Monday, June 24, 2013

A ray of sunshine - Tweed Heads

If you went looking for the RSPCA NSW Education Team, you’d often find them somewhere in the Sydney metropolitan area. But if you went searching for them last week you would have came up with nothing.

That would have been because Education Officers Eva and Steph took their animal welfare messages as far north in NSW as they could – all the way to the town of Tweed Heads, on the NSW and QLD border.

You may not be aware but RSPCA NSW is located all over the State and thanks to groups of dedicated volunteers running 28 different RSPCA branches, many more people and their animals are provided the vital support and assistance they need in their local community.

The RSPCA branch in Tweed Heads have dominated the op shop market with two stores doing amazingly well and raising important funds for the animals in the area. All the knick knacks are generously donated to the branch and there’s anything and everything you can dream of in stock! From lovely dresses for the Summer to lonely heaters for the Winter, every dollar goes straight to the branch to continue their work. Did we mention there are some furry friends out the back? That’s right, in addition to their two op shops, the Tweed Head RSPCA also run a shelter, giving animals a second chance to find their furever home.

The Tweed Heads RSPCA branch welcomed Eva and Steph with open arms as the branch have their very own dedicated Education Officer volunteer, Ray, who needed some expert training. This wonderful individual has been volunteering with the Tweed Heads RSPCA for almost 7 years and it doesn’t look like his commitment will be waning any time soon.

School visits were organised, education programs were tweaked and the team of three were ready and raring to hit the playgrounds with their Dog Safety and Responsible Pet Ownership Programs.
Eight different schools invited RSPCA NSW Education to speak with their students, so it was a busy week for the three Education Officers who made sure that the students left the talks feeling inspired to do more for animal welfare.

One question was asked by a Year 2 student when the issue of our pets drinking milk came up. “I know dogs shouldn’t drink milk but it’s okay for cats, right?” Well according to RSPCA NSW Science Officer, Sally Smith, it appears that cats and dogs are commonly found to be lactose intolerant, with cats reacting more severely to cows’ milk. So what’s the alternative? Best to stick to water or specifically formulated kitten or puppy milk from the supermarkets as a treat.

Thanks Tweed Heads for an amazing week and best of luck to Ray as he continues to spread the message about animal welfare!

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