After what can only be described as an outpouring of community spirit and generosity, Erindale homeless man Pauly New will be reunited with his best mate and beloved companion Bruiser after he was impounded last week.
Thousands of Canberrans had followed the story closely – liking, sharing and commenting on Facebook posts as well as signing petitions addressed to Domestic Animal Services (DAS) asking for the animal to be returned.
So when Pauly’s sister announced on Facebook on Monday evening that Bruiser had passed his temperament tests, commenters noted they either had tears in their eyes or were ready to bust out the champagne in his honour.
By the next morning, over 1000 people had reacted to the post.
Pauly and Bruiser are familiar faces to many who frequent the Erindale Shops to get their groceries or pick up a coffee in the mornings before work. He says he is more than blown away by the support he received from the community.
“I just want to say how grateful I am, and thank you to everyone who supported me and Bruiser,” he said.
“Now I’m just looking forward to picking him up after he is desexed and us being able to hang out.”
An anonymous donor has stepped up to the plate to cover the costs of Bruiser’s desexing, which is likely to take place today (4 August) at the Belconnen Veterinary Centre, where Bruiser was able to get an appointment at short notice.
If all goes well, Bruiser will be free to go with Pauly.
But that’s not where the good news ends.
When Pauly’s story was shared, he was offered short-term accommodation and is now set to meet with Canberra Liberals MLA and Member for Brindabella Mark Parton, who wants to help him secure permanent housing.
Pauly’s sister, Melissa McCormack, said she’s also in a state of shock and, like Pauly, can’t thank the community enough for their support.
“It just all feels like it’s happened so quickly that I don’t know what to think yet,” she said.
Melissa explained that Bruiser had performed well in the temperament test that animals are subjected to upon being impounded, and when shown aggression, he put his legs up and did not attack.
A spokesperson for the ACT Government said that in all likelihood, as soon as Bruiser was deemed fit to leave the vets after he was desexed, the two would be together again.
DAS’s investigation will only be deemed complete once the desexing procedure is completed.
The spokesperson explained that every dog seized by DAS undergoes a behavioural assessment conducted by a qualified and independent canine behaviourist or assessor to gauge the temperament and behaviour of the dog.
They added that, in the ACT, all dogs must be de-sexed unless their registered keeper has applied for a ‘sexually entire permit’.
If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness, OneLink provides information and connections for support services in the ACT, including services for families and young people. A list of front-line community organisations can be found at VolunteeringACT and ACT Government funded homelessness services.