Jess's story



I think I've always had this need to help people because I've always needed help myself.


I don't want anyone to feel how I ever felt isolated, mistreated, you know, full of trauma

and things I've had to work through. So that drew me to rescuing animals because they're just like us.


You know? They need love, they need connection. And the minute you give it to them, they just turn into these incredible, incredible dogs who are so happy that you have put the time into them.


And they just attach themselves to you in a really loving way and it's beautiful.


I could have adopted any other dog in that shelter and I would if I could.


I don't think my wife would let me come home with a hundred dogs, but I would if I could.


But instead I adopted this dog who didn't know how to be a dog because they'd never been

allowed to be one.


And that resonates with me because I've never really been allowed to be who I am. And today I am who I am and Delilah is getting there.


She's getting to that point and it's such a beautiful thing to see. It's just... Yeah. Makes my heart melt, looking at her.


1 in 4 Australians will struggle with alcohol, drugs or gambling in their lifetime.


Just one part of Jess's story is her lived experience with prescription drug addiction, but it's often the only part that people choose to see.


Right now, roughly half a million Australians living with addiction are unable to access the support they need due to a lack of available treatment or fear of judgement.


I draw a line down a page. Just really simple.


And on the left is the person who I was, the person who took a lot of drugs, who drank, who, you know, wasn't very nice to people, who did things that really, you know, society looks down on. But that person wasn't well.


And then on the right-hand side, you have me now. And so the person today rescues dogs and puts back into society, is a positive contributing member of society.


The person on the right functions, builds relationships, isn't as scared of being abandoned

as she once was.


And, you know, now I get to help people in the job that I have, and I help people

who stand where I once stood outside the door of a drugs and alcohol service, ready to take that step through that door and make a change in their life. And I'm there to welcome them in.


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