Southern Peninsula News 28 April 2020

Page 7

Animal adoptions ‘steady’

Home study: Zoe Dellaportas and her peers are coping with an unusual year’s study. Picture: Yanni

Class of 2020 in a year of its own IN a year typically made up of happy memories, lasting friendships and, yes, study, the struggle towards the VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education) is far from normal in the time of COVID-19. Rosebud Secondary College year 12 student Zoe Dellaportas, 17 this week, is coping like as best she can. “The hardest part is staying motivated,” she said of her studies at home. “It’s a matter of maintaining structure.” Luckily, her older sister Alex has been able to help. “She’s set alarms on my phone for the start and end of periods which has been a big help.”

Years 11 and 12 students have classes every day, from 9am-3pm. Studying English, chemistry, maths methods, special maths and dance, Zoe said facetime on Google Meet allowed students to listen to their teachers and converse one-on-one. “We can mute ourselves or ask questions,” she said. Chemistry practical lessons will be challenging. Small numbers of students can access the school’s lab to conduct experiments – rather than blowing up the kitchen at home – but will have to spread themselves around the Bunsen burners. Dance, also, is problematic. “I try to

keep exercising,” she said. “I walk the dog and keep moving – even cleaning my room.” But the VCE year is really only a shadow of its former self. “I really miss my friends,” Zoe said. “At first I was upset because I was hoping that this year we would be spending time together. “But everyone’s approach [to the restrictions] has been really good. We are making the best of it.” Year 12 exams have been pushed back to December or even January, with general assessment tests to be held in October, she said. Stephen Taylor

THE number of animals being adopted from Mornington Peninsula Shire’s pound in Watt Road, Mornington has remained steady so far during COVID-19 pandemic. “They are about the same as they were prior to social distancing,” the shire’s environment protection manager John Rankine said. The number of animals impounded is decreasing, he said, meaning there may be fewer animals available for adoption. The compatibility of pets and prospective owners is of primary concern to staff at the pound, who list animal profiles online with descriptions of their personalities and, of course, photographs. Interested applicants inquire online and staff send out an adoption form for completion. Mr Rankine said the shelter team judged an applicant’s suitability from a practical, long-term perspective, including their preferences for a pet and whether they could offer a suit-

able home environment and lifestyle. This includes being able to exercise and walk a younger, more energetic dog, every day, undertake appropriate training and generally care for the dog. Staff check on whether they have a reasonably sized backyard, or, if they are in a rental property, do they have the landlord’s permission to keep a dog? They check whether the dog is likely to be left alone for extended periods and possibly create a barking problem or develop other behavioural problems. For cats, staff assess whether the new owners are able to care for it, provide good veterinary care and, importantly on the peninsula, whether they will be able to contain the cat within the property, especially at night. “We aim to ensure our animals find the best outcome and enjoy their new families,” Mr Rankine said.

SES on standby and ready to help VOLUNTEER members of Sorrento State Emergency Service unit are on standby to help during the COVID-19 crisis, but are unable to visit schools, kindergartens, clubs and attend events. “With the winter weather here and people spending time at home we would like the community to think about their home maintenance to reduce the event of injury to themselves and damage to their property,” deputy controller - community education/ events Margaret Davis said. Preparing for winter included clear-

ing gutters and downpipes; making sure roofs and fences were in good repair; and securing such outdoor items as trampolines. Ms Davis said it was best to avoid driving during storms and to not park under trees or power lines. “Look after neighbours, stay informed and use au," she said. For help during storms and floods with fallen trees on roads or damage to properties call the SES on 132500, or 000 if the situation is life threatening.

An important message from the Victorian Government

STAGE 3 RESTRICTIONS ARE NOW IN PLACE. That means there are only four reasons to be out.

Shopping for food and supplies that you need.


Medical care and caregiving.

Work and education – if necessary.

Stay informed at

Southern Peninsula News

29 April 2020