Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New RSPCA Program Helps Homeless Pets and People!


With over 30,000 homeless people reported in NSW, the RSPCA today announces it will launch Australia’s first dedicated program to helping homeless pets and their owners. Living Ruff is a unique program that hopes to provide a range of community outreach services for pets and people living without access to long-term accommodation of a suitable standard.

Living Ruff Program initiatives include: emergency boarding and foster care; access to veterinary services; access to food for pets; education programs; and outreach services.

RSPCA NSW will officially launch the first stage of the Living Ruff Program on Wednesday, 5 October with the Exodus Foundation in Ashfield. The RSPCA is actively seeking funding to roll out incremental stages of the program.

“The RSPCA is about animal welfare, as well as human welfare,” said RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman.

“We understand the bond between pets and their owners is strong, particularly during times of hardship and distress. Living Ruff will offer services for homeless pets and their owners in the hopes of helping them remain together during this challenging time,” said Mr Coleman.

Exodus Foundation Founder Rev Bill Crews said that for many homeless people, the only stable love in their lives is the love they share with their pets.

“This love can provide friendship in the face of loneliness and inner warmth when it’s cold outside. The more homeless people know there are services available to look after their pets, the more secure they’ll feel in – what is for them – an insecure, scary world,” said Rev Crews.

RSPCA NSW Special Programs Coordinator Fiona Millhouse developed Living Ruff after joining the RSPCA earlier this year as part of the Vodafone Foundation’s World of Difference Program.

“Through to the Vodafone Foundation’s World of Difference Program, Ms Millhouse has come on board to share her extensive knowledge on both program development and homelessness,” said Mr Coleman. “We’re very fortunate to have her as part of our team during this exciting time.

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