FINDING A ‘FUR’EVER HOME

With an increasing number of people adopting a furry family member during the pandemic, Ipswich Local caught up with the fantastic team at the Animal Welfare League Queensland, who manage Ipswich City Council’s Animal Management Centre, to find out the many benefits of adopting a rescue animal.

As an avid animal lover, and ‘failed’ kitten foster parent who went on to adopt many of them, hanging out with the team at AWLQ, and having the chance to meet so many of the beautiful animals, was a dream day at work!

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The Ipswich Animal Rehoming Centre, located in Hooper Street, is managed by Jess Mills and her tireless team of animal attendants and volunteers, who provide endless love, cuddles and care for all the cats, dogs, kittens and puppies currently living in the centre, all of whom are just waiting to find their ‘humans’ and their forever homes.

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The AWLQ promises never to euthanise a healthy, sociable or treatable animal in their care. They believe that all animals that come into their care deserve to have the best possible chance at finding a loving, happy home.

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“There can be some misconceptions about animals in rehoming centres or shelters. A lot of people still think that animals in rescue centres have health or behaviour problems, and that’s definitely not the case,” Jess said. She invites the community to come down to the rehoming centre to meet the animals in person. For people who already have a dog, and who may not be sure if they’ll get along with another animal, Jess and her team can arrange a personal ‘meet and greet’ to see how they’ll interact, and for people who’d love a pet but are not too sure how it might fit into their lifestyle, the AWLQ has a fabulous foster program.

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Fostering, whether it’s older animals or babies, can be a wonderful way to introduce a pet into your home. It’s a short-term commitment – usually two to four weeks – where you can spend time getting to know the animals and seeing exactly how they’d fit into your life.

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Jess said that a lot of the carers become ‘failed’ foster parents, which means they’ve fallen in love with an animal in their care and have then gone on to adopt them.

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“PLUS, WHEN YOU ADOPT AN ANIMAL FROM US, THEY’RE DESEXED,

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VET CHECKED AND MICROCHIPPED.”

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“You can try fostering to see if you’re ready for a pet, and see what sort of pet is right for you. We supply everything including food, any medications, toys, bedding…everything the animal or animals will need while you’re looking after them.”

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Jess said that animals are fostered out for a number of reasons. Some don’t cope with the noise and bustle of a shelter environment, some may be recovering from an operation and just need a quiet, loving space to recuperate, while others may simply be too young to be adopted out.

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Fostering animals is a hugely rewarding experience, and as well as helping the animal in your care, fostering means you’re helping to take some of the pressure off the shelter staff, all of whom work incredibly hard because they’re so passionate about the happiness, health and wellbeing of animals.

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If fostering is out of the question, then there are still plenty of ways to get involved by taking on a volunteer role at the centre to help out with tasks such as laundry, gardening, animal care, driving and more.

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As well as their care for the furry, feathered and finned, AWLQ provides care and support to people from all walks of life, always with the goal of helping people to keep their animals with them if they can.

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For older people, they offer the Golden Hearts™ program where AWLQ supports seniors with pet ownership people to keep their pets with them for as long as possible, and, for pet owners who may be in financial straits or be experiencing a tough time, the team at AWLQ will work with them to find solutions such as emergency pet boarding.

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In the event that a pet owner is no longer able to properly care for their animal, which can happen for a variety of reasons, the AWLQ team will help them through the steps of surrendering the pet.

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“It’s not a case of ‘bad’ people surrendering their pets and there’s absolutely no judgement here.

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“We try to offer different services and see if we can facilitate a way for them to keep their animal, but sometimes it’s not possible, and so we can help with that as well.

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”Visit the team at AWLQ at Hooper Street Ipswich or go to https://www.awlqld.com.au/

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