Last updated: 20 Nov, 2020
Published on: 1 Oct, 2020
How PetRescue x Animals Australia's COVID fund is helping pets in need
While the impact of COVID-19 was felt across the animal welfare sector, it was autonomous rescue organisations that heavily bore the brunt of drying up revenue streams.
However, it was in these trying times that we were reminded of how blessed we are to be a part of a compassionate community that comes through for each other.
Thanks to the generosity of Animals Australia and their supporters, PetRescue managed an emergency relief funding program, distributing $100,000 to PetRescue member organisations. The funds were urgently allocated to eligible groups who requested assistance to recover from mounting costs as a result of halted operations and showed promise of creating an innovative pathway for pet adoption.
The funds ensured that the dedicated and compassionate humans on the frontlines are able to continue to do the vital, life-saving work they do every day to help rescue pets.
Here are some highlights from those amazing rescue organisations:
“The funds we received from Animals Australia via PetRescue were a complete lifeline and could not have come at a better time. We were able to get through a difficult period and continue to operate, albeit with social distancing protocols still in place. The first weekend we opened we had an amazing number of adoptions. This meant that we had room and the ability to take more animals into care. Instead of saying no to the rural pounds we work with we were able to say yes and animals were saved as a result. The money we received quite literally saved lives! It also helped us to get over a very difficult period and continue to operate. We have been amazed by the number of adoptions since May and we have been able to keep on saving lives and finding forever homes for the animals that needed it.
Thank you to Animals Australia and PetRescue for the wonderful initiative and your support during this difficult time. Our rescue is very grateful.”
“We had planned for, and already booked and bought some supplies for our inaugural fundraiser Paws in the Park. Due to COVID the event itself had to be cancelled, and we can't even sell raffle tickets in public, so the raffle was also cancelled. It's been a huge blow.
Without the ability to hold our large planned fundraiser we really needed help to pay our bills. Our biggest costs are vet bills of course, and these haven't gotten any less because of COVID. We're so grateful that PetRescue not only helps to rehome our animals but has also helped us with funds such as these from Animals Australia that have helped do things like this, that keep us going. Thank you so much.”
Desperate For Love Dog Pound Rescue is a completely volunteer-run charity organisation that is funded only by fundraising activities and donations. Like many rescue organisations, COVID had a devastating impact on their fundraising efforts. And with the overwhelming majority of funds spent on vet bills, they had been holding off on less urgent expenditures and veterinary procedures in order to be able to pay for the more urgent items. Thankfully, the Emergency Relief Funds from Animals Australia meant that they were able to continue to help pets like Arlo who was part of their Foster Forever program and received the treatment he needed during his last days with his wonderful foster family.
“Thankfully SAFE has survived the last few months of COVID restrictions and ramifications, mainly because of the funds received from Animals Australia. Our rent is quite substantial so the money gave us the confidence we could cover it for a couple of months... which enabled us to help more people in the community with their animals.”
The team at Hills Cat Rescue used these funds to buy a new life-saving kitten incubator for their foster carers who are caring for newborn kittens.
“A kitten incubator will allow a constant warm temperature with set humidity to be provided to the kittens. It works in exactly the same way that a baby’s humidicrib works. It also allows for the distribution of nebulised medication to the kittens. Having a warm stable environment gives the kittens the opportunity to use their food for growth, not just keeping themselves warm.”
"Social distancing led to challenges including conducting on-site property checks and meeting with new volunteers, private surrender clients and adoption applicants. This reiterated the preferred and much-needed option of automated paperwork and contact options. As a team, we identified the main areas we needed to introduce automated solutions. We have commenced investment of the funds into Animal Shelter Manager (ASM) - software that assists in managing data on pets, staff, documents, and fundraising campaigns.
All these improvements have impacted already to reduce the data entry required, reduced potential errors and also save on printing and paper costs. Any way we can implement automation via forms and emails lightens the load for our volunteers who can become compassion fatigued at busy and stressful times."
“[We created a] video series to send to our prospective adopters/foster carers to give them some learning material while they're going through the process. One of the core aspects of our mission statement is to educate and advocate for greyhounds, and this video series is helping us to achieve these goals, especially during these strange times where COVID19 has impacted everything. The great thing about these is that they're bite-sized but impactful, and open the door to further conversations about greyhounds and how they may differ from other dogs that are up for adoption.”
“The funds we have received from the PetRescue x Animal Australia fund have assisted us to continue to rescue cats and kittens in need during the COVID-19 crisis. Many of these cats have required extensive veterinary treatments and lengthy stays in foster care to recover ~ including MInni who had such bad dental disease that her mouth was rotten and she could no longer groom herself because of the pain. Minni has now had all of her rotten teeth removed and she is on pain relief and antibiotics which will help clear the infection out of her system. She felt so good soon after waking up after the surgery, that she started showing love to all of the veterinary team and filling her face with food - previously she was resentful of physical handling and only picked at her bowl.”
Port Macquarie Animal Welfare Service Inc rehomed a record number of pets during the pandemic! This, of course, meant huge bills for veterinary care, food, litter, flea and worming treatments etc. The funds from Animals Australia meant that these pets were given the best possible chance of finding their new loving homes while in care.
“Our Outreach Program was able to continue to offer free medical care and free food for the pets of people doing it tough- We partnered with a section of human services to deliver free pet food to those struggling financially
Our shelter animals in foster care were supported and we were able to keep the vet service running and bills covered so proceeds could go back towards rescuing and rehoming abandoned pets and keeping our services free to those who need it.”
Additional funds were also distributed to: