HAPPY CHAPPIES: Andrew Fletcher, with his new best mate Chief, the staffy cross he adopted from Animal Rights and Rescue. Chief’s sad story is just one of many that could end happily this weekend.
HAPPY CHAPPIES: Andrew Fletcher, with his new best mate Chief, the staffy cross he adopted from Animal Rights and Rescue. Chief’s sad story is just one of many that could end happily this weekend. Cathy Adams

Make a friend for life today

CHIEF’S life was saved last month after he was found wandering the streets of Casino, extremely underweight, badly moulted, and alone.

The-two-year old Staffordshire bull terrier cross was adopted by Goonellabah couple Val and Andrew Fletcher from Lismore Animal Rights and Rescue Group (ARRG) to fill the space left by their recently deceased dog, Champ.

ARRG will take part in the worldwide Pet Adoptathon this weekend to find homes for as many dogs and cats as possible over a 36-hour period.

For Chief and Mrs Fletcher it was love at first sight.

“We were originally looking for a bigger, older dog,” she said.

“But we saw him and he had these beautiful brown eyes, he was very intuitive and our other dog Myka fell in love him.

“When we moved here I made sure to find an animal refuge centre because that is where we got Champ from.

“By adopting a dog from an animal refuge you have the potential to make the animal’s life a lot better. If anything they are easier to train and they are thankful to be in a stable environment.”

Mrs Fletcher is aware of the horrific stories that accompany some of these animals, including Champ who had been left without water and food for 10 days before the dog came under the Fletchers’ care.

Lismore ARRG has seen an increase in the number of unwanted pets this year and hopes to find safe and healthy homes for at least 30 animals this weekend.

“There has been a definite increase in the intake of animals,” ARRG founder and co-ordinator Barbara Steffensen said.

“I think the economy has to have some effect as people can’t afford to de-sex the cats and dogs. Anyone can go get a free kitten or puppy but when it comes to de-sexing them it is a different story.

“So people are getting a puppy but then they don’t want a dog.

“We get people who have left a box of puppies on the side of the road or just dumped animals in bushland.

“We want people to come in this weekend and see what we do and it will be lovely to see these animals go home with caring people.”

The Pet Adoptathon will be held at the ARRG centre on 135 Three Chain Road in Lismore between 9am and 3pm, today and Sunday.



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