Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Need for public policy changes around pets: Liz Walker, Lort Smith Animal Hospital

Everything a girl needs: comfy couch, pink outfit, soccer ball and a blanky. Jessie lives it up bigtime!

We were contacted last week by a lovely gent named Bruce, who together with his wife has owned Cavalier King Charles Spaniels since the 1970s. Having retired and decided that it is time to downsize, Bruce is seeking to move into a retirement village but has been told that they can't bring their dog (whose family they have bred for generations) with them. He's done a lot of research, and sought advice from everyone including the Minister for Fair Trading (pending).

Unfortunately, Bruce is not alone. Many people find themselves in this position. This week, Lort Smith Animal Hospital CEO Liz Walker stepped up on behalf of pet owners to declare that we need to consider changes in public policy around pet ownership, in particular the need for more pet-friendly accommodation.

Walker, a veterinarian and animal lover, says that companion animals are a "lifeline to happiness" for many, and puts forth a powerful case. And for landlords who aren't keen for tenants with pets, she has some advice:

Animal people are mostly really great people and know how to look after a property. There are just as many dills who don't look after a property, and don't know how to look after a property, who don't have an animal. Pet ownership is not a proxy for destruction.
You can read the full article in The Age here.

Another fluffy blanket from Jessie's awesome collection. 
Bruce, we're thinking of you and your family. Meantime, we'd like to thank Jessie and Rae-anne for these stunning photos.

SAT has posted on the need for pet-friendly accommodation and pet-friendly aged care before, and we salute those who are working hard to create awareness and positive change around this issue. You can read interviews with some of them here:

Interview with Dr Emma Power 
Interview with Di Johnstone
Interview with Jan Phillips