Home' LOTL : April 2011 Contents 32 Lesbians On The Loose Magazine • lotl.com
Lifestyle Opinion / Pets / Travel / Food / Stars
There’s no denying the health benefits of
owning a pet. But not everyone is either
physically or financially able to care for a pet
of their own. Enter Velma’s Pets as Therapy
service, designed to bring the joys and social
interaction of pets to those in nursing homes,
hospitals and health care facilities without the
responsibilities of owning a pet.
Velma decided to work in Pet Therapy after
experiencing first hand its significant benefits.
Velma recovered from a long-term illness,
which involved being immobile for 4 years, with
the help of her beloved pet poodle, Honey.
“Honey’s constant love and affection not only
kept me company during those lonely years
in bed, she also kept me sane. I don’t know
how I would have survived without her”, Velma
explains. When Velma recovered, she worked
with the Delta Society on the Pets as Visitors
Program and the Residential Pets Program before
starting up her own Pet Therapy Programs.
Velma’s purpose trained volunteers provide
professional human and pet volunteers to
service hospitals, nursing homes and care
facilities. Each volunteer brings their own pet
or is matched with a pet and trained to deliver
quality pet therapy.
“Our volunteers often express how personally
rewarding and satisfying it is to share their pets
affection, and to bring smiles to faces and joy
into hearts – pets have a habit of doing that to
If you’d like to learn more about how you can
train yourself and your dog or cat to become a
pet therapist visit Velma’s website for course
info and updates.
The NSW Government has released new
statistics revealing that 76,000 cats and
dogs ended up in council pounds last year.
Shockingly, only half of them made it out alive.
Of the 50,000 dogs that landed in NSW pounds,
15,500 were killed there. If you are a cat in NSW,
your prospects are e ven bleaker : 26,000 cats
entered the pound and 67% were destroyed. The
kill rate is more than double that of dog s.
“These latest statistics from the NSW
Government are horrific,” says Monika Biernacki
of the No -Kill charity Doggie R escue, one of the
tireless rescue g roups who account for the lives
that are saved.
“Yet we continue to bree d more and more
puppies each year. Why ? Many of these puppies
just end up losing their lives the ver y next year.”
Sadly these statistics only account for council
r un pounds. When you add the number of cats
and dog s killed in the other larg e shelters, such
as RSPCA, NSW Animal Welfare Leag ue
and Cat Prote ction S ociety, the numbers grow
The total number of dog s and cats that found
themselves in either a pound or shelter last year
was 123,000. More than 57,000 were killed.
“This translates to more than 150 dogs and
cats killed each day,” says Monika. “I don’t know
how the citizens of NSW can live with that.”
Animal welfare g roups are calling for a radical
overhaul of reg ulations governing the breeding
and sale of animals for profit. “If we don’t stop
the bree ding , we don’t stop the killing ” says
Monika. “It is in the hands of each and every one
of us. Adopt a homeless pet instead and share the
joys of this rewarding experience.”
If you’d like to assist Monika in her quest of
finding new homes for abandoned pets call
(02) 9486 3133 or 0429 044 484
Animal welfare worker Monika Biernacki offers a solution for
PETS AS THERAPY
Stop the breeding, stop the killing
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