What happens to your pet if you have a crisis?

Positively ageing with pets can be wonderful and with a bit of planning, you can have peace of mind knowing your beloved companion animal is being looked after well while you are in hospital or experiencing another crisis.

During the first three months of working as a veterinarian in Canberra, the founder of ACT Pet Crisis Support, Dr Eloise Bright, had several animals surrendered to her care simply because people couldn’t afford the vet bills.

She founded ACT Pet Crisis Support in 2019, after recognising that adopting every sick animal wasn’t a sustainable solution.  Dr Eloise Bright is also the president of Pets and Positive Ageing (PAPA) which is an advocacy group to help older pet owners.

Dr Bright said to the Canberra Weekly that there isn’t a system currently in place that can alert people if there is a pet at home when someone has been taken to hospital. If there is no family around then there is no one to arrange care for the pet.

On Tuesday 11th May PAPA is hosting a Community Conversation to discuss emergency boarding and foster care for older pet owners.

Currently, should a pet owner need to go into hospital and there is no family support available, there are limited services available to help. Services like the RSPCA and Rainbow Paws in Canberra are often overwhelmed by the demand for emergency boarding.

PAPA is gathering key members of the community to discuss this issue and would welcome any extra input from PAPA members who might like to join or who have suggestions on ways forward for this important issue.

About Pets and Positive Ageing Inc

Pets and Positive Ageing Inc. formed as a direct outcome of a Canberra community conversation in 2012 on pets and aged care, hosted by Patron, Mary Porter AM.

Pets and Positive Ageing Inc offers practical support for change and has hosted and directed a number of workshops and public sessions to support ageing pet owners. For more details on past events and future events, visit here.

For those ageing at home, Pets and Positive Ageing Inc strongly supports and works with Northside Community Service Pet Assistance and Wellbeing Service (PAWS). PAWS delivers pet support to low-income ACT residents, who are frail, ill and/or incapacitated and unable to readily access care for their pets; and to assist these pet owners when transitioning to higher care. More information about PAWS is available here.

Positive ageing with pets petcare plan

Planning what to do to ensure your pets are taken care of is a task we often put off. It is worth thinking about early and spending some time putting together a Petcare Plan

Consider what would you do if you had to go into hospital temporarily?  Who would look after your pets if something happened to you?  Would the carer know how to look after your pets and ensure they cope with the transition?