Walk the talk

A POOPS volunteer at a dog training day in Manning Park.

Thank goodness for POOPS during the lockdown.

No it’s not a brand of toilet paper, but a not-for-profit group who walk dogs belonging to the disabled and elderly.

Pets of Older Persons’ free service means that owners don’t have to give up their beloved pets – often their only companion and a source of great comfort, especially during social isolation.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the group has continued to operate with volunteers keeping a safe distance while collecting Rover for walkies.

POOPS Priscilla Lynch said most of their elderly clients don’t have relatives or friends.

“Some of our pet owners have told us their beloved pet gives them a reason to get up every morning,” she says.

“Pets can have a positive impact on a person’s wellbeing, but for some elderly or infirm people pets are vital.

“They provide loyal companionship, are particularly important for the socially isolated, and can help people remain in their homes for longer.” 

Since the pandemic, volunteers have also kept in touch with clients by phone to see if they need any groceries or other essential items.

POOPS has been operating in greater Perth for more than a decade and has about 200 clients and 500 volunteers. Last April it opened a branch in Busselton. Volunteers mainly walk dogs, but also look after other pets, and pre-pandemic they took animals to the vets and helped give them medication.

To make a donation, volunteer, or request help go to poopswa. org.au or call 1300 1100 92.

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