The Desperate Plight of Pound Dogs
Every year tens of thousands of dogs end up in pounds and shelters around Australia. Some of them make it home to their families, others are fortunate enough to be adopted but many thousands more end their lives at the pound. In NSW if they are micro-chipped dogs are given 14 days to find a home. If not micro-chipped, they get only seven days. If the dog is surrendered to the pound, they might only live a couple more days. Sadly, the last thing tens of thousands of dogs see is a cold and stark room where they enter alive and exit in body bags – spending their last days in fear and anxiety.
What is Staffy Rescue?
Staffy Rescue is a registered animal welfare charity committed to trying to save and rehome as many Staffordshire bull terriers and larger breed dogs as possible. Staffy Rescue rescues dogs from death row at pounds across NSW and kennels them at our shelter in north western Sydney. We pay all the costs of caring for and rehabilitating the dogs, including Veterinarian fees which can be substantial. Staffy Rescue is a No Kill rescue which means that every dog rescued from the pound is loved and cared for no matter how long it takes for them to find their forever home. Staffy Rescue is privately run and self funded, and is supported by a team of dedicated volunteers. All dogs are desexed, micro-chipped, vaccinated, heartworm tested and lifetime registered in NSW. They are also treated with preventatives for fleas (monthly), intestinal worms (quarterly) and heartworm (annual injection). Just as importantly the dogs are nurtured and well fed, they are exercised and take part in training and walks at the shelter and receive heaps of affection.
For more than ten years, from 2000 to 2011, Mina & Anthony Melman dedicated their lives to running Staffy Rescue. However, with their three young children growing up, they felt that they needed to spend more time with them and their own pack of 5 dogs. So, with that in mind, and with their passion for the welfare of dogs unabated, they decided to downsize a bit. They did not want to shut down Staffy Rescue as it has been their baby for the last decade. Luckily, the members and volunteers at Staffy Rescue stepped in and took over the demanding tasks of running Staffy Rescue.
Help Us …
All rescue groups have seen some tough times over recent years with a record number of dogs (and other animals) being abandoned in pounds or surrendered. Our shelter is constantly full which means deserving dogs, waiting sadly at the pound, are killed before room can be made for them at the shelter. As with all rescue groups, Staffy Rescue needs funds not only to continue with its work and keep the shelter open, but to build new kennels and runs so more dogs can be saved. We also need people to help out at the shelter. If you think you can help please fill out our Volunteer Application Form today!
The Staffy Rescue Story
Staffy Rescue was started in the late 1990s by Mina and Anthony Melman, two people who passionately believe in the rights of animals. They decided it was time to do something about the plight of dogs in pounds around Sydney (rather than just sit around saying “isn’t it awful”). Starting small Mina and Anthony rescued one or two dogs at a time from death row at the pound and fostered the dogs themselves, managing to re home many of them very quickly to some great families.
Staffy Rescue rapidly grew as word about Mina and Anthony’s work spread. They were soon up to about 7 foster dogs at a time (plus their own dogs) and decided that it was time to get some help.
They put out a request for help and within a very short time had a number of volunteers. They soon realised that there are some wonderful people out there who wanted to help, but just don’t know how.
The Staffy Rescue website was established and the great feedback from regular readers of the site encouraged Mina and Anthony to expand even more. They soon had foster carers, drivers and other volunteers queuing to help with the rescue dogs. Mina and Anthony stopped putting the dogs into foster care as logistically it was easier to have all the rescue dogs altogether in one place.
In 2003, Mina and Anthony went through a massive, life changing experience centring on the birth of their son, Jackson. They did not stop with the rescue work but actually continued to expand, moving from a comfortable suburban home to a 5 acre property in the Hills District. Towards the end of 2005, the Melman family grew again when their twins, Benjamin and Sabrina were born. With three young children, they were forced to slow down for a little. However, with support from some wonderful volunteers, they managed to survive and soon got back into full swing again.
In September 2009 Staffy Rescue was incorporated, and Staffy Rescue Inc. was registered as an Animal Welfare Charity with a membership of about 20 people – many of whom had worked as volunteers for Mina and Anthony. An executive of 5 people was appointed with Anthony and Mina taking the roles of President and Vice President respectively.
In January 2011 there was reorganisation of Staffy Rescue Inc. and a new executive was appointed. Anthony and Mina Melman stepped down as President and Vice President but remained as executive members. Michael Orchard was appointed as President, and Lin Naidoo as Vice President. Both Michael and Lin had been volunteering at the rescue for some years before being appointed to the executive. Under the new executive, additional kennels and runs were constructed in early 2011 with a grant from the Sydney City Council and a new training and rehabilitation regime was instituted for the rescue dogs.
In early July 2011 Mina and Anthony Melman decided to take a step back from their work at Staffy Rescue, spend more time with each other, their children and their own dogs – and also start Big Dog Rescue a new rescue specialising in rescuing and rehoming large breed dogs. Mina and Anthony have stayed on as volunteers and executive members of Staffy Rescue Inc.
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