Registered NDIS Provider

11 July 2022

Healthy Pet Day supports Woodberry community and their furry friends 

It was a special day for pet owners in Woodberry when Hume Community Housing and the RSPCA partnered up and took over an open space just off Kingstown Road on Friday July 1.

Over 30 Hume customers, along with other community members, brought their beloved furry family members to the event and were offered a free health check, microchipping and vaccinations by ten RSPCA veterinarians and vet nurses. Customers were also able to register their pets to get desexed, although Hunter Pet Support were helping to raise funds to cover the cost of this.

For some Woodberry community members, the event was a rare point of contact with a veterinarian. Veterinary visits can leave people out of pocket for hundreds of dollars, which can increase anxiety in those with low incomes.

RSPCA representative Billie Rose said that the team work from a ‘One Health One Welfare’ model. She said: “It’s all about how human and animal health and welfare are basically linked…we provide the core veterinary services that people can’t afford, it’s also important for peoples’ mental health to take care of their furry family members as well.”

“Unfortunately, veterinary care is expensive, and a lot of people can’t afford it, particularly nowadays.”

On the day of the event, Hume customer Angela said with a sigh of relief: "Being on a low income, this event has been great. My five dogs were able to have their immunisations and health check.”

Hume works hard to connect communities, which means looking out for opportunities to help customers to prosper and improve wellbeing. The unique partnership between Hume and the RSPCA came around after Hume’s Port Stephens Housing and Communities team noted how important pets were to customers’ wellbeing and approached the RSPCA looking for advice.

“We are very appreciative of the staffing and resources that the RSCPA have generously funded for today. Pets make such a positive difference to our customers lives, offering companionship and a pet personality to share life’s up’s and downs with. A day like this is a big help to pet owners who may face various barriers like lack of transport, or funds to regularly get their pets critical healthcare. Happier and healthier pets also have a positive effect on the whole community, with less animal stress impacting on neighbours.” said Richard Hershman, Hume Community Cohesion Officer.

Dogs and cats have been scientifically proven to relieve depression and anxiety in their owners and promote social interaction and organisation within households.

Cody, another Hume customer, spoke highly of his connection with his furry friend Bruce on the day: “He’s a great dog and has helped me with my mental health issues and lots of stuff, so I want to look after him…today has been great.”

Volunteers for the RSPCA raise funds for free events like the Woodberry Healthy Pet Day with movie nights, high teas, and garage sales across the region.

Hume and the RSPCA plan to partner for other Healthy Pet Days in the future following the success of the event. Thank you to the RSPCA and Hunter Pet Supporter Group for generously funding this day and endeavouring to assist our customers with desexing and vets fees through fundraising.