S march in to an­i­mal dogs’ best friends

Rachel Ri­ley

Townsville Bulletin - - DEFENDERS -

most hard­ened United States Marines.

About 15 US Marines with Com­pany L, 3rd Bat­tal­ion, 4th Marine Reg­i­ment, 1st Marine Divi­sionyes­ter­day vol­un­teered, so­cial­is­ing, walk­ing and train­ing dogs and clean­ing out en­clo­sures.

First Lieu­tenant Ghazi Al­banna said he had grown up with dogs and loved in­ter­act­ing with them.

“We’ve been hang­ing out with them and giv­ing then treats,” he said. “We’ve been told it’s very im­por­tant for them to be so­cial with different faces be­cause they are usu­ally in their cage for up to 23 hours a day.”

Cor­po­ral Ni­cholas Evans said play­ing with shel­ter an­i­mals was a great ex­cuse to leave their host base Lavarack Bar­racks and give back to the com­mu­nity.

“I have dogs at home I’m miss­ing very much and I want to bring all th­ese dogs back with me,” he said. “I hope they all find new homes.”

Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing 3/ 4 In­fantry Bat­tal­ion’s Com­pany L Cap­tain Tom Schue­man said while his Marines were in Aus­tralia to train for war, the group wanted to be good guests.

He said shel­ter an­i­mals also held a spe­cial place in his heart.

“I’ve got two dogs back home, one of whom is a res­cue her­self, so this is pretty cool to come here and see some of th­ese dogs and give some at­ten­tion to a great place like the shel­ter,” he said.

“We’re con­sid­er­ing adopt­ing one and nam­ing him Lucky ( Lima Com­pany’s call sign).

“Our mis­sion first and fore­most is to be ready to fight, part­nered with our al­lies, but an ad­di­tional part of our mis­sion is to give back to the com­mu­nity.”

RSPCA an­i­mal at­ten­dant Zoe Biggs said the shel­ter was al­ways short of vol­un­teers so the Marines were a wel­come morale boost for staff and the an­i­mals.

“There is only one an­i­mal at­ten­dant per sec­tion and we can re­spon­si­ble for up to 30 dogs at a time so we are al­ways look­ing for more walk­ers to help us out,” she said.

“Ev­ery­one wants to a adopt the dog that can sit, wait and be pa­tient so we do want them so­cial­is­ing and prac­tis­ing their train­ing.”

Tank, Tia and Ir­rawaddy are all avail­able for adop­tion from the RSPCA Adop­tion Cen­tre Townsville at Shaw.

To adopt them or for more in­for­ma­tion on an­other an­i­mals, visit the cen­tre seven days a week from 10am to 5pm or call 4774 5130.

PTE Monique Lock 2nd Close Health Com­pany pro­vides treat­ment to a ca­su­alty.

Dog Tia.

The 1st

CLOSE MATES: 1RAR Lieu­tenant Nick Maguire has al­ready taken to this dog which looks for­ward to its walks at the RSCPA shel­ter. Pic­tures: WES­LEY MONTS

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