If you have a pet, chances are they’re like a member of your family.
Ardross local Esther Wagner welcomed her pup Frankie five years ago and while she expected it to change her life, she never expected it would kickstart an entirely new career.
While trying to puppy train Frankie, Ms Wagner discovered her pooch had an intolerance to chicken, which made him sick.
Instead of ditching doggy treats altogether, she decided to bake him his own healthy alternatives which led to the start of Frankie Loves Barkery.
“I started with our baked treat range and I made them little training treat-sized so that it didn’t matter what size dog you had, they were the right size for them,” Ms Wagner said.
“And then from there it just snowballed into cakes and dehydrated treats and accessories which my mum handmakes herself.”
Ms Wagner works as a full-time teacher, but during evenings and weekends she spends her time baking luxurious doggy cupcakes and treats.
“At the moment, birthday cakes are the biggest thing; anything to do with celebrating a dog really,” she said.
“The mindset is just slowly changing from dogs are just pets to dogs are family members and now people really want to spoil their fur babies.”
But sadly not all animals know that feeling of unconditional love, with 6444 animal cruelty reports sent to RSPCA WA over the past year, an average of more than 17 a day.
To help support the organisation, Ms Wagner is using her baking talents to raise money during its annual Cupcake Day.
“This is our second year being involved with RSPCA WA. It actually started off with one of my customers ordering some of our treats to give to the refuge dogs,” she said.
Ms Wagner has partnered with Classes Cakes and More to provide both dog and human cupcakes through their website and throughout August. All sale proceeds will go directly to the RSPCA WA.
RSPCA WA programs manager Nicky White said the animal welfare centre could only continue its work saving animals in need thanks to the community’s support for events such as Cupcake Day.
“We rely on animal lovers to fund around 80 per cent of our work rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming some of the State’s most vulnerable animals,” Ms White said.
“Right now our shelter in Malaga is at 118 per cent capacity, with more than 330 animals in care.
“Cupcake Day hosts will help provide these abused, abandoned and neglected animals with food, shelter, vet care and a second chance with a loving new family.”