Almost two thirds of Australian households own pets, seeing the benefits of companionship and improved mental health and wellbeing. Pets are particularly important for those over the age of 65 as they can also provide routine, focus and a sense of safety and purpose for their owners. However, when pets aren’t getting the exercise they need, they can quite literally get under our feet!
Pets of Older Persons, or POOPS, is a WA based not-for-profit organisation that is helping pet owners over the age of 65, palliative care patients of any age and people with disabilities in caring for their pets, a huge part of which is helping pets get the exercise they need.
POOPS is run entirely by volunteers who provide services such as walking dogs, providing pet transport or helping to administer pet medication.
For one of its current Busselton clients Ann, now 80 years of age, POOPS has been invaluable to her and her little dog Sophie, who she unable to walk. With the help of POOPS, Ann has a number of volunteers who walk Sophie every week and this means Sophie is no longer getting under her feet. Ann also enjoys her visits from volunteers who she says love to chat as much as she does!
Ann shares “I think it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me since I’ve been here, because before I was getting really down, not down in the dumps but you’re just on your own a lot and now I’ve got people coming nearly every day. Sophie and I have a very busy life meeting people and I love meeting people, I really do.”
POOPS currently has more than 300 volunteers, who are available in most areas across the Perth Metropolitan area including Yanchep, the Hills, Mandurah, Rockingham and more recently in Busselton.
If you’re interested in finding out more about POOPS, visit poopswa.org.au or call 1300 1100 92.