If you have ever bought something from the CAWI op-shop in Brunswick Heads, or a Byron Dog Rescue raffle ticket or made a donation, then you need a big thank you.
After 14 years of struggle, Byron Dog Rescue (formerly CAWI) is about to realise their dream of opening a rescue centre with the purchase of a property in Mullumbimby.
Joint presidents of Byron Dog Rescue Jean Conway and Cindy Chow, want to acknowledge the long and dedicated efforts of the whole CAWI team towards reaching this stage in achieving the dream of creating a rescue centre in the Byron Shire. ‘Without the teamwork and endless support of our volunteers, along with the generous donations of our community, we would not have been able to take this first giant step,’ said Jean Conway.
Byron Dog Rescue Centre will not be a traditional shelter. ‘Our philosophy, backed by industry research, is that dogs’ lives are better in temporary care with foster carers than any long-term shelter situation. Therefore, the Left Bank Road property will only provide emergency housing for dogs awaiting a foster home where they will stay until they are adopted into their new permanent home,’ said Jean.
‘Byron Dog Rescue remains a not for profit charity which will still require the assistance of those caring people who have, over the last 15 years, brought us to this threshold.’
Adding to the coffers, the staff of the Brunswick Heads branch of the Commonwealth Bank nominated Byron Dog Rescue for a donation of $500 because of the role it plays in the community. ‘We’re very excited to have the opportunity to support the Byron Dog Rescue,’ said Alice Taylor, Commonwealth Bank branch manager. ‘In particular, they have an active involvement in our community and there are a number of great initiatives they are so proudly behind, so it’s great to be able to give back and support this work.’
The CAWI op shop, founded by Margaret Brown in 2004 as a registered charity, has been instrumental in providing the basis of fundraising efforts towards the proposed rescue centre. ‘Add to that the generous donations from our local community, the sale of donated goods and the huge efforts of all of our volunteers who have given of their time, their hearts and their caring to give assistance not only in the shop, but on the front line of providing loving foster homes for our rescues,’ said Jean
‘Thank you too, for those dedicated people who have mingled with the community at various venues, rattling those collection buckets come rain or shine. Also, a big thank you to those behind the scenes who do the administrative work such as social media and organisation. They will all continue to play a vital role in our efforts.
‘The purchase of this property will give us a big foot in the door towards providing a centre to oversee our rescue and rehoming efforts,’ says Jean.