The statistics are truly horrifying. Over 250,000 healthy dogs and cats will be killed in pounds and animal shelters around Australia this year alone. That is over 5,000 animals each week.
Luckily a fantastic grass roots organisation is doing something amazing not only to save hundreds of animals each year, but giving them secure loving homes for life. And there are plenty of simple and easy things you can do to help and get involved.
Staffed entirely by volunteers and funded purely by public donations, Halfway Home Animal Rescue Inc. is an innovative all-breed dog and cat rescue foster program. Instead of the traditional model of animal shelters with a centralised location, that can often be financially costly and cumbersome, this organisation relies upon a network of volunteer foster homes that care for the rescue animals until a permanent home is found. Through an adoption application process, it carefully matches people to animals for short term, long term or permanent care. All animals that we take in are vaccinated, de-sexed, micro-chipped, wormed and groomed before being re-homed.
It’s astounding that this organisation works to save 400 animals from being put to death each year. It’s hardly a dent on those terrible numbers though, and all that animal health care doesn’t come cheap.
Jon Mersh, a passionate animal lover and Halfway Home Animal Rescue foster carer, wants to save even more lives by raising essential funds and the profile of the organizations and initiatives like it. This coming Sunday he is putting on an astounding night of entertainment featuring comedians, performers; A Cause for Comedy is an essential fundraiser for Halfway Home Animal Rescue.
“I first heard of Halfway Home Animal Rescue in 2009 via the national website www.petrescue.org.au,” Mersh explains. “Now as a foster carer for Halfway Home, and knowing first hand the valuable work they do, I wanted to do something more to assist in keeping the organization going.
“One of the biggest challenges the organisation faces is staying on top of bills! As a small registered not for profit charity, ran entirely by volunteers. Things such as medical treatment/vet bills, transportation costs are all ongoing costs. Also another challenge is continually seeking new dedicated foster homes, for people who would be interested in providing a temporary home for a dog or cat, occasionally there are more animals in need than we have foster carers.”
According to Mersh, a well-known Melbourne drag star was pivotal in helping to organise some of the big names who perform on the night including Em Raushiano, Adam Richards, Wes Snelling and Joel Creasey.
“I put my feelers out for expressions of interest for performers who may be interested in performing on the night,after a brief chat with Monte Diamonte (a foster carer herself) Monte was invaluable in securing some of the big headline acts!”
Clearly going along to A Cause For Comedy and enjoying a great night of entertainment is a great way of supporting Halfway Home Animal Rescue. But we asked Mersh what are some other ways people could get more directly involved in saving lives.
“Ways to support Halfway Home Animal Rescue could be to register as a volunteer foster carer, volunteering your time to assist the organisation, or even make a donation,” he says.
“Becoming an animal foster carer is very straightforward. If your a compassionate, reliable and trustworthy person and can take a dog or cat into your home on a temporary basis, for a few weeks or a few months then Halfway Home would love to hear from you. You can apply online at HalfwayHome.org.au.
A Cause For Comedy – a fundraiser for the Halfway Home Animal Rescue is on this Sunday 24 June, from 6-11pm at the Order of Melbourne – 401 Swanston St, City. Click for full details in our What’s On guide below.
Same Same is a proud sponsor of A Cause For Comedy.