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Ten carloads for the animals

A decision to donate blankets took on a life of its own for this volunteer.

Mairi Rose Macleod has always loved animals.

“The first pet that I really have a memory of was a marmalade cat called Ghandi. He was into passive resistance. We’ve always had multiple cats, dogs, fish. We had a turtle that ran away,” says the research administrator in the School of Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine.

News of the Black Saturday carnage inspired Ms Macleod and husband Kane Simons from the Faculty of Arts to help the furriest bushfire refugees.

“On a car trip on our way to work… we were talking about how nothing had really been said about the animals that had been affected. So we said, we’ll take some stuff to the RSPCA or wherever it needs to go, and if some people from our workplaces want to box stuff in, we can chuck it in with the loads we’re going to take,” she says.

But after an email appeal to Faculty staff, Ms Macleod was inundated with donations including towels, blankets, sheets, containers for feeding and watering, animal toys, horse blankets and buckets, fish food, calming spray and harnesses.

“I originally started keeping a count of what was coming in and from whom, but once we started getting in to the multiple hundreds of items, I kind of decided that my time would be better spent on other things,” she says.

The donations went to the RSPCA, Animal Aid in Coldstream, Whittlesea Animal Hospital, Lort Smith Animal Hospital, Blue Cross Animal Society in Wonga Park, and the Australian Animal Protection Society in Keysborough.

“We made ten carloads and there’s still another three carloads to go,” says Ms Macleod.

“I had a lot of support from within the School and the Faculty. It made the path easier for people to help.”

 
Mairi Rose Macleod

Mairi Rose Macleod