Another year has come to an end and we are once again humbled by the compassion, support and belief in the work that we do from each and every one of you. You can read the 2014 wrap-up here but for 2015, here’s the results!
8 dogs targeted by Breed Specific Legislation were helped, either owned or impounded dogs requiring advocacy on their behalf, such as Kirra & Scott, Narlah and Sabina, and Ty & Striker. Thankfully, most of the councils we dealt with in these cases were wonderful and worked collaboratively with us, which is always what we hope to happen.
We did have to challenge two councils who were not giving dogs the best chance they could within the legislation, like Nyke & Shoalhaven and Ruby & Wollondilly. Nyke has since been adopted, and we also worked positively with Shoalhaven in a subsequent BSL case. Sadly, we were unable to save Ruby, but following our campaign Wollondilly were forced to improve their processes and dogs are now being given a much better (although not ideal) chance of leaving alive at this pound.
We fielded hundreds and hundreds of messages and emails asking for advice, assistance or referrals. There were many families that we could not directly assist, but upon their request for help we supported them and referred them on to services that could provide the assistance that we couldn’t, like Vicky and her pups, and John & Bella.
We encouraged an army of supporters to make submissions to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry in to Breed Specific Legislation, and Director, Mel, worked hard contributing to a thorough, evidence-based submission with some brilliant minds such as Megan Liddicoat of Victorian BSL inquiry – for laws that protect the community, Brad Griggs of Canine Services International and Bill Bruce, creator of the much celebrated ‘Calgary Model’. You can read that submission, titled ‘Victoria’s Future in Responsible Canine Guardianship’ here.
We developed professional relationships with some amazing groups, like the Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW Inc. after they requested our help for one of their clients, Peter and Jemma. We’ve since provided advice and assistance with a few other clients with pets as a result, and we’re so pleased to have a great ongoing relationship.
We were extremely proud to be invited to speak at the bi-annual Getting 2 Zero summit, a brilliant collection of presentations all aimed at increasing live release rates in shelters and achieving our common goal of eliminating the killing of healthy and treatable animals in our shelters. Director, Mel, presented on our pet retention programs, encouraging other shelters and organisations to look in to how they can contribute to keeping pets in their homes. You can watch the presentation here.
You’ve spread the word about who we are and what we do, and demand for our services tripled in 2015 vs 2014. This was both fantastic and financially crippling – causing us to temporarily close down funding cases in November to work hard at long term sustainability, including advertising for a new member of the Team to develop and coordinate fundraising programs. You can read our post about this here.
We’ve achieved an enormous amount throughout 2015 and we are so proud to share just a fraction of it here with you. We’re acutely aware of the reality of funding struggles as our profile and the demand for our services continues to grow. Without a regular, sustainable income we will be perpetually limited in how much financial assistance we can provide to those in need. If you believe in our programs and what we’ve achieved and you’re able, please consider setting up a tax-deductible, recurring donation, no matter how small.
Happy New Year to all of our wonderful supporters – we can’t wait for what 2016 will bring.