POOPS is picking up again

The pet-based organisation gives volunteers the opportunity to unite with people’s dogs. Photo: Nell Van.

Pets of Older Persons WA (POOPS) is in the process of taking on new clients and volunteers after having to pause services due to the impact of COVID19. 

It is important to keep pets and owners together, despite illness or disability. Infographic: Nell Van.

The volunteer-run organisation offers services that aim to keep people and their pets together in instances where age or disability makes it difficult.

President of POOPS WA, Beth Wright says while dog walking is the bread and butter of what they do, it is not the only service they offer.

“We provide home visits as well as transport for our clients if they need to take their pets to the vet or boarding kennels.”

“We have had instances where [volunteers] have been required to help with litter changes for cats and rabbits.” 

She the services they offer are just as beneficial for volunteers as they are for clients.

Beth Wright, seen here with her dog Ray, explains why POOPS services are so important. Photo: Supplied. Audio: Nell Van.

POOPS volunteer Juan Propato says it is a great way to help people in your community, especially the elderly and those with disability. 

“I love helping others and I love dogs so it is a good combination for me.”

Propato says the services are important because it is something both the owners and the animals look forward to, as well as the volunteers. 

“The friendships that develop are an added bonus, it’s not just about walking the dogs but also about the interactions between the owners and the volunteers.”

“If the clients are smiling, I’m smiling as well, their happiness is my happiness,” he says. 

The not-for-profit organisation boasts more than 600 volunteers and 300 clients.

It has been running in WA for 10 years and operates from seven different branches in the metro area, ranging from Two Rocks to Mandurah.  

POOPS is also expanding to offer its services regionally, after starting a branch in Busselton last year.

Wright says the announcement that coronavirus restrictions will be eased means they can begin to introduce new clients and volunteers to the organisation. 

“Next week we can start looking at catching up with all the volunteers that have been patiently waiting for their induction.”

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