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It’s a Dog’s (Happy) Life, Thanks to PAA...

… says Richard Lancaster

I visited Redcliffe’s Peninsula Animal Aid Refuge (PAA) on behalf of a friend, who lives on Bribie Island. She had recently lost one of her two dogs to old age and the remaining one, Jake, now seemed lost and forlorn without his mate. So I was on a mission, on her behalf, to check out a suitable companion for Jake. Kennel Manager Marcia Thomson greeted me and on hearing of my friend’s situation consulted her log book.

“Since Covid we have had fewer dogs come into the refuge. However we are now receiving dogs from as far away as Bundaberg, Warwick and Rockhampton. Oh yes, and we have filled quite a few adoption requests from Bribie!” said Marcia, a 20-year veteran at the PAA.

Marcia accompanied me as I moved around the facility and I was pleasantly surprised to find how clean and odour-free the refuge is. I found out subsequently that this was due to the 100 or so volunteers, who work tirelessly on 4-hour rostered shifts, cleaning, washing bed linen, walking and feeding twice daily their resident much-loved dogs and cats. Marcia explained that to adopt a dog or a puppy, the cost is $350. Before adoption, all dogs are thoroughly vet-checked, de-sexed, microchipped, vaccinated and heartworm tested, over $400 worth of value. Cats and kittens can be adopted as well, undergoing similar rigorous testing, and each adoption costs between $125 to $245.

We were soon away to meet Jake’s possible new companion. The first was Walter, a black and white patched friendly fellow, who had just returned from his daily half hour walk with volunteer Graham. But he didn’t qualify, as my friend had indicated that she was uncertain as to how Jake would take to another male dog. Sadly the same fate befell Bruno, a handsome golden American staffie, who greeted us like we were old friends. We also met Blue and Bindi, a rock-solid pair who had happily lived together since their arrival from Bundaberg. “They would be heartbroken if we separated them” said Marcia. “I don’t think my friend could cope with another two dogs!” I replied. All seemed lost until we met Sybil. A delightfully playful brown kelpie who seemed to fit Jake’s bill. “Sybil looks as though she could be a great companion for Jake. I’ll tell my friend about her and hopefully she will come and check Sybil out soon”, I said enthusiastically.

Before leaving the refuge, I chatted with PAA’s Administration Manager, Anne Carmichael, who told me a little of the refuge’s history. Celebrating its 50th birthday this year, in 1971 a group of Redcliffe dog loving volunteers banded together and housed dogs abandoned on the peninsula by their Brisbane owners. In 1974 an animal-loving friend donated a house to be used as a refuge, and the PAA had a home. More recently, the family of the late Brian Burdett generously donated part of his estate to the PAA, enabling it to construct a new office block and dog quarantine facilities.

“Every abandoned, lost or sick dog or cat deserves a second chance, even if it takes us years to find them a home!” says Anne. “A Jack Russell x Cattle dog holds the record for the longest stay here. He was here for 6 years, but we found him a home, where he eventually died, a happy dog, aged 18 years!” she concluded.

If you’d like to know more, the Peninsula Animal Aid Refuge is located at 313 Duffield Road, Clontarf, phone 3284 1927, or visit their website,

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