From less than a dozen members to now boasting more than 50, the Shoalhaven branch of Animal Welfare League (AWL) shows no signs of slowing.
The branch celebrated its 40th birthday on October 25.
The first president Dr MH Waters was elected on October 25, 1979. It's many members are active volunteers, either fostering, helping on the raffle tables or assisting with the group's homeless or desexing program.
When the branch first formed it also rescued and rehomed a large number of injured birds and wildlife.
Over the years as other rescue organisation began specialising in these areas within the Shoalhaven it concentrated more on companion animals such as dogs and cats.
Each year AWL helps those who can no longer care for their pets due to deaths in the family, an inability to find pet friendly rental premises, incompatibility with other pets or insufficient funds to look after their animals by offering an in home foster care program whilst animals await adoption.
The desexing program was introduced in the late 1990s and is still assisting those on low income with the desexing of their pets. To help celebrate the 40th milestone, AWL is offering $50 cat desexing all this month.
"I'm a big advocate for rescue dogs now and a lot of my friends have rescued a dog.Jenny Moon
In September 2017, with the support of the North Nowra Vet, Berry Vet Clinic, and the Shoalhaven Homeless Hub, AWL began its Pets of the Homeless Program which provides free desexing, vaccinations and food to animals in need due to their owner's homelessness.
Branch president Annette Smith said the club's driving motivation has always been to make life better for the companion animals of the Shoalhaven, through education and helping those unable to care for their animals themselves.
Like many clubs, she said the biggest challenge is finding new members and people with enough time to volunteer but it's the heartwarming success stories that keep them going through tougher times.
"One of our recent favourites is the story of Ruby, the little terrier who came to us after being found wandering and dropped to the pound with a severely infected eye," she said.
"She is was in dire need of medical attention and a foster situation and so when no owner came forward for her she was transferred into our care.
When she arrived poor Ruby could barely walk to her carers front gate but following surgery to remove the ruptured eye, removal of mammary tumours and the repair of a hernia she was a different dog. She was happily running down the beach on her daily walks and was then adopted into a loving home."
AWL Shoalhaven branch celebrated it's birthday through an adoption and information day at Bunnings at the start of the month, before heading off to the Pet Expo the following weekend.
Animal Welfare League Shoalhaven branch success story: Lexi
Jenny Moon fulfilled her dying partner's wish to get their dog a companion - leading her to rescue Lexi.
Six years ago the couple owned a havanese and a poodle. When their poodle died, Jenny's partner told her their havanese would need a friend.
Eighteen-month-old Lexi, a chihuahua cross, was looking for a new home through AWL. Her elderly owner had recently died.
Jenny had never owned a rescue dog before and had only had purebreds. Adopting Lexi changed all of that.
The dog has become a much-loved member of the family, which also includes Jenny's other dog Patch.
While Patch is shy and timid, Lexi loves people and is outdoing. The pair complement each other and have become the best of friends.
While she didn't live to meet Lexi, Jenny said her partner's dying wishes to adopt the pup helped her through the tough time.
"Lexi's brought a lot of joy to my life," she said.
"I'm a big advocate for rescue dogs now and a lot of my friends have rescued a dog.
"There's nothing wrong with them, they're beautiful."