Pandemic leaves pound pups out in the cold
MAN'S best friend needs your help.
The coronavirus pandemic poses an unprecedented challenge to rescue organisations across the country.
Adoptions have slowed to a crawl, leaving these groups inundated with animals to care for and veterinary bills to pay.
One such group is Belle Vie Animal Rescue, based out of Toowoomba.
These passionate individuals trawl the internet for dogs abandoned at regional pounds, transporting them to foster homes where they learn what it's like to be truly cared for before finding their 'fur'ever homes.
One such dog sits at my feet as I type this. Her name is Kara.
Kara was rescued from the Rockhampton pound, where she was marked to be put to sleep.
If it were not for the intervention of people many hundreds of kilometres away, she might never have known the joy of bounding through the long grass, of sleeping curled up on my pillow, or of an afternoon stroll through Killarney.
When she arrived she was timid, cautious to shadow me everywhere, howling when left alone.
Now, she is confident. She will roam the (fenced) acreage property looking for grasshoppers to chase, she does a happy dance when she knows its time for dinner, and she keenly leads the way on new adventures.
She is, in other words, ready to find her family.
But for Kara, and many other dogs like her, that process may take longer than anticipated.
It is great news for me, as I now have an affectionate, patient and incredibly funny friend to keep me company as I work from isolation.
It does, however, have a devastating run-on effect for those dogs who are yet to be 'saved'.
The longer foster carers keep these dogs, the less capacity rescue organisations have to take on new dogs.
That means that as the pandemic continues, more and more pound puppies will be left behind.
You have the power to change that.
If you've ever seriously considered adopting or fostering a dog, now is the time to step up.
Should you choose to foster, rescue groups (which can be found on Facebook) and the animal welfare organisations, such as the RSPCA, cover all expenses, including food, bedding and veterinary care.
In return, all you must do is show kindness, and love, and patience for a small creature who has nobody else.
For more info, including on Kara, www.petrescue.com.au/groups/11619/Belle-Vie-Animal-Rescue