‘Lots need extensive care’: Pet rescue charges over hurdles
IT ONLY took a few days for Nicole Rouse to have her heart stolen by a four-legged companion called Maddie, who was found in a cane field with a broken leg and scratched face.
Miss Rouse signed up to be an emergency foster carer with Bowen Collinsville Pet Rescue and when Maddie didn't have anywhere to go that night, she was given a safe home at Miss Rouse's place.
Ensuring dogs like Maddie who have been badly treated or abandoned find a forever home has driven Miss Rouse to do her bit to support the pet rescue service.
Bowen Collinsville Pet Rescue has gotten creative with fundraising in a year when sausage sizzles were off the menu, starting Facebook fundraisers and now a region-wide raffle to help keep their important care work going.
Miss Rouse said dogs and cats were the main beneficiaries of the service, including litters of puppies that may all need medical care.
"A lot of them need extensive veterinary care, a lot of them come in with something broken or they need extreme worming or they're dehydrated," she said.
"If we can help them out, just because this year has been a bad year it doesn't have to be a bad year for dogs."
Bowen Collinsville Pet Rescue co-founder Bronwen Wicks said coronavirus had also had a positive impact on the service, as more foster carers put their hands up to help during a time when more people were at home.
"Even before animals were posted, we were getting messages fast and furious about whether we had animals in care," she said.
Ms Wicks said there was a thorough criteria in place to ensure animals go to appropriate homes and they also didn't let any animals get put to sleep, which also involves them picking up animals from pounds around the region.
The not-for-profit, volunteer-run organisation also has a community outreach program, which allows people to keep their pets in their homes who may otherwise have had to give them up due to illness, disability or other circumstances.
Ms Wicks said she helped supply food, exercise the animals, clean and provide treatments for problems such as ticks and worming.
"We don't charge anything," Ms Wicks said.
"They know that I'll be there, I'll turn up with bird seed or food for the dogs.
"It's a way of not only taking care of the animals but also chatting to people.
"Me coming in there and playing with the animals outside, it's giving them joy to know that someone cares."
Ms Wicks said fundraising had been difficult this year because of coronavirus so the team had gotten creative.
That's why Ms Rouse was moved to host a major raffle with the aim of raising $1000 to go towards the service.
There are lots of prizes on offer, including vouchers for accommodation, a 30-minute massage, spray tan, tattoo and food.
Residents from all over the Whitsundays are able to get involved by emailing Miss Rouse via nicoleRouse@hotmail.co.uk to purchase a ticket or donate a prize.