Stray animals have always had a home in Warnbro woman Jane Blake’s heart.
Marking World Stray Animals Day last Thursday, Miss Blake wants to remind people “pets are for life”.
The day encourages people to show compassion, deploy caring initiatives and get into action for stray animals worldwide.
“It is heartbreaking to see there are so many people out there who don’t have compassion for animals and who don’t feel as though they are part of their family,” she said.
Miss Blake is a foster carer for nine animals and saviour of Holly, a two-year-old labrador/kelpie-cross that spent 16 months living in the Port Kennedy bushland.
Miss Blake said she first discovered Holly’s missing notice when she was looking for her lost cat and the story struck a chord with her.
She said Holly was a rescue dog that had been adopted by a family for just four weeks when she slipped her lead after a car frightened her and ran off into the bush in September 2011.
Months went by but Holly was always in the back of Miss Blake’s mind.
In July 2012 Miss Blake saw posts on Facebook about sightings of a skinny dog running up and down Ennis Avenue near the Safety Bay exit.
“I started following her footprints in July and spent many, many hours a day tracking her prints,” she said.
After building an enclosure in stages, Miss Blake was able to rescue Holly from the wilderness on January 25 with the help of the community and local businesses.
Miss Blake adopted Holly and has been helping her adapt to home life.
She encourages people to take stray animals to “no kill” pounds and ask professional advice when adopting an animal.
Warnbro Vet Hospital senior nurse Joanne Byrne said the vet received up to 10 stray or lost cats a week and the problem was increasing.
“We hold the cats until the owner is found or we put them up for adoption,” she said.
Mrs Byrne said more pet owners needed to sterilise their pets to avoid breeding.
An RSPCA spokesman said 89 abandoned animals had been rescued from WA homes in the last 12 months.