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Byron Shire
March 30, 2023

Lismore animal shelter needs help to build new kennels

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Mayor Isaac Smith and Councillor Eddie Lloyd with ARRG Shelter Manager Suzanne Lavis. (Supplied)
Mayor Isaac Smith and Councillor Eddie Lloyd with ARRG Shelter Manager Suzanne Lavis. (Supplied)

A no-kill animal shelter in South Lismore is trying to raise $80,000 to build new boarding kennels to house the hundreds of animals being dumped every year.

The Animal Rights and Rescue Group, which found homes for 700 dogs last year, has completed a concrete slab for the kennels but needs the extra money to complete the project.

The group has been finding homes for lost, abandoned and donated dogs and cats since it was first established back in 1995.

ARRG manager Suzanne Lavis said the shelter’s no-kill policy meant that animals were kept until they were adopted.

She took Lismore’s mayor Isaac Smith and councillor Eddie Lloyd on a tour of the facility at Three Chain Road in South Lismore earlier this week.

‘Ask any resident of Lismore and the chances are they will almost certainly know someone who has adopted a dog or cat through us,’ Ms Lavis said.

She pointed out that the work of ARRG actually saved the council money as most of the animals would have ended up at the council pound.

Ms Lavis showed the mayor and Cr Lloyd the site of the proposed boarding kennels, with Cr Isaac Smith urging the group to apply for Council Community Grant funding.

Cr Smith said organisations such as ARRG should be supported and encouraged wherever possible.

While they were touring the facility, another two dogs were dropped off because the owner was moving away from Lismore and did not want them to end up at the pound.

ARRG spends in excess of $3000 each week feeding the animals under care, and covering other running costs.

Anyone wanting to donate to the group should visit the website at animalrights.org.au

In addition, Keen Street Woolworths and Coles Goonellabah have bins where donated pet food can be left.

For anyone wanting to adopt a pet, ARRG can be contacted on 66221881.



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  1. As Council has special by-laws about dogs roaming the streets and dogs littering the street with faeces and also savage dogs and dogs attacking people, would not the Council be responsible to pay for this animal shelter?

  2. There is no doubting the good intent energising these “no kill” animal rescue groups.

    However, there needs to be balanced debate around granting access to public funds.

    Council is charged with the responsibility of controlling companion animals to protect the interests of the public as its prime objective. Not funding animal rescue groups that do not share the same objective.

    Genuine “no kill” groups are incapable of and choose not to distinguish between dangerous dogs and normal domestic dogs. As a result , dogs that would normally be euthanised by Council after an attack could well end up in unsecured care.

    I suggest that Council keep tight control over what animals are re-homed and act in the public interest. The decision to kill or no kill needs to be in the hands of public servants who will make that call based on cold logic which could well prevent another child being mauled.

  3. Joe, I would encourage you to go to ARRG. Knowing Suzanne as I do, she will give you a tour and a outline of the groups activities. You will learn that the last thing ARRG do is release animals back into the community that are dangerous. Rather, the dogs are housed in large pounds where they get to mix with other dogs. They get treated, often properly for the first time, by people who love them. They get to socialise with other dogs and visitors. For some the first vet they ever see is thanks to ARRG. Yes, sometimes this process can take several months but it works.

    It is only then that a dog is offered for adoption. And for dogs that have come in from violent backgrounds they are never given to an unsuspecting family. Rather they are often fostered out to ARRG supporters who will take the dog for a trial period just for that added level of support.

    It is a testament to ARRG and Suzanne that the Council pound refers dogs to ARRG. Contrast the large open pens and yard at ARRG compared to the pound and you will realise why this place works so well.

    Finally, as to a purely fiscal perspective, hard to do this and I marvel how you did Joe, ARRG presents great savings to ratepayers. For the sad fact is that every dog that goes to the pound costs ratepayers a bomb. The better resourced ARRG is, the more ratepayers will eventually save.

    • Mark, you missed the point. Which is not surprising. Council is required to act in the public interest. Not animals. Read your guidelines and look at legal precedent.

      Not sure where your expression of “surprise” comes from in relation to fiscal matters. Enlighten me.

  4. Regarding the Tweed Shire Animal Pound……….

    A living animal has the right to “quality of life ”

    There ARE animals you could not save for various and clinical reasons – as a Vet would agree.

    I have witnessed and after even one visit and – have written to Tweed Shire Council regarding the state of the Tweed Pound which is located at Dump and Disposal site Stotts Island.

    The Volunteers and managers live in a state of physical and emotional stress. In the summer the dust covers the whole “cell” where they work. The animals however breathe the dust and poisons all day.

    Many animals are in a traumatised state in this enclosed and wired environment that is NOISY, dust – blown and in a transient state.

    Would like to see a new BUILDING LOCATION and a more improved setup for the safe keeping of animals from the Tweed District.

    I placed a request that the premises of the animal Pound be relocated to where people have a better attitude to their environment and peace and quiet reigns for the captive animals.


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