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Animal Welfare Volunteer - Dog Walking

Pets of Older Persons (POOPS)

Pets of Older Persons (POOPS) is a not-for-profit organisation, run entirely by police-cleared volunteers, that helps to keep older people (65 years plus), palliative care patients and those with either a disability or disabling illness (of any age), together with their pets.

POOPS is all about keeping people together, and is as much about human well-being as animal welfare.

The service is for those who have no relatives or friends able to take responsibility for their pets in times of need.

Our fully police-cleared volunteers can assist in taking pets for a vet check, walking dogs or driving the pet to a boarding facility if the client’s absence from home is likely to be extended.

Anyone can apply to become a POOPS volunteer. Typically our volunteers are animal lovers who are/have been pet owners and many are working in or have worked in the human health or animal rescue services.

POOPS volunteers assist with the following activities:

DOG WALKING – Some elderly people are physically unable to walk their dog and become upset when their pet is not getting the exercise it needs. The pet, too, can become distressed and put on an unhealthy amount of weight. While dogs need to be walked on a regular basis, volunteers are under no obligation to commit to regular walking times, but commit as much time as they can comfortably manage. Times can be arranged so they are mutually convenient. Clients typically can no longer physically manage taking their companion for a walk, and have no friends or family able or willing to help.

ANIMAL FEEDING - Elderly clients sometimes go into hospital for short periods of time (1-2 days). In these cases we may not organise boarding but ask volunteers who live in the nearby area to feed animals in the homes (often backyards/verandahs) of elderly hospital patients. This provides these people with the peace of mind that their animal is being looked after, and allows them to attend to their own medical needs.

TRANSPORT– Many people have used a local vet for a number of years but due to age or disability are no longer able to drive or walk long distances to get the pet to the vet. We should try to keep clients using their local veterinary service as much as possible, but in order to do that they need help to transport animals to/from the local vet. If you are willing to use your car in those circumstances we would love to hear from you.

MEDICATION and GENERAL CARE - assistance with grooming, bathing, flea control and medication as and when required but only if you are comfortable and agreeable to doing so.