Tinisha gives northern dogs a taste of home

Volunteer spotlight for National Volunteer Week

Showing people what our dogs are like outside the shelter environment can be the key to them finding their forever families.

In this capacity, northern volunteer and foster carer “Terrific” Tinisha also plays an important role as a writer and photographer at both our Devonport and Burnie Homes.

Tinisha has been a volunteer since November last year and a foster carer since January. She loves taking dogs from our Devonport and Burnie Homes on day adventures, going for walks and taking them to her own place for quality couch time and cuddles.

Volunteer Tinisha
Rocky giving Tinisha lots of love

She writes entertaining reports on their day together, along  with plenty of fabulous photos and videos, which the Homes’ content creator uses to craft photo galleries and stories for social media.

“Her role as a volunteer and foster carer is so vital,” volunteer and foster care co-ordinator Mel says. “She provides foster care for dogs when they are stressed in the shelter, as well as fantastic enrichment activities. Tinisha is a fantastic volunteer.”

“Tinisha is very focused on ensuring our dogs are well looked after,” Burnie staff member Debbie says. “She brightens up the dogs’ morning when they see her arrive.”

Tinisha has been an animal lover all her life and always wanted to volunteer for an animal organisation.

“Volunteering means giving back to the community but also helping every dog who comes through to enjoy their stay,” she says. “They didn’t choose to end up with us, so I want to spoil them to pieces until they find their families.

“I find it incredibly rewarding in many aspects, but just seeing how happy the pooches are is one of the biggest. It has also been amazing for both my physical and mental health.

Volunteer Tinisha
Rocky, that's a bit too much love
Volunteer Tinisha
Naps on the lawn with pup Priya
Volunteer Tinisha
Priya soaking up the cuddles

“Just before becoming a volunteer my mental health wasn’t great and I was burnt out — but after just my first day volunteering, I felt so much lighter and happier. It’s amazing how great animals can be for mental health. At the end of a long, draining week, there is nothing better than heading to the Dogs’ Homes and getting cuddles or playing with some pooches.

“With fostering, I always thought it’d be hard to give any dogs who came through my home back, but that’s actually one of the more rewarding aspects. Knowing that you gave them the little bit of extra care and attention they needed before finding their forever home is honestly so rewarding.”

Tinisha comes from Stoke-on-Trent, a quintessentially named English city if ever there was one. So how did she wind up in Tasmania?

“I moved to Townsville in Queensland back in 2005 when my mum was offered job there,” she says. “Skip ahead a few years to 21-year-old Tinisha, who was looking for a change and to get away from the ridiculous heat and humidity.

“I was given the opportunity to move here for work, so I packed up my things and my kitty Sandy, and in September 2020 I made Tasmania my home. Despite a few hurdles — I moved here knowing no one — I have never looked back and I doubt I’ll ever leave. Besides, what would I do without the pups of the Dogs’ Homes?”

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