Community champion Kathy Jones from CHEETA with Maureen McKeown.
Community champion Kathy Jones from CHEETA with Maureen McKeown. Rachel Vercoe

Standing up for all the animals

This week's Community Champion is Kathy Jones form Coffs Harbour and Environs for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (CHEETA).

Kathy, along with Maureen McKeown, have been members of the group since it was formed in 2008.

What do you do?

The Coffs Harbour and Environs for the Ethical Treatment of Animals group (CHEETA) is the only animal rights group in the Coffs Harbour region.

We are working towards both behavioural and legislative change to stop the abuse, neglect and exploitation of all animals.

The group was formed in 2008 by the very experienced animals rights advocate, Judy Chesney-Coward.

Our first victory for the animals was lobbying the government with 2000 signatures to obtain better wildlife signage in the high road-kill animal areas.

Pushkar sponsored us and we now have large contemporary signs around the Coffs Harbour outer suburbs alerting the public of the increased wildlife.

Over the years we have moved into the fundraising and public awareness arena as it is the larger organisations that can effectively investigate, report and get legislation changed with regards to animal rights.

We have donated over $24,000 in the last six years to small rescue groups including Happy Paws who receive no government assistance, to the larger organisations such as Animals Australia for their outstanding work in exposing the cruelty with regards to Live Animal Export, Factory Farming and puppy mills.

We hold market stalls at various locations and events and sell our own handmade goods.

Petition signing is very important as well as information given out to the public who are often unaware of the many cruelty issues.

We have no overheads and 100% of the money raised is donated.

Feedback from the public is positive and very important to us.

We are continually striving to help improve the conditions under which so many animals have to live.

What is the favourite part of your job?

When a victory has been won for the animals, however small, we get satisfaction knowing we have played a small part with our donations, petition signing and information handed out to the public on that topic.

Where do you see the organisation in the coming years?

We are a very small group and would love to have more members so we can expand the work we are doing and continue with future projects.

We would like to set up a schools program on animal welfare issues and help with special desexing programs for all companion animals.

For more information, contact Kathy at jonesm@aanet.com.au.



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