Thank you to our amazing volunteers! Posted on May 19, 2020 Our volunteers are the reason that RSPCA NSW is able to do what we do. Thanks to their tireless help, day in and day out, thousands of animals get the care, love and protection they need. To each and every one of our excellent vollies, we want to say thank you! We hope you know how much we appreciate you, not just during Volunteer week, but every single week of the year. To celebrate Volunteer Week 2020, we profiled a handful of amazing people who have been volunteering their time in various roles across RSPCA NSW. Take a look: CASEY MCFADYEN Role: Foster carer How long have you been a foster carer for the RSPCA NSW? I fostered my first ever animals in August 2012. A sweet little pair of guinea pig brothers. What do you think the most rewarding part is? The reward is in the action of fostering itself. It’s taking home a sick or scared animal and seeing what a positive impact YOU can have on them. It’s that first pat, that first nose boop, first lap sit, or even maybe just the first time they choose to be in the same room as you. Do you have a favourite memory from your time fostering? To choose a favourite is incredibly difficult because they are all so wonderfully special. A little kitten that really showed the benefits of the foster care system was baby Annika. A sweet little ginger girl who, along with a couple of other kittens, shared our home for a while. She liked to do things at her own pace and didn’t like to be rushed. So when that first nose boop came, I could have cried! I was so grateful for that moment, knowing she was ready to take the next step to becoming a lucky adopter’s forever friend. ARTHUR FRAUENFELDER Role: Branch President, Albury Volunteer Branch How long have you been a volunteer for RSPCA NSW? 35 to 40 years. What’s your favourite part about being a volunteer for RSPCA NSW? In general, it’s seeing the positive outcomes for the animals. People are aware of the RSPCA. Along with the vets, we’ve actually gone into schools and educated kids on their responsibilities on how to look after a dog or a cat. That’s a very gratifying thing because I know that each of those kids, when they go home, are going to educate their mum and dad too. What’s your favourite memory from being a volunteer? There’s a lot of them but the one that sits in my mind the most is when Bill (the old Branch President) was directed to a mine shaft because there was a dog stuck down the bottom. They’re not sure how he got down there – it was 100 feet deep! Bill being Bill, he climbed down into the mineshaft, which was straight down, and brought the dog up. The dog looked like a living skeleton because he was so skinny. That dog, a little Fox Terrier, became his pet. It made the papers and everything! Whenever you saw Bill, you remembered there were people who would go to the extreme to look after animals. What would you say to anyone considering volunteering? We ask volunteers to give and do what they can and not feel guilty. My thing is this: if you can do an hour a week or an hour a fortnight, or you can do five hours a week… Thank you. You’re just as important to the cause, no matter how much time you give. MAUREEN BROWN Role: Cattery Volunteer at the Illawarra Shelter How long have you been volunteering for? Nine years. What do you love the most about volunteering for RSPCA NSW? Cuddles. Brushing. I love cats! I love dogs too, but I love cats. I like getting to know the cats because some of them are there for quite a long time so you get attached – and then it’s nice for them to get adopted and go to a new home. That’s the nicest bit. What is your favourite memory from volunteering? We had a beautiful cat called Pumpkin and he was under veterinary care for quite a long time, but the staff and the vets persevered and figured out what was wrong with him. He was [at the shelter] for a really long time, and he finally got adopted! That’s the best thing. To see the ones who are there for a long time find a home. They just need one special person to come in and it’s great, you feel like going up and hugging them and saying, ‘Thank you so much for taking them home!’ DOMINIQUE ROTH Role: Volunteer at the Care Centre, Tuggerah How long have you been volunteering for? Six years this October. What’s your favourite part about volunteering for RSPCA NSW? Playing with the dogs! Because of my disability, I’m in pain 24/7, so when I go in with the dogs, I focus on the dogs and I’m not thinking about my pain. That’s why I enjoy doing it. They take my mind off myself and that’s what I love. What is your favourite memory from volunteering? I remember one day I was walking to work and I was in so much pain but then I got to the door and saw Baxter. We got on so well, Baxter and I. When he saw me, he ran up to me and he jumped on me, and from then on I just had the best day. ANN JAMES Role: Op Shop Volunteer at Tweed Heads How long have you been volunteering for? 11 or 12 years now. How did you come to be a volunteer? It was through a recommendation from a friend who already worked at the RSPCA. I started in the smaller shop [in Tweed Heads] first of all and then when that closed, we transferred to the large shop. What’s your favourite part about volunteering for RSPCA NSW? I enjoy meeting people and doing it for the animals. I’ve got two little dogs myself. What would you like people to know about volunteering? That it’s all for the animals, which is the most important thing. And it’s just going and having some company and meeting different people, and doing something worthwhile. JOANNE FLACK Role: Admin Volunteer at the Sydney Shelter How long have you been in your admin volunteer role? 15 months. What do you enjoy most about your volunteering role? Foster care. I took home a four-week-old kitten with a lice allergy and fleas that developed glaucoma from uveitis. He is now 15 months old and is my foster fail, Han Solo. Knowing I have helped to save the life of a cat or kitten and to give them a second chance, and a safe and happy home until their forever home is found gives me enjoyment and keeps me busy too – particularly when there are five kittens in a litter. What enticed you to sign up for an admin-based role? After finishing Cert II in Animal Studies at the Sydney Shelter, I realised I wanted to do something with my sales background and liked the idea of admin work within the Fundraising Team. What is your favourite memory from volunteering? Other than adopting Han Solo, now 15 months and Maggie May, now 10 years old. I loved helping out at a high tea for Home ever After and chatting to like-minded people in the public about all aspects of keeping animals safe and in a loving home if something were to happen to us. EMMA SAXBY-TISDELL Role: Hospital Volunteer at the Hunter Shelter How long have you been volunteering for? Just over a year. How did you start volunteering at RSPCA NSW? I started volunteering because I used to work with animals and I wanted to start working with them again and I thought would be a good opportunity to do this. What is your favourite part about volunteering? Seeing the animals improve each week and playing with the dogs when I take them for walks. Although there can be some sad stories, there are also lots of happy endings and it can be very rewarding. To find out more about volunteering for RSPCA NSW, head here.