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Operation Safe Paws making a difference to vulnurable pet owners

Safe Pets Safe Families launches operation "Safe Paws" to help vulnurable pet owners

In June 2023 we provided $10,000 in funding to Safe Pets Safe Families to run a free dog desexing program for vulnerable pet owners. Unnecessary animal breeding is predominantly an issue in lower socioeconomic areas where cost and transportation can be barriers to desexing.

Operation Safe Paws was developed to help at risk pet owners get their dog desexed, preventing excess litters and improving the long-term health of much-loved companions. By providing free accessible desexing for dogs of disadvantaged or vulnerable pet owners they are reducing the number of unwanted litters and improving long-term health outcomes for pets.

Once approved, Safe Pets Safe Families case managers organised vet appointments, and when needed, transportation for both the client and the pet to their appointments. Operation Safe Paws would not have had the impact it did without the in-kind support provided by Safe Pets Safe Families volunteers who donated their time to assist with transportation to and from the vet appointments. In addition to desexing, microchipping was also provided, as well as other essential veterinary services to ensure the dog could undergo the desexing procedure safely.


Surgeries commenced in June 2023 with the final procedures completed in February 2024. In total there were 39 applications for free desexing, of these 30 dogs underwent the procedure.

The majority (22) of the dogs were pets of existing Safe Pets Safe Families clients and transport was provided by Safe Pets Safe Pets Volunteers for 10 clients and their dogs to their vet appointments.

The dogs ranged in age from 3 months to 12 years. 30% of the dogs were males and 70% females. Of the females spayed, one third had had a previous litter and one is noted for having had 5 previous litters. The importance of access to desexing is not just the prevention of litters but the prevention of suffering. This is especially important for female dogs who have not had a litter, and who are at a higher risk of developing pyometra, a serious and potentially life threatening condition. As was certainly the case with Chaos, who with the help of Safe Pets Safe Families was saved just in the nick of time, with an expensive emergency surgery.  Many others are not so fortunate to even access euthanasia, let alone preventing a horrible death with surgery.

This program has made such a positive impact already that were glad to donate a further $10,000 in March to enable SPSF to keep it going.


Below are just a few words from people who were able to be apart of Operation Safe Paws.

“We really appreciated being able to take this opportunity up. We took on this puppy as a rescue from a bad situation, and always planned to get her desexed, but bill unfortunately ended up taking priority. We never planned to allow her to have a litter or anything, but just couldn't afford desexing right now. We also had another dog we took on when "friends" couldn't keep her, as she was older, and they had tried to breed her, she was the first priority for desexing. And that took over a year of saving to afford to do that. Again, thank you so much for the assistance.”

“Yes Ruby and Joel are doing well thanks to SavourLife and Safe Pets Safe Families. I don't know where they would be if it wasn't for your organizations”

“Just letting you know Pammy is recovering well from her op. So grateful to you guys for helping so much in a time of need.”


We have also been very proud to donate towards The Fill Their Bowl campaign which is an important part of the Safe Pets Safe Families objective towards keeping people and pets together by providing food and supplies to pet parents in need.

Since December 2022 over 2500kg of pet food has been donated which equates to 8,395.46 meals!

If you would like to find out more about Safe Pets Safe Families then head over to their website HERE.