ESTABLISHED three years ago, ‘A Paw Up’ is a state-wide registered charity that distributes donated pet food, bedding bowls, collars, leads, treats and toys.
The charity was established by animal lover Deb Conley after she became aware that there was no dedicated assistance in the state for people who were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and who had a pet.
Ms Conley said A Paw Up helped human service providers support their clients to be in a better position to be able to meet their own needs.
“People who are able to access pet food are much less likely to have to choose between feeding themselves or feeding their pets,” she said.
“Anecdotal evidence indicates that many homeless people who have pets will feed their pet before they feed themselves.”
The charity recently received funding from the Premier’s Discretionary Fund with some assistance from local Liberal Member for Clark Elise Archer.
“We rely so heavily on donations and the kindness of the community to assist,” Ms Conley said.
“Due to COVID-19, donations have been significantly down, so Minister Archer’s support means the world to our organisation.”
Ms Archer said the grant funding would help A Paw Up recover from the challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The grant funding will assist with providing pet food and bedding, and will also enable A Paw Up volunteer foster carers to attend a Dog First Aid Course,” she said.
“This means they will have the extra knowledge to help when needed.
“For many homeless people, pets provide the warmth and companionship that so often is missing.
“What A Paw Up provides is incredible and reflects that our community cares for not only our homeless, but also their companions.”
Labor Member for Franklin David O’Byrne is also hosting a donation drop off point for the organisation at his Eastern Shore office.
“Pets have played an important role in helping humans get through COVID-19 restrictions both mentally and physically,” Mr O’Byrne said.
“I encourage anyone who is able to donate pet food, treats, toys, collars or leads to get in touch to ensure we all get the support we need to get through these difficult times.”
Contributions to A Paw Up can be made at David O’Byrne’s office at 1/17 Bligh Street, Rosny, or visit their Facebook page for other drop off points.
Caption: From left, local Liberal Member for Clark Elise Archer and A Paw Up founder Deb Conley.