When I was 16 years old I was gifted my very first dog as a birthday present from my parents. She was a beautiful Rottweiler pup and ever since then I’ve always been partial to the breed. Fast forward to the year 2000 and I was volunteering at the RSPCA WA cattery on the weekends. Once I’d finished my 4 hour shift, I would head over to the dog kennels and walk dogs for an hour.
As fate would have it, a stunning 5 year old Rottie named Shadow caught my eye and I started to walk her regularly. After each walk I’d give her a hydro-bath, then take her back to her kennel. Eventually my whole hour of dog walking was spent with Shadow. When my shift ended I would think about her all week, secretly hoping she would’ve been adopted by the time I got there the following weekend.
Shadow was taken to the RSPCA by her female owner, who had escaped her violent partner. Fearing for Shadows safety if she left her behind, and unable to take her with her to her temporary accommodation, she made the heartbreaking decision to surrender her. She knew she’d never see her again, but had no alternative. I cannot even imagine what that must’ve felt like and how horrible and hard it must have been for her to walk away from her loyal best friend.
After 4 weeks, Shadow was still at the RSPCA and there hadn’t been any interest in her. There and then I decided I had to adopt her, and have her join my then fur family of Crazy Daisy the Cocker Spaniel x, and Kasey the Persian cat. And so Bear (as she was renamed) came home.
Bear was a gentle soul, who eventually lost sight in one eye and slowly became more unsteady on her back legs. When I moved in with Deb, Bear spent her days giving Deb moral support while she toiled away on her PhD, often lying by her desk for hours.
Initially she didn’t like men and would rush at them and bark, as if to protect us, but as she got older this slowly dissipated. She lived with us until she was 12. A sudden episode of bloat took her unexpectedly and we held her paw as she passed.
I’ve always been grateful for the time I had with Bear but still feel a pang of sadness for her owner who loved her so much and had to give her up. I think it’s such a sad shame they couldn’t find a way to stay together. So when I recently heard about a new plan to help people in the same situation, it warmed my heart.
The RSPCA has launched a Domestic Violence Scheme, which is being trialled by their Inspectorate. It will provide a pet fostering service for families seeking to escape domestic violence in Western Australia. Pets are often used by abusers as a tool to control, threaten, intimidate and frighten their victim, by harming or threatening to harm the animals.
The aim of the Scheme is to guarantee to victims that RSPCA WA will care for their pets whilst they are in a refuge or temporary accommodation until they are able to find a permanent home. By providing pet fostering facilities for families, they will be reassured that their beloved pets are safe while they make their arrangements.
The RSPCA is now seeking compassionate people to be considered as Foster Carers for the Domestic Violence Scheme.
If you can help, please fill in this electronic form:https://www.rspcawa.asn.au/…/resour…/foster-care-dvs-web.pdf and email it to email@example.com or for additional info please email firstname.lastname@example.org