The Animal Welfare League is already planning its next big change

The Gold Coast Animal Welfare League has more big plans, after only just officially opening its freshly renovated cattery at Coombabah.

Around 150 guests attended the unveiling of the building which is around 30 years old. It has been named after the late Florence Venery who helped fund this and many other changes.

$700,000 has been spent on turning this building into a cattery and also adding water towers.


Florence was an avid animal lover and a woman ahead of her time. She died in June 2014 and left a sizeable bequest to multiple charities including the AWL.

“We are so grateful to her that we have named the cattery the Florence Venery Cat Adoption Centre in her honour so her incredible contribution will be remembered forever,” CEO Denise Bradley said.

The facility has 16 state-of-the-art enclosures for both communal and individual living for cats and kittens, along with two exercise areas which can also double as enclosures for cats that require time out.

A new, dedicated wet area for meal preparation, medical treatment, along with the ability to quarantine rooms, gives AWLQ staff and volunteers greater flexibility.

Animal Welfare League Queensland has rebuilt the adoption centre and totally refitted the shelter’s veterinary cat clinic where all the cats are de-sexed, microchipped, vaccinated and treated for any injuries or illnesses before being put up for adoption.

“Both the cattery and vet clinic are vital for the wellbeing of the cats and kittens who can come to us very seriously sick or injured,” Denise Bradley said.

Ms Bradley’s father and Animal Welfare League Queensland Co-founder Neil Andersen, now 93, officially opened the Adoption Centre on Wednesday night.

AWL co founder Neil Andersen and daughter and AWL CEO Denise Bradley. Image: my gc

AWL co founder Neil Andersen and daughter and AWL CEO Denise Bradley. Image: my gc

Mr Andersen was one part of a group in the 1950s that revolutionised animal care with the support of the then Gold Coast City Council.

He said when they first got started Council donated some land to them. But raising money meant holding chook raffles or selling toffee apples in Nerang Street etc.

Mr Andersen said they set up the shelter, which started out as a handful of sheds, because the animals had nowhere to go. They were roaming the streets and getting run over by cars.

Ms Bradley said her dad only recently stopped attending committee meetings, saying he was starting to feel a bit tired.

She wanted to continue working with animals because both of her parents liked to give back to the community so she started an AWL branch in Beaudesert shire. She has been on the board since 1993.

Ms Bradley said she can’t believe how it’s grown over the years. They started with 15 staff and now have 200. They have expanded to now have five shelters housing 1,500 animals, several community vet clinics and 11 opportunity shops.

Next on the list of things to do is to fix the dog kennels.