Last month president of the Orange branch of the Animal Welfare League Jasmine Smart saw a post on Facebook from a woman who reported she’d found a Wolfhound x Great Dane abandoned in north Orange.
The starved dog – named ‘Karlo’ – weighed just 28 kilograms, despite being a breed which should be at least 70 kilograms, and had sores around his neck from being chained up.
Miss Smart said the woman volunteered to take care of the abused animal until the group could find a proper home for him, a difficult task for dogs like Karlo.
“Puppies are easy to home but big dogs can be tricky,” she said.
Established just three months ago, the organisation already has 70 dogs and five cats in foster care in homes around the region, waiting to be adopted.
Miss Smart said the animal rescue service has been completely overwhelmed by the numbers of surrenders, which is why she’s putting out a call for help.
“We never thought we’d have this much work to do – it’s quite heartbreaking,” she said.
The local branch of the national non-profit organisation is run by about 100 volunteers, which includes 50 foster carers.
It has received sponsorship for pet food and kennels and a $10,000 once-off donation from the Australian branch has helped get the charity off the ground.
However, each dog costs the organisation between $350-$400 in veterinary fees, which includes vaccination, chipping, desexing and flea-treatment.
Coupled with the cost of traveling to homes to pick up animals, the initial funding is quickly drying up.
With finances already stretched, Miss Smart said she’s concerned the charity won’t be able to cope with an influx of animals expected at Christmas time and she can’t bear the thought of turning people away, especially in cases of abuse.
“Christmas is the busiest period. Our plea for donations is so we can help as many animals as we can through the holidays,” she said.
She said anyone wanting to donate can do so by contacting them via their Facebook page, or by showing up to their Santa Paws family pet photo day at The Robin Hood on December 9.
“Our plea for donations is so we can help as many animals as we can,” she said.
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