Paws to reflect on animal cruelty

Luke and Cassie Woodhouse take Rocky and Skully for a walk in Warragul.  Photo by William PJ Kulich.

Luke and Cassie Woodhouse take Rocky and Skully for a walk in Warragul.
Photo by William PJ Kulich.

ON SUNDAY the RSPCA will host its Million Paws Walk fundraiser to fight against animal cruelty with events across the country.

Local dog lovers will have a chance to take part in Warragul with a one or five kilometre walk along the Linear Park Arts Discovery Trail.

Over 25,000 people are expected to participate in the event across 16 locations in Victoria.

Every year, approximately 28,000 lost, abandoned and rescued animals enter the RSPCA’s animal shelters. The not-for-profit organisation requires strong financial support from the community.

The RSPCA aims to raise $500,000 from the Million Paws Walk event in Victoria to fund the work of its inspectorate, rescues of abused or neglected animals, medication and a foster care program  which gives animals a second chance at life.

Sharon Mackenzie of RSPCA Victoria told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen the 20-year-old event’s fundraising goal was “reasonable.”

“We take into account funds raised in previous years and how they were distributed and what would be a reasonable ask from our fantastic supporters for the current year,” she said.

“This is our biggest fundraising event each year.

“Some of the funds are distributed to help with the rehabilitation and medical care for animals seized because of cruelty.”

Warragul man Luke Woodhouse has participated in the event in the past and believes there needs to be greater awareness about inhumane animal trade and smuggling operations, which the RSPCA aims to combat.

“I have direct involvement with Soi Dog, which works to combat the illegal dog meat trade [in Thailand] by both raising awareness of the issue and looking after dogs that are rescued,” Mr Woodhouse told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.

“Dogs are often taken off the street, crammed into cages and smuggled into neighbouring countries where they are brutally slaughtered and eaten.”

Mr Woodhouse also emphasised the importance of animal shelters like the RSPCA that look after animals in need.

“People should think about helping or donating to local animal shelters. I adopted my dog Rocky from the Keysborough animal shelter, which has a no kill policy. He had been at the shelter for a long time.”

“To do their work, animal shelters need donations.”

Warragul’s Million Paws Walk event will begin at 14:00 at the Lardner Park Discovery Trial on Sunday.

Registration on the day commences at 13:00.

Everyone is eligible to enter and can sign up via the Million Paws Walk website.

Donations to assist the RSPCA in its efforts are also welcomed and can be made at rspcavic.org/giving

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