14 March, 2021
WHY I LIVE IN CENTRAL QUEENSLAND - No pressing 'paws' for animal rescuer
Leanne Jochim talks to the Highlands Leader about why she loves living in the area.
A LOCAL animal rescue worker has lived in Emerald for nearly four decades and has made a paw-shaped print in the town’s memory.
Leanne Jochim has been a well-known face in the Emerald sporting community for many years, after moving here in her youth.
However, once her children moved away, she became a foster carer for CQ Pet Rescue, eventually overseeing all cat and kitten adoptions in the area.
Mrs Jochim said her father worked on a pipeline when she was a child.
“We settled in Emerald in 1981 for brothers’ high school when I was in grade seven,” she said.
“When we first arrived, there was only one television channel in the town, which was the ABC.
“I’ve always loved Emerald because we have the best of the mining and cotton industries here.
“The dam was the biggest draw as we skied a lot – my second oldest brother was even a Queensland representative for skiing.
“I also love the community spirit.
“I was involved in clubs like karate and football and tried to be involved as much as possible in my kids’ sport.
“Then two and a half years ago I started working for CQ Pet Rescue fostering and adopting cats, and now I’m the adoption coordinator for cats.
“My daughter was also involved so I helped her out and have done it on a volunteer basis ever since.”
Mrs Jochim said CQ Pet Rescue foster carers foster in their own homes as there is no shelter and it is all private volunteer work.
“We have a great committee of ladies at CQ Pet Rescue,” she said.
“Our highest priority is promoting desexing, as well as trying to encourage people to use cat enclosures in their homes.
“Last Christmas was one of the worst periods we’ve had for animal dumping since I’ve been working with the pet rescue.
“It breaks my heart and hurts fosterers, too.
“However, we’ve had a positive response to promotions.
“For example, we’ve just done 60 free spots for desexing and nearly had all of them taken in 24 hours.
“With misbehaving cats it all comes down to irresponsible pet ownership.
“To me, cats are family but accidents do happen where a cat can get out.”
Mrs Jochim said she has had a few challenges in the Central Highlands.
“I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and go to Brisbane every six months to see a Rheumatologist,” she said.
“Travel can be hard.”
Mrs Jochim also has a small business that she works on.
She said she attends local markets such as the Twilight Markets, Lions Markets and Capella Markets to sell the soap and lip balm she makes.
“I love it,” she said.
“I love living here because my family is here, and it is an opportunity where pretty much all of us can be here.”