No funding promises for Pets For Life program
FOR Anne Dainton, being a part of the Pets For Life program is not only good for her pet pooch Toby but it has also left her with life-long friends.
Ms Dainton has three volunteer helpers - Jim Catt, Kerry Cooke and Carolyn Dekker - who help with walking and grooming eight-year-old Maltese Toby.
"I can't take him for long walks myself but I've got walkers who take him twice a week for a long walk and another who helped me when I couldn't look after him because I wasn't well," she said.
"I was going to have to move because I couldn't walk my doggy but then they came to the rescue and I could stay here."
Anne said she loved the interaction with Toby's carers as much as he did.
"When they bring Toby back we always have a chat about his little antics so it's about the friendship as well," she said.
"It's really great having them."
Anne's volunteers said it had been really great helping Anne too.
"I love it - Anne's my best friend," Ms Dekker said.
"We don't have any animals of our own so it's getting our animal fix for us too," Ms Cooke said.
"Anne's dog Toby is just delightful and we like taking Toby for walks and also spending time with her. We always spend a half-an-hour having a glass of water or a cup of coffee with Anne each time, so it brings connection into our lives too," Mr Catt said.
Disability Services Minister Coralee O'Rourke paid a visit to Anne and others involved in the Pets For Life program yesterday at the Caloundra Community Centre as the organisation was hoping funding could be reinstated to the program after going 12 months without support.
Minister O'Rourke made no promises.
"Pets for Life is a great organisation that is not just about support to owners and pets but there's more talk about the relationships and friendships that are built so it's a really important program that's run here and we do need to continue it," she said.
"We'll do what we can to keep services like Pets For Life happening in the community.
"It was a previously funded program and we encourage them to continue applying for funding and grants where they match eligibility."