[ Publicity ] Former stripper Vanessa O’Brien turns saviour of lost dogs, turtles and goats with Gold Coast Pets

ORIGINAL LINK: http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/lifestyle/pets-and-wildlife/former-stripper-vanessa-obrien-turns-saviour-of-lost-dogs-turtles-and-goats-with-gold-coast-pets/story-fnk74alk-1227451527100

JULY 22, 2015 12:00AM

VANESSA O’Brien has gone from being a stripper to the saviour of escaped turtles, decamped dogs, wandering rabbits and a walkabout goat with her thriving local animal welfare business.

When she opted out of the adult entertainment industry a few years ago and bought Gold Coast Pets Vanessa never imagined she would be now running the city’s biggest lost and found site helping thousands of desperate owners trace their beloved animals.

But demand is so great that she now runs the Gold Coast Lost and Found Pets community Facebook page with the help of eight other volunteer sleuths who work around the clock, trying to match lost pets with owners.

Most days Ms O’Brien and her crew deal with about 10 cases but if a storm rolls into town, then that can jump to 10 a minute, she said.

“And don’t even get me started on fireworks and New Year’s Eve,” she laughs. “We can get inundated.

“Back in 2007 I was a stripper but I was looking to get into working with pets and bought a business that would allow me to have contact with animals as a walker and pet sitter.

“As a side project I started the lost and found part and before long I realised it was going to need its own page and now it’s grown to the point where it is a community resource that even vets use.

“We have so many reunions — and people write to us and say we were their last hope.”

When not overseeing the non-profit lost and found site, Ms O’Brien is busy running her dog walking and pet-sitting business and starting a social group dedicated to local dog lovers.

She is also trained in dog CPR — or snout to mouth as it is known — and animal first aid.

“I don’t have a favourite dog or cat — I have a top five and I also like rats and snakes.

“Actually I’m starting to be known as the pet lovin’ entrepreneur which is probably spot on.”

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