Military mutts step out against cruelty

FIVE local dogs will proudly fly the HMAS Albatross flag this weekend, wearing specially designed navy uniforms in the 20th annual RSPCA Million Paws Walk fund-raiser in Wollongong.

Five Albatross personnel and their trusted companions will take part in Sunday’s event, raising money for the fight against animal cruelty.

It is the third time the local base has been represented in the walk and this year the local dogs will look resplendent, with permission given for them to wear specially tailored navy uniforms to the event.

The team is the brainchild of Petty Officer Olivia Usback, who along with her four-year-old Irish wolfhound cross, Murphy, has taken part in a number of the fund-raising events.

She will be joined by Chief Petty Officer Linda Eddington and Tiger Lilly, an 18-month-old bull mastiff cross, an RSPCA rescue dog, Able Seaman Kathleen Clifford and Indie, a two-year-old Staffordshire terrier, Able Seaman Christine Stone and two-year-old golden retriever Simba and Able Seaman Terren Bennet with Gloria, a spirited seven-year-old fox terrier.

Commanding officer Captain Simon Bateman joined the group on Tuesday to wish them good luck ahead of their weekend walk.

“It is great to see our personnel out and about taking part in community events and supporting another great cause” he said.

“We have all heard some of the horror stories of animal cruelty and our personnel saw this as their way of supporting the RSPCA, who do a great job.”

As well as paying their registration fee, the local team has also approached fellow base personnel for donations and sponsorship to raise extra money for the RSPCA.

Sunday’s walk will be for three kilometres at Reddall Reserve around Lake Illawarra. 

MARCHING ORDERS: HMAS Albatross commanding officer Captain Simon Bateman joins local personnel and their dogs ahead of Sunday’s 20th annual RSPCA Million Paws Walk fund-raiser in Wollongong.

MARCHING ORDERS: HMAS Albatross commanding officer Captain Simon Bateman joins local personnel and their dogs ahead of Sunday’s 20th annual RSPCA Million Paws Walk fund-raiser in Wollongong.

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