Animal welfare group’s milestone

By Charlotte Wooldridge | posted on June 19, 2020

GREAT Southern Animal Protection (GSAP) is celebrating its first year of operation this week, proving a small start-up can make a world of difference.

The organisation has taken in a total of 685 animals, with 592 of those being rehomed.

GSAP Secretary Caillie Carpenter said the idea of creating the group came from five women who wanted to bring their own views into a rescue and foster program.

“Originally there were five of us on the committee, and we all volunteered for SAFE,” she said.

“It was not so much that there was anything wrong with SAFE, but we thought that we had some ideas that we could put together and go and branch out and do something on our own, so we gave it a go and it’s been going really well so far.”

Ms Carpenter said through GSAP, pet owners now have access to more affordable pet care and hopes it encourages people to own animals responsibly.

“We’re quite proud of our efforts to try and help reduce the risk of unwanted litters and stray litters when it comes to people who have outdoor cats,” she said.

“We have a sterilisation program where Albany Vet Hospital allow us to give the general public our discounted rate to sterilise their animals and have in the past done free sterilisation for the mum when litters are surrendered.”

Despite already being able to help a huge amount of animals across the region, Ms Carpenter said like many other organisations, coronavirus has made a dent in their progress.

“At the moment things are pretty hard with everything,” she said.

“Initially our big goal was to get a base going in Albany and have a nice little place for everyone to come and meet the animals, but that kind of fell away because of the pandemic.

“I guess our main focus really for now is finding the right homes for these animals.”

Currently, GSAP works as a foster-based rescue, with potential adoptees visiting the foster carers’ homes to meet the animals.

“We try to have a judgement-free approach towards everything, so we like to think that life gives you lemons and you’ve just got to deal with it,” Ms Carpenter said.

But GSAP reaches far past the Great Southern, with some rescue operations going to the far north of the state.

“We also work with a lot of rangers so from here to all the way up in Geraldton and Kalgoorlie as well to help them when they’re at capacity to help them rehome animals across the state,” Ms Carpenter said.

“It’s a really rewarding experience.

For anyone interested in becoming a foster carer or making a donation, contact GSAP on 0498 081 243.