Ev­ery Christ­mas bauble will do good

The Northland Age - - Local News -

An­i­mates stores across the coun­try are pre­par­ing to launch this year’s Tree of Hope fundraiser, with the pur­chase of $3, $5 or $10 ‘joy, love and hope baubles’ to hang on in-store Christ­mas trees. Do­na­tions can also be made on­line (www.givealit­tle.co.nz search “An­i­mates”).

The pro­ceeds will be do­nated to the SPCA and the Mo­bil­ity As­sis­tance Dogs Trust, help­ing them im­prove the lives of an­i­mals, and peo­ple like David Gould.

David had owned a phar­macy in Par­nell for 30 years when he con­tracted a pneu­mo­coc­cal sep­ti­caemic in­fec­tion.

The re­sult­ing com­pli­ca­tions cost him his arms, legs, and part of his ears and nose. Af­ter ma­jor re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, he was in­tro­duced to mo­bil­ity dog Em­mett.

“He does many tasks — he opens doors, barks for help, but the big­gest thing he does for me is that he makes me feel con­fi­dent in the com­mu­nity,” David said.

With Em­mett he could go any­where, and peo­ple would ap­proach and talk to him in­stead of shy­ing away.

“The best part about hav­ing Em­mett is the com­pan­ion­ship. He will stay by my side dur­ing the day, sit at my feet in the evening, and then sleep on my bed at night,” he added.

Mo­bil­ity dogs are trained to pro­vide as­sis­tance with ev­ery­day tasks for peo­ple liv­ing with dis­abil­i­ties such as mus­cu­lar dys­tro­phy, stroke, Parkin­son’s dis­ease, spinal cord in­juries and cere­bral palsy.

Mean­while SPCA mar­ket­ing and fundrais­ing man­ager Do­minique Leem­ing said she was hop­ing to beat last year’s ap­peal re­sult of $130,000.

“The joy, love and hope that An­i­mates cus­tomers and SPCA sup­port­ers give to an­i­mals in our care at Christ­mas is ex­tra­or­di­nary, and very grate­fully re­ceived,” she said.

“Christ­mas is a very busy time of year at the SPCA, with hun­dreds of un­wanted and unloved an­i­mals need­ing our help, but we can only help them all with your sup­port.”


David Gould and his mo­bil­ity dog Em­mett, the faces of this year’s An­i­mates Tree of Hope fundraiser.

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