A dynamic duo based in the Barossa Valley, who won a legion of fans while competing in top-rating reality TV series “The Block”, plans to use their rising public profiles to encourage greater awareness and appreciation of animal sentience.
Kerrie Charter, a nurse and her husband Spence Thomson, an award-winning carpenter, share their 17 hectare property in Nuriootpa with a menagerie of animals. Both long time RSPCA supporters, they jumped at the opportunity to become ambassadors for RSPCA South Australia.
“Animal welfare is a cause close to our hearts and we’ve been monthly RSPCA donors for years,” Kerrie said.
“We hope we can encourage more people to become aware of the sentience of animals – that they feel pain and fear every bit as much as we do.
“And we hope to encourage people to notice animals that are clearly not doing well, for whatever reason, and to contact the RSPCA.”
Asked what specific animal welfare issues caused her most concern, Kerrie immediately identified intensive farming and Australia’s live export industry.
“I don’t understand how it can still be legal in the 21st century to do these things to animals.
“Just because these animals are not pets, they are still sentient beings – they still deserve to be treated humanely.”
The couple relocated from Melbourne to the Barossa Valley in November 2016, in pursuit of a more relaxed lifestyle. But that plan went on the backburner last year after they successfully auditioned to be among five couples chosen to compete on The Block.
The eight-time Logie winning series, which airs on Channel 9, requires contestants to transform dilapidated buildings located in Melbourne into luxury apartments. Kerrie and Spence came second with their contribution to the total renovation of St Kilda’s historic Gatwick Hotel.
Now returned to a slower pace of life, Kerrie says they’re happiest when home with their animals, including Ted their rescue dog, Bart their horse and two alpacas named Courtney and Hans after fellow The Block contestants.
Kerrie and Spence together with Ted their Mastiff X furbaby will be at RSPCA PetVille today.
RSPCA PetVille offers pet supplies, grooming services and a cat boarding facility. For more information: