Community-based projects across WA receive grants to support animal welfare

Support for POOPS: Busselton coordinator Cathy Gibson said the funding would help offer low-cost veterinary services for pets in the program. Picture: Supplied
Support for POOPS: Busselton coordinator Cathy Gibson said the funding would help offer low-cost veterinary services for pets in the program. Picture: Supplied

OVER 16 community-based organisations have received a share of $500,000 to help promote the wellbeing of companion animals and rescued wildlife across Western Australia.

Round one of the state government's Animal Welfare Grant Program was announced on April 13 and saw a handful of South West based groups receive funding.

Pets of Older Persons (POOPS), who are based in Perth, Peel and Busselton, received $30,000 to go towards the extension of a pilot program that offers low-cost veterinary services for pets in the program.

Busselton coordinator Cathy Gibson said she felt "out of this world" to receive the funding.

POOPS also recently received a grant from Rio Tinto to purchase new hats and t-shirts for the volunteers. Picture: Supplied

POOPS also recently received a grant from Rio Tinto to purchase new hats and t-shirts for the volunteers. Picture: Supplied

"We've been going for three years in Busselton and this is the first time I've looked specifically at funding from the vet work point of view," Ms Gibson said.

"We do ask our clients to look at their dogs and see what their health is like, but the elderly can't always do that, plus vet costs are huge.

"One of our dogs needs one tooth removed as a result of ongoing dental disease - and now that we have this funding, she will be a different dog all together."

POOPS is a not-for-profit organisation with volunteers in Busselton and Dunsborough who regularly walk dogs for people who are experiencing mobility or health issues.

The Busselton leg of the organisation was formed in 2019 and now has over 55 dogs and 130 volunteers.

Ms Gibson said POOPS was "so much more" than dog walking.

"The dogs love it because they get to go out for a walk and the clients love it because they get regular contact with people - so it's almost like a welfare check as well.

One of our dogs needs one tooth removed as a result of ongoing dental disease, so with this funding she will be a different dog all together."

Busselton coordinator Cathy Gibson

"We've also just received another grant from Rio Tinto so we have these lovely, new red shirts.

"People can see us out there now and can come and ask us what we do."

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In addition to POOPS, Possum Rescue and Rehabilitation Incorporated received $36,000 for the construction of a vermin-proof fence and purchase of monitoring equipment associated with rehabilitating possums.

Ms Gibson wished to thank Dr. Kristina Lightfoot from Heritage Vet Hospital in West Busselton for her continued support of the pets in the POOPS program.

Visit https://www.poopswa.org.au/ to find out more and to volunteer.