Animal Welfare League Queensland Press Release , June 23 , 2011
Age is no barrier for Gold Coast schoolgirl Sarah Braund who raised more than $1,000 for local stray and abandoned pets by locking herself in a dog cage for more than 24 hours.
At just 14 years old Sarah has embarked on a personal crusade against puppy mills while raising money for the Animal Welfare League of Queensland, which is struggling to stay open.
Determined for her voice to be heard, the Kings Christian College student spent a day locked inside a metal cage in her family home.
“I couldn‟t lie down properly but when I did I could feel the wire underneath me sticking into my back. I was in there for one day but these dogs are in cages for months and sometimes their entire lives,” Sarah says.
A puppy mill is a large dog breeding facility which mass produces puppies for profit, which are destined for pet shops, the i nternet and overseas markets.
Sarah raised $1143.55 for pregnant mums and their puppies at the AWLQ after her mission sparked a ground swell of support from the local community.
“It wasn‟t really about the money, it was more about showing the community that this is real and this does happen. Then I heard the Animal Welfare League shelter was in financial trouble and could be forced to shut down,” she says.
Sarah learned of puppy mills two years ago from a magazine article but it was a fellow student who triggered her to take action.
“A boy at my school shaved his head for leukaemia so I decided I wanted to do something that I was passionate about. Not all dogs have a beautiful and loving home like my dog has, so I decided to do something for those not as fortunate,” Sarah says.
“If I, as a young person, can do something then why can‟t adults step up and put a stop to this cruel practice?”
Despite the idea being „out of the blue* Sarah says her mother Sharon quickly got onboard.
Ms Braund admitted she was taken aback at first but is now oozing with pride at her daughter‟s achievements.
“As an adult you automatically think of the negatives, like who will provide the cage and who will support her. But Sarah was so excited and she didn*t see any barriers, so I thought why should I?
For her efforts Sarah was granted the privilege of naming a stray mother and her puppies at the AWLQ and much to her delight both pups have been rehomed.
Marketing Manager Brooke Whitney says, “Teenagers like Sarah are few and far between and we are go grateful and humbled by her taking action for what she believes in”.
Sarah, who hopes to one day become a vet, urged young people to step up and let their voices be heard as well.
“If you are passionate about something just go for it because the sky is the limit on what you can do,” she said.