12 May 2016

Animal housing a claws for concern

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Charities are under increasing competition. A recent report from the Community Council of Australia has shed light on the NFP sector with regard to funding and market pressures affecting their ongoing long term sustainability.  

The Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, a well-run charity with a sustainable business plan is an exception to the rule. They face a new problem – asked to move their site to make room for urban developments.

An organisation that’s found so many homes for so many animals over the years (200 000 over the last 70 years) is looking for a home itself. The Sydney Dogs and Cats Home which takes in animals from 9 metropolitan areas in Sydney has to move from its Carlton home to make way for high rise developments. With an eviction looming the shelter has asked the Premier, Mike Baird, to find a piece of crown land so the shelter can continue to find new homes for lost and abandoned pets.

General Manager, Claire Garth said the organisation has been in contact with the government for the past 12 months however a permanent home is yet to be found.

“We have asked the government to find us a piece of crown land and we are fundraising to build a facility on that site. We do know there is land out there but the reality for us is that time is running out,” Ms Garth said.

Ms Garth said it was a pivotal community facility that assisted not only with animal welfare, but aged-care initiatives, disability-care programs, school and higher education assistance and community service.

“The dream is to build a best-practice facility in Sydney so that we can continue to lead the way in animal welfare and responsible rehoming, and to grow our disability, aged care and education initiatives,’’ she said.
The shelter is the only charity pound in Sydney and has no time limit on any animals placed in the shelter’s care. Ms Garth said the new site will help expand the shelter’s existing community programs that link animals with the elderly, those living with disability and youth living with mental illness.

“We’ve definitely seen the demand rise for our services.  The sad reality is that we’re the only facility of our kind in Sydney that places no time limit on the animals in our care. I think the industry has a long way to go in meeting the community’s expectations but what we’ve seen from the comments that are coming through on our petition already is that there’s a huge demand for the work that we do and it would be a massive hole if we had to close our doors,” she said.

 ‘‘We know the challenge ahead is large, but the animals of Sydney need us. We have been applauded for our practices and re-homing methods, and we continually strive to retain this high reputation that we have worked so hard to attain.’’ 
To find out more about the life changing work Sydney Dogs and Cats Home or to make a donation that will help us reach our financial goals please visit www.sydneydogsandcatshome.org 

To sign the petition click here.

To read more about the Community Council for Australia’s report, click here
The best part of my job as a Conference Production Manager is to create and manage my own conferences from concept to delivery, identify future conference topics as well as giving me a chance to expand my business card collection. Having a bit of a sweet tooth, you will always find me having lollies on my desk or you will catch me browsing on fashion sites during lunch breaks.

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