11 year old girl gives up spare time and pocket money to help pound pets
“I’m 11 years’ old. I love all animals, but I love spending time at the pound helping the poundies,” says Tayla on her Facebook page ‘Tayla’s Animal Tails’ - a page she’s dedicated to helping the pound pets at Camden Council Animal Care Facility find new homes.
“I just want to help poundies get adopted by loving families,” says Tayla, who’s been giving up her spare time to help feed, clean, train and promote the impounded pets at Camden Council Animal Care Facility since June 2017.
“I help to make up the feed for the pets. Clean up the poop - which is very smelly - and train the puppies and dogs to sit, shake and roll over,” says Tayla. “It makes me feel happy to help the poundies! I enjoy getting lots of kisses and cuddles from the dogs, but I like training the most because it’s helping the puppies and dogs to get adopted.”
Camden Council’s Companion Animal Ranger, Michelle - Tayla’s mum - is justifiably proud of her daughter.
“Tayla has ADHD and having that practical hands-on engagement with the animals is so valuable to her,” says Michelle. “It’s really helping to build her confidence. While she struggles with maths and stuff at school, she can really relate to the animals, and she’s a great tonic for them too. The animals can sense she’s a kind soul. There have been dogs at the pound that staff have had real difficulties with, then Tayla arrives and the dog is calm in no time. It’s like butter wouldn’t melt in their mouth when they’re around her!”
So we asked Tayla to share her secrets on how to gain the trust of a pet that doesn’t know you.
“I always watch their body language first,” she says. “I look for eye contact. I look at their ears and look at their tail. And when I meet them, I always have a pouch full of yummy treats and a ball for playing.
“Leo was my favourite dog,” adds Tayla. “He was really scared when he first arrived at the pound, but he became my BFF. I enjoyed cuddling him and giving him lots of kisses. I was happy and sad when he got adopted.”
We also asked Tayla to share her top tips on getting pets adopted, as the PetRescue team has loved following her Facebook page and wishes that every council pound had a Tayla.
“Make signs and posters,” says Tayla. “And take lots of photos of video of the pets playing with you. Show people just how friendly pound pets really are!”
But of all the great posts on Tayla’s Facebook page, one in particular melted our hearts when Tayla pledged $20 of her pocket money to help one of the poundies find a home.
“Bruce was a big goofball!” laughs Tayla. “He’d been waiting a while for a home. He was very cuddly. But no one was looking at him.”
Just two days after posting this to her page, Bruce got adopted. And our hearts exploded.
Tayla’s just as fond of the kitties too. She’s currently helping mum look after four orphaned kittens at home.
“They’re just three weeks old, so we have to feed them regularly. Ninja has to be fed with a syringe. And I give them lots of cuddles. Hearing them purr makes me happy.”
For other people out there wanting to get involved with helping pound pets in their community, we asked Tayla what she’d advise them to do.
“Get in touch with your local council pound and offer to help them care for and promote the pets for adoption. And if at first they say no, keep offering to help and don’t give up! Or you could just visit your local pound, take a photo/video of a pound dog or cat, share it on your social media page and tag PetRescue.”
Tayla’s hope for the future is that no pets end up in the pound. But until that day arrives, our hope is that every pound pet in Australia has a Tayla to help them on their way to a happy new home.
Our Safe & Sound Pounds program aims to give every pet a chance
Our goal is to give all pound pets the chance of finding the love of a new family with a profile on Australia’s most visited charity website - PetRescue. The Safe & Sound Pound program provides free resources to help councils make positive life-saving change in their communities.
If your pound doesn't currently have a volunteer program, or if you’d like to know how to get your council on board and using PetRescue, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org