The Pet Directory Cat Article - The Animal Welfare League of Queensland

The Pet Directory Cat Article - The Animal Welfare League of Queensland

As published in The Pet Directory QLD, NT & WA Edition


Animal Welfare League of Queensland - History

The Animal Welfare League of Queensland Inc. was founded in 1959 by a small group of people on the Gold Coast who were determined to improve the facilities available for the care of stray and unwanted animals. The founding president, Neil Anderson, is still actively involved. Now, almost half a century later, the Animal Welfare League has grown so big it is one of the largest animal shelters in Australia. It is set on five acres of land and has not only rehoming facilities with room for up to 70-80 cats, and the same number of dogs, but also has its own surgery, shop and private clinic. Also on site is the Gold Coast City Pound and the League is responsible for the care of all impounded animals.

Animal Welfare League of Queensland - Rehoming

The League is currently rehoming 4000 cats and dogs per year with the rehoming rate growing every year. All animals receive a thorough veterinary health check as well as a temperament assessment. They are also desexed, vaccinated, wormed and flea treated. In an effort to rehome as many animals as possible, the League has two Pet Rehoming Centres, located in already existing pet supply shops that don’t otherwise sell pets. This generous effort by the shop owners, who receive no financial benefits for their services, has resulted in more than 600 cats and dogs finding loving new homes since the program started nearly a year and a half ago.

Animal Welfare League of Queensland - Desexing

The League’s ultimate goal is to become a zero euthanasia shelter and has created some very proactive desexing incentives. Many people have taken advantage of the reduced price desexing the AWL public clinic offers. Financed by donations generously given specifically for the purpose of reducing the high number of unwanted litters being born in the community, the Last Litter Fund provides a free desexing voucher for the mother of every litter of puppies or kittens surrendered to the AWL. As well, the Desex Fund is designed to assist those who can’t afford even the AWL reduced prices. The League is also working with the local government and other stakeholders to introduce by-laws and procedures which will develop more responsible pet ownership.

Animal Welfare League of Queensland - Community Support

As with most charities the AWL relies solely on the public’s generosity. This may take the form of monetary donations and bequests; or donations of food & blankets to the refuge or clothing and furniture to the Opportunity Shops. However, the gift they rely on most of all is ‘time’. The AWL could not continue to operate without the generous offer of so many volunteers who spend their time improving the lives of the animals at the AWL in many different ways, including cleaning and feeding the little ones, grooming and socialising them or just helping to keep the place running in a dozen other ways e.g. gardening, office work, fund raising, and running the Opportunity Shops.

Animal Welfare League of Queensland - Foster Care Program

One of the big demand areas for volunteers is in supporting the League’s Foster Care Program which has been operating for some years now. This entails taking animals into your home and caring for them until they are able to be rehomed permanently. Most animals in need of foster care are under age or underweight kittens that need time not only to reach eight weeks of age but also at least 1kg in weight. This is a lovely way for children, and adults, to experience the pleasure of having little ones running around, chasing anything and everything and learning the multitude of things that kittens must learn to survive in the world - all this without adding to the already huge population of unwanted animals. Mums with new born babies and injured or recuperating adults also regularly need foster care. Fostering is a very important way of saving as many lives as possible – without homes for the little and sick ones there would be no option but to put them to sleep.

Animal Welfare League of Queensland - Enrichment Program

Another volunteer effort the League is very proud of is the Enrichment Program. This program involves dogs being taken to the beach twice a week for a lot of fun and exercise. It’s a great outlet for the dogs and their walkers who are both able to stretch their legs and enjoy fresh air, sand and great companionship. Currently there are more than 30 walkers ranging from a young student to a retired pilot and his wife.

Animal Welfare League of Queensland - Golden Oldies

The Golden Oldies program is designed to find loving homes for dogs and cats aged approximately eight years and over who enjoy good health and still have a few years of love and devotion to give to their new family. Very often, that animal’s owner is also elderly and through ill health may no longer be able to keep their pet. It is very distressing for them to give up that animal who may have been their closest companion for many years. The League gives them comfort by striving to find a new home for their companion and are asking for very special people who are able to open their hearts and home to these wonderful pets.

Animal Welfare League of Queensland - Education

The League strongly believes in teaching responsible pet ownership to future generations. Consequently many different student programs have been created including a 14 week Companion Animal Certificate Course at the refuge in which students have hands-on experience with every aspect of animal care, curriculum units to be taught at school, volunteer programs for students, and presentations in classrooms and during assemblies. One exciting project is the Adopt-a-Pen program which allocates dog kennels to school so that the students can assist the League is promoting the dogs in their specific pen. This gives the students real responsibility and a great satisfaction when the dogs find loving new homes.

For more information about the Animal Welfare League, please contact us on (07) 5581 7600 or via email: Please also visit our wonderful website:

Follow The Pet Directory on Twitter The Pet Directory on Facebook