At Peanuts Wellbeing Sanctuary, animals who have suffered abuse and neglect now live in a safe, caring environment, where they are rehabilitated by the sanctuary team. The animals, which include pigs, sheep, dogs, goats and cats, are either rehomed to willing families or live out the rest of their days in the capable care of the sanctuary. Peanuts Wellbeing Sanctuary also provides another essential service. They work closely with local organisations like Shine for Kids to provide animal assisted activities and animal therapy to children from neglected and abusive backgrounds, and children and young adults impacted by the criminal justice system.
Children and young adults hosted by Peanuts are given a unique chance to rehabilitate from psychological suffering and to build self-esteem by helping to rehabilitate rescued animals with a history of abuse and developing a bond with those animals, and by seeing them treated with compassion. The relationship fostered between the child and the animal is a truly symbiotic one, where both benefit from the care and attention of the other.
During the 2019‑20 bushfires the volunteer base was stretched to its limits as many people who donated their time to Peanuts were also RFS volunteers, helping fight fires close by. It got so tough that they had to ask for urgent community donations just to feed the animals. Peanuts Wellbeing Sanctuary receives no government funding and operates entirely on donations. The pressure on charities that receive no government assistance for the work they do has a mental toll and a financial ceiling. Places like Peanuts Wellbeing Sanctuary provide an essential and under‑appreciated service for animals and children. This Parliament has recognised the link between child abuse and animal abuse. In recognising that link we must also recognise the services that can help both to recover. The Government must do more to support the work done by Peanuts and other rescue organisations. On behalf of the animals in their care and the children they support, I thank the team at Peanuts Wellbeing Sanctuary for their amazing work to make this a better world for all.