3 August 2023

Animal rescue charity calls for more help as pounds are 'bursting at the seams'

| Chisa Hasegawa
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A blonde haired woman is sitting down smiling at the camera. She is hugging a light brown dog that is snuggling its head under her chin.

A second chance at life: Marianne Goodwill rescues pound animals that are going to be put down

A BAMAGA dog will be given a new lease on life as remote Indigenous community pounds continue to be underfunded and overcrowded.

Goodwill Rescue Limited, a charity that rescues pound dogs that would otherwise have to be put down, has saved over 200 dogs since beginning in December last year.

They will be flying ‘Rosie’ to her new foster home this week.

Director Marianne Goodwill says that the dogs they rescue have “a death sentence on their head”.

According to Ms Goodwill, although all pounds are underfunded at the moment, remote pound dogs “need the extra help” because there are no vets and not enough resources in these communities, as well as being difficult to transport.

“Most people won’t touch them because it’s very expensive to fly them out and give them their work,” she says.

Goodwill Rescue Limited is currently crowdfunding for three Bamaga dogs to be transported, as well as $5000 for urgent dog food and puppy milk supplies.

The very little funding that remote community pounds get is stretched too thin as they are consistently full, meaning there is little to no food available for the dogs.

A brown and white dog is sitting inside a pound kennel. She is gazing downwards with a look of sadness.

‘Rosie’ lived her life in the Bamaga pound until Goodwill Rescue found her a foster home

“Any dog that comes out of (remote pounds) is very, very skinny and a lot of the reason they’re put down is because they are basically starving,” Ms Goodwill said.

The funds raised are being loaded onto $500 gift cards that can only be spent on dog food and puppy milk for the animals at the pound. So far, Goodwill Rescue Limited has been able to provide two gift cards to the Bamaga community.

They are hoping to raise more money to continue feeding the dogs in the pound and rescuing the two other dogs that need to be transported.

Ms Goodwill says that these are just short-term solutions and that more was needed to “break the cycle”.

She believed that there was a need for more education and access to services like vaccinations and desexing, as well as an understanding of what generally happens to pound dogs.

“People say ‘Oh, we can’t give the best life to our dog, we think we need to rehome it and surrender it’.”

“The best life for your dog is having a life rather than being put in a pound and being killed.”

However, Ms Goodwill stressed that remote community pounds “were doing the best they can in a very difficult situation”, and that her job was to support them the best she can.

Goodwill Rescue Limited encourages able members of the community to donate and support the charity in rescuing pound dogs.

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