From 18 July to 29 July 2011, the Bathurst Community Animal Welfare Scheme (CAWS) will offer reduced-rate veterinary services to local pet owners. CAWS, a discounted pet desexing and microchipping scheme, promotes responsible pet ownership and helps pensioners and low income earners improve their pets’ quality of life.
Now in its seventh year, the program aims to help improve animal welfare and reduce the number of unwanted animals impounded each year.
CAWS is supported by RSPCA NSW, Bathurst Regional Council and Bathurst Veterinarians; additional assistance is provided by the dedicated volunteers at the RSPCA Bathurst Branch.
Bathurst Regional Council Senior Ranger and local RSPCA Branch President Margaret Gaal has been involved with the program since its inception in 2004. She said the program offers numberous benefits to the local community.
“Desexing can help improve an animal’s general health and overall wellbeing,” said Ms Gaal. “This can positively impact not only other animals in the community, but people as well.”
The program also advocates education and public awareness to teach community members and school-aged children about responsible pet ownership, animal welfare and the humane treatment of animals. “CAWS helps encourage people to have empathy and compassion towards animals,” said Ms Gaal. “This is imperative to promoting long-term, effective change.”
Bathurst Council has run two CAWS programs per year since 2006. “The impact thus far has been remarkable,” said Ms Gaal. “As a result, the council hopes to offer continued support for the program in the future.”
It is expected that 120 animals will be desexed and microchipped as part of this two-week initiative.
Bathurst residents can contact participating veterinary clinics for more information:
Bathurst Veterinary Hospital: 6332 5800
Stewart St Veterinary Hospital: 6331 1222
Dr Tom’s Veterinary Practice: 6332 3222
Durham Street Veterinary Clinic: 6334 2009