Craig Lowndes has been an RSPCA supporter for many years.

Craig is one of the true nice guys of Australian sport. And if that sounds like a cliché- so be it! At just 39 he’s a three time V8 Supercar champion, a triple Barry Sheene medallist and a five time winner of Australia’s most prestigious motor race, the Bathurst 1000. He’s also an RSPCA Ambassador and takes this part of his life very seriously. In short, he’s committed to helping animals in whatever capacity he can.

Born just outside of Melbourne, he spent most of his early life on a five acre property, surrounded by animals.

“We always had animals,” he said fondly. “I grew up with goats, horses, cats and of course dogs. At a very early point in my life I learnt to respect them and, perhaps as importantly, look after them.”

Once he started on the gruelling travel train that is part of Australian motor racing he realised that it simply wasn’t fair to have a pet because he couldn’t look after it properly.

“Pets become part of the family and they need looking after. Having a pet is a privilege, not a right. We all see animals that are simply left locked in a yard all day and even when owners come home at night they don’t get the attention they deserve. Or worse they simply get dumped when the owners decide they’re too much work.”

But despite the fact that his racing career still involves a lot of travel it appears that a part time career as an RSPCA foster carer could be the answer.

“We’re in the position now that we could actually look at doing that. I’m really keen. I miss having an animal in the house and providing a temporary foster home when we can could be the answer.”

Craig is only too well aware of the benefits animals bring to our lives.

“You see it all the time. A person can be a high powered, stressful job and simply coming home to an animal whose love is unconditional can make all the difference. It helps relieve the stress and calms them down. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a bad or a good day, your pet is there for you. They become a sounding board. They can really help older people too. If their children have moved out and they’re living alone, having a pet means they’re no longer alone. I believe animals are an invaluable part of our existence.”

Horses have been part of his life since childhood and a few years ago he actually did a “horse whisperer” course.

“It was amazing. I felt that I got to understand horses and could even sense what they were feeling and why. In the end I became totally comfortable around them.”

Craig has always been happy to help the RSPCA and his role as an ambassador is testament to that. He will always help out if he can and his profile as Australia’s most recognisable driver spreads the RSPCA message throughout the community. As he so aptly put it.

“In an ideal world there would be no need for the RSPCA. But sadly the world we live in is far from ideal and the need for the RSPCA is greater than ever before.”