By Abbie Major
A new Perth charity that aims to rescue pet owners from financial crisis has reached its first milestone – helping 100 animals receive urgent veterinary care.
By crowd-sourcing funds, Perth Veterinary Bill Assistance has raised nearly $100,000 for surgeries and vet appointments for more than 100 animals varying from horses, dogs and cats to guinea pigs, rabbits and ferrets.
Founder Tammy Rodrigues, 44, says PVBA – the only charity of its kind in WA – aims to help struggling pet owners at risk of losing their animals because they can’t afford emergency operations.
“I realised that there was no help out there whatsoever in WA for people who can’t afford to take their pets to the vet,” Ms Rodrigues told The Bounce.
“We only help one family once, we don’t give cash out and we have implemented a strict selection process.”
Belmont cat lover Dawn Spencer, 51, couldn’t afford the $800 bill to get her rescue cat Kimba de-sexed and microchipped as required by new laws set by Belmont City Council.
“I had to get financial assistance because as a single mum with three children, I didn’t have any spare money lying around. Kimba had been neglected once and I couldn’t let that happen again,” Ms Spencer says.
Murdoch dog owner Leah Pickering also turned to the charity after she exhausted her savings when her staffy Lucy was diagnosed with a rare fungal infection.
PVBA was recently recognised by Labor Party deputy speaker Lisa Baker who awarded it a $5000 community grant in partnership with P&N Bank in Morley.
“This was the most money anyone had ever given us and has certainly gone to good use. We purchased a printer so that we no longer have to spend money at the printers getting pamphlets and signs made up,” Ms Rodrigues says.
The team at Perth Veterinary Bill Assistance will be fundraising at this year’s Paws for A Cause on November 12.