CRISIS SITUATION, CAN ARRG KEEP GOING? ARRG will continue to operate at full strength if it can get funding to cover the costs of a part-time salary for Suzanne Lavis, the full time Secretary/Office administrator of ARRG for the last 8 years. Suzanne has been one of the key people at ARRG and is fully trained in our rescue and rehoming program and has extensive knowledge and skills relating to animal welfare issues, animal laws, local council matters and valuable people counselling skills.
Current situation: During 2008 Centre link began to indicate to Suzanne that under the Mutual Obligations policy she would have to enter paid employment to remain eligible for income support. And for someone her age Voluntary work, - whatever the hours, regularity, commitment and value to the community – would not qualify as “work’. In February 2009 Suzanne had to start a part-time paid job. Her hours have since been increased, including weekend work. So, Suzanne is currently (April 2009) able to work with Barbara Steffensen (Founder and President) at ARRG for only one day a week. This situation has put enormous pressure on Barbara to cope with the full time admin workload and is not sustainable for much longer. Suzanne remains committed to ARRG and would return to her previous three days a week there if her position were paid and therefore acceptable to Centre link.
Background ARRG was founded in 1995 as a No-Kill, foster care rescue group for homeless animals following the closure of the local RSPCA branch in this region. We initially operated from a private home for 8 years, then from several temporary rented premises and the goal of building a permanent centre was formed. ARRG now operates a very successful full time Animal Welfare charity that is run from our office centre location in Lismore, funded by ARRG and completed in September 2007 and is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. The centre also has on-site accommodation for volunteers to cater for animal emergencies and part-time and occasional volunteers help with a range of tasks, including animal care, centre maintenance, office work, transport, including animal pick up from local pounds, drop off to carers and vet visits, fundraising and events. A mammoth achievement by our volunteers by anyone’s standards.
But the two key workers, Barbara and Suzanne, are central to all operations, because both have been available and willing to devote themselves fully to ARRG for a total period of 16 years and have built up the necessary skills and knowledge during this time. Together they have “manned” the full time office, maintained the telephone service, including from home an after hours service and co-ordinated all animal-related tasks: liaison with several council pounds and animal intake, the organising of veterinary care, oversee and provide support for foster carers and arrange and screen all adoption placements. Though it has long been desirable that some of these management tasks might devolve satisfactorily onto other volunteers, the reality is that this cannot happen in the short term. If either Barbara or Suzanne had to cease their commitment, ARRG would close.
The situation during the planning and building of our Animal Centre. For the past ten years ARRG has willingly worked with the government under the ‘Work for the Dole’ program by being an approved Not for profit host in this region for several employment agencies. During this period we have accepted and completed the training for a very high number of applicants with a great success recorded. Results can be checked and are due to the skills and expertise of ARRG management. New government laws have hit charities hard, totally ignoring the previous beneficial role we performed.
Suzanne’s situation with Centre link remained stable and looked set to remain for some time. The centre had already opened in September 07 before the full extent of the governments “tightening up” of income support became apparent. Suzanne then fulfilled a further sixteen month’s full time admin work at the centre before being obliged to take up a paid position elsewhere and we did not see it coming. Since late 2007 ARRG has been making urgent representation to your Federal, State and Local government representatives & other individuals in efforts to save ARRG but no politician seems to care about our work. How can you help us? If you would like to help support ARRG or make a donation to help raise funds to get our secretary back and keep our doors open please make a donation by calling 02 66 22 1881 or mail to PO Box 987 Lismore 2480 or make a donation online. Thank you for caring.
Monty dumped in severe pain aged 3 mths
Monty a collie x puppy was dumped at 3 months of age by heartless people and was taken to the pound who called ARRG for help.
He was severely neglected and had one of the worse skin conditions we have seen and this little puppy was in severe pain with red and hot swollen limbs. More info »
TESSIE a 1 year old foxie x was dumped
TESSIE a 1 year old foxie x was dumped in Kyogle and taken to the pound... More info »
'RONNIE' a mature rooster dumped
'RONNIE' a mature rooster in very poor condition was dumped in Nimbin and seen wandering around town for days... More info »
PEPPIE a 10 year old and blind terrier dumped.
PEPPIE a 10 year old and blind terrier was dumped at our centre at night. More info »
3 Kittens dumped at Power Stn
Three tiny kittens were dumped at the Toowoomba power station... More info »