Land purchase a happy day for shelter
FINANCIAL assistance from an anonymous benefactor known as Max has allowed Eatonsville animal shelter Happy Paws Haven to drastically expand its potential.
A 107-acre block of land, which backs onto the existing shelter, was sold to the not-for-profit organisation for $200,500 at an auction on the weekend, with three bidders registering their interest on the day.
Owner Sally Rogers said the purchase of 162 Tindal Rd marked the first step of her dream to turn Happy Paws into a first-class animal re-homing and rehabilitation facility, complete with education and emergency boarding services.
"Here comes the next step of our dreams," she said.
"I want to say a very big thank you to the wonderful man who has ensured the purchase of this land."
One of the bidders at the auction was a neighbour who did not want to be named, but has been openly opposed to the shelter since it moved to Eatonsville due to the noise created by barking dogs.
Ms Rogers said a fourth bidder pulled out of registration when she was told what Happy Paws Haven planned to do with the land.
"The idea is to move the dogs away from the neighbours," Ms Rogers said.
"The whole thing is about community. Hopefully the neighbours will recognise that we're here to stay.
"We've already spent an enormous amount in legal fees and on improvements.
"I want to put this all behind us and move forward to become something everyone can be proud of."
A neighbour said he was concerned the purchase of the land would only exacerbate noise issues for him if more dogs were housed on the additional property.
He added that parking at the front of the current shelter's property was also becoming a problem.
"Parking's a big issue now; it is a danger," he said.
"Every day there are vehicles parked with one third of the vehicle on the road. It's a 100km zone and it won't be long before there's a fatality."
In reply, Ms Rogers said she hoped part of the 107-acre land could be used to establish a car park.
Pending the 30-day settlement period, Ms Rogers said the first aim is to renovate the two-bedroom cottage on the property so a caretaker could move in.
The next step will be a major fundraising campaign to design and build the planned facility.
"In supporting the community, I need community support," she said.
"I can see the dream coming true. It will make us a significant shelter for rescue in Australia.
"It's quite a big thing."
Ms Rogers is expected to reappear in the Land and Environment Court on April 13 in relation to an ongoing court case against Clarence Valley Council.