A brand new refuge providing a safe haven for unwanted dogs waiting to find their forever homes is currently under construction.
Set to open by the end of the year, Red Collar Rescue‘s founder Sharyn Banks said the new facility near Farnsfield would provide more room to shelter abandoned dogs.
“We are going to have a big play yard, a memorial garden, a quarantine area, feed shed and a caretakers cottage,” she said.
“The initial stage will also feature 22 kennels that will be large enough to take more than one dog if need be.”
Sharyn said while planning the Red Collar Rescue refuge started two years ago, it was a dream she had for more than a decade.
“It has taken 12 years to get to this stage, it's been a long time from dream to inception,” she said.
“When we first started out we just built some pens with what we had and we still use those pens to this day.
“We have had 4200 dogs through our doors and over the years I guess it has just been a matter of looking at what has worked and what hasn't.”
Sharyn said the new property at Farnsfield would replace the existing refuge in Biggenden and was the perfect location for Red Collar Rescue.
“We had to be careful about where we chose because while everyone wants there to be dog refuge, not everyone wants one to be in their backyard,” she said.
“We chose this location because there are no neighbours to bother and it is still really accessible to the highway, to Childers and to Bundaberg.”
Ella finds her forever home
David and Gail May know just how important the new Red Collar Rescue refuge is, having just used the organisation's service for the adoption of their dog Ella.
The Bargara residents decided to make Ella part of their family just three weeks ago after meeting the one-year-old pup and falling in love.
“Ella was initially fostered by some friends of ours down at the dog park,” David said.
“We already had an application in at Red Collar Rescue for a dog and then we saw Ella at the park and thought we would take her for a week or so.
“That only lasted three days and we decided to adopt her.”
David said Ella made a great companion for Bailey, their two-year-old labrador, and the pair spent countless hours each day playing in the backyard.
“She is very easy-going and gets along well with Bailey, they love rough-housing together,” he said.
“Bailey has been a lot more responsive and happy since Ella came along.”
David said the service that Red Collar Rescue offered was paramount in bringing abandoned dogs together with new families.
“One of the things we love is that Red Collar Rescue put each dog's welfare above anything else,” he said.
“The adoption application process is also very simple and stress-free.”
More room at Red Collar Rescue refuge
Sharyn said the new refuge would provide room to save even more animals like Ella, with an increased opportunity to find their forever families.
“These new kennels will allow us to provide stability. It means that if there are dogs in need, we know that we are going to be able to help,” she said.
“At the moment there is nothing worse than not being able to take on a dog because we have no room.
“We are going to be able to save more dogs and we hope that this facility becomes something for the community to use for years to come.”
Sharyn said the new Red Collar Rescue facility at Garryowen Road was expected to be completed later this year.
To find out more about Red Collar Rescue visit the website here.