Dog rescue shelter plea

Rachel Melling and rescue dog Bindi. Picture Shawn Smits.

By Esther Lauaki

Who could resist a face like that?

It’s dogs such as Bindi, the Staffordshire bull terrier, that make the work of volunteers at Stafford Rescue Victoria worthwhile – and why they are campaigning to build a rescue and adoption facility in Carlsruhe to train and rehome more of the animals.

Stafford Rescue Victoria is located on a 16-hectare farm that was offered to it to use for free. The organisation is permitted to shelter up to five purebred “Staffords” at a time.

The property, also home to a number of rescued pigs, sheep and alpacas, requires $100,000 for the building of a proposed Stafford shelter that would include temporary accommodation, sheltered kennels, a lawned area, four runs and a behavioural temperament testing area.

An online crowdfunding campaign, started by Stafford Rescue Victoria co-ordinator Jan Hutton in June, has raised more than $11,000 and other donations have brought the total to $32,000 – the target is $50,000.
Ms Hutton hopes to match the $50,000 with state funding.

“We hope to be up and running before Christmas when we are often at our busiest,” Ms Hutton told

Star Weekly.

She said that the charity had rehomed about 2000 surrendered and unwanted dogs since it began in 2006.

It specialises in fixing major health issues in dogs that other organisations or families are unable to afford, with costs sometimes topping $10,000 per pooch.

“We just want to carry on going so we can help more dogs,” Ms Hutton said.

“We spend a lot of money on vet care … tens of thousands of dollars saving dogs.

“Without our followers and our community, these dogs wouldn’t be saved.

“We need to build this facility to keep our work going.

“Without it, we don’t know what we will

The pooches have something of a bad reputation as a dangerous breed, but
Ms Hutton is out to change that.

“About 70 per cent of dogs that go through pounds are Staffords and Stafford crosses,” she said. “It’s heartbreaking … Staffords are so misunderstood.

“They’re extremely loyal, they’re extremely good with children and that’s why they’re called ‘the nanny dog’.

“If you don’t want a dog that’s following you around the house, a Stafford is not for you.”

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