SoCares feels the love on Love Your Pet Day

SoCares’ Valentine’s Day kissing booth photoshoot was just pawfect Photo credits: Abbey Forbes/Abbey’s Pet Photography

A lifesaving incubator will soon be online at Charmhaven’s SoCares Animal Care Facility, following a highly successful community fundraiser.

The council contracted impound centre and animal rescue, welfare and adoption not-for-profit, held a series of free and fundraising initiatives as part of its Love Your Pet Day event on February 6 to raise the funds necessary to purchase the device.

Covering everything from Valentine’s Day themed photoshoots with a professional photographer, free microchipping and vaccinations, to a fundraising dog wash, the special event has raised over $2700 and counting, with the final figure to be revealed upon conclusion of a fundraising raffle on the 12th.

Karen Fluyter is a Board Member at SoCares and said Love Your Pet Day was one of the organisation’s most successful initiatives to date.

“We are so grateful to all of the community members who came along and supported us on the day and to the local businesses who partnered with us to help with the fundraising.

“All up, we microchipped 65 animals, administered 20 vaccinations, 29 dogs were washed and 20 families had a photoshoot, all under COVID-safe conditions,” Fluyter said.

Going into the day with the goal of raising $2500 to purchase a small ICU incubator to boost care outcomes at the facility, Fluyter said the SoCares team was delighted with the fundraising effort.

“As we’ve gone beyond our original target, we’re now looking at getting a higher quality incubator.

“That’ll depend on the result of the raffle, but regardless, we’re all so thrilled with what’s already been raised.

“We can’t thank the community and our business partners enough.

“Everybody who came on board was just wonderful.”

Once installed, the incubator will enable the SoCares team to offer more comprehensive preventative and ongoing care to orphaned neonatal puppies and kittens, pregnant cats and dogs and animals suffering from certain types of trauma.

And according to Fluyter, the timing couldn’t be more perfect, with the purchase to align with kitten season.

“One of the main reasons we desperately wanted an incubator is because right now we’re being inundated with mother cats and really young kittens.

“These animals normally come to us in very poor condition, so an incubator will give us a better chance of helping them pull through.

“Normally we’d use heat pads to keep them warm, but they need to be changed regularly and aren’t always consistent, but the incubator will allow us to keep any animal safe and warm while they’re in care.

“We have just entered kitten season, and this is the time of year where we can easily end up with 70 cats and kittens in our care, so the incubator will definitely be put to good use,” Fluyter said.

With donations increasingly becoming the lifeblood of NFPs like SoCares, Fluyter said the organisation was planning to host more fundraising events like Love Your Pet Day in the near future.

“From the moment an animal enters our care we are responsible for all aspects of its care until its reunited with an owner or adopted, so we are very reliant on community support to do what we do.

“In fact, I’d say fundraising is mandatory for us at this point.

“Aside from covering the cost of general ongoing care, we also need to support our foster carer program which is particularly focused on helping palliative care animals live out the remainder of their lives pain free and surrounded by love.

“These special carers need a lot of support with food and vet bills, but it’s a program we can’t do without.

“We also support our community by providing free pet food to owners who are struggling to feed their pet(s) due to their financial situation.

“There’s a lot we do behind the scenes and the costs really add up, that’s why we’re so grateful for all the support we receive.

“It really does make a world of difference to what we can and can’t do.”

Any resident wishing to support SoCares can do so by donating to the organisation.

Monetary donations can be made via the SoCares website, however, Fluyter said donations of supplies such as blankets, bedding, pet food and pet toys were also highly desired.

“We’re always in need of cat and dog food, and this time of year we especially need kitten food.”

Fluyter also advised that SoCares will be continuing to offer free vaccinations to eligible owners while vaccine supplies last.

Vaccination applications are available on SoCares website.

Dilon Luke