Help for pets and owners

Busselton Dunsborough Times

A new volunteer-run program, which helps to keep elderly people and their pets together, has been launched in Busselton.

Pets of Older Persons (POOPs) is a not-for-profit organisation that has operated in Perth for almost a decade.

Busselton resident and dog lover, Cathy Gibson, has been appointed the program’s co-ordinator, bringing the organisation to regional WA for the first time.

Ms Gibson discovered POOPs as a result of her own initiative to help walk a rescue greyhound Twiggy for a woman with MS, and a blue heeler-staffy cross Roxy for a woman who has cancer.

In addition she also walks a Labrador, Boris, for a neighbour.

“After getting involved in all this dog-walking, I realised that there was obviously a need for people to walk dogs for people who are either sick or elderly,” Ms Gibson said.

“Knowing that there was a limit to the number of dogs I could physically walk myself, I started thinking that when I retired this would be a good group to start, if I could enlist other volunteers to help.”

Besides keeping older people and their pets united, the group also does the same for palliative care patients or those living with a disability.

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

To assist POOPS or for assistance, visit poopswa.org.au.

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