FOR Bonnie Jackson and Amy Gannon, it’s been raining cats and dogs.
The pair, along with fundraising co-ordinator Melanie Thomas, run not-for-profit volunteer group Napoleon’s Menagerie.
Together they find short-term foster homes for homeless or surrendered animals before they go to loving families.
Amy began the group in October last year to “make a difference”.
“There are far too many animals that are homeless or put to sleep unnecessarily,” Amy said.
“We take on surrender cases but it’s mostly animals in pounds that are most at risk.”
She said they had taken animals from everywhere, including the Geelong Animal Welfare Society and the Mildura Pound.
Bonnie organises the foster care, with most animals fostered being cats and dogs, with the occasional ferret.
They are also looking at taking on other animals, such as guinea pigs and rabbits.
“The carers have to treat this animal like it’s their own,” Bonnie said.
All the animals have been seen by a vet and the carers are given an initial kit of a bed, food and litter.
The service has grown via word of mouth, with both Bonnie and Amy cutting back to part-time work to cope with demand.
“For the first six months, I was ploughing most of my income into Napoleon’s Menagerie but it wasn’t sustainable,” Amy said.
They mainly rely on donations and fundraising for support, and have a current network of 10 to 15 carers.
“A lot of people don’t really know what they’re getting into,” Bonnie said.
“They have got to be aware the animals might have problems.”
But both girls said they found the service rewarding.
“It’s so fulfilling. It’s like working with children,” Bonnie said. “It’s a good feeling to know you’ve helped them go to a lovely home.”
Amy said if she could save one animal, it was better than none.
“Animals can’t speak for themselves.”
To contact Napoleon’s Menagerie, go to www.napoleonsmenagerie.org or www.facebook.com/NapoleonsMenagerie.