An Ocean Grove-based pet care project designed to support the elderly and those living with a disability to maintain the upkeep of their pets has received a ‘high commendation’ at this year’s Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns Awards.
Cherished Pets Foundation was founded by local veterinarian Alicia Kennedy five years ago.
Well aware of the benefits pets bring to their owners but mindful of the difficulties vulnerable people face caring for their pets, she decided to set up a community pet care program.
While Alicia’s veterinary team provides affordable pet care, a dedicated network of volunteers assist owners with daily tasks such as walking. Owners find comfort, knowing their pets are being cared for even in hard times.
The program is open to people living in Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads and Point Lonsdale.
A Keep Victoria Beautiful initiative, the Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns Awards recognise and celebrate grassroots initiatives and positive actions taken by individuals, community groups, educational institutions, businesses and councils in rural and regional Victoria.
These include programs and projects that change behaviours, protect the environment, reduce waste, preserve our heritage, increase social wellbeing, celebrate Indigenous culture and encourage strong leadership, especially among our youth.
All up, these actions and initiatives improve, empower and build resilience in local communities.
Commenting on this year’s awards, Keep Victoria Beautiful Tidy Town spokesperson, Dick Gross said he was impressed by the calibre of entries and significant uptick in submissions from across all parts of the state.
“Clearly the awards have acted as an antidote to the pandemic and provided our rural and regional communities with a sense of purpose and something to strive towards in what has been an extremely difficult year,” he said.
“Each year over 20,000 Victorians across our state are positively impacted and involved in the awards in some way. These include all the spectacular project volunteers, town committees and councils as well as the locals who live in these towns.
“Ultimately, the awards don’t just promote the remarkable projects happening across rural and regional Victoria, they also help promote tourism in these amazing communities.”