The social enterprise Cherished Pets Foundation, was founded in 2015 by veterinarian Dr Alicia Kennedy with a clear purpose to enable the benefits of healthy companion pets and a thriving human animal bond to be accessible to all people.
Our vision is a world where the human animal bond creates and contributes to the development of connected and healthy communities.
Cherished Pets is a dual entity: Cherished Pets private veterinary practice (the world’s first certified B Corporation veterinary service), meeting high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability); and the Cherished Pets Foundation, a registered charity that supports our social mission with fundraising and a volunteer program.
By nurturing the human-animal bond, preserving the health and wellbeing of pets alongside their owners, we empower individuals facing vulnerability. This catalyses happier, healthier lives, fostering the creation of resilient and connected communities.
In our community, vulnerable and marginalised individuals who have pets, including those experiencing homelessness, mental health crises, domestic family violence, age-related constraints, or disabilities, often face significant barriers in accessing essential support services. They're confronted with an agonising choice between their own wellbeing and the welfare of their cherished pets, leading to profound stress and isolation. These challenges not only impact individuals but also place added strain on our society.
Research highlights the remarkable benefits of the human-animal bond in enhancing physical, mental, and social wellbeing. However, these very bonds can prevent individuals from seeking the help they desperately need.
The good news is this is where Cherished Pets makes a transformative impact. Our social mission is to provide immediate and essential veterinary services and home pet care assistance to people in crisis and their pets, eliminating the heart-wrenching decision between their own wellbeing and their beloved companions.
Cherished Pets unique social veterinary service brings together a passionate team of veterinary social workers, dedicated veterinary professionals, and skilled volunteers dedicated to bridging the gap between human health and animal welfare.
We offer crisis pet care, personalised home care assistance packages, and a volunteer program, all centered around preserving and strengthening the human-animal bond.
Through a person-centered approach, we provide immediate support to individuals whose already overwhelming challenges are further complicated by pet ownership. We ensure pets receive the necessary care and reunite with their owners as soon as possible, preserving this unique bond and reducing the likelihood of pets being surrendered.
For individuals experiencing homelessness, our services mean their devoted animal companions, can continue to uplift mental and emotional wellbeing, alleviate isolation, and inspire a sense of purpose even during life's challenging moments.
For survivors of domestic violence, where it is estimated that companion animals are present in 70 per cent of cases where DFV occurs, providing accommodation for these pets ensures that clients can find refuge, creating a haven of safety and support for both.
A key challenge for people post-crisis is recovering in an unfamiliar and confusing environment; therefore, returning pets to families so that pet-related routines can continue is valuable in providing structure to navigate new environments and to enhance recovery.
For older individuals, particularly those without family or social support, our veterinary services help preserve the invaluable human-animal bond, nurturing emotional wellbeing by keeping their pets healthy to foster rich social engagement through the profound bond between humans and their pets.
Our veterinary professionals and animal health team:
Provide pet health, wellness and behaviour assessments and plans
Peace of mind consultations
We help with daily pet care tasks such as:
Brushing and washing pets
Cleaning up pet waste
Transporting pets to the vet
Administering flea and worm treatment
In home pet respite care
Emergency planning services:
Emergency pet care planning to ensure pets are cared for if their owner is hospitalised, moves into an aged or disability care facility or passes away.
Respite pet care for pets in the event of an emergency or during times of change.
Cherished Pets Foundation is a registered charity governed by a Board of Directors. Current members of the Board are: