BEST MATES: Zoe Foster with support worker Natasha Saif as part of the RSPCA Happy Paws Happy Heart program for people with disabilities.
BEST MATES: Zoe Foster with support worker Natasha Saif as part of the RSPCA Happy Paws Happy Heart program for people with disabilities. David Nielsen

RSPCA plays match maker

RESCUE animals looking for new homes at the RSPCA Wacol campus have been receiving lots of love and attention from a special group of animal lovers.

Dozens of socially isolated people visit the campus each week to interact with the animals and learn how to train and care for them through the Happy Paws Happy Hearts Program.

The program was established by Zoe Black and Graeme Caplen, who identified a missing link between animals and people with mental or physical disabilities, and the elderly.

The program aims to give socially isolated people a sense of purpose while also learning new skills and making new friends.

As an added bonus, all the work the participants do with the different animals help them to get adopted sooner.

One of the courses offered through the Happy Paws Happy Hearts program is the disability 12 week course.

Co-founder Zoe Black said this particular program allowed residents to work with a wide array of animals at the campus.

"In this group, the people spend four weeks working with dogs, three dogs working with cats before moving on to work with wildlife and animals in the farm yard," she said.

"This group of people is currently working with the dogs and they will learn how to train the dogs, like teaching them to sit, while also learning about positive behaviours that the dogs show."

Ms Black said the program was available for individuals for those from community organisations who love animals.

If you would like to know more, log onto the Happy Paws Happy Hearts website at hphhfoundation.org



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