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Shining World Compassion Award Recipient: Saving Animals From Euthanasia, Part 1 of 2

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Our precious animal companions are often our best friends and beloved family members. As much as they depend on us for care and protection, they also fill our hearts and homes with abundant joy, love, and blessings. Yet sadly, not all dogs and cats find themselves in loving forever families. In Australia, approximately 211,000 animal companions end up in shelters annually with nearly 44,000 euthanized. Founded in 2003 by Sue Hedley, Western Australian group Saving Animals from Euthanasia (SAFE) is an animal welfare organization dedicated to ending animal euthanasia through rehoming solutions for crowded shelters. "SAFE’s mission is to ensure that no companion animal succumbs to euthanasia purely through lack of somewhere to stay and that the optimum quality of life is achieved for all companion animals." Ms. Sue Hedley believes that finding loving homes to foster our animal friends is a more practical, cost-efficient, and humane alternative to isolation in shelter cages. "When I started SAFE and realized what the need was, I never thought for a moment of building a big shelter and putting animals in cages. It was just autopilot for me to go straight into the foster care way of operation. I knew there was endless homes. Anyone can foster. It doesn’t have to be a lifelong commitment. In fact, we encouraged people just to give it a go, just a one-off time can save a life. So no cages, no buildings, no cost of staff, cleaning, food. Our foster carers generally are happy providing food. So, it’s a really low-cost model and so humane. An animal can be in care with SAFE for a year and it’s no different to whether they’re in a permanent home. They just end up with a family as they would be. So it’s just a win-win for everybody really. SAFE focuses on matching pets with people. Due to the possibilities of foster care, there’s no urgency to adopt pets, but rather it allows time for the right match to be made. When pets can be viewed or discussed at length by phone or photos or even videos, potential owners can get to know the pet’s personality, rather than visiting an institution to view animals in cages, where their future is uncertain. How better the choice the adopters are likely to make, knowing that any pet they view or inquire about is going to stay in a loved home until a well-matched permanent home is found. No more pity or guilt-based decisions."
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