Loving and caring for our four-legged friends
Any time a dog or cat, any animal in need, finds a loving home, it’s special. It’s special people that are usually behind the scenes orchestrating the re-homing, who never ask for any recognition.
A year and a half ago, animal lover, Jasmine Smart became one of ‘those people’ as she started her own rescue called Central West Animals Assistance, and to her credit, with a small team they had 40 successful adoptions.
As you can imagine, the cost of running a rescue yourself would be huge, this led Jasmine to seek the assistance of the Animal Welfare League (AWL).
Now President of the Animal Welfare League - Orange Branch, Jasmine explained, “We are now part of the AWL banner but remain purely independent, so we rely on community support for donations of products and money to survive.
“We needed a little bit more ‘oomph’ and support from a bigger organisation, AWL do de-sexing programs and in the last six months head office has spent about $30,000 in free de-sexing and vaccinations programs in Orange, so, that I wouldn’t be able to do by myself.”
“It helps you be able to focus on the day to day needs rather than having to worry about the other stuff. The usage of these funds is predominantly vet work (as all animals who are adopted out have full vet work done beforehand), supplies, toys and crates.”
“It all began with a Facebook post, just gaining interest, asking who would like to be part of this.. Now we have close to 100 volunteers, we’ve re-homed close to 200 animals since September last year, not to mention the animals re-homed before that.”
“I didn’t think it would get this big, but it has, and it’s overwhelming, it’s so great. The change that you see in the public, changing their mindsets, and linking the like-minded people together so we can create more of a difference. One person by themselves, I mean I can do a lot by myself, but it’s nothing compared to a whole group of people joining in and helping out. We are a close-knit group of animal lovers, passionate about animal welfare and dedicated to saving animals.”
When I caught up with the AWL Orange Branch, they were hosting a fundraiser at St George Bank. “St George is one of the many businesses that support us and giving us the opportunity to raise money. The staff have always been there to support us, and we are so grateful. Events like this give us the opportunity to showcase our merchandise as well.”
St George Orange Branch Manager, Brendan Healy said “St George is all around people helping people and getting involved in the community, the Animal Welfare League do some fantastic work providing people with animals and rescuing animals as well, so for us it’s just about getting involved and doing what we can to help out.”
Jasmine continued, “We would also like to thank the Summer Street Vet, they have been with us from the get-go, and have supported us ever since, it’s really good to have that relationship with local businesses.”
The most noticeable attribute I saw from Jasmine was her caring nature and ability to put her hand up and say ‘I’m happy to work with others’, “I think it’s wonderful when you work with other rescues, like Blossoms and Best Friends Forever, the Pound, we can help each other and help our four legged friends, because at the end of the day, that’s what we exist to do.”
“Our group is blessed with volunteers in many types of lifestyle/employment roles and industries such as; professional behaviourists, stay at home mums, vet nurses, administration staff, marketing/ sales, healthcare and many more. Our experience as a group gives us the opportunity to connect with local residents and do more for animals in our community.
A large portion of our rescues are surrenders from the public, people who are just down on their luck and need our help. One thing we want people to know is, the pound is not the only option, sometimes we do have a waiting list, but we are trying to change that mindset, we are here to help, come to us, there is another option.”
“Our branch is now an approved seller of the ‘Friendly Dog Collars’ range. As Orange residents and especially dog owners are aware, dog attacks have become a common issue in Orange. In order for us to educate the public on appropriate actions and respecting dog’s boundaries, we have chosen to become a supplier of the range with the hope of improving dog behaviour issues and incidents in our community.” For order enquiries, people can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0474 986 937.
Animal Welfare League- Orange branch service towns throughout the Central West NSW (focusing on Orange, Bathurst and Dubbo), and are currently assisting with dog, cat and equine rescue.
They specialise in emergency care, neglect cases, kitten and puppy birthing, anxiety and other treatable illnesses and currently do not charge surrender fees. All the animals available for adoption can be viewed on their Facebook Page ‘Animal Welfare League NSW - Orange branch.’
The Animal Welfare League Orange Branch will be hosting a Movie Night Fundraiser on August 17 at the Odeon Cinema at 6pm. Details include;
‘A Dogs Journey’ movie, lucky door prizes, nibbles and the Friendly Dog Collar products will be on offer. Movie ticket only: ADULT $20, CONCESSION $18, CHILD $16.
Movie ticket + small popcorn & drink: ADULT$25, CONCESSION $23, CHILD $20.
For tickets and info on the event, please contact their Facebook page Animal Welfare League NSW - Orange Branch or phone 0406 206 661. All funds raised will go to AWL Orange.