Agreeing to volunteer at the Super Furry Animal Festival on my day off? One could assume it was from the goodness of my heart.
Wrong. It was mostly puppy-loving selfish desire. It was also in admiration of the Super Furry team, who work all-year round alongside their full-time jobs to organise fundraising events for animal-related causes. Sure. I could sacrifice one Saturday.
My “volly” role for the day (as the Ozzies say) was to be a minion for Sydney Fox and Dingo Rescue, another organisation entirely made up of volunteers (so many good people in the world). My first task? Get IN the puppy pen with Trickett, a cheeky three-month young Dingo, looking for a new home. Trickett was found orphaned at just three weeks old, his mum may have been killed by poison.
Dingoes get a bad wrap in Australia and are often regarded as pests. So with the acceptance of hunting, trapping and wide-spread baiting, wild dingo pups are left orphaned and often die of starvation. With the uncontrolled backyard breeding of Dingoes also on the rise, domestic born pups are often mistreated and neglected.
Trickett is just one of up to 70 persecuted animals rescued by the shelter, based in the Southern Highlands two hours south of Sydney. So far they’ve saved over 80 dingoes and found them loving homes while working hard to educate people about their welfare and wild environment.
Between taking donations for Trickett cuddles, my primary role was to hang out with sandy-coloured Jarrah, a chilled out 12-month pup. Jarrah’s name comes from a type of Australian eucalyptus, and he was born in the shelter after his pregnant mum was rescued from mistreatment. He now has a loving home with one of the Shelter’s dedicated volunteers, Caitlyn.
Locals couldn’t hide their surprise when discovering that the pups were pure dingo, and were amazed by their loving nature and docile temperament. Jarrah’s inquisitive nature led us to every treat stand at the festival, constant canoodles with pooched of all sizes (and dress!), and his first rather adorable meet with a ferret.
Final thought? Sometimes we get bogged down in our day to day of life and forget how lucky we are. Giving up a Saturday here and there to volunteer for a cause you care about is totally worthwhile and a great way to make a difference and meet inspiring people or pooches if you please!
P.S If you’d like to donate to support the dingoes visit the Sydney Fox and Dingo Rescue Facebook page.