Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - Lacee Froeschl [email protected]­

WHEN Mel Hutchin­son frac­tured her knee cap work­ing for an an­i­mal res­cue, she didn’t want her jour­ney with animals to end, so she opened An Ex­tra Paw.

The north Bris­bane an­i­mal lover spends Mon­day to Fri­day driv­ing around de­liv­er­ing up to 1000kg of dog and cat food to fam­i­lies in need, from More­ton Bay to the Gold Coast.

But she hopes the Sun­shine Coast could soon also be a home to it’s first “free lit­tle pet pantry” – she just needs other an­i­mal lovers to be her “golden re­ceiver”.

“All I want to do is come and hand out some food to those who re­ally need help, be­cause it’s needed ev­ery­where” she said.

“I just need some­where to set up a ta­ble and vol­un­teers to help pack the food and de­liver it.”

An Ex­tra Paw is cur­rently run en­tirely from her two bed­room granny flat that Mel reck­ons “looks like Pet­barn”.

The rooms are full with ken­nels, coats, med­i­ca­tion and food she packs into over 300 sand­wich bags weekly and dis­trib­utes to the 12 drop off points across More­ton Bay to help those strug­gling fam­i­lies.

“It’s all about the dogs for me,” she said.

“For so long I have worked with animals and I just can’t leave them.

“I’d rather see a dog with food in his stom­ach than his ribs through his coat.”

She even helps with emer­gency vet bills. But she couldn’t do it with­out the help from the com­mu­nity that do­nates to An Ex­tra Paw’s fund­ing ac­count.

Mel hopes that num­bers will dou­ble, as well with vol­un­teers will­ing to lend her “an ex­tra paw” here on the Coast.

If you can help Mel, con­tact her via her Face­book page, An Ex­tra Paw.


DOG’S BEST FRIEND: Mel Hutchin­son runs a pet pantry, An Ex­tra Paw, to help those strug­gling with food, coats, beds and vet bills.

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