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Hunter Animal Rescue plans purr-fect pets picnic

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Hunter Animal Rescue (HAR) is planning the purr-fect event for its annual pets picnic at Speers Point Park this weekend.

And, the 15th edition of the much-loved get-together will take place on Sunday 30 April between 10am and 2pm.

The occasion enables the organisation to celebrate the role it plays in connecting local families to “fosters” in need of new homes.

“As always, the HAR Pets Picnic is a free family event for all ages featuring market stalls, entertainment and kids’ activities such as farm animals and a jumping castle,” president Danielle Nicholls said.

“We’ll also host our own foster cats and dogs in the Cat Cave and Puppy Precinct where people have the chance to meet their potential forever friend.

“The main mission of Hunter Animal Rescue is to give vulnerable animals a second chance at life.

“So, we encourage the residents of the Hunter/Lake Macquarie to adopt from a rescue group.”

The event will be officially opened at 10.30am by Lake Macquarie City mayor Kay Fraser, who attend with her “pupper”.

“Owning a pet brings joy to so many families right across Lake Macquarie,” she said.

“However, there will always be some animals that need to be rescued, rehomed and rehabilitated.

“And, that’s where the work of Hunter Animal Rescue comes to the fore. 

“For almost 20 years, this wonderful group and its volunteers have assisted thousands of four-legged treasures, saving them from euthanasia and finding them a forever home.

“On behalf of everyone in Lake Macquarie, I’d like to thank Hunter Animal Rescue and all the tireless people who have helped keep it going.”

Ms Nicholls said the pets picnic was also an opportunity to acknowledge the resilience of HAR’s foster carers. 

“When the community thinks about the welfare of companion animals, they are often drawn to those headline-grabbing stories involving the work of the RSPCA in bringing a notorious animal abuser to justice,” she explained.

“Less well-known is the rehabilitation and rehoming work undertaken by the 90-plus organisations approved under S88B of the Companion Animals Act 1998.

“Hunter Animal Rescue is one such group.

“We were formed by a small group of volunteers in November 2004, bringing animals at risk of euthanasia in Sydney pounds and transporting them up to Newcastle.

“Over the past 19 years, HAR has grown and now supports a number of councils and the RSPCA across the Central Coast, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Muswellbrook and Mid-Coast taking animals in need of rescue into our volunteer foster carer’s homes.

“We do not own or operate a shelter or boarding kennel.

“We receive no government funding and rely on adoption fees, donations and fundraising to cover our costs for food and veterinary work.

“In October 2021, HAR entered into a formal agreement to undertake cat rehoming services for Lake Macquarie City Council.

“Since then, we’ve rehomed more than 150 companion animals for that LGA alone extending to dogs as well.”

Sunday’s event will close at 2pm with the drawing of the raffle by major event sponsor PetQuarters.

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