Sally Rogers, of Happy Paws Haven at Eatonsville, amid some of the fencing erected at the property.
Sally Rogers, of Happy Paws Haven at Eatonsville, amid some of the fencing erected at the property. Jojo Newby

Animal shelter in trouble

HAPPY Paws Haven is running out of time and money as the threat of closure looms closer.

With less than a week until the deadline to meet a series of court-ordered stipulations, owner of the Eatonsville shelter Sally Rogers described the situation as critical.

The shelter still needs about $10,000 to complete the work that needs to be done before May 14.

"I knew it was going be hard to raise the funds, and that's why we've had all sorts of appeals and functions happening," she said.

"For a small organisation we've tried very hard to do the work; it's been a really big ask."

In January, a Land and Environment Court decision ordered Ms Rogers to cut the number of dogs allowed at the animal rescue centre from 32 to eight, following ongoing noise complaints from neighbours.

The court also instructed her to improve the quality of the materials used in the shelter as well as monitoring the behaviour of problem animals, train its volunteers to minimise dog barking and working with other agencies to re-home dogs.

By the end of March the no-kill animal shelter had cut the number of adult dogs in its care down to 14. That number is still current.

Ms Rogers said most of the kennels had been properly lined and dividing gates had been put in place, but kennel doors and shutters still needed to be re-sealed and a ventilation system had to be installed on the property.

On Friday she applied to the Land and Environment Court for an extension, but if it isn't granted the dogs will almost certainly be removed from Happy Paws Haven.

"We are looking for foster carers just in case so we can at least keep some of them, because God knows what will happen otherwise," Ms Rogers said.

"All the money I've spent caring for them, de-chipping and de-sexing them will go down the drain, and I will have trouble affording to keep the cats. We will probably have to close."

Ms Rogers said Happy Paws Haven had saved more than 1800 animals since 2006, and offered a valuable service to the community.

"(If it closed) the whole community would be affected - (people with special needs) who come every Friday to pat the animals, people doing community service... and TAFE kids doing animal studies - there are lots of people who benefit from Happy Paws, it's not just the animals," she said.



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