The wonder-woman behind Mission Paws'ible and Unleashed
Over time with hard work, blood, sweat and many tears, we have truly made dreams come true for the animals we have saved.
Tell us your story – how did you get here?
There’s no ‘short’ story to how I found myself settled on a tropical island surrounded by my personal rescued pets, incredible animals, fellow rescuers and amazing people from all walks of life and industries.
My name is Prue. I was born-and-bred in Melbourne, Australia (with a short stint in a little country town called Barham, NSW). I’ve spent time living in London and Sydney working for clients from all over the world. My paying occupation is Graphic Design and I run my own online creative agency, We Create.
So, most people ask me, ‘why are you saving animals’? I get it. To give up the glamour and the cushy life of the corporate world and find myself stopping my scooter, hot, sweaty, and disheveled, to collect a little pup with no hair and awkwardly work out how to transport it from its location to the vet. ‘Why?’ is the common question. ‘Why not?’ is my answer. But where did it all begin?
After 15 years in the design industry my partner and I decided it was time to throw on the backpack and explore mother earth. Spending time in Nepal, India, Malaysia, Thailand and finally Indonesia, I saw many animals suffering and wanted to help.
After 12 months of globe-trotting we landed in Bali, where I spent nearly two years offering my design and marketing services pro-bono to several animal projects. But I quickly realised the charity model isn’t quite cutting it. Donations are awesome, but they solve our problems only for a fleeting moment.
Rescue is a 24/7 job, and it has taken over 10 years to establish Mission Paws’ible to where it is now. But despite the blood, sweat and tears we invest into rescuing animals, we never seem to have enough money. So it got me thinking, why not create a sustainable, profitable business coupled with the charity model?
In 2018 we launched our online store which stocks pet accessories handmade in Bali with 100% profits supporting our mission. Additionally, through this project, we created the Circle of Giving™ programme, which means when you buy from us you not only help animals in need, but also the local community through employment. In 2020, we dreamed bigger and started to fundraise for The Healing Centre – a safe, calm and loving environment where our rescued animals can heal. Plus, adjacent to the centre, we are creating the world’s first dog park with a difference. Unleashed will be a natural dog park that will offer a safe space for dogs to socialise with their parents, as well as doggy day care, pet grooming, a pet shop, training, a vegan cafe and a co-working space. But the best part is, 100% of profits generated from Unleashed will be reinvested into community programmes to stop the suffering of homeless animals through education, sterilisation and vaccination.
So, we are not an overnight operation that has just sprung up, but over time with hard work, we have truly made dreams come true for the animals we have saved.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Fundraising to long lease 21 Are for The Healing Centre (construction to be completed by October 2023) and Unleashed Dog Park (to start construction in 2024 or earlier if we have the funds).
What impact have you made in Bali?
We work differently to other rescue groups by working with others, the general public and dog lovers, on how to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome animals they find or report. No one group (or the collective of groups) can solve the never-ending problem of overpopulation of domestic animals. This is a community issue, and we believe we are all responsible to resolve the issues at hand.
What does the future look like for you?
With the opening of The Healing Centre, for me personally, the future looks a lot calmer. I won’t have to have 20+ dogs in my home, managing them every day. Instead we will have an organised centre, with staff and protocols to follow to ensure the best healing environment for the animals and the people working with them.
What do you love most about Bali?
The versatility it offers to one’s lifestyle. What I mean by that is, I can manage my time as I see fit. I have unconsciously designed a lifestyle that can combine my creative passions, work, animals, business and saving lives.
But right now, being in the depths of construction and the never ending requests for help for animals in dire straits, this is a really hard question to answer… I guess the weather?
Any advice for those wanting to make a meaningful change?
Start now. Every little bit helps whether it is picking up some trash, or feeding a stray, or supporting your community in any way that benefits the whole.
Who is your Local Legend and why?
Julie from The Odd Cat Cafe has called out an influencer “rescuing” sick animals from the Denpasar Animal Market to then “release” them on a block of land with no food, water or shelter, let alone medical check. It seems the “influencer” did this for “likes” on social media.
Julie was brave to expose this VERY REAL and common issue we face here in Bali with influencers.