Amanda Weston's parrot Clarrie welcomes visitors to the garden.

Ruby and Elly, Amanda's two pet dogs are on guard, and eventually settle when they feel you're friendly.

Birds hop around and feed on the lawn - they're at ease. This is after-all an animal-frendly home.

Also in the garden is Amanda's husband's man-cave.


Shane however has given it over to Amanda's cause, sewing pouches for the animals that have survived the Australian wildfires.

The man-cave, bigger than Amanda's sewing room inside the house, has boxes of material and old flannelette and cotton sheets.

The natural fibres are best suited to the inner linings and polyester fabrics are used for the outer covers.

Each pouch has three inner linings which must be cotton.

Amanda, the sewing teacher at Feilding Intermediate, said she first heard about the fires in November.

"I was distraught and after discussing with a friend we decided to help, but how?

"We found patterns online and got busy making pouches for the animals."

Amanda had a holiday booked to visit family in Australia in January.


"I thought, well, I need to take some pouches with me."

She called her friend Veronica to come and help sew the pouches and they sewed for four days.

"I packed my bag and flew to Brisbane with pouches that weighed 18kgs. There were 95 different sizes.

"When I returned home I could not stop thinking about the animals and decided to continue sewing."

Amanda read online that Perth was also desperate for pouches.

She texted a friend on the Wednesday to see when her husband was returning to Perth.

"I asked if her could deliver some for us. He said yes and the marathon began.

"I started sewing Friday night and Veronica came on the Saturday and we sewed until 1.30am.

"We had to meet our friend at 10am, so I delivered 50 pouches which weighed 9.5kg."

As a frequent flyer he could accommodate the extra weight, she said.

Amanda heard that some pouches weren't arriving at their destination so she found Michelle Bryant through Future for Wildlife Australia on Facebook.

"Michelle said she's not receiving any help to feed the animals and she's doing it on her own."

Amanda is also collecting for the wildlife carers.

Deb and Brendon Hart of Manawatū Toyota have stepped up and will sponsor the freight of the carer parcels to Australia for a year.

Feilding businesses that have donated care packages are: Health for Life, Manchester House, Totally Balmy , Hairworks Extra and the Warehouse Feilding.