About the shelter
Commencing operations in October 2001, the Northern Rivers Animal Services (NRAS) is a volunteer-run, self-funded charity institution that provides foster care and the opportunity for pound-surrendered dogs and cats to find stable, loving, and permanent homes.
As one of the larger organisations looking after the welfare of companion animals between the coastal areas of Coffs Harbour and Tweed Heads, it takes the place of the work done by the RSPCA. NRAS works directly with the Ballina Council Pound, so the animals that have overstayed their welcome at the pound are transferred to the organisation’s shelter in Ballina. They also work directly with similar organisations within the Northern Rivers region.
NRAS operates on a fostering basis, where it relies on its network of well-meaning and experienced foster carers to provide temporary love, care, shelter, and training until the companion animals are ready to move into their permanent homes. Like other domestic animal welfare organisations, NRAS believes in the power of educating the community about the many benefits of desexing as a way of limiting the numbers of abandoned and surrendered dogs and cats. As part of their desexing campaign, they provide low-cost, subsidised desexing services in partnership with local vets for people who cannot afford regular desexing fees.
Through their website, NRAS also provides the public with useful and downloadable information regarding what to do when someone has lost a pet, found a lost animal, or needs to rehome a furry companion. The rescue also requires potential adopters to complete either a dog or cat questionnaire on the site. The questionnaire will then be reviewed and assessed by members of the organisation, and will match animals with potential families.
- The main objective of the Northern Rivers Animal Services is to educate the public about responsible pet ownership.
- Through education, they hope to improve the worth of cats and dogs as pets in society; change the attitudes of humans towards animals; prevent the births of unwanted domestic animals; rehome rescued animals; and promote zero euthanasia rates for all healthy and treatable dogs and cats.
How you can help
NRAS is always keen on hearing from potential foster carers or volunteers. Interested individuals are encouraged to fill out a volunteer or foster carer form found on their website. Financial membership supporting the work of the organisation is also available with members receiving regular newsletters, invitations to events, and the ability to vote at annual general meetings.
Monetary donations are highly welcome as well as donations in kind that may be suitable for resale at the Op shop or may be used for administrative purposes. If you cannot foster, adopt, or donate, you can always volunteer your time. Northern Rivers Animal Services always welcomes volunteers to help run their Ballina or Lismore Op shops, provide general office duties at the Ballina shelter, and assist during their many community events.