South West community supports local wildlife warrior

Protecting Bunbury's fauna: Wildlife carer Doreen Jones has been recognised by the South West community with a fundraiser as a token of appreciation for her tireless efforts to protect wildlife. Photo: Thomas Munday.
Protecting Bunbury's fauna: Wildlife carer Doreen Jones has been recognised by the South West community with a fundraiser as a token of appreciation for her tireless efforts to protect wildlife. Photo: Thomas Munday.

For more than 36 years, wildlife carer Doreen Jones has been travelling across the South West rescuing injured and distressed animals.

Although her career as a wildlife carer in the region began after reading a newspaper advertisement in 1983, Ms Jones' deep love for animals began long before that.

Even as a child, Ms Jones recalls her father telling her off for attempting to bring foxes and badgers into the home.

"I've just always loved animals," she said.

Despite turning 70 this year, Ms Jones insists she cannot see herself slowing down - having looked after 82 animals in December and 25 already this January.

It was that unwavering dedication to her role and tireless efforts to protect local animals that caught the attention of the Hawker family.

Having utilised her services several times, Geoff Hawker said he knew exactly how selfless Ms Jones was and just how much of her time she dedicated to the wellbeing of wildlife.

"She just takes in everything," he said.

"She doesn't turn a single animal away. The amount of work that she does, and the large area that she covers, it's amazing, but it's costly."

Living in the same suburb as Ms Jones, Mr Hawker said he had often seen her stocking up on bird seed and animal supplies at the local supermarket.

On Tuesday, January 14, the Hawker family established a GoFundMe Page in her name - which has since drawn $1,685 in donations.

"It has been really well-received," he said.

"She's even had a few donations of hundreds of dollars from the UK - one person said she hoped Doreen would spend it all on herself.

"I have since been in contact with Doreen and she's suggesting that I put the money to a credit at South West Pets. I definitely will put some of the money there, but I would also like her to spend some of it on herself.

"I'm already really chuffed with the donations we've received already.

"So many people are working to benefit themselves.

"These sorts of people are really unique - she's a real treasure."

Ms Jones said she was overwhelmed and humbled by news of the fundraiser.