normal again and I am trying to make peace with it. But at last I am able to do illustrations, but not to the extend that I used to be able to, that is why I leaned towards rather doing miniature portraiture, as that is something my arm and hand can handle at this point in time.

How can people get involved in what you are doing:
There are many ways people can get involved.

  1. Simply shop on our online store by following this link.
  2. Donate a kennel or any supplies via our online store by following this link.
  3. Donate any kennel building supplies, pet food/pet supplies or you can donate any second-hand books that we can resell to raise funds for our current outreach project by contacting us.

Why do you love to support local:
Because I think we all need a little bit of help and support from each other, now more than ever.

What is one thing that you want people to think when they hear your name:
I would say: Inspirational, Animal Warrior or Compassionate.

Quote you live by:
“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” – Vince Lombardi

Anything else you want to add:
We would like to thank all our suppawters. Without them none of the work we do would be possible.


Guys, To The Bone is something that you really want to get involved in.

If you choose to order a mini pet portrait for only R150, or support their book drive, or just want to make a donation towards a cause that is really making a difference; please get in touch with Maryke. The animals need us to work together, and this ultimately means that they will live a better life.

Maryke, you are one in a million. Getting to know you has been such an honour, and I can’t wait to join you through your many fundraising projects.


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