Organisation : Sunny Days Rescue & Rehab

Location : Melbourne

Time required : 4 hours per week

Duration of project : Ongoing

Skill Area : Volunteer Management

Sector : Animals

Posted on : 29 Feb, 2020

About the role

Sunny Days Rescue & Rehab runs a self/donation funded rehab centre for stray cats in Avalon, Victoria.  
90% of the animals rehomed through Sunny Days are rehabilitated ‘true stray’ cats; cats who’ve grown up wild, with very little or no experience with humans.  Our aim is to rescue, humanely rehabilitate and appropriately rehome cats and kittens who would otherwise be ignored, hit by cars, baited, euthanised, or die alone of illness or hunger.  We also provide support to local cat owners who require assistance to desex and provide a safe home for their cat, and actively work with the community, vet clinics and other industry professionals to decrease the stray cat problem.

Volunteers for our stray cat rehab centre, The Cat Cottage.

Cottage Volunteering Requirements:
– Ability to commit to regular weekly or fortnightly shifts. Living local to Geelong is easier for volunteers to commit to regular shifts.
– Ability to be contacted on facebook messenger.
– Patience and compassion towards animals undergoing fear based rehabilitation. You must be ‘pro’ rescue and rehab of stray cats or you will not understand our work.
– High level of skill in providing cleanliness, hygiene, enrichment and disease control of animals.
– Own transport and license.
– Cottage shifts do not qualify for Centrelink volunteering.

Cottage Volunteering Tasks:
– Clean our 7 large ‘colony’ cat pens including litter trays, bedding and surfaces
– Feed cats, top up food and water bowls, wash plates and bowls
– Wash cat bedding
– Clean soiled equipment
– Build trust with cats to get them used to humans and handling

Shift Days / Times / Lengths:
– One shift is completed per day and pens and crates are left clean, with the cats having all their needs met until the following day.
– Shifts can be completed anytime between 9-5pm although most volunteers choose to start mid morning or noon.
– Shifts take 3-5 hours depending on, a) how many cats we have at the time, b) the weather i.e. wind/dust/moulting season can increase cleaning time, c) whether you’re by yourself or have a shift buddy.
– Some volunteers do their shift solo which is a relatively big job but can be really enjoyable once you know the routine and the cats. If you’re applying to volunteer solo please be aware that after 3 initial training sessions you won’t be supervised for shifts, so you need to be comfortable, physically able, and have a handson attitude to complete tasks without assistance (although you will have contact with all other Cottage vols and can ask questions or express concerns in real time).
– If you have a buddy lined up to help you on a regular basis please have them complete an application and let us know you’d like to attend together.

Cat Temperaments:
The cats in our cottage have been rescued (humanely trapped) from various environments such as stray cat colonies (often family groups) residing in or near public spaces, stray mothers and kittens found in rural sheds or under buildings, and street born/street abandoned adult males who are sometimes Feline Aids positive and at varied stages of health decline. Many of our cats are un-handleable to begin with and remain that way for some time, so although some are now friendly and able to be patted or held by volunteers, some cats are not able to be touched and will not respond to attempts to play or interact with you.

As a general rule we consider cat behaviour to be on a spectrum from social/friendly, to shy/timid, to scared/non aggressive, to scared/aggressive, to full blown feral. We reserve the word feral for cats that need extensive long term rehab. Out of several hundred street cats we’ve rescued over 3yrs there has only been 2 cats we deemed unable/unsafe to rehab, this is how carefully we assess each cat and how much we believ rehabilitation is possible.

The rehab for the most part, is done simply through consistent, safe exposure to humans through our volunteers being in the same space as the cats while they clean and go about cottage shift duties. We enter the pens daily with positive offerings of food, clean water and hygiene maintenance and over time this starts to build trust in the cats. Once their fear begins to lessen the real work can begin 💕 The most rewarding part of what we do is the transformations we see; watching a terrified animal blossom into a happy and relaxed little character is truly amazing!

If you think this is for you please complete an application at the following link

ACN: 637 293 095       
Pet Exchange Source Number: EE101233 

About the organisation

Organisation name : Sunny Days Rescue & Rehab
Not for Profit : No

How to apply for this role

For details concerning this role , please contact

Joanna Sherwell

Phone : 0419124437

Email :

Please quote in application: VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR - STRAY CAT REHAB CENTRE - AVALON via Pro Bono Australia.


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