THE Save The Pets Op Shop continues to raise much needed funds for not for profit animal rescue organisations.
Unlike most well-known Victorian animal rescue organisations, the groups the op shop supports are not government funded and exist thanks to fundraising and public donations.
The organisations Save The Pets assists include New Beginnings, Sweet Shepherd Rescue Australia and Saffron on the Hill.
New Beginnings rescue small to medium sized dogs and cats who are four years and older.
Their owners may have passed away or moved into retirement homes, or are renting and have to move and find they can’t take their pets.
These animals could also be strays that have found their way into pounds.
Sweet Shepherd Rescue Australia rescues German Shepherd dogs of all ages from being euthanised in Victorian pounds.
The dogs could be old police dogs, surrendered shepherds or pups that are in need of special medical care.
Saffron on the Hill specialise in caring for Pugs and Bulldogs, many of which are from puppy farms.
The three groups are run by dedicated volunteers who have a real passion and love for the animals in their care.
Most of the animals require veterinary work, which can often include extensive surgery which is very costly for the organisations.
While pet owners can purchase pet insurance to cover vet bills, rescue organisations cannot.
Although vets may provide a discount, annual vet costs are mind blowing.
The Save The Pets Op Shop is holding a Christmas collection for the animal groups and is asking for donations of pet supplies.
High on the priority list are flea and worm treatments, small disposable nappies for incontinent pets and collars and leads, especially for large dogs.
Donations of cans of dog or cat food, soft toys, kitty litter, bird treats and bales of hay are also welcome.
Cougar’s thriving with a second chance
A MISTREATED German Shepherd has been given a second chance in life thanks to the kindness of Glen Alvie’s Jaquie Pryor.
Jaquie and her husband Colin welcomed 12 year-old Cougar into their lives, after he was rescued by Sweet Shepherd Rescue Australia and was in need of a foster carer.
Cougar was surrendered in July and rescued by the organisation in a poor condition.
He was incredibly malnourished with severe fungal and bacterial infections, eye and ear infections, hair loss, wounds, bad teeth and hypothermia.
He received urgent veterinary attention thanks to Sweet Shepherd and when Jaquie saw photos of the rescued dog, she couldn’t resist helping.
“I saw the photos and my husband and I discussed it over the weekend and decided we’d help him out,” she said.
“When I actually met him I fell in love. We’ve had no problems with him at all. He’s got a beautiful temperament and he’s very bonded.
“He has some sight and hearing issues so he’s more dependent on me than the average dog.”
Sweet Shepherd Rescue Australia saves German Shepherd dogs of all ages from being euthanised in Victorian pounds.
The organisation pays for veterinary fees for its dogs by fundraising and donations, while foster carers cover the day to day costs of having a pet.
Cougar is now on the road to recovery and is much healthier since being rescued.
Jaquie and Colin own Wonthaggi Pet Supplies and Cougar is more than happy to relax at the store and enjoy his new life.
Jaquie said being a foster carer is very rewarding.
“For us to look back at photos of when he came in and see him now and realise we’ve helped him get there is really rewarding,” she said.
“They’re very affectionate and very loving most of the time. Most people I know that have got a rescue dog say the same thing. It’s almost like they know they’ve got a second chance.
“To give something as beautiful as him a second chance is really rewarding.”
There’s also an amazing twist in this story.
“Colin had a shepherd when he was in his early 20s and the shepherd’s name was Cougar, so when we found out about him it was like this is meant to be,” Jaquie said.
“We’d just lost one of our dogs a few weeks previously and weren’t quite ready to get a new dog, but he found us.”
Sweet Shepherd Rescue Australia is always looking for donations and foster carers.
For more information visit, www.sweetshepherdrescue.com.au or follow the organisation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ssrainc