Animal charity 'unfair target'

HER love of animals has seen her take in and foster strays, but now Grafton woman Janette Wilson and the charity she volunteers for are being targeted by vandals in an apparent case of mistaken identity.

Ms Wilson is the secretary of Grafton Animal Rescue, a charity established last year that finds abandoned animals - particularly dogs - foster parents until they can be adopted.

She said, recently, signs at Grafton Mall featuring the animals up for adoption had been torn and slogans such as 'this woman has 80 cats' scribbled across those that remained.

She said Grafton Animal Rescue only ever had about seven cats and four dogs at a time, split up between three carers in the Clarence Valley.

“Our numbers are considerably low all the time,” she said.

“We would turn away a litter of kittens, plus three to four adult cats, every week.”

She believed the vandals had confused Grafton Animal Rescue with fellow animal charity HappyPaws Haven, run by Grafton woman Sally Rogers. Ms Rogers has been at the centre of neighbour disputes in Grafton and Eatonsville for the past year.

“I was disappointed but also upset,” Ms Wilson said.

She said she had empathy for HappyPaws Haven, but wanted Clarence Valley residents to realise there were two distinct, separate groups.

“We are all working towards the same goal,” she said. “There is a massive demand for animal rescue here; the pound is a sad alternative.”

She said unlike the pound, the charities had a 'no kill' policy.

“The sad reality is if HappyPaws don't take them and neither do we, they get put down or dumped and Grafton ends up with a high stray population.”

She suggests locals help, rather than hinder the cause, by getting their pets desexed and volunteering to foster stray animals, if possible.

“If we can foster even one cat, that's one more we don't have to turn away this week,” she said.

Grafton Animal Rescue can be contacted on 0403 215 645.

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