Volunteer truly man’s best friend
29-May-2013 12:00 AM
A Hoppers Crossing volunteer dedicated to ensuring abandoned dogs find the loving home they deserve has been named the May winner of a 3AW and Villa Maria Community Hero award.
Each month until June, an inspiring individual who has overcome the odds to achieve their dreams, or who makes a positive difference to their community, will be chosen to receive a Community Hero award. The initiative – run by Villa Maria and top-rating radio station 3AW – aims to ensure unsung heroes receive the recognition they deserve.
Mother-of-three Kerrie Gebert started not-for-profit dog rescue centre Puppy Tales from her home in April 2012, and has since re-homed more than 260 dogs.
Kerrie and her team place unwanted dogs and puppies in the care of foster families – who are assessed as responsible pet owners – before finding them a permanent home.
“Our aim as a rescue group is not only to help the lives of those in pounds and on ‘death row’, but to stop the dumping and ‘free to good home’ ads of unwanted dogs that eventually end up on the streets or in the pound system themselves,” Kerrie said.
Puppy Tales relies on donations and adoption fees to cover expensive health checks and immunisations. However these almost always fall short of what is needed and Kerrie is left to foot the remainder.
“It does get hard sometimes, but we get there,” Kerrie said. “When I see dogs who are frightened or really underweight blossom into the beautiful dogs that they always could have been, that’s what keeps me going.”
Kerrie’s friend Lori Mclean, who nominated her for the award, said she was amazing by the work of Kerrie and her team.
“Despite having a family of her own, Kerrie is dedicated to providing 24-hour care to the animals and will drive anywhere in Victoria to help a dog in need.”
Villa Maria Executive Manager Marketing Rebecca Ryan said Kerrie was a fantastic example of the type of community-minded and inspiring people the organisation and 3AW wanted to acknowledge.
In recognition of her achievements, Kerrie has been given $1,000 thanks to Mercedes Benz Melbourne, and Lori has received an exclusive $250 Mercedes Benz gift as thanks for his nomination.
Nominating is easy. To find out how visit: www.3aw.com.au/comp-communityheroes
If you would like to support to Puppy Tales Rescue visit: www.facebook.com/PuppyTalesRescue or call Kerrie on 0431 524 193.
Interviews and photograph opportunities are available upon request.
Media enquiries: call Cassie Zlonzak on (03) 9855 7729 or 0406 382 560.
About Villa Maria
Villa Maria is a values–based, not-for-profit organisation providing quality services and life enhancing opportunities for older people and children and adults with a disability, their families and carers.
Established in 1907 as the Catholic Braille Writers Association, Villa Maria has grown to become one of Victoria’s largest not-for-profit providers of disability, education and senior services with more than 60 programs supporting 5,000 people across the state and southern New South Wales.
Every day of the year, 1,100 staff and 300+ volunteers respond to the unique needs of the people and families we support with openness, innovation, creativity and flexibility.