Over The Fence with POOPS
Mar 18, 2022
If you've been Beerfarm, you may have noticed dogs are a big part of who we are. Most of our team members own a pooch and it's not uncommon for us to bring our canine companion to work everyday.
We even created our very own Dogs Of Beerfarm 2022 charity calendar of our own doggo's, with all proceeds going towards POOPS.
POOPS stands for Pets of Older Persons and they're a not-for-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers, providing free pet care for people over the age of 65, in palliative care or with disabilities who need support.
These guys have been 'Keeping people and pets together’ since 2010 and with most of us feeling a bit of separation anxiety when we're away from our pets, we can relate.
POOPS' Priscilla Lynch tells us more about some of the good deeds they do for humans and doggos alike, and how we can get involved.
How was POOPS first born?
Like many great ventures POOPS WA started at a party! For many years co-founding couple Richard Wheeler and Tangea Tansley held an annual fund raising party at their home, inviting family and friends. As one such event in 2009, someone suggested giving the funds raised to an organisation with a funny name that they’d heard about on the radio.
Tangea's search for this organisation led her to finding POOPS NSW founder, Kath Gazzard. With Kath’s blessing Tangea roped family and friends into starting POOPS in Western Australia. In 2010, shortly after POOPS WA started to get off the ground Kath passed away from a terminal illness.
Looking back over everything that has been achieved, Tangea says that, "nearly ten years later, POOPS is not only alive, but continuing to grow and thrive, would have given Kath immense happiness. Indeed, I’m convinced she knows anyway.”
For those who haven't heard about the good work that you do, give us a brief rundown of what POOPS is all about.
POOPS is all about ‘Keeping people and pets together’. At POOPS we believe no one should have to give up their pets due to age, disability or poor health. We provide fee-free support to the elderly living in our community and those living with disabilities. You’ll find our volunteers all over Perth, Busselton and Preston.
They walk dogs, provide transport for all kinds of pets as well as administering medication. Basically whatever is needed and mutually agreed between the volunteer and pet owner. POOPS also collaborate with organisations, companies, councils and other not-for-profits to provide additional benefits to our clients.
For example, discounts for grooming, boarding facilities and vet costs, because we know how important yet costly these fees can be. At the heart of POOPS though is community. We are so proud of being able to bring people together and watch their friendships grow. Many of our clients and volunteers have shared with us that they consider each other as family.
Describe what some of your typical clients and their pets are like?
Our clients are usually over the age of 65, palliative care patients of any age, or people living with disabilities who need assistance with caring for their beloved pets either on a long term or short term basis. POOPS pets come in all shapes and sizes but one thing they have in common is how excited they get when they see our volunteers!
Who are your volunteers and why do they love working for POOPS?
Our volunteers are animal lovers aged from 18 all the way up to 85! Some have pets of their own, recognise how important pets are and want to support someone in their community. Others would love to have pets of their own, but due to work and family commitments aren’t in a position to take on a pet full time.
What kinds of animals has POOPS looked after previously?
We mostly look after dogs and cats, but we’ve had a few rabbits, birds and even a horse!
What is the one kind of animal that POOPS would refuse to look after?
There isn’t any animal that POOPS would refuse to look after, but sometimes we’ve been asked to assist with a dog that has behaviour issues that needs addressing before we can take them on. We are very lucky to have our own Dog Behaviourist in Nat from Dog Dialogue. Nat gives us advice on the more serious cases and whether we’re able to assist or not. Nat also does group training sessions with our POOPS pets and their volunteers.
What are some of the pawesome events that POOPS takes part in?
Our volunteers love to walk, and so we’ve taken part in quite a few of those over the years, like the Million Paws Walk and most recently for the Festival of Busselton in January, our team down there got involved with A Dogs Day Out. They’ll also be taking part in the Rainbow Dog Walk where the money raised will go to Hospice Care in Busselton. We’re also in the middle of planning our next movie night, which we're pretty excited about as the last one was so well received.
What does it take to become one of POOPS many trusted volunteers?
Simply fill out the application form on our website. You’ll need either a current National Police Clearance or a Working with Children Check. Once your application is processed, you’ll catch up with the coordinator for your area for an induction and a chat about all things POOPS.
Tell us about one of the funniest doggo or client stories you've had since working with POOPS.
Definitely the story about Molly the herder! One of our POOPS pets is a border collie named Molly. We all know how smart and energetic border collies can be, so Molly gets walked by a POOPS volunteer every day.
On one such walk Molly and her volunteer Cathy were at a beach in Busselton when Molly spotted a lady walking her ‘herd’ of golden retrievers, a mother and her 5 pups. Cathy told Molly ‘you must go and do your work’.
With that Molly took off after the herd into the water and the waves, which was a total surprise as Molly had never swam before! Once they were all out Molly continued to herd them along the beach while Cathy got chatting to their owner who was holidaying in Busselton for the week. Every day that week they caught up. Molly got to herd the golden retrievers while Cathy got to chat with her new friend.
How else can people get involved with supporting POOPS, if they are unable to volunteer their time?
We appreciate that some people, for whatever reason are unable to commit to supporting a POOPS pet and their owner on a regular basis. We take part in many events throughout the year, so volunteering for a few hours or an afternoon is a great alternative.
$60 helps us support one client and their furry friend for a WHOLE YEAR! So a once off or ongoing small donation through the ‘Give Now’ platform goes a long way. Visit our online store and buy something for yourself or a friend from our new range of merchandise. Our striped embroidered Tee, Grey Marie Hoodie and totes are all favourites.
POOPS are part of Containers for Change. Look for the refund point in your neighbourhood, drop off your containers and choose to donate to POOPS! Spread the word, tell people about us, our name certainly grabs peoples attention!
Did you know that one donation of just $60 will support one client in looking after their pet for a whole year? Thanks to YOU guys for purchasing our Dogs Of Beerfarm charity calendars, we raised enough money to look after 45 different pets for a whole year!
Want to show your support for POOPS and the many good deeds they do for humans and doggos alike? Give them a follow on Instagram, chuck them a like on Facebook or check out their website to donate or find out how you can volunteer your time for the good of both hooman and dogkind.