When her dog was killed by a car four years ago, Alison de Boer was sent to the RSPCA’s Launceston animal centre to pick him up.
She was so impressed with the organisation and the way she and her dog were treated that she returned the following week to make a donation.
And then Alison went back later to volunteer as a dog walker.
But she’s not new to the RSPCA, having been a volunteer when the centre was at Invermay Road.
“I was there in the ‘70s when the centre was being developed,” Alison said. “Then I raised a family and came back to it when my children left home.”
She initially volunteered as a caretaker, looking after Launceston’s stray cats and, then, the pound’s dogs when the RSPCA took over that responsibility.
There were some familiar faces when Alison returned after her break from volunteering. “It felt like I was coming home,” she said. “I’ve always worked with, and loved, animals.”
Alison’s connection with animals made going back to the RSPCA an obvious choice.
“I was a stay-at-home-mum and the local community helped me raise my children so I’m going to give something back.”
To Alison, this giving back sees her spend two days each week walking dogs at the centre.
“My heart breaks with every dog I walk, but I get so much out of it. Some of their situations are so sad and I wonder why there isn’t anyone looking for them.
“One dog I fostered because he was trembling at the back of the kennel.
“He’s such a different dog now and there’s a family out there who can give him what he needs.”
For 140 years RSPCA Tasmania has fought against animal cruelty, working tirelessly to find homes for animals or to reunite lost animals with their owners.
With such an important role, it relies heavily on volunteers. Roles span dog walking, like Alison does, general animal care, administration, fundraising and foster caring.
Find out more at www.rspcatas.org.au or call volunteer co-ordinator Helen Eastburn on (03) 6332-8204.