Fourteen-year-old carer opens home to pets in need

January 20th, 2015
Fourteen-year-old Brianna

Fourteen-year-old Brianna Gadeley opened her home and her heart to care for pets in need, writes Kylie Baracz.

How long have you been involved with animals and how did you get started?

I have been involved with and been passionate about animals all my life and I first started foster caring in October 2012. I called the Animal Welfare League to ask what was needed to begin foster caring for them and I was told to just print off the application form from their website, fill in all my details and then send it back to the co-ordinator to examine. My family met all the correct requirements and just the next week we were called and offered to take a litter in need of urgent care – five kittens and one mother cat who all had cat flu and needed a place to stay.

What does foster caring involve?

Foster caring involves opening up your house to abused or abandoned animals to give them a second chance and look after them every step of the way. A dedicated area is required, outside or inside, just for the animals. Time needs to be set aside to look after the animals and spend time playing and socialising them with humans to prepare them for adoption.

What inspires you?

I was inspired to begin foster caring as my good friend had fostered many litters of puppies and kittens with the organisation AWL, and they all went so smoothly. The Animal Welfare League organised all the initial food for a few days, medicine and equipment. If a vet trip is required, they assist with this, which made the experience a lot easier and more enjoyable. I then decided to go through with fostering for myself, as I own a rabbit and he is not a destructive or aggressive animal. I enjoyed caring, feeding and looking after the litter of kittens and their mother. We had them for seven weeks and it was not a long-term commitment, because when they were eight weeks old they went up for adoption.

What is the worst part?

The worst part was giving them up once they were eight weeks old; I had become so attached to them as if they were my own pets. This was my first litter and I knew it was going to be hard, but in the end they all got adopted by loving families including the mother cat.

What is the best thing?

The best thing was coming home from school every day and knowing that I had the responsibility of caring for five kittens that were only two weeks old. It is such an enjoyable experience and I highly recommend foster caring to anyone looking for an animal, but can’t commit to owning one full-time.

Future Vet Kids Camp

Brianna also attended the fur-tastic Future Vet Kids Camp this year which provided talks, practical experience and information on the day-to-day life of a veterinarian. The next camp will run from January 5-9 and 12-16, 2015. The cost is $525+GST, and this year there is also a ‘PetSure Scholarship’ for two deserving participants! For more information about the camp, selection criteria for the scholarships, and how to register, please visit

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