Teaching respect to children requires adults to practise what they preach, and that’s the basis of Willmott Park Primary School’s out-of-hours-care service and its animal initiative.
Families at the Craigieburn centre are getting behind the work of Gladstone Park’s Magic Paws pet rescue, an internet-based network that adopts out puppies and other domestic animals, many of them saved from animal ‘dumps’ in New South Wales.
“News South Wales has different laws,” out-of-school-hours co-ordinator Lisa Claridge said, describing a shute into which unwanted dogs are dumped until such time as a ranger passes to sort them out.
“The puppies are often attacked,” Ms Claridge said, pointing out scars still visible on a young bull terrier, Ernie. “He had scratches all over his face and was full of fleas.” It’s via the rangers that Magic Paws comes into action, organising to transport rescued dogs and cats to Victoria, where they are cleaned up and rehabilitated before being presented for adoption.
The out-of-school-hours families have pledged their support to raise funds to help the Magic Paws network. The centre has also set up a foster care network among its families to look after rescued animals.