FOR SUSAN Koleda and her husband, their West Highland terriers are more than dogs. To them, Bonnie and Chloe are their “fur children”.
“My biggest fear is that if something happens to us, they won’t be looked after in the way that they are used to,” said Susan.
So to dispel that worry, Susan signed up for the RSPCA NSW Home Ever After program, which aims to rehome pets of people who have died or become permanently incapacitated.
The process begins with an interview with the owner to create a pet profile.
The RSPCA NSW team tries to learn everything there is to know about the pets, such as their favourite toys and treats and sleeping habits.
In the event that the owner is no longer able to care for their pets, the Home Ever After team springs into action.
They collect the pets and take them into the care of RSPCA NSW. They are then rehomed with an appropriate family.
The Home Ever After team keeps in touch with the adoptive family to make sure everything is running smoothly.
“When pet owners enrol in the program, they are safeguarding their pet’s future by creating their next forever home with the knowledge of the person who knows them best,” co-ordinator Lisa Gledhill said.
“The program may never be needed but it’s so important to be prepared just in case it ever is.”
The RSPCA doesn’t ask for payment for this service but does request supporters to consider leaving a gift in their will.
“You know their vet history and their special personalities,” Susan said.
“It just gives me great peace of mind knowing that I now have a plan in place, and my girls will be placed in a loving home if I am no longer able to look after them.”
Our Aged Care program
RSPCA NSW also runs the Our Aged Care program (formerly POOPS - Pets of Older Persons) which helps out pet owners aged over 65, Indigenous pet owners over 50 and palliative patients.
The program offers temporary foster accommodation and/or emergency pet boarding if the owner requires medical treatment or respite; home visits to help with basic pet care; help with grooming; and help with transport to and from the vets.
- Phone 02 9782-4408, rspcansw.org.au
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