Paws for a Christmas moment to help the animals

AS children across Australia pen their Christmas lists for Santa, a Bayswater North store is making sure there's a gift under the tree for their four-legged friends as well.

Since opening Claws N Paws three weeks ago, owner Rob Thompson and his team have set up a wishing tree for Coldstream-based animal welfare organisation Animal Aid. He likens the fundraiser to the Kmart wishing tree.

Each tag on the tree includes a description and photo of a cat or dog in need of a home. Customers are able to donate a gift or voucher tailored to the particular animal.

Mr Thompson said gifts purchased for animals that were rehoused before Christmas would be given to another cat or dog at the Animal Aid shelter.

Besides the wishing tree, the pet store is running a donation drop-off bin and an adoption wall.

Mr Thompson said residents could donate tinned food, blankets, leads, toys and any other unwanted pet goods to the store. "Some people may have had a pet that has passed away. Instead of throwing the belongings away, another cat or dog might be able to use them."

Mr Thompson said the adoption wall wascreated by a local student in partnership with Animal Aid and the animal welfare agency Blue Cross Animal Society.

He said it encouraged potential pet owners to consider adopting a cat or do — "it helps promote awareness of the plight of animals in need of a home".

Mr Thompson said the store had already received several donations under the tree and elsewhere.

"So far we've only raised a couple of hundred dollars but I'm sure [as] December hits and the Christmas feeling spreads, we'll get a lot more support. If I can get it to$1000 worth of donations, that would be great."

Claws N Paws is at 1/210 Canterbury Road, Bayswater North. Details: 9036 1729.

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